Highlands Jewelers a one-stop-shop for every aspect of fine jewelry and gemstones


With an interior that sparkles with satin platinum and sapphire blue decor, the brightly lit showroom of Highlands Jewelers seems like a jewel itself.

Located in the Piazza Carmel shopping center, the family-owned business has been serving the Carmel Valley community at that same spot for 22 years. Prior to that it was located at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center for five years, hence the name, which is so recognizable there was no reason to change it.

The business is a community asset not only serving neighborhood clients for almost three decades, but also supporting local schools and non-profits through generous donations of items for silent auctions and through participation in community events.

“It’s our way of giving back to our neighbors,” said co-owner Victor Manoushakian who also serves on the Carmel Valley planning board representing retail businesses. “We are very grateful to our local clients and we want to thank them for all these years of support.”

Manoushakian and his wife Jeannette are partners in their jewelry business and now daughter Julia, 21, is taking an active part, too. The couple also have two sons; each of the children attended Carmel Valley schools, kindergarten through high school.

Living close to Piazza Carmel is a benefit as family members are able to walk to work, “making us environmentally friendly,” joked Manoushakian.

A full-service specialized business, Highlands Jewelers is a one-stop-shop for every aspect of fine jewelry and gemstones.

Bonded and insured, they offer custom services, personalized jewelry, repairs and remakes — that can transform heirloom pieces to fit modern lifestyles and tastes — or create one-of-a-kind pieces for special occasions using a state-of-the-art laser welding machine for fine work.

The keen eye and creative masterly design of Manoushakian translates into unique pieces done in-house, never contracted out, for a personal touch not found in mall jewelers. Clients are treated like extended family and addressed by first names.

Renowned for their engagement rings, they also carry a wide range of wedding bands –some of them crafted from titanium, tungsten and ceramic — GIA (Gemological Institute of America)-certified gemstones (Manoushakian is a GIA alumnus) and a large variety of ring settings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more. And unique to Highlands Jewelers is the San Diego memento Pandora Charm, not available in any other jewelry store.

Services include ring sizing, watch band sizing, watch repair, watch servicing, jewel setting, cleaning and appraisals. If needed, a member of the Manoushakian family will do a house visit to appraise items.

In the time-honored tradition of apprenticeship, Julia – who is an expert in the specialty line of Pandora Charms and will soon attend the GIA gemologist program – is following in her father’s footsteps.

A master jeweler and designer her father — born in Beirut of Armenian heritage — started learning his craft as a child.

As a young adult, Manoushakian moved to Montreal where he honed his skills to reflect more modern tastes and where he was educated in the business of jewelry.

Learning from the best, he worked for Burkes in Canada then emigrated to La Jolla, working for Bowers Jewelers for 13 years before settling in the Carmel Valley area to raise his family and establish his own business in 1989.

“We were one of the first pioneer businesses to be established in the Highlands shopping center,” Manoushakian commented. “There was no 56 freeway and most of the area was undeveloped dirt.”

A mainstay in local small businesses today, Highland Jewelers represents the best of both worlds of classical jewelry and modern jewelry. “We cater to all types of clients,” commented Manoushakian. Those who prefer the traditional designs and those who prefer designs more current will find something suitable to their tastes, he said.

Highlands Jewelers is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, closed Sundays except by appointment.

Visit them online at www.highlandsjewelerssd.com or call (858) 481-9193. The showroom is located at Piazza Carmel Shopping Center, 3830 Valley Centre Dr #706, San Diego, CA 92130.

Business spotlights are developed through this newspaper’s advertising department in support of our advertisers.