Photo and article by Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – The gift-giving season is approaching, and the staff at Joy-Den Jewelers in downtown Marlborough has spent the year searching out one-of-a-kind pieces to delight all on your gift list.
“We specialize in unique pieces that are timeless and classic, but that also have a bit of flair to separate them from jewelry you find in a mall or chain store,” said Chad Yesue, who owns the retailer.
He shops the jewelry markets along with Joyce Marino, who founded the business 27 years ago and sold it to Yesue several years ago, but remains as manager.
“I know how jewelry is made,” said Yesue, who learned the basics of jewelry manufacturing and design at the North Bennett School in Boston. “And Joyce has repaired so much jewelry over the years that we can look at a piece and be sure it is made well. We hand-pick pieces that can be passed down from generation to generation.”
“We know the quality of the gold and the stones. In a mall store, you’ll find a clerk who is hired just for the season,” added Marino. “We also know our customers and the type of jewelry they’d prefer. And we offer a variety of price points.”
The store’s staff, which also includes Bonnie and Mike Sannicandro and Christine Cuthbert, is experienced and able to suggest gift items. For longtime customers, they can offer pieces that complement earlier purchases.
Joy-Den also provides a “wish list” service for customers who want to pick out several items they’d like in advance to make shopping easier and still maintain an element of surprise.
All of the pieces the jeweler carries are photographed and posted on its website, www.joy-den.com, and Facebook page as they come into the store, so customers can browse at their leisure.
One of the lines Yesue and Marino particularly like is Anna Beck, a California designer whose sterling silver pieces are produced in Bali. Her pieces feature tiny silver circles, individually hand-soldered on, for a unique look. While cuff bracelets are a specialty, the line also includes necklaces and earrings, some with colored stones, that all work well together and are priced between $100 and $700.
Yesue and Marino offered several other gift ideas.
For a wife or girlfriend, they suggested a little homework first, checking her jewelry box to see if she has such basics as diamond stud earrings and whether she prefers white or yellow gold, and looking in the closet to see what colors she wears.
“If she has the basics, then I’d suggest one great signature, fashion-forward piece, such as a large ring with colored gemstones. I have one customer who wears a ring like that on her middle finger and she’s known for that ring, Yesue said.
“We have a huge variety of fashion-forward, high-quality pieces that are distinctive and different, ones with brown, black and yellow diamonds or semi-precious stones in pink, white or yellow gold,” he said.
“And we make sure that signature piece is truly one of a kind. We would not sell another one just like it,” added Marino.
If you’re shopping for your mother, Yesue suggested slim stackable rings in the birthstones of her children, a new twist on a mother’s ring.
Also popular are Le Stage convertible silver cuff bracelets with different “charms” that serve as the bracelet’s clasp. The charms are available in a variety of seasonal motifs, initials, animals, and enameled pieces.
“These bracelets are a great idea for dads and children. Dad can buy the bracelet and let each child pick out a charm,” Marino said.
For husbands and boyfriends, they suggest a Belair watch, made for Joy-Den with its logo inside.
“We did our homework 25 years ago and found a quality watch with a Swiss movement, made in the USA,” Marino said. “And we’ll take care of it. We can adjust the size of the band, and we provide batteries free for a lifetime.”
Bracelets and rings in stainless steel and titanium are fashionable for men. Titanium, a gray metal, is lightweight, extremely durable and does not trigger allergies.
Yesue suggested bracelets from an Italian firm, Bernardi, in sterling silver plated with platinum, pulling one off his own wrist. Each bead is machine-faceted so that the pieces sparkle like diamonds. The line also includes women’s bracelets, necklaces and earrings.
Joy-Den Jewelers is located at 209 Main St. in downtown Marlborough, with ample free parking nearby. For additional information, visit the website, www.joy-den.com, or call 508-480-0309. After Thanksgiving, the retailer will be open seven days a week with extended hours; exact hours are posted on the website and Facebook page.