Joden World Resources

Antique Estate & Modern Jewelry

“The Lovers” Enameled Brooch, circa 1850

“The Lovers” Enameled Brooch, circa 1850

Considered by Joe as “one of the most extraordinary style enamel we have ever seen,” the brooch is made from silver, gold and enamel. “It’s a very highly complex enamel with hundreds of layers of enamel. Parts are pink, white, blue, red and a little gray area on the left which is the shadow of a man,” Joe said, referring to the French made piece of jewelry. “In terms of condition, it’s an extraordinary piece of jewelry especially for the time period it was made without electricity. They did this with fire and billows. This is true bona fide Rembrandt-quality jewelry.”

“Once we started into the wholesale business, I picked up accounts in California, New York City, London, Holland ... we now sell around the world from this location,” Joe said. From there, it didn’t take long for Joden World Resources at 144 S. Broad St., Grove City, to become Cartier Fan Shaped  Brooch, circa 1940sinternationally known for buying and selling, not quarter carat diamonds, but for two-carat to five-carat diamonds. That was the point they also became known as “a force” in the antique and jewelry end of the business.

“For example, we have a relationship in London with the royal jeweler. He and his father were the actual makers of the sapphire engagement ring for Diana and the ruby engagement ring for Fergie (Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York). We now own the rights of 40 models of jewelry from the jeweler who made the jewelry for Diana,” Joe said, adding that most are engagement ring styles.

The company also acts as a broker and buyer of antique and estate jewelry. “We buy from the public on an everyday basis,” he said, adding that it has become an integral part of their business. “What we have done is built an entire collection of the finest antique jewelry around the world,” he said. “Our challenge to anyone coming through the door is we will place in your hand the finest piece of jewelry you’ve ever seen. We have enough stock to be able to prove that to be true.”

After 40 years, Joe realizes that Joden World Resources has grown into a threefold business. “There’s the store the public walks into; there’s the out-of-state mail order company which is part of our Web site and there is the wholesale business that sells exclusively to jewelers and dealers that have a sale tax license in about 25 states.”

After living through many trends in business, he sees a very interesting one now occurring. “The purchasing of high-end jewelry has gone through a transitional stage,” Joe said. “During 9-11, terrorists not only destroyed people and buildings, but modified the American economy. Lots of people who had millions and millions of dollars in the stock market lost money and when they recovered they decided to be safe and invest in real estate.”

Joe Murawski inspecting jewelry with a gemologist's loope“Well they found that wasn’t safe so they invested in banks and those turned out not so safe, so people are now starting to make investments in high-end jewelry and diamonds. We are certainly seeing it. Diamonds and jewelry have the inherent advantage of being a transportable asset and it’s a high value item that can be turned over to your children. And historically if you buy a diamond at the right price, it’s going to go up in value,” he said, adding that jewelry that passes down through the family is “a very significant thing ... people need to realize it lasts a long time.”

As for trusting businesses with valuable jewelry, Joe had this advice. “I think there are jewelers who are not dishonest, but are not experienced or walk outside the realm of their experience. It’s more a question of whether you can trust their knowledge.” He explained that a consumer should go to a business that has a graduate gemologist. “People with a degree from the Gemological Institute of America have a more effective reputation in the trade for knowing what they are doing and that eliminates 90 percent of the jewelers. It’s impossible to be in the business successfully for a certain amount of years and be a thief,” Joe said, adding that his whole family is actively involved in the business, including son Jay, also a gemologist. “We kind of tout that as our advantage,” he said. “Not only do we do all our own repair work in house, we have three people in the shop who have extensive bench experience, myself included, on premises. We also have three gemologists on staff.”

As for his own personal trends in jewelry, Joe has found his interests leaning strongly toward collectible antique and estate pieces. “There is technically a difference between antique and estate. Antique by legal definition, has to be able to be documented to be 100 years old. Things made in the 1920s, for example, are estate jewelry,” Joe said. “Our sources come from estate and antique dealers, banks, private individuals and other dealers.”

The star of their antique and estate jewelry collection is an amethyst and pearl Giuliano bracelet created by the Italian-born jeweler to Queen Victoria which Joe purchased more than 15 years ago. “I was starting to collect (this style) of jewelry before but this piece is the center of what we call our “Museum Case Jewelry.” We use it in all of our marketing materials,” he said, adding he recently acquired a matching brooch.

Giuliano Bracelet and Brooch, circa 1860-1901 Giuliano Bracelet and Brooch -circa 1860-1901

The Italian-born jeweler to Queen Victoria was known for his magnificent enameling of jewelry. “His work is so complex and there aren’t a lot of pieces out there, and of those pieces that are, many have been damaged,” Joe said. He began collecting pieces of Carlo Giuliano’s jewelry after purchasing an enameled butterfly signed by the jeweler. “Giuliano created a form of enameling which was extraordinary,” Joe said, adding that he started to study the jeweler and collected his works soon after. “There are three primary collections of his jewelry – one is the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, one is with Phillips Collection also in London and the third largest collection is in Grove City,” Joe said. “I will tell you this; not anyone out there has ever had a better piece of jewelry put in their hands.” Joden’s signature piece, used in most of their marketing materials, billboards and business cards, is the buff top amethyst and pearl bracelet by Giuliano that he acquired about 15 years ago. The amethyst is surrounded by natural pearls, then it has a “complex” adornment of black and white enamel and the gold portion was constructed with “literally hundreds of pieces of gold,” which creates a support for the bracelet. He explained that English jewelry produced after 1860 (after Prince Albert died) all had a touch of black enamel or black onyx to sympathize with Queen Victoria’s grief. “It was considered mourning jewelry to help the Queen mourn Albert,” Joe said. “The bracelet has been photographed more than 1,000 times. It’s the finest amethyst pearl bracelet in the world, period,” said Joe. “This piece is the center of what we call our ‘Museum Case Jewelry’ which is the top one percent of what we’ve bought in the last several years.” Though Giuliano’s jewelry pieces were generally one of a kind, in January, Joe was very pleasantly surprised to discover last fall that a matching amethyst pearl brooch existed. “I had no idea there would be a sister piece. And there is virtually no Giuliano available in the United States or if it was found, it almost always would be damaged,” he said. But a jewelry dealer, who knew Joe collected Giuliano pieces, handed it to him at a jewelry show in Miami. “Now I’m wondering if there is a pair of earrings out there,” said Joe.

In the future, Joe would like to start an “Antique Roadshow” type of event to encourage people to go through their jewelry treasures and learn more about their history and value. He also welcomes visitors who want to learn more about their jewelry to his store. “The experience of coming here will be fun. Our motto is you can go to the museum and look or come to our store and touch – ownership possibilities available,” he said. “I can honestly say I’ve been coming here for 39 years and I still like coming to work every day.”

For more information, contact Joden World Resources at 800.747.7552

Photos contributed except where noted.

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Joden World Resources, 144 South Broad Street, Grove City, PA 16127 800-747-7552 Email us

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