About Designer Loretta Castoro

Loretta Castoro

Designer gemologist and exotic gemstone expert, Loretta Castoro is a native of Long Island New York's picturesque Oyster Bay, where her family has deep roots going back for generations. Earlier residents of this charming old-world village included Teddy Roosevelt and famed craftsman Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Castoro had a youthful revelation of what would become her life-long vocation. While yet in grade school, a science experiment with classmates yielded a mesmerizing crystal growth from a jar the pupils hid for a week allowing minerals to develop in the dark. That discovery of the miracle of mineral formation ignited a passion that took her around the world in search of precious gemstone minerals throughout her adult life.

Castoro's early enthusiasm bore the fruits of her curiosity and perseverance. She devoured mineral books, and enrolled in the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the world's premiere gemological institution. Her first post-graduate job was at the prominent New York company, H. Stern; a global leader in colored gemstones.

At the H. Stern Headquarters in Brazil, she trained under the Senior Gemstone Buyers and Designers. Her eagerness to learn all about colored stones and to absorb all she could from this opportunity was apparent to the Senior Buyer in Brazil as she sat in on meetings with miners who brought their rough to sell. Castoro recalls. "It was the perfect opportunity for a young aspiring gemologist."

From this stellar beginning at H. Stern, Castoro added impressive later assignments with jewelry and gemstone leaders, including Tiffany & Co. As the Director of Gemstone Acquisitions she managed a team of globe-trotting gemologists, traveling the world buying the top gems for wealthy clients the world over. While at Tiffany she earned her FGA, Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, in London and a certificate in Advanced Scientific Gemology at the SSEF Swiss Gemological Institute, Basel, Switzerland, a CGA, Certified Gemological Appraiser, with the American Gem Society and a comprehensive jewelry manufacturing degree from Studio Jewelers in NYC. She lectured extensively throughout the world while procuring gemstones.

"Loretta represents the broad spectrum of experience that enhances our laboratory. She not only is a skilled and experienced gemologist by trade but has excelled in many practical aspects of our industry where marketing, retail and other diversified responsibilities creates an asset you rarely find in a single individual."

Lore Kiefert,
AGTA Gemological Testing Center Laboratory, Director

Designer Loretta Castoro is an acknowledged gemstone expert today, having traveled all over the globe in search of gemstones at their source, while learning more about these Wonders of Nature. A teacher at heart, Castoro shares her expertise in customized training programs and hands-on lab experiences where she passes on this contagious passion for gemstones. Her massive image library of gemstones and exotic sites from around the world featuring Castoro on location are seminal to presentations she provides for companies and groups requiring in-depth gem training. This valuable content can only come from someone with Castoro's rich background. In the estimation of her colleagues, she is truly one of a kind. As a recognized exotic gemstone expert, Castoro's private clients rely upon her for acquiring a world-class gemstone collection that expresses their distinct tastes, interests and style. Castoro's eye for design is evident in her couture jewelry which is avidly collected by discerning jewelry lovers.

Loretta Castoro is proud to finally present her own collections bringing her extensive world travel experience into these couture designs. She uses genuine gemstones and precious metal to express her stories in jewelry. Castoro notes that her collections are not just a product; they are a marriage of product and education. "I am very excited to finally offer my own collections. In my designs, the gems are the star. Each gemstone reflects the personality, the mood and style of the individual collector. I search the world for the finest and most interesting gems together with design techniques to create jewels which tell a story."