December 6, 2021

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How ‘Richie Rich’ Richard Nektalov became the go-to jeweller for the stars

He’s a jeweller to the stars with the likes of Kanye West and Bella Hadid among his clients.

And with an Instagram covered in snaps of million dollar chains, 40-carat rings, and coloured jewels – it’s no wonder Richie Rich is the man A-listers and royals turn to for their diamond desires.  

The third generation jewellery scion, born Richard Nektalov, is the son of jeweller Leon Nektalov, a stalwart of New York’s diamond district known for its classic cuts and timeless pieces.

But the 29-year-old has swapped his family’s more subtle style for new-age flashy designs that end up draped around the necks of rappers and models.

Rich, who’s built up an Instagram following of nearly a million loves showing off his brashy and bold pieces loves picturing his designs, which are often bespoke.

With an Instagram covered in snaps of million dollar chains, 40-carat rings, and coloured jewels – it’s no wonder Richie Rich is the man A-listers and royals turn to for their diamond desires. He is pictured on a private jet

Rich, who's built up an Instagram following of nearly a million showing off his brashy and bold designs loves picturing his designs , which are often bespoke. He is pictured with Jonathan Cheban

Rich, who’s built up an Instagram following of nearly a million showing off his brashy and bold designs loves picturing his designs , which are often bespoke. He is pictured with Jonathan Cheban 

Diamonds are forever! He's also often pictured with many of his famous clients, including supermodels Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Cara Delevinge, who he made diamond tooth grills for. He is pictured with Rita Ora

Diamonds are forever! He’s also often pictured with many of his famous clients, including supermodels Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Cara Delevinge, who he made diamond tooth grills for. He is pictured with Rita Ora

And the flashiness doesn’t stop with jewellery. His social media is full of designs showing him posing on private jets and with supercars. While his father has previous said he diamond dealers should be ‘well dressed’, Rich opts for a more casual luxury look, often seen in head-to-toe Gucci atheleisure. 

He’s also often pictured with many of his famous clients, including supermodels Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Cara Delevinge, who he made diamond tooth grills for.

Other shots show him with Adam Levine. He made the Maroon 5 frontman’s diamond chain when he performed at the Superbowl halftime show in 2019.

And most recently, he made the $2M dollar 21-carat ring for PrettyLittleThing billionaire Umar Kamani’s proposal to his stunning model girlfriend Nada Adelle.  

And the flashiness doesn't stop with jewellery. His social media is full of designs showing him posing on private jets and with supercars and inside grand mansions (pictured)

And the flashiness doesn’t stop with jewellery. His social media is full of designs showing him posing on private jets and with supercars and inside grand mansions (pictured)

Other shots show him with Adam Levine. He made the Maroon 5 frontman's diamond chain when he performed at the Superbowl halftime show in 2019

Other shots show him with Adam Levine. He made the Maroon 5 frontman’s diamond chain when he performed at the Superbowl halftime show in 2019

Supermodel pals: Rich has also posed with Bella Hadid. She is shown here wearing diamond grillls made by the jeweller

Supermodel pals: Rich has also posed with Bella Hadid. She is shown here wearing diamond grillls made by the jeweller

Fighting talk: Rich, shown in dropping in chain,  is pictured with UFC fighter Conor McGregor, another one of his A-list clients

Fighting talk: Rich, shown in dropping in chain,  is pictured with UFC fighter Conor McGregor, another one of his A-list clients 

Speaking to FEMAIL, Rich revealed his grandfather Roman moved his family – including his father, Leon, and his uncle, Eduard, to New York in 1975, fleeing the former Soviet Union state of Uzbekistan.   

They started off their business ‘within a few days’ of arriving in the US.

‘The family business started off with selling gold chains out of a six-foot booth in the diamond district,’ he explained. 

‘I started coming in to the office with my family on my days off from school. And the business basically just grew on me.’ 

Being born into the business, Rich was compelled by it from a young age – but saw a gap in the market. No one was using social media to market diamonds. 

Speaking to FEMAIL, Rich revealed his grandfather, Roman moved his family - including his father, Leon, and his uncle, Eduard, to New York in 1975, fleeing the former Soviet Union state of Uzbekistan. He is pictured in his New York shop

Speaking to FEMAIL, Rich revealed his grandfather, Roman moved his family – including his father, Leon, and his uncle, Eduard, to New York in 1975, fleeing the former Soviet Union state of Uzbekistan. He is pictured in his New York shop

Supermodel Winnie Harlow, pictured, is among Richie's famous fans. She is pictured wearing a cbrac

Supermodel Winnie Harlow, pictured, is among Richie’s famous fans. She is pictured wearing a cbrac

Hailey Bieber, the supermodel wife of international popstar Justin, is also a fan of Richie, having bought toothgrills from him

Hailey Bieber, the supermodel wife of international popstar Justin, is also a fan of Richie, having bought toothgrills from him

In 2012, he started using Instagram to post inventory, so those outside of New York could see what the store had on offer.

Rich then began tagging celebrities in pictures, trying to get their attention. His first A-list sale was from Mel B, who had her engagement ring from Stephen Belafonte made by Rich.

Since then, it’s grown and grown, and with more than 900,000 followers Rich now has his own shop on the lower floor of his family’s business, Leon Diamond, a Diamond District mainstay.

His brother and cousin are still in the business too, with his brother starting the family’s relationship with celebrity clients by cultivating Nicky and Paris Hilton.   

‘Many people including my own family and friends have questioned my social media appearance in the early days,’ he told FEMAIL.

Rich (left) added to FEMAIL how Post Malone spotted a ring he was wearing at dinner and he sold it to him 'right off his hand'. The pair are pictured together

Rich (left) added to FEMAIL how Post Malone spotted a ring he was wearing at dinner and he sold it to him ‘right off his hand’. The pair are pictured together 

Hot right now: Rita Ora is pictured in a chain with Richie. The pair have been pictured together dozens of times

Hot right now: Rita Ora is pictured in a chain with Richie. The pair have been pictured together dozens of times 

‘For two reasons, first was security because I was displaying expensive jewellery and a luxury lifestyle of my clients.’ 

‘And second was in early days many people didn’t have hope and belief in social media and many would always tell me I’m wasting my time. 

‘Nine years ago, I was on my phone 24 hours a day, posting, tagging and trying to get my name out there as the “youngest jeweller“ out there’. 

His family’s security worries are understandable. In 2004, his uncle Eduard was murdered at the behest of a crime boss in front of their shop. 

Travis Scott is pictured with Richie. The rapper spent more than $100K on a 15-carat diamond ring with the band shaped in the letters of 'Cactus Jack' to celebrate the success of hit album AstroWorld

Travis Scott is pictured with Richie. The rapper spent more than $100K on a 15-carat diamond ring with the band shaped in the letters of ‘Cactus Jack’ to celebrate the success of hit album AstroWorld 

Most recently, Richie went to Ohio with YouTuber Jake Paul who is a 'big client' of his. They are pictured after his boxing match

Most recently, Richie went to Ohio with YouTuber Jake Paul who is a ‘big client’ of his. They are pictured after his boxing match 

Actress Bella Thorne is also a fan of Richie.  Determined to become a household name, Rich admits he was born with a 'silver spoon' in his mouth, but says he wants to turn it into a 'gold one, if not diamonds'

Actress Bella Thorne is also a fan of Richie.  Determined to become a household name, Rich admits he was born with a ‘silver spoon’ in his mouth, but says he wants to turn it into a ‘gold one, if not diamonds’

Richard Nektalov, known as 'Richie Rich', who supplied Umar with the $2M 21-carat ring now taking pride of place in Nada's finger has given a glimpse of the stunning jewel.

Richie, 29, who counts the likes of Travis Scott, Adam Levine, Cara Delevingne, in his clients is part of a New York jewellery dynasty who became an online celebrity with he eschewed the classic image of subtle jewellery to focus brashy social media branding.

Richard Nektalov, known as ‘Richie Rich’, who supplied Umar with the $2M 21-carat ring now taking pride of place in Nada’s finger has given a glimpse of the stunning jewel. Richie, 29, who counts the likes of Travis Scott, Adam Levine, Cara Delevingne, in his clients is part of a New York jewellery dynasty who became an online celebrity with he eschewed the classic image of subtle jewellery to focus brashy social media branding.

Rich, who was 12-years-old at the time, recalls that there were ‘at least’ 5,000 people at his funeral. 

The death didn’t deter the family from the business. Determined to become a household name, Rich admits he was born with a ‘silver spoon’ in his mouth, but says he wants to turn it into a ‘gold one, if not diamonds’.

Now rubbing shoulders with the likes of Post Malone, Travis Scott, Kendall Jenner, LeBron James, Rita Ora and, Conor McGregor, and often dripping in millions dollars worth of jewellery, it looks like he’s well on his way.   

His success, he says, is down to ‘not taking no for an answer’. 

‘I’ve always stood my ground and my attitude really got me to where I am, because when something needed to get done for a client, I always went out of my way to make sure it gets done the way they want it to be. 

‘Even if I had to bend backwards, I made sure it’s perfect. 

While his father has previous said he diamond dealers should be 'well dressed', Rich opts for a more casual luxury look, often seen in head-to-toe Gucci atheleisure

While his father has previous said he diamond dealers should be ‘well dressed’, Rich opts for a more casual luxury look, often seen in head-to-toe Gucci atheleisure

While he can't name his most expensive pieces, because of non-disclosure agreements, he's previously revealed a necklace he made for the Prince of Saudi Arabia cost $6 million (£4.3M). He is pictured with Travis Scott

While he can’t name his most expensive pieces, because of non-disclosure agreements, he’s previously revealed a necklace he made for the Prince of Saudi Arabia cost $6 million (£4.3M). He is pictured with Travis Scott 

‘Even outside of the business, if my client needs something done on a friendly level I make sure to make them happy’. 

‘Every piece has its own meaning to it – has a piece of my heart with it.

‘My most favourite piece was a blue diamond engagement ring, because the colour spoke to me and it was different.’ 

While he can’t name his most expensive pieces, because of non-disclosure agreements, he’s previously revealed  a necklace he made for the Prince of Saudi Arabia cost $6 million (£4.3M).  

‘I had dinner with Post Malone for the first time when a friend took me to join them and I had a ring on my finger that caught his eye. 

‘He asked me: ‘”Can you please let me see that crazy ring?”.

‘And from that moment it was history, that’s when I start selling to him he bought the ring off my finger right at the dinner table’. 

As for the name ‘Richie Rich’, that was the brainchild of Kim Kardashian’s best friend and publicity expert Jonathan Cheban. The publicist and TV personality, has rebranded himself as ‘Foodgod’ and often reviews indulgent street food to his 3.6million Instagram followers.     

He told Richie that his name ‘didn’t look good’ as an Instagram tag, and he needed a rebranding.   

‘I was sitting down with Foodgod having lunch, he was telling me “Listen Richie, you can’t have an underscore in your Instagram handle… You’ve got to change that. No one’s going to call you by your last name.'” 

‘We were going through names and he was like, ‘”What about Richie Rich?” and that just stuck.’ 

For his future, he wants to ‘build and expand’ the brand, and ‘make his name a household name’.