Early Days


In 1908, Durlabhji Tribhuvan, who hailed from a family of jewellers in Morvi, migrated to Jaipur, a city fabled for its hospitality to jewellers. Soon, all his sons were embroiled in business, and travelling overseas to set up operations.


In 1936, his youngest son, Khailshanker, settled down in Paris - where he remained until the outbreak of World War II in 1939. As the movement of gemstones became hazardous, Khailshanker returned to India. Upon the death of Durlabhji Tribhuvan in 1941, the two brothers – Vanaichand and Khailshanker – came together to form R.V. Durlabhji, a firm that endured until 1957 whence R.Y. Durlabhji was created.


In 1946, Khailshanker travelled to Colombia, and purchased the entire wartime production, then worth approximately 2 million dollars. This created ripples in international business circles, and also made the front page of the New York Times.


Now, Khailshanker set about processing the rough, and virtually every jeweller in the city became involved in manufacturing Durlabhji emeralds. This coup of Khailshanker’s established, by 1946, the firm’s reputation of being the largest business house in emeralds in the world. The local emerald industry was launched – never to look back again. A colossus had arrived! Consequent to Vanaichand’s death in 1957, M/s R.V. Durlabhji stood dissolved, and a new firm was born – R.Y. Durlabhji.


Rio Tinto and Sandwana
Around this time came news of a new mine in South Rhodesia, rumoured to be producing the finest emeralds. In another daring move, Khailshanker met with Tiny Rowland, owner of Rio Tinto, to purchase and manufacture its entire Sandwana production. This was a gamble – as no one had ever manufactured Sandwana emeralds prior to this, and hence, no one knew how the rough would pan out. Khailshanker processed the entire rough and the emeralds were of unbelievable quality. All the local jewellers immediately wanted a part of the pie but Tiny Rowland stood firm, and honoured his commitment to Khailshanker. He declared that he held Khailshanker in high esteem as he had never ever reneged on either commitment or payment.

Until 1969, the Durlabhjis sustained their close-circuit business, procuring all the emerald rough from Sandwana, and exporting emeralds to an elite band of clients worldwide. This arrangement ended only when the political situation between the two countries deteriorated, and goods could no longer be shipped out of Rhodesia. However, by then, Khailshanker had earned the sobriquet of “Emerald King” – bestowed upon him by a star struck trade that watched his every audacious move with awe and admiration.



M/s K S Durlabhji
In April 1985, Rashmikant and Yogi parted ways, the former retaining R.Y. Durlabhji, and the latter setting up M/s K. S. Durlabhji in partnership with the doyen of the trade, Padmashri Khailshanker Durlabhji.


"Khelubhai" passed away on 13th February, 1992 – leaving behind a rich legacy of formidable institutions and fearsome principles. A legend had gone. Khelubhai had established standards that others could only dream about –as jeweller, entrepreneur, visionary, reformer, pioneer, philanthropist and, above all, as a man of high principles and uncompromising ideals.

Today, Durlabhji is a household name in fine jewellery and gemstones, venerated everywhere for its fine merchandise and finer business ethics. The family has catered to the top jewellers in the world. Durlabhji emeralds have graced the best showrooms, and adorned the most famous people; the firm, currently headed by the husband-wife team of Yogi and Nirmala Durlabhji, with daughter Ruchi in tow, is an indispensable part of the select international market in fine gemstones.