Joden World Resources - A National Jeweler in Western Pennsylvania


"Store Boasts Major Collection of Antique Jewels"

- Youngstown Vindicator, August 27, 2000 Page E3-4
- By Teresa Spatara – Vindicator Correspondent


Grove City – Why is one of the country’s largest collections of antique jewelry by revivalist Italian jeweler Carlo Giuliano in a small jewelry store in downtown Grove City? “Because this is where I happen to be,” said Joseph A. Murawski, owner of Joden World Resources, the jewelry store he owns in this small borough. His business has grown to be recognized as one of the nation’s leading sources of antique, estate, and modern jewelry, but has opted to stay here.

His biggest accounts are in northern California, Miami, and Las Vegas, where his jewelry is entered in shows, but his base is his hometown. Murawski spent 30 years building his collection, which includes nine pieces made Giuliano, the favorite jeweler of Queen Victoria, Great Britain’s monarch from 1837 to 1901. “He made specialized jewelry and, in some cases, no one has been able to determine his method,” Murawski said. “Our collection of his work is as large as anyone’s in the United States.” Giuliano, who lived from 1831 to 1895, was the foremost among revivalist jewelers in Europe. He was known as “true Michelangelo of jewelers,” Murawski said. Top item: The highlight of Murawski’s Giuliano collection is a simple cross of gold and Persian turquoise surrounded with tiny natural pearls.


Art Nouveau piece

Youngstown Vindicator

Joden World Resources
144 S. Broad Street
Grove City, PA 16127

Joden’s collection of art nouveau pieces features a 4,000-piece ceramic mosaic of a Madonna on a small oval brooch. The figure’s red dress and blue veil are framed in blue and surrounded by two layers of gold. “Art Nouveau, 1895 to 1910, was a unique and refreshing celebration of nature and femininity,” Murawski said.

Also in his collection are Edwardian pieces from 1901 to 1910, a feminine period marked by the use of platinum to create a lacy and delicate appearance; and art deco, 1915 to 1935, which features breakthrough cutting techniques and bold geometric patterns.

But Murawski’s pride and joy is a necklace styled like the sapphire engagement ring given by Prince Charles to then-Lady Diana. The stone in Murawski’s piece, however, is a tanzanite surrounded by four carats of diamonds and set in 18-karat gold and platinum, and made by the manufacturer that has crafted jewelry for the royal family. “We import jewelry from Europe,” Murawski said, “mainly from England. We have the rights to certain models of jewelry in London.”

In Pittsburgh: Some of the collection has been on display this weekend at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Gem and Mineral Show in Oakland, outside Pittsburgh.

The show continues from noon to 5p.m. today.

Murawski, 50, followed his father, Adam, in the jewelry business. The elder Murawski was a master bench jeweler who made jewelry and did repair work for other jewelers. “I worked with him as a teenager, then spent 23 years at the bench, doing diamond setting, ring sizing and other work,” Murawski said. “Both my son, who is in the business with me now, and I are graduate gemologist.”

Murawski came to Grove City in 1970 and bought Royal Jewelers, a longtime establishment in the downtown business area, from Charles and Marian Hall, and established it as Joden Jewelers. His interest in museum-quality antique jewelry has grown over the years. He said he has handled jewelry owned by Lady Sarah Spencer Churchill, an ancestor of Princess Diana. His motto is, “You can go to a museum and look…or you can come to us and touch.”

Rare pieces: During a recent interview he brought out rare and elegant pieces, including a French necklace crafted around 1850, with natural Egyptian scarabs about 35,000 years old, attached to an 18-karat gold handmade link chain. Scarabs are stone or earthenware beetle-shaped motifs used in ancient Egypt as talismans or symbols or resurrection.

Another piece was a Holbienesque necklace, made in 1865. Holbienesque enamel is the rarest in the world, styled after the mosaic art of Hans Holbein, a German noted for mosaic art in the 15th or 16th century who placed black enamel artwork on white enamel, Murawski explained. “No one was able to determine how he got black to stay on white without melting,” Murawski said. “He taught the process only to his son. This work was done with tools that were primitive by today’s standards. No manufacturer in the world makes anything like this today.

Murawski also has a locket with an oil portrait of Sarah Horton hand-painted on a wafer-thin piece of ivory. The outer portion is engraved gold and glass. A lock of the woman’s hair, probably clipped after her death, is encased in the locket, which probably was worn by Horton’s mother after the daughter’s death.

Topping off the collection were the cameos, including an Italian three-dimensional figure of Jesus, carved in multi-colored chalcedony, commissioned by the pope around 1865, probably for a donor family. Unusual is a secondary image of Jesus that appears in the stone, which is translucent pale blue or gray quartz. “The secondary image wasn’t carved in, but just appeared there,” Murawski said. “There has never been anything like it.”

What else: Over the years, Murawski has owned 12 pieces signed by Carl Faberge, but now has only two – a match striker in blue and white enamel and a pencil in pink enamel.

Bringing the collection up to date are the pieces made by Murawski’s own craftsmen. “We are manufacturing jewelers,” he said. “Almost everything we sell that’s more than a one-carat size stone is made right here. We start from scratch, using an old-world technique, hand-making one-of-a-kind items.”

While everything in Murawski’s collection may be purchased by other jewelers, collectors, seasoned connoisseurs or individuals with an eye for rare and beautiful items, he has one piece that is not for sale. “Its my father’s oldest work – a cameo he made for my mother. “It’s carved in a seashell. I made a special box to display it in front of my office. It’s there to stay.”