Last updateMon, 31 Aug 2015 11pm

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Jeweler Jimmy Green - A King among us

Green SeptJimmy Green is passionate - passionate about jewelry, passionate about his store and passionate about giving back. His love of jewelry started back in 1975 when he took his first jewelry job as an assistant manager of a jewelry store based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Starting from nothing was hard. Making only $4.30 an hour wasn’t much to support a wife and child. But living on his meager income drove his dream of making it happen, being the best and giving back.

As a young and eager jeweler Jimmy learned every aspect of the business, from mining to cutting gems to apprenticing under a master jeweler for 20 years; he never stopped. Hard work was the only path he knew and it paid off in 2005 when he opened his own store J Green Jewelers in San Antonio, TX.

Full-service offerings make Vardi Company retailers’ ‘back-office partner’

Vardi Bridestar SeptVardi Company was created with one central question in mind: “How can we ensure our members’ success?”

“We ensure success through innovative offerings, including free industry leading technology, powerful selling tools and beneficial services - all of which focus on making the independent retailer’s business more efficient and profitable,” says company co-founder and CEO Steven Vardi. “We are a hybrid jewelry manufacturing company whose offerings encompass those of a jewelry manufacturer, buying group, service provider and technology company.”

Diamonds ‘n Dunes delivers cosmopolitan style to the Outer Banks of North Carolina

D and D exteriorWhen Eileen Alexanian and Ken Kelley left New York City to vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, they never expected it to be a life changing trip. But the husband and wife jewelry team, who’d worked in the heart of the New York Diamond District for years, found the slower pace of life and the friendliness of the people irresistible. In 1992, with 20 years of jewelry experience between them, they packed their belongings, expertise and their signature style to move down south to the small town of Manteo, North Carolina.

United Precious Metals Refining – steady growth since 1988

United logoEstablished in 1988, United Precious Metals Refining (United) was founded by previous employees of the former P.M. Refining Co. in Buffalo, NY. A team of well experienced management, sales, office, assaying, refining, melting and fabrication personnel found a new home at United when the company was formed. They spent the first few months setting up new equipment, furnaces, ventilation, electrical and plumbing installations, offices, gold and silver refining equipment and obtaining the necessary permits to execute the business properly.

The first batch of gold scrap was refined by the Aqua-Regia process in April 1988 using large Pyrex crocks on hot plates to dissolve the gold scrap and sulfur dioxide gas as a reducer. The first month’s production was approximately 2,500 T/oz of fine gold. As business increased, their output kept increasing and within three years, they had outgrown their existing equipment.

Shinola brings back American-built watches

Shinola motorsBusiness leaders that turn adversity into opportunity are often asked the same questions related to their success story. When it comes to making watches in Detroit, Michigan, Shinola president Jacques Panis often gets “why America?” and with even more intoned curiosity, “and, why Detroit?”

His answer to reporters is simple and succinct. Jacques likens the movement of his company’s quartz watches to that of a “motor for a watch.” And, where better to build “watch motors” than the “Motor City.”

Shinola is a Bedrock Manufacturing Company, LLC brand. It began operations in 2011 with a simple and focused business philosophy of making quality consumer products that last. The company started making bicycles at first. Later watches, leather goods, clothing, journals and even pet products were added to the list of consumer goods made in Detroit.

From Vicenza with Love: At Oro International, Italian family values shine

Oro Eric Morgan JulyFifty years ago, Qurino Ruzza, with 20 years as a jeweler under his belt in his hometown of Vicenza, Italy, asked his sister Elena Weber whether she would be interested in selling Italian gold in the United States.

Elena’s husband, Josef, was a Swiss-trained chef de cuisine and one of the first 200 professional ski instructors in the United States, having moved to the U.S. in 1956. He and Elena, who worked as a legal secretary while attending law school in Italy, were married three years later, and Elena made the move as well. Josef agreed they should give Qurino’s business proposal a try and J&E Weber Inc. was born in the basement of their home in West Chicago, Ill., in 1965.

Schnack’s Fine Jewelry turns 150

Schnacks bldg JulyNot many jewelry retailers can say their store opened the same year the Civil War ended. As Schnack’s Fine Jewelry & Gift Gallery prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary in September, three generations of family members currently working in the store embrace the founding principles of the past while continuing to innovate with plans to stay in business for generations to come.

Based in Alexandria, Louisiana, the jewelry store got its start as Ferguson & McKinney in 1865. Named after the two Scotsmen that opened a merchant store on the banks of the Red River, the store carried a wide range of goods to appeal to the many travelers making their way up and down the Red River.

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