Suelain Moy introduces us to the participating jewelers of Chinatown Jewelry Week.
195 Dragon Jewelry, Inc., 195 Canal St.
Husband-and-wife design team Harold Ha and Lisa Ha opened their first store on Canal Street in 1977. The couple brings a wealth of experience as wholesalers with major department stores and jewelry chains. Customers get the benefit of their collective design expertise and experience, with personalized service and attention to detail. In addition to turning out glamorous and eye-catching designs featuring diamonds, rubies, jade, and other gem stones, the store also handles repairs. Harold Ha has been profiled in Crain’s and their business has been listed in Frommer’s. Another highlight: Sex in the City filmed in the store in 2006.
D. National Jewelry Inc., 199 Canal St.
Open since 1985, D. National Jewelry has been in business for 28 years and offers a selection of fine jewelry, including rings and wedding bands in 24-karat gold, white gold, and platinum. In addition to diamonds, expect to see rubies and sapphires. (The D in the store name is for “Diamond.”) Various items are on sale throughout the store, some for as much as 60% off. The store also sells watches and lighters.
Dennis Dalton got his start in the jewelry business as a teenager. For the past 40 to 50 years, he’s conducted business the Lower East Side way: by providing exceptional value to his customers. Clients experience a time-honored tradition in transactions that’s face-to-face, and get a glimpse of the jewelry district’s rich history. Most of Dalton’s business comes from “generations of recommendations and word-of-mouth.” As he tells his sales team, “Don’t let him buy something that’s not right for his wife. If he doesn’t look good when he goes home, we don’t look good.” The store houses a permanent collection of wedding and engagement rings, and offers weekly specials.
Edcora Jewelry, 26A Elizabeth St.
Located in the heart of Chinatown, Edcora Jewelry specializes in creating unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that appeal to their clients’ eclectic sensibilities and tastes, blending the traditional with the modern. The store has a team of designers, who deliver classic style and design with a modern twist. “We know what our customers like, and bring it to them,” says the store manager. “They trust our expertise and experience.” In business for almost a decade, this store prides itself on its loyal customer following and craftsmanship, especially with custom orders. Expect to see classical motifs paired with unexpected details. Don’t miss their bestselling collection of diamond stud earrings.
Eva Fine Jewelry Inc.,144 Hester St.
“People will bring me a stone and show me a picture or a photograph,” says owner Kevin Lam, “and I will make the ring for them.” This husband-and-wife team has a loyal clientele, who visit the store for customized work. On the wall is a vast collection of ring molds for gold and platinum rings. Ask them about their spinner rings. There also is a watchmaker on the premises who can do repairs. Special offers: With any purchase of $100 and up, they’ll clean all your jewelry for free (polish and Rhodium). For any purchases of $500 and up, they’ll do selective repairs for free.
Fernando’s Jewelry, Inc., 70 Bowery, Lower Level
The large volume of wholesale business he conducts means that Fernando can offer outstanding retail deals with customers who are willing to enter the Jewelry Exchange and walk downstairs. Yards of 14-karat to 18-karat gold chains, pendants, and religious icons line the counters. Watches are displayed on the opposite wall. The green-eyed Fernando, who hails from Cuba, recently celebrated his 77th birthday and over 40 years in the jewelry business. “The emphasis is on quality and responsibility,” he says.
Brothers David and Howard Zuckerman operate this family-owned store, which was founded by their father and two partners. Serving three generations of friends and customers for 60 years, Gelber & Mundy carries a full line of GIA-certified diamonds and exceptionally crafted jewelry. This full-service jeweler offers an array of dazzling jewelry lines and expertly handles all the details, from remodeling and remounting to repairs. It also serves as an authorized dealer of luxury watch brands such as Movado, Longines, and Tissot.
Mr. Sang is proud of the elegance, artistry, and dedication his Canal Street shop has provided for 38 years. “We offer Fifth Avenue quality at downtown prices,” he says. “I design all the fine quality jewelry myself.” On display are photographs of Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, and Rudy Giuliani and family pictures of Mr. Sang’s loyal customers, many of whom are third-generation: “I sold jewelry to their grandfathers and grandmothers, and they still come back today.” Throughout his distinguished career, he’s filled sketchbooks and photo albums with custom designs he’s created for clients, including the Miss Chinatown pageant. Expert appraisals and repairs are done on the premises, which sells diamonds, gold, jade, precious gems, and watches.
Since 1970, Hector’s Fine Jewelry, located in the New York Jewelers Exchange, specializes in fine diamond jewelry, expertly hand crafted. They also can customize your ring, necklace, bracelet, and earrings to your specifications. You will find an elegant selection of “One of a Kind” items for gift-giving occasions, including engagement rings, men’s rings, oval diamond earrings, chandelier earrings, diamond pave hoop earrings, platinum diamond tennis bracelets, and other styles featuring diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds.
LDW Jade Inc., 177A Canal St.
For over 30 years, LDW Jade has offered an impressive and extensive collection of jade in Chinatown, in both quality and quantity. In Chinese culture, jade symbolizes longevity, power, beauty, nobility, and constancy and is thought to have protective properties. Many Chinese women wear jade bracelets and pendants every day. It can vary from a pale milky hue to a grassy green and a deeper, richer emerald color. At LDW, you can find a jade piece for everyone on your gift list, from pendants to earrings. In addition to wholesale and retail business, the store also handles special orders and custom orders with jade and pearls, made by hand.
For 34 years, the knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly staff at Las Americas has greeted customers in English, Cantonese, and Spanish—thanks to the family patriarch, who lived in Cost Rica and Cuba “pre-Castro” before settling here. “He wanted a store to welcome everyone, from all the Americas—North America, South America, Central America.” Along with jewelry, the store sells brand-name watches. Las Americas is offering this Sweetheart Deal during Chinatown Jewelry Week: Buy any Gucci, Hamilton or Swiss Army watch for 25% off the retail price. If you buy a second watch of equal or lesser retail value, the price of the second watch drops to 40% off.
LiMar Jewels, 70 Bowery
“My family and I, we were in business on Canal Street since I was 15,” says Maria M. Otero, the co-owner of LiMar Jewels. “And I’m 56. My partner, Lillyam Cuartas, has been in the same spot here for 20 years. We love what we do.” Cutting-edge technology and a can-do work ethic are at the heart of the shop’s craftsmanship for other jewelers and clients. A laser solder machine on the premises performs tasks with precision, from readjustments to remodeling. “We can do anything in titanium, in stainless steel, in antique jewelry. You name it, we make it.” The store’s specialty, personalized monograms and logos, are handcrafted.
Lukfook, 185 Canal St.
With 1,040 stores in Hong Kong, Macao, and Singapore, Lukfook presents modern day shoppers with a sophisticated shopping experience. “Every piece is made in Hong Kong so that we can guarantee the purity of the gold and the quality of the workmanship,” says a store manager. Recently renovated, Lukfook’s flagship New York store is getting ready for its Grand Re-Opening on February 2nd. Hong Kong celebrity and actress Pauline Yeung will be present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Look for dragon and phoenix gold bangles at the front of the store, popular with both Chinese and American brides, and golden snakes for the New Year.
Posh Jewelry, 109 Mott St.
There’s a sparkling selection of high quality diamonds, carved jade, gold jewelry, and gold coins in this wholesale and retail business establishment, which also sells chains, necklaces, and earrings. In the shop window, you’ll see an assortment of 24-karat gold dragons, snakes, horses, and other animals of the Chinese Zodiac to help welcome the Lunar New Year. Find out your birth year and celebrate in style!
Raineri Jewelers features a stunning collection of diamond engagement ring settings, bridal sets, and wedding bands to fit every taste and price range. Known for their meticulous work with custom-made orders, the store documents and photographs every stage of the creative process, from sketched design to prototype to final product. Raineri is also authorized to display and carry many luxury jewelry brands. As a result of word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat customers, “we’re already serving great-grandchildren,” says Roy Raineri, whose father started the business in 1965. “My son is now in the business with me.”
Royal Star Jewelry, 171A Canal St.
“Elegant” and “high quality” are the words owner Ms. Chen uses to describe the selection of fine jewelry for wholesale and retail. Along with a range of gold jewelry, from 14-karat to 24-karat, Royal Star offers an assortment of diamond engagement rings and bands in different settings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Right now the store is having a 25th anniversary sale. Ask for details at the counter.
Time is Gold, 70-72 Bowery
“You can tell the caliber of a person by what they wear on their wrists,” says owner Mesbah Antonio, who got his start by working at an authorized Rolex dealer. “I’ve been in the business for over 25 years. People know who I am. My reputation is very important to me.” His shop sells new and premium watches as well as antique watches and pre-owned watches for men and women at “very competitive low prices.” Along with elegant timepieces, the shop also refinishes watches and handles watch repairs and carries jewelry.