By Eileen R Eichhorn

A wonderful thing happened recently at Eichhorn Jewelry. On the day of our 50th Anniversary in business, August 5, 2015 over 500+ friends, family, customers, and former employees, showed up to with well-wishes for our milestone event. Even one of our bench jewelers attended to surprise us as did one of our vendor representatives!

Eichhorn Jewelry Team

Sally, Laura, Heather, Eileen, Kate, Matt, Carla and Kathy

We had prayed for good weather and the Lord provided. You have to be careful what you pray for, however. What we didn’t plan on was the traffic jam in Downtown Decatur! We considered valet parking. We should have had it since some people are still coming in nearly a month later telling us they circled the block three times and couldn’t find a parking place. But, our wonderful customers continue to visit us.


The store from the late 60’s


Gemstone Surprise Packages

We have really been celebrating our anniversary the entire year since it is such a monumental occasion. It is amazing what a little advertising can do for a big jewelry store in a little town! Thanks to Heather Cruse, our marketing director, without whom we would never have been able to embrace social media.  A huge round of applause, too, goes to Bob Shraluka who wrote the story for the Decatur Daily Democrat. Making the front page was unexpected and very much appreciated. The back page photo with the Eichhorn Junior League Softball Team winning the championship was a bonus! John Eichhorn would be very proud.


It was SO much fun! All of us were dressed in the attire of 1965. The windows and showcases were decked out in 50 champagne flutes with shredded gold metallic sparkle everywhere! Gold helium balloons added to the decorations. Our original store photo remains on display. One of our first employees, Peggy Lengerich visited the store that day and was photographed with a gold Swarovski tiara and gold plated rose.

Peg Lengerich

Peg Lengerich

Our 1965 Christmas Catalog was displayed with similar items we STILL sell today – the classics. Longtime customers gave us a special treat wearing the jewels they purchased from us over the years reminiscing how and why they acquired them. We were honored by those stories. My husband of nearly 35 years, John Hebein sang the songs of Frank Sinatra to entertain us all day. How can I ever thank him enough?

John Hebein singing Frank Sinatra for us all day.

John Hebein singing Frank Sinatra for us all day.

Everyone enjoyed ALL the day’s festivities. $50 cash was awarded to Jackie Conrad who presented the oldest sales receipt – 1977 for a watch she purchased with her Diamond Club Winnings. We also gave away free nephrite jade gemstones to everyone who stopped in that day. We offered $5 surprise packages with gemstones valued up to $500. Those sold out in less than two hours! In addition, we gave away 50 – $50 gift certificates and 50 champagne diamonds.

Eileen Eichhorn and Jackie Conrad

Eileen Eichhorn and Jackie Conrad

Jennifer Mitchel winner of the $500 gemstone at Eichhorn Jewelry

Jennifer Mitchel winner of the $500 gemstone at Eichhorn Jewelry

The entire staff was amazing! Their smiles were worth a million dollars. Thank you: Kate Dyer, Matt Dyer, Laura Ditto, Heather Cruse, Carla Meyer, Sally Hoeppner, and Kathy Jenkins. Even the most recently retired staff, Charlotte Sheets stopped in that day along with our pearl stringer, Kim Simon. Mary Ann August our inventory control specialist stopped by, too. Chuck Eichhorn, our subcontractor-bench jeweler, was on hand for the festivities. Flora Walters GG, who has assisted me for many years with appraisals, drove up from Indianapolis for the day. One of our best customers even had lunch delivered for us. Some of us did not get to eat because we were so busy! Photos are the best evidence of the highlights of the day thanks to my brother-in-law, Ed Dyer.

Charlotte, Kim & Laura during our 50th Anniversary Celebration at Eichhorn Jewelry

Charlotte, Kim & Laura during our 50th Anniversary Celebration at Eichhorn Jewelry

I would like to personally thank everyone for their support over the years. If you were not able to attend that day, you were with us in spirit as you may have sent a note, text or email with your kind words. Eichhorn Jewelry, Inc. hopes to continue adding new customers daily for another 50 years. With your referrals we can make it happen!

-Eileen Eichhorn

J.P. Knight Company – Since 1912

In celebration of 50 years in business we would like to feature one of our vendors each month.

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

J.P. Knight Company is one of our favorite suppliers! Founded in Cincinnati Ohio by John Paul Knight over one hundred years ago, they made their mark in the jewelry industry through diamond cutting and polishing.

Eichhorn Jewelry selected them many years ago to provide fine quality jewelry and gems that our customers have grown to appreciate. Their superb craftsmanship allows us to rely on them for some our most important custom work. They have the ability to modify many of their designs to accommodate a variety of sizes of gemstones by either hand carving a wax or computer aided design.  All of their designs bear the registered trademark of this AGS (American Gem Society) supplier.

One of the most difficult things in the jewelry business is matching diamonds for earrings and inline-tennis bracelets. J.P. Knight Company is an expert in this field. Dozens of diamonds are pre-selected with the final choices picked for cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Most people do not know how rare it is to accomplish this feat.

I personally meet with the grandson of the founder on a regular basis to select diamonds for both our inventory and the growing number of replacement diamonds for customer repairs. Not one month goes by without a call or email for this demand. The Knight family visits New York City meeting with other importers each year. Sometimes, I give them an unusual request. Their contacts helped me find a large kite cut diamond some years ago.

This special relationship with the Knight “boys” has the benefit of the same trust our customers have grown to expect from us. We respect their judgment when it comes to selection since they are as particular when it comes to grading diamonds and gemstones of color as we are!

Graduate Gemologist:   Matthew J. Dyer – GG (GIA)

In celebration of 50 years in business we would like to feature one of our employees each month.

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

At the young age of 14, Matt Dyer, had laid out his goal in life. The jewelry industry would be his career. Having been greatly influenced by his grandfather, John Eichhorn, Matt was often at Eichhorn Jewelry from the time of his birth. His mother, my sister, Kate was always having him stop by the jewelry store where she worked on his way home from school, after baseball practice, and even Saturdays while he was growing up. Some would say he was destined to be in the jewelry industry!

After high school, Matt headed off to Carlsbad California to the prestigious Gemological Institute of America. Bound and determined to complete his GG, he elected to return to Decatur Indiana and work in his family’s jewelry store. GIA is THE training authority in the American jewelry industry. To earn a Graduate Gemologist diploma, you must complete and pass five course studies and three lab classes, then pass a comprehensive final exam: Diamond Essentials, Diamonds & Diamond Grading, Colored Stone Essentials, Colored Stones, Gem Identification, Diamond Grading Lab, Colored Stone Grading Lab and Gem Identification Lab.

Within these studies Matt developed hands-on experience with the GIA International Diamond Grading System™ and the 4C’s (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight) and how they affect diamond value. He became proficient in the use of gemological equipment and procedures to identify and grade hundreds of gemstones. He learned to identify gemstone characteristics, simulants, and treatments and anticipate when advanced testing is required.

Eichhorn Jewelry is extremely proud to employ Matt Dyer with such a deep commitment to the family business. His continued dedication to Decatur and the surrounding area will help us remain firmly planted in this great Indiana community.

Trivia: Did you know one of the many scholarships Matt received to attend GIA was from Swarovski, the famous luxury cut glass producer?!