Laura Bader

W 37th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves.

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Photograph: Jay Muhlin

May I ask how old you are? No! [Laughs] I don't remember.

Well, you're clearly a natural redhead. Oh, definitely. AKS on Fifth Avenue makes me a natural redhead. If I don't have my hair bright, I just don't feel right. I can't deal with anything too quiet.

What do you do? Well, I was working at Kay Jewelers for five years, but as of last week I'm not there anymore. I'm a certified gemologist and a certified diamontologist—

Sounds like a doctor! Isn't that impressive?!? I used to tell my clients, I'm not a psychiatrist, I'm a diamontologist.

Where will you go now? I'd love to go to David Yurman. I love his jewelry.

You should just waltz right in— And introduce myself! Yes. I think I'll do that tomorrow.

So at Kay you must have had a lot of nervous men choosing engagement rings. Yes. And also a lot of gay fellas coming in to buy rings for each other. And girls, too.

It's a lot of pressure, buying a rock. Yes, and I had very few returns because I wouldn't sell anything that I wouldn't wear myself. And I would take more time with a young person who couldn't afford something because I knew it was a very special thing. I always explain the four cs to them: cut, color, clarity and the cost. [Laughs] Actually, it's the carat. It's a big investment.

Good thing they have Dr. Diamond to count on. That's right.

More from Larua

"I'm on the board of the Yorkshire Terrier Club of Greater New York. I'm the only one at the store who didn't work Valentine's Day—the busiest weekend in jewelry—because everyone knew I had to be at the dog show. My love is Yorkshire terriers."

"I always like to be around young people, I like to do young things. My son is older than I am. [Laughs]"

"I grew up in Flatbush. And as soon as I was old enough to find out that there was a Park Avenue in Manhattan, that's where I lived. How anyone ever talked me into getting my current house in Bay Ridge, I don't know. [Laughs] I'm living in a friend's building. It's lovely, it's on the water and a park. But the minute I wake up, I get on the express bus and go into Manhattan."

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