Sidney Soriano has been in the gem trade since 1975. He has a degree from CUNY in comparative literature and has a keen interest in languages and world travel. The opportunity of traveling to Asia was always an aspect that attracted him to the business of gems.
Working at his first job he was able to have experience in the grading of diamonds and precious stones. It was with pearls that his interest was most acutely focused. He was taken with the different types of pearls that were farmed in Japan, Burma, and Australia. Inspecting groups of smaller strands and studying the composition of large south sea necklaces was the kind of work he most enjoyed.
After a period of successfully representing his employer at the most prestigious jewelry retailers on Fifth Avenue in New York, with a specialty in pearls, he was awarded with a buying trip. He went mostly to Japan and worked with suppliers in Tokyo and Kobe. On his most extensive trip he went to Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Burma. The highlight being the Burmese Government pearl auction in Rangoon. Grading of lots from between 30 to 150 pieces was the task before the sealed bid auction, and he honed his craft in matching and evaluating there.
In the early 1980's the owners of his company were offered and accepted to import one of the first very large productions of Tahitian black pearls. Ranging in quality, shape, size, and color - the collection presented a challenge in grading that was well suited to Sidney’s experience.
In 1983 he established his own company and continued his particular work and fascination with pearls. In the 1990's the world pearl market shifted to a larger venue in Hong Kong, although auctions and pearl shows continue to be held in Japan.
There was a new source of Chinese pearls that were new and different shapes, colors, and sizes to be sorted. With his clientele consisting more of individual craft jewelers and designers he found a new niche to market the many different types of pearls.
Currently he continues to import a range of pearls and is making finished pieces for galleries around the country.