Coming out of Gold




“Personal elements that express emotion”

Montreal’s Ex Aurum, which means “coming out of gold” in Latin, has thrived in the heart of the city’s jewellery district since the early 90s. Thirty-two years later, it’s still going strong. This diamond and fine jewellery manufacturer rapidly became one of Canada’s premier sources of custom diamond creations for industry and private commissions. The company is proud of its exquisite and renowned craftsmanship.

Gino Priolo, founder of Ex Aurum, believes that, for him, as a creator, the passion for the craft has remained pure over the years. “It’s the personal elements that ultimately express emotion,” he says. “And this emotion is what our clients are looking for.”

In his early years working on the bench for an independent European jewellery retailer, Priolo first learned his craft with his imagination firing every step of the way—with the goal of doing things differently. With an Austrian jeweller whose drive and aspirations matched his own, Priolo co-created a studio known for its exceptional personal touch and unique appeal.

Ex Aurum emerged on the scene, with a clear-cut passion for beautiful, meaningful diamond jewellery. To this day, as the company evolved from custom-designed classics to full-out, exquisite jewellery that only the imagination can dream up, Priolo and his team still evoke these sentiments. And that personal touch has never been lost.

1- What do you think has contributed to the success of your business?

Ex Aurum’s success starts with the team. Says Priolo, “We have a wide range of determined and engaged, highly skilled professionals, each with a specialty and a passion for their craft. Many are graduates of ÉJM (École de joaillerie de Montreal)—designers goldsmiths and gemologists. And we encourage everyone to continue exploring and learning.”

According to Priolo, passion is the only ingredient that leads to beautiful products—and a true joy in the work. “Passion is the intangible that carries us all through, in addition to the fact that we encourage a relaxed, inspiring and happy environment. And of course, Nespresso is available to anyone who needs it,” he adds with a smile.

2- What is the one thing that sets you apart? Why do people love working with Ex Aurum? What is behind these doors?

It’s a complicated answer, with all elements leading to the same place. Without hesitation, Priolo replies, “It’s all about what we do for our customers: we are here to serve, and we do it well.”

“We love our craft, we love the industry itself, and people respond to that. Everything from design to product manufacturing is done efficiently in our own in-house studio. We offer a unique and complete custom manufacturing service to retailers in Canada and the United States, including both natural and laboratory diamond jewellery,” he explains.

Ex Aurum consists of three main divisions: wholesale offices, a full jewellery atelier and a spacious CAD and design department, all in one location conveniently situated in the heart of Montreal.

Custom designs are what most jewellery retailers need to be successful. Meeting these needs with bridal and specialty jewellery has become the unprecedented focus that has propelled Ex Aurum to the top.

Priolo reflects on why people might like working with him and his team. “Our clients feel less stressed because they know they are going to get top quality: our flawless work speaks for itself.”

3- What’s next for Ex-Aurum?

Using its state-of-the-art technology, award-winning design team, talented CAD designers and experienced jewellers, Ex Aurum is working towards providing retailers with its own branded diamond jewellery collections in the near future. “It’s something we all want to do. We’re looking forward to it and are ready to express ourselves in a vibrant Ex Aurum way,” Priolo says.

A visionary mind needs expression

As Ex Aurum’s diamond engagement looks evolve, Priolo’s design vision has also being going through an evolution. His goal is to create sentimental and lighthearted pieces that will mean something to everyone. “It’s all about capturing the energy that’s out there,” he explains. “New ideas are sparking new directions—and we’re busy exploring the vast potential we see before us.”  

“Above all, we enjoy ourselves while creating beautiful diamond jewellery that communicates emotion. Our warm, friendly and supportive environment, our love of laughter, and our willingness to work take us far. The past few years have shown us that true passion and dedication, along with respect and admiration for each other and our clients, is a powerful and delightful combination—like a diamond shining with its own flame.”

Story by Carolyne Van Der Meer
Interview by Claire Vessot
Model photo’s by Tea Oranges
Jewellery Photos by Alyssa Jetha for Ex Aurum