The History of JTI Diamond Co.
JTI Diamond Co. fine jewelry store got its start in San Antonio, Texas in early March 1991. It was started and operated by Jim Turner and his wife Yolanda.
Jim and his wife Yolanda laid the foundation for JTI Diamond Co.’s excellence today. Jim Turner has been in the diamond and jewelry business for more than 45 years. He graduated valedictorian of his class and was recognized as one of the most outstanding high school students in Dallas, Texas. His accomplishments captured the attention of Mr. Ben Lipshy, chairmain of the Zales Corporation. Lipshy offered the 16 year old Turner a job at one of his stores, as well as a college scholarship. Turner had initially considered pursuing a legal career, but was side-tracked by his initiation into the jewelry business. He notes, “before I went to the jewelry store, I didn’t know what a ruby, or an emerald, or a Rolex was.” After college, Turner moved to Dallas and went to work at a jewelry store in Valley View Mall. He became a top earner at one of the most affluent locations in Dallas, Republic Bank. Later he was offered a position as a manager of the Hertzberg Jewelers location in San Antonio. He moved to San Antonio, making him the first African American manager of a Zales Guild Division location, and on October 8, 1982 he became one of the first African Americans to graduate as a Graduate Gemologist. At this location, he earned manager of the year for his impressive sales and continued to work in jewelry stores until March of 1991, when he opened JT International. Turner says that “JTI is the best kept secret in diamonds,” and that is why he has never needed to advertise. This best-kept secret has sold diamonds to such San Antonians as Tim Duncan, George Gervin, Sean Elliot, and the Benson Family.
They would later be joined by their son, Jonathan and daughter, Mariah. In 2004, Jonathan showing his continued interest in the industry traveled to California to attend the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). It was there that he became a Diamond Graduate and started his career in the jewelry industry. In 2014, after college, Mariah started her education in Diamonds and Diamond Grading and has plans to continue to become a Graduate Gemologist. Turner and his family are certified GIA Alumni to ensure customers an educated and knowledgeable experience. The family has worked together for many years growing a loyal customer base and strong reputation. The success of JTI is connected to it’s motto, which says “Now you have a friend in the diamond business.” As Turner points out, “treat a customer right, give them a fair price, and you’ll have a customer and a friend for life.”
In 2009, JTI Diamond Co. sought a new direction. After many years of being located inside of the Koger shopping center in San Antonio, Texas, the family decided to take up new roots in Park North Shopping center. The store relocated to it’s current location, at 726 N.W Loop 410, Suite #105. In the store today you will find the knowledgeable and friendly Turner family of master jewelers in San Antonio: Jim, Yolanda, Mariah and Jonathan.
April 01, 1991
July 11, 1991
• Guinea- Purchased first rough diamond
• South Africa- Sorting through rough diamonds
• Guinea- Buying rough diamonds