Family Focus sets Custom Jewelers Apart
What started out as a hobby for the Pietrantozzi family over 20 years ago, quickly became the Piedmont Triad’s #1 repair and custom design shop. Tony, the owner of Custom Jewelers Gallery, grew up in the jewelry business after his father, Richard, opened his first store in the mid-80s. In 2000, Tony decided to open up his own location, named Custom Jewelers Gallery – focusing on special, one-of-a-kind creations. As time went on, Richard decided it was time for him to retire – so in 2006 he closed his location and now enjoys various hobbies such as fishing and playing with his grandchildren.
After his father’s store closed, Tony had the opportunity to focus his energy on just one location – and was lucky enough to bring on board some of the top notch crew from his father’s store. The family atmosphere might be the first thing you notice about Custom Jewelers, but the store is known equally well for their custom jewelry design, as well as their onsite repairs. Many of the items in their showcase are done by their designers and are available only at Custom Jewelers Gallery. “We do a lot of one-of-a-kind pieces,” explains Tony. “We take customers’ old rings and redesign them to give them a new look.”
A major part of the custom design business for Custom Jewelers Gallery is in bridal and wedding rings. The staff will work with the customer to finalize a desired look, sketching out the piece to their specifications, then carving the ring out of wax. The next step is to do a cast of the design. The customer is involved throughout the entire process, ensuring that the design is exactly what they envisioned and want. It isn’t just diamonds and wedding bands however. The shop deals with all the normal gem stones available, as well as many more distinctive and unusual stones. They have done designs with Boulder opals from Australia, as well as Imperial Topaz and Tanzanite. “People come here for that reason — they know if they come here they won’t find run-of-the-mill type jewelry. They will find more unique pieces,” explains Tony.
One unique piece they designed was centered around a 36-carat cabochon emerald. They used the emerald to create a frog broach with the emerald as the frog’s body and 18-karat gold as the legs. “That gives you an idea of things we can do,” says Tony.
While most jewelry stores send their repairs offsite, Tony is proud of the fact that they not only do repairs on-location, but they take in repairs for other jewelry stores as well. They have even helped repair a piece for the Smithsonian that had been damaged in shipment. The same attention to detail and focus on top-quality that they bring to their own custom designs, Custom Jewelers Gallery brings to the repair work it does. “We will look at anything and 90 percent of it we can do,” says Tony. Tony understands that for most people, jewelry is a sentimental thing and the value is purely emotional. That is why they will usually try to repair even costume jewelry, as long as the customer understands the risks. “A lot of places, if it isn’t a $100 repair, they won’t think it’s worth trying,” says Tony.