The story behind the jeweler who made the Warriors’ championship rings
How Anthony Mason and others helped launch Jason of Beverly Hills
OAKLAND, California — Who has the most NBA rings since 2009?
LeBron James? No. Stephen Curry? No.
Actually, it’s Jason Arasheben, also known as Jason of Beverly Hills. The veteran jeweler has more than 200 NBA player clients and has made jewelry for Kim Kardashian, Michael Jackson, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jennifer Lopez, Chelsea FC, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Matthew McConaughey and Princess Latifa Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.
His company made the Warriors’ championship rings for the third time in four years, including the ones the team received on Tuesday night as they celebrated their 2018 NBA title.
“Some players wanted a blue face; some players wanted a white face,” Arasheben said. “We wanted to make everyone happy, so what we did with this year’s ring was make the top turn around. You can change it blue to white and turn it back between blue sapphires and white diamonds.
“No one has ever done this before. Every year you’ve got to come up with something.”
Arasheben was born in Tehran, Iran, and moved to Los Angeles when he was 3 years old. A big NBA fan growing up, he went to pre-law school at the University of California at Los Angeles. His father had dreams of his son being a lawyer one day.
He also had a unique hobby of drawing jewelry in college and quietly had aspirations of making jewelry one day. In 2002, while hanging out in a club in Los Angeles one night, he met NBA player Anthony Mason (who died in 2015) and showed him some pictures of his drawings.
“One day I went to Anthony Mason and said, ‘Look at this design. This is going to be amazing.’ He was like, ‘Are you a jeweler? Can you make that?’ I wasn’t, but I said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘I can do it.’ He said, ‘OK, come to my hotel room tomorrow and let me know the price,’ ” Arasheben said. “I was like, ‘Oh, man, I just threw myself in the jewelry business.’ I called someone and they told me they could make the ring for $50,000, and I figured I can tell him I can get it made for $60,000 and make a profit.
“So I went back the next day with Anthony Mason and he gave me the money. I had my little jeweler make it. I made a profit and he started introducing me to people.”
Arasheben dropped out of UCLA and put all of his energy into the jewelry business in 2003. To say his father was not happy is an understatement.
“My father didn’t talk to me for two years because he was so upset,” Arasheben said. “He said, ‘You were a good student. I worked my whole life for you to go be an attorney or a doctor. This is stupid. You are throwing your life away.’ ”
But this is what Arasheben loved to do, and he continued to get more business through satisfied NBA customers. He set up shop at the NBA pre-draft camp in Chicago and the NBA draft in New York, where he would meet players as they entered the league. Warriors All-Star forwards Kevin Durant and Draymond Green said they both met Arasheben before they played in the NBA. Arasheben also said he met Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James before he entered the league in 2003.
“When you’re doing business with somebody and you make transactions with that much money, you want to deal with great people,” said Durant. “He’s one of those guys in that industry who takes care of his clients.”
Arasheben also built a friendship with Jesse Buss, the son of Lakers owner Jerry Buss, in the late 2000s. Jesse Buss persuaded his father to hire Arasheben to make the Lakers’ championship rings in 2009. It was the first major sports championship ring that Arasheben made.
The Lakers’ 15th championship ring was 15 karats with 14 diamonds surrounding the top of the ring. Per the request of then-Lakers guards Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, there was a player image on the side of the rings. The Los Angeles skyline was on the two-tone ring as well.
“I almost screwed it up the first year,” Arasheben said. “I didn’t have the manufacturing capacity to do all the rings. They needed 300 rings in five weeks. I didn’t think I could do it. I literally had sleeping bags in my factory where people were working all night all the way.”
Arasheben said he was on the ceremony stage when the Lakers won the 2010 NBA championship and also made those title rings. He also made the 2012 UEFA Champions League rings for Chelsea Football Club and the 2017 National League Champions rings for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After losing out on making the NBA title rings for four years, Arasheben called everyone he could to get the job when the Warriors won the title in 2015. He said he called the six player clients he had on the team, Lakers president Jeannie Buss, ex-Warriors Baron Davis and Jermaine O’Neal and other players to reach out to Warriors co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber to land the gig.
“It got to the point that they were so annoyed by me that they had so many guys calling that they gave me a meeting. I was that persistent,” Arasheben said.
Then the Warriors gave Arasheben the gig in 2017 and 2018. Curry said he played a role in the design of the rings in 2015 and 2017. This year, Arasheben said, he reached out to Durant, Green and Curry to get insight on how to make the 2018 NBA championship ring special. The 2018 NBA title ring has 74 sapphires and 74 diamonds, two trophies that include gold and diamonds and the Bay Bridge, “The Town” logo representing Oakland and the Warriors’ motto “Strength In Numbers” in it. The best feature actually confused Green when he first heard it has a twist-off top that allows the ring bearer to either have a blue or white top.
After the game, Curry took the Arasheben-invented ring out of the box and showed it off to his friends. He accidentally dropped the top of it on the ground.
Durant said he bought eight 2017 NBA championship rings for friends and family members last year. He plans to do the same this time around too. Arasheben also said the Warriors have ordered about 500 rings for their employees.
Now that he has his own factory, Arasheben has no problem getting the big orders done. He also now has stores in Beverly Hills, California; Las Vegas; Miami; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Tokyo.
Next up for Arasheben will be dropping off rings to the 2018 World Cup-winning French national team next week. Arasheben said several of the French soccer stars are big NBA fans and loved the rings he made for the Warriors. So Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann met with him in Los Angeles to solidify that deal after the World Cup win.
Not bad for a college dropout who went from taking a risk in the ring business to standing on the Oracle Arena floor on Tuesday night admiring the Warriors wearing the newest ring he designed for the champs.