Meet Raju Mehta: Palm Desert’s Diamond and Fine Jewelry Expert
From witnessing the ring and earrings his mother wore to working in the diamond factory in his hometown of Navsari, India, Raju Mehta recognized the importance and sentimental power of jewelry—particularly diamonds—at an early age. His passion for these precious stones has helped him embark on a brilliant career as the owner of Palm Desert’s premier jewelry store, El Paseo Jewelers, the valley’s largest collection of diamonds and jewelry. Today, Mehta is just as enthusiastic about jewelry and diamonds, an enthusiasm rivaled only by his drive to serve his customers and community. As a diamond expert in Palm Desert, Mehta possesses extensive knowledge and experience in evaluating, grading, and selecting high-quality diamonds to help clients make informed purchasing decisions.
For Mehta, a career in diamonds was a crystal-clear choice to make. “Diamonds are in my DNA. I have been in the diamond business since I was 15 years old,” Mehta explains.
“My brothers were in the diamond business, and I started when I was in high school. During summer vacation, we had no summer schools, so my brother told me, ‘Don’t keep running around town; go to the factory and start learning diamonds.’ So I started learning about diamonds and how to cut them.”
This experience and hard work not only fueled his interest in the jewels but also provided him with a knowledge and craftsmanship that is incredibly hard to come by nowadays. “In those days, we decided how to cut the diamond. Now, it’s all automatic; the machine cuts the diamond. Today, India is cutting and polishing 90% of diamonds,” Mehta shares. “The craft is taken out of that, but to me, doing the cutting time and learning to cut the rough diamond was very important.”
In December 1982, Mehta moved to the United States and landed a job at a retail jewelry store, where he worked a variety of different positions, each better preparing him for his future as a shop owner. Then 10 years later, Mehta opened the doors to El Paseo Jewelers, where he was able to showcase his expertise and designs to the public.
With his combined knowledge of sourcing diamonds, the craft behind cutting the stones and the different aspects of running a jewelry business, it’s easy to see how El Paseo Jewelers has created such an impact in the Greater Palm Springs area. “You are not going to find my experience in too many people in retail stores. You’ll still find it in the wholesale business, but in retail stores, you won’t,” Mehta says. “I know how to do retail. I understand advertising. I understand how to work with the community.”
Mehta’s impact on his community extends further than beautifully designed jewelry. “This community has done a lot for me. Without this community’s support, I could not do what I’m doing today,” he shares. “You can’t just keep taking; you’ve got to give back.”
This mentality has led to supporting a multitude of desert-based organizations and initiatives, including the Desert Symphony, McCallum Theater, Desert AIDS Project, Desert Cancer Foundation, The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Palm Springs Air Museum, St. Jude Research Hospital, the new CV Firebirds AHL team and more.
The spirit of giving is a theme that runs strong in Mehta’s life, from his philanthropy to his jewelry. “A diamond is the best way to express your love,” says Mehta. “When you give a diamond to anybody, you’re not just giving to give—most of the time, emotions are involved.”
This is one of many reasons why Mehta is so dedicated to helping customers find the perfect piece, whether it’s a custom design or something sparkly from the shop’s catalog. “Our ultimate goal is to make a customer happy. We are not happy if they are not happy,” Mehta explains. “I have a simple policy—even if it’s a special order—if you don’t like it, we’ll redo it, or we’ll give you your money back.
El Paseo Jewelers celebrated its 25th anniversary in November 2022, and 2023’s award season will mark the first time that jewelry from this shop will be featured on the red carpet. To learn more about El Paseo Jewelers or to work with Mehta, visit elpaseojewelers.com.
El Paseo Jewelers
73520 El Paseo, Ste E
Palm Desert, CA