DeGwyn Gems, Private Jewelers since 1975

We are often asked how we got started in the jewelry business and why we are "private" jewelers instead of the more usual and customary brick and mortar retailer. The following is an attempt to offer you our philosophy, mission, and history so that you can better understand who we are and what we do.

Welcome to DeGwyn Gems online...

We, at DeGwyn Gems, believe that Diamond and Colored Gemstone jewelry is far more than just a commodity. Jewelry of fine quality has the unique power to capture and express your individual taste, style, and image. To that purpose we, as private jewelers, believe that thoughtful design, attention to detail, and high quality craftsmanship should characterize the services we offer our clientele.

The Experience

Once you have had the opportunity to examine and experience the beauty and intensity of a fine Diamond or colored gemstone and perhaps, for the first time, see and understand the difference from what you may have seen commercially, you will begin to understand the term, "Gem" and appreciate what fine jewelry can offer you.

For the last thirty years, we have focused our attention on helping our clients "Experience" this moment through education, selection and expertise.

Our Beginning...

This "Experience" happened to us in a muddy field in Cowee Valley, North Carolina on a summer vacation in 1974. We were on a camping trip/mining adventure in search of rubies. I had seriously questioned the idea of finding gems in the Smokey Mountains but then, there in front of me amid the pebbles and the mud, were Sapphires and Rubies, showing their shiny octagonal crystal faces!

I can remember the moment as if it were yesterday. I was captivated then and still am today!

When I returned home after that vacation, it wasn't long before I found myself studying with the Gemological Institute of America in New York and soon thereafter, working in a Boston retail jewelry store learning the trade and experiencing the beauty of Diamonds, the subtle shades and hues of Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds and becoming even more enthralled with the amazing world of gems.

The Way Things Were...

In those early days, I had the good fortune to experience the last days of the way jewelers and the jewelry trade used to be.

For centuries, jewelers catered to the desires and needs of their clients. They would travel the world over seeking out fine gems and exquisitely crafted jewels for their clients back home. They would purchase based on the ongoing relationship they had with each client, knowing the most appropriate jewelry creation to match an earlier piece or to complete a ensemble. It was customary for jewelers to attend to an entire family's jewelry needs from one generation to the next providing ongoing and coordinated service.

This kind of relationship continued until quite recently with small, independent jewelers usually maintaining small offices and showrooms catering to a select group of private customers. By maintaining a network of sources, they were able to offer their clients high quality, custom designed, and expertly crafted jewelry.

Retail Changed All That...

As downtown retail shifted to the mall chain store, the small, independent jeweler faced an entirely new reality. Commercial, mass produced, and inexpensive jewelry captured the general consumer. Unable to compete, these independents virtually disappeared from the industry. The new jewelry consumer had become focused on price and discounts and sale merchandising and soon lost sight of the importance of knowledge and experience and most importantly, customer service. The advent of revolving credit, charge accounts, little or no money down, and the "no payments until next year" offers brought the day of credit retail to the masses.

Credit retail and especially credit retail in the jewelry trade is based on high markup to provide a lending service that offers the customer the opportunity to purchase jewelry they would otherwise be unable to afford. Unfortunately the additional costs to the merchant associated with this credit business and the additional expense of credit services to the customer shifts the monetary focus of the purchase from the actual piece of jewelry to the loan arrangement. To compensate for this additional cost the retailer is forced to lower quality in materials and craftsmanship to achieve competitive pricing. Although this is effective for the sale of low and moderately priced commercial jewelry, the additional costs have made fine Diamonds and gemstones, custom design, hand wrought creations, and ensemble work prohibitively expensive in the retail setting.

Additionally, since the retail jeweler usually has to maintain a large inventory to adequately stock a large retail showroom, it becomes unprofitable to expend much effort to 'find' something special for a customer when business sense obliges him to sell what is in his showcase first.

Full Circle...

Over the last thirty years, we at DeGwyn Gems have offered our clients the "Experience" of learning about and examining fine Diamonds and Gemstones as well as assisting them in creating that dreamed of piece of jewelry. We've striven to provide consistent, professional service to our clients in every aspect of their jewelry needs.

We believe that buying jewelry should also be a pleasurable and fulfilling "Experience"  and not an ordeal. You should be spending your money with a knowledgeable professional, not a store clerk you've had to persuade to open a case and show you a piece of jewelry. You should have the opportunity to create jewelry that has meaning for you with a jeweler that understands what jewelry can and should be.

A fine Diamond.. a deep red Ruby, the color of the Ruby Slippers...  a glowing Emerald...

Once you've seen the beauty that exists only in the rareness and intensity of a fine gemstone...

You too will have had the "Experience" ...

Give us the opportunity to help you achieve it.

We don't travel the world anymore. The Internet and our long standing relationships with an extensive network of dealers and manufacturers gives us the sources to offer our clients the finest of stones, mountings, and custom creation services available at any given time. By not being restricted by a large standing inventory, we never hesitate to provide exhaustive searches for just the right stone, setting, or finished jewelry creation to meet your specialized need.

We focus our attention on service. We try to understand our customers, assist them in planning their jewelry adornment and provide to them a full range of services to maintain their jewelry collection.

We hope you will take advantage of our offerings and allow us to provide exceptional service for you and your entire family's jewelry needs.

For more information or to arrange for a consultation, please don't hesitate to contact us.