It's New to Us by Jean Stratton
Quality Jewelry/Gift Selection Highlights Princeton Jewelers
Princeton Jewelers is one of the prettiest stores in town. Its selection of fine jewelry and giftware is showcased in lovely display alcoves, offering a unique presentation, especially appealing to the eye.
Owner Nicholas Brandolini, who has been in the jewelry business since 1974, purchased the Princeton Shopping Center store from the previous owner last November. He and his family are owners of two other stores in Hammonton and Deptford in southern New Jersey.
"I came up to look at the store, and it seemed to have the same type of quality as our other stores," explains Mr. Brandolini. "I liked the staff, and I admired the neighborhood. The feedback we get is that customers would rather come to the shopping center. It's one-stop shopping, and there's no parking hassle."
The store carries a full range of jewelry, with precious, semi-precious stones, and pearls highlighted, as well as giftware, including Waterford crystal.
"We offer a unique selection of fine jewelry," notes Mr. Brandolini. "We have all 14k and 18k, all high quality pieces and no synthetic stones. Quality is a tradition with us. Also, customization is our strong suit. We have three jewelers among the three stores, and each has a different area of expertise.
"We do a lot of remounting and custom work, including designing an item for people. Right now, we are doing an heirloom a family crest and making it into a pendant."
In addition, continues Mr. Brandolini, "We take older pieces and reset them. Sometimes, people want a more modern look for an old piece. We do a lot of restoration of passed-down pieces, and of course, we do repairs. Quality control is very important to us, and all work is done on the premises."
Mr. Brandolini notes that buying a piece of jewelry is a very important purchase. Indeed, it is something that can last more than a lifetime. He and his knowledgeable staff do all they can to help the customer, although many times these days, the customers are very savvy, he reports.
"Our customers are very educated; they have often done research on the Internet, and use it as a guide. We have the best customers in this store. And also, if someone asks us a question and we don't know the answer, we tell them we don't know and will find out. Customer satisfaction is Number One here.
"We really get to know people over time in the jewelry business. People come in for engagement rings, then wedding rings, then, typically in 10 years, anniversary bands. They'll come in with their kids, maybe eight or 10 years old, and you can see the history of these people."
Customers of all ages come in, adds manager Sharon Appello, and they are interested in a wide variety of items.
"Chandelier earrings are very popular in gold, gold with diamonds, or in colored stones," she notes, "and they are popular with all generations."
Also a favorite of all ages is the "Nomination" 18k gold and stainless steel bracelet from Italy. "These are still hot, and they appeal to everyone," reports Ms. Appello. "You can make your own design and also, it's a stretch bracelet, without a clasp, so it's easy to put on.
"Right hand rings, which were a new trend before the holidays, continue to be a big hit, and people are getting diamonds and sapphires. We also see a lot of interest in freshwater pearls, especially from two hot companies Hanora and Mastaloni. They have a more modern look than just strands, and are like designer pieces."
Subhead: Great Choices
Giftware at Princeton Jewelers includes a wide selection, with silver and pewter picture frames, cut glass pieces, and baby items all on display.
"We do a lot of corporate gifts and we also work with schools for giftware," notes Mr. Brandolini, "We have great choices for all customers. We also have a special gift coin in lieu of gift certificates. It's a unique coin, similar to a silver dollar, with amounts of $25, $50, or $100 indicated. It's a great gift idea."
Helping customers to make enlightened choices is Mr. Brandolini's special pleasure.
As he explains, "My interest is with customers and helping them to pick out something beautiful. To me, this is not work. To give a special gem, something rare, something that is individual and of value to someone you care about is what jewelry means to me, what it stands for.
"Also, we have family working at all our locations. There is nothing like hands-on ownership. Our staff sees the effect of making the customers happy. We always want to be known for high quality merchandise, as an enjoyable place to go, and to be a real part of the community. Our reputation is everything. Your name is worth a billion dollars!"
Also, he adds, customers can look forward to sales throughout the summer and to the arrival of a big fall selection at the end of summer.
Princeton Jewelers is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday 10 a.m to 7 p.m. (609) 430-0900.