OFFICINA BERNARDI: AFFORDABLE, BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN SILVER JEWELRY    

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

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

A few years ago while in Chicago, a friend of mine suggested we look at an Italian jewelry vendor’s line that had an innovative design. That recommendation was the best tip I think I ever received from another jeweler as it fast became our most popular and recognizable merchandise.

The Italians are artisans in many areas but shine best in their jewelry. The brothers Carlo and Francesco have an assortment of necklaces, both hoop and drop style earrings, bracelets and rings that rival many more expensive designer looks. Having started in chain manufacturing in 1987, it was inevitable that beads would enter this collaborative duos design plan.

Their Moon collection was originally manufactured in gold, for a very discerning audience. In 2008 it was introduced in silver with great success. Available in 800 upscale shops in the USA, including Eichhorn Jewelry, it is also available in Italy, Spain, Mauritius, and Brazil.

The Moon name comes from the shape of the bead facet, the compositional unit of Bernardi jewelry. Associated with the crescent Moon and the white-silver dress worn by Selene, the ancient Greek Moon Goddess, Bernardi jewelry glitters. The idea was to manufacture an effect with the same brightness and light. High technology and jewelry know-how became one producing this beautiful jewelry. Special diamond-cutting tools are the secret-formula to their inspired designs.

Other special techniques detailed with gold plating over silver, blackened silver and the newest: rose gold plating over silver continue to attract buyers. You can’t help but love the “bling” as well as the compliments everyone says they receive while wearing Bernardi!

Priced from $45 and up, this affordable luxury is highly addictive. You will want to build on your private collection of Bernardi jewelry with mix or matching pieces!

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!

EICHHORN – of San Jose California

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

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

One of our suppliers shares our same surname! Some years ago while visiting a trade show people kept coming up to us and saying “YOU are the Eichhorns!” Since we had badges on with our names we thought it odd for the outburst, maybe a prank or perhaps they thought they knew us? This seemed strange enough because we did not know what EICHHORN they were referring to. We had to find out just who these people thought we were.

In the discovery process, we found a couple who really know gems! Originally dealing exclusively in loose emeralds, sapphires and rubies, Eichhorn of San Jose added a new dimension by designing and manufacturing an extensive line of classic and contemporary jewelry featuring exquisite gemstones.

Importing from the mines and dealers in Colombia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Brazil, each gem is hand selected for its uniqueness and beauty by Dottie and Michael Eichhorn. Their dedication and attention to detail is their trademark. For over 20 years, Eichhorn Jewelry in Downtown Decatur has been dealing with Eichhorn of San Jose building a special relationship that continues today.

Trivia: Matt Dyer proposed to Abigail Murray in 2002 with a platinum diamond engagement ring mounting supplied by Eichhorn of San Jose!

CHURCH & COMPANY

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

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

One of our favorite suppliers is Church & Company of Toms River, NJ. Founded in 1922 by Charles Church, this line is made in the USA! Eileen Eichhorn received her first piece of fine jewelry – a 10K gold citrine ring for her 10th birthday made by Church & Co. Subsequent rings, self-purchased and as gifts for others continue as Eileen also presented her husband a black onyx ring – his wedding ring made by Church.

Known for fine quality and craftsmanship their signet rings consist of 129 styles. Each is available in six different metals, 10K yellow gold, 14K yellow or white gold, 18K yellow gold, platinum or sterling silver. In addition, these are also available in standard weight (which is really a heavy die-struck ring) or husky weight – 33% heavier! Each can be enhanced by the finest hand engraving in the world, for corporate awards or milestone graduation, anniversary or wedding gifts for the discriminating client. Family coat of arms, script or deep relief monograms are typically delicately carved on these by a Master Hand Engraver to achieve the utmost in detail for both men and women.

Adams Memorial Hospital selected these for their 20 year employee award rings each with one diamond set in each shoulder and the AMH logo hand engraved on top.

Church & Co. also supplies Eichhorn Jewelry with ancestry jewelry, coat of arms research, wax insignia rings, cufflinks, crosses, bracelets and other custom engravings. Fine quality precious gemstones of every variety in a vast number of styles in lady’s rings, pendants, and earrings in traditional styles and classic fashion designs are what make this one of our favorite vendors!

Trivia: Eileen Eichhorn worked for J.B. Hudson Jewelers while going to college in Minneapolis. She reminisces that the most discriminating of her elite customers chose Church & Co. jewelry for their corporate award gifts, too.

CORDOVA

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

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

Cordova has been one of Eichhorn Jewelry’s select fine jewelry suppliers since the early 1980’s. A multi-generation family-owned and run jewelry manufacturer specializing in fashion and bridal design, they are dedicated to outstanding quality and exceptional service. Cordova was founded in 1950 by Murray Kagan. Bob Kagan, CEO has been managing the company since 1965. Bob’s wife, Arlene, joined the firm in 1985 and became its Executive Vice President. The grandson of the founder, Ron Rosen, Bob and Arlene’s nephew, graduated from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design in 1992. With encouragement from Bob and Arlene, Ron started Rosen Block Design in 1993. In 2008, the two firms merged and Ron became Cordova’s President and Creative Director.

Eileen Eichhorn has a very close and personal relationship to a handful of jewelry suppliers in New York, speaking several times a year to Mr. Kagan for custom jewelry requests.

For many years Cordova was Eichhorn’s Christmas catalog supplier. In recent years, the catalog was then provided in a digital format and emailed to Eichhorn Jewelry customers.

In addition to their high-end diamond and colorful gemstone designs, their Encore® collection is the most popular item Eichhorn Jewelry features. Elements of 14K white gold birthstones surrounded by diamonds can be added either one or more at a time in rings, bracelets, or pendant necklaces. These are timeless classics to be cherished for a lifetime.

LEYS, CHRISTIE, & CO., INC.

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

By Eileen Eichhorn

LEYS, CHRISTIE, & CO., INC.

Only a few of our vendors have been in business over 100 years. Leys, Christie, & Co., Inc. is one of them. They are an importer of the lustrous Japanese saltwater Akoya Orienta® cultured pearls. Providing us with many styles of completed cultured pearl necklaces, bracelets and earrings, we rely on them mostly for our Start-Her-Pearls. Purchasing an inch of cultured pearls at a time is our most popular jewelry gift item due to affordability. Due to the consistent high quality of their Orienta® brand cultured pearls, year after year additions of very similar size, sphericalness, color, and luster can be blended to create a beautiful necklace. Cultured pearl stud earrings to match are another favorite gift.

Originally, founded in 1896, Leys, Christie, & Co., Inc. specialized in natural pearls. Due to their high cost and limited supply, cultured pearls were born. When pearls skyrocketed to the forefront of wearing multiple layers of them the process of implanting a small mother of pearl bead into an oyster and farming changed the entire industry. The demand for pearls fueled their popularity. Throughout the years fashion icons such as Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, and Jackie Kennedy caused such a huge stir that every woman wanted pearls! Today, more than at any other time in history, cultured pearls are still all the rage!

Trivia: The 16-inch Akoya cultured pearl necklace, consisting of a single strand of 44 Mikimoto pearls from Japan, gets its name from its one time owner Marilyn Monroe, the most beloved star in the history of Hollywood, whose beauty, charisma and lasting appeal, propelled her into the status of an international celebrity and icon, becoming one of the most famous and most adored women in history. The celebrated necklace was a gift from her second husband Joe DiMaggio, the baseball legend, who purchased the necklace from Mikimoto, in Japan, while on their honeymoon in 1954. The necklace is now part of the valuable collection of pearls and pearl jewelry belonging to Mikimoto (America) Co, Ltd. and has been exhibited in many countries around the world, as part of the worldwide traveling exhibition sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, in collaboration with the Field Museum, Chicago.

Featured Vendor: Cas-Ker

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

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

Every day for 50 years Eichhorn Jewelry needs a part (jewelry or watch finding) to make or repair a piece of jewelry or a watch. Most days we pick up the phone and order having gotten the number from a supplier’s catalog or their web site. The vendor we have relied on since our opening day for books, displays, tools, and batteries, numerous findings, boxes, general supplies and finished jewelry is the Cas-Ker Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. Examples of some findings include clasps to complete necklaces or bracelets, ear wires to make earrings, bails for pendants, just to name a few. Many findings come in a variety of different metals, too. Their inventory is tremendous!

This contractor also can supply and fit any one of hundreds of thousands of watch crystals. This service became necessary immediately after my watchmaker father passed away in 2004.

The Cas-Ker Company was started in 1927 as the American and Swiss Watch and Supply Company. In 1937 the name was changed to its present form. The Cassedy brothers who now own and operate the company represent the third generation of family operation. Cas-Ker has active accounts in all 50 States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and has been serving jewelers and watchmakers for over 70 years.

The relationship with this jobber started when I was 14 and visited my first jewelry show with my parents in 1965. That evening I had the pleasure of having dinner with the Cassedy family across the Ohio River at the White Horse Tavern. During that dinner discussion I was most impressed by the arrangements my father made to pay for the items he agreed to purchase earlier that afternoon. Of course, they previously knew him for 17 years ordering parts for his former employer, Ferris Bower. But now he was starting a new business. How would he pay for everything? As the oldest of 10 children, I knew the struggles my parents endured. It is still amazing to me that the invoice he signed was affirmed with a handshake at the end of the meal.

In our industry, many suppliers have closed their doors over the past several years. We are happy Cas-Ker is still servicing our needs.

Trivia: One of our jewelers, Dave Petersmann, is the grandson of the Cassedy family.

GUERTIN BROTHERS

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

By Eileen Eichhorn

Only a few individual items are supplied through one of our favorite vendors: Guertin Brothers. Almost from the day we opened Eichhorn Jewelry in 1965 we sold the Original Mother’s Ring® manufactured in the USA by Guertin Brothers. This style is still a popular today and hence, a classic. In addition, new styles of rings were added over the years. Their registered trademark is evident on the inside of all their rings.

Eichhorn Jewelry also sells Guertin Brothers plain wedding bands, carved wedding bands, solitaire engagement ring mountings, hand engraved Hawaiian rings and bracelets. As an experienced manufacturer of fine jewelry their roots go back to 1872. A division of John C. Nordt Company, Inc., Guertin Brothers remains dedicated to the production of the finest jewelry in the world. At their factory in Virginia, more than 150 associates work with a variety of precious metals and the most advanced technology in the world, shipping up to fifty different metals each day to customers across the globe.

In as far as Guertin Brothers wedding bands are crafted, each begins with the raw elements, both precious metals and the alloys. They are combined in furnaces and extruded through their unique FusionForged™ process into tubes of precious metals. Each ring is precision crafted and ultimately finished to perfection into the wedding bands that symbolize so much to those who wear them.

Legacy of integrity and innovation, combined with superior products and services: that is Guertin Brothers.  Like Eichhorn’s family business to this day, Guertin Brothers is dedicated to providing a wide variety of products based on their special process and unique skills. From exacting component blanks to the finest and most romantic of engagement and wedding rings, setting the standard for excellence in jewelry manufacturing. We love this supplier and know you will, too.