By Nancy Brumback
Marlborough – Whether a professional athlete is buying a $100,000 engagement ring or a grandparent is buying a $25 silver bracelet for a child's confirmation, every customer at Joy-Den Jewelers is important, said Chad Yesue, owner of the downtown Marlborough retailer.
Yesue bought the business six years ago from Joyce and Dennis Marino and has continued the high level of service, custom design capability, on-site repairs and appraisals, and variety of merchandise, including the latest fashion trends, that has made Joy-Den a success for 26 years.
“Everyone working here stayed on, including Joyce. That's what makes this store so great; everyone has their strong points.”
And business has been good, even with the economic slowdown, he noted, led by last month's sales of engagement rings to three professional hockey players – from Pittsburgh, New York and North Carolina – including an $100,000 ring with an $86,000 center diamond. Those referrals came from a family friend who is married to a hockey player.
“The players were looking for a jeweler who would be honest with them, someone they could trust and who would make the purchase easy and personal.”
As he did for the athletes, Yesue can help couples design a custom engagement ring.
“It's a very personal piece of jewelry and has to suit the person who will wear it,” he said.
While Princess Diana's sapphire engagement ring got a lot of publicity after Prince William presented it to Kate Middleton, Yesue said most couples still choose a white diamond ring, and that the trend is turning away from square or oval cuts back to the round, brilliant cut.
“When couples are unsure, I try to steer them toward a simple, timeless, classic style for a ring the bride will wear for a lifetime,” he said.
The store's large selection of jewelry “is one of the things I’m most proud of,” he said. “Our inventory is constantly changing as we bring in pieces no one else has.”
Wide cuff bracelets are one of the latest trends, Yesue noted, picking up a silver piece with a delicate woven pattern from a California designer.
Also popular are layering necklaces with pearls and pendants. At around 35 inches long, these necklaces can be worn long or double- or triple-wrapped. Stackable rings in a wide variety of styles, colors, stones and widths are another hot style.
“Colored diamonds in cognac, brown and black have been big the last couple of months,” Yesue said. Some of these pieces use rose gold, a yellow gold with a pink tint, for a unique look.
Joy-Den's expert jewelry repair staff can do most repairs while a customer waits and watches.
“We can fix most things in an hour or two,” Yesue said. “The piece doesn’t have to be shipped out for a week or more.”
The staff also appraises jewelry for insurance purposes.
“We haven’t changed what we charge for appraisals in 15 years. It's $35 for the first item and $15 for each additional item,” Yesue said. With the price of gold at an all-time high and the value of gemstones also high, he suggested people have their fine jewelry reappraised if it hasn’t been evaluated for several years.
Yesue learned the basics of jewelry manufacturing and design at the North Bennett School in Boston, which trains artisans in many fields.
“I’ve been interested in jewelry as long as I remember, going back to collecting sea glass on the beach,” he said. His father owns the hair salon next door, and Yesue worked in the Marinos’ jewelry store in high school, came back after the North Bennett training, and subsequently bought the business.
Joy-Den Jewelers is located at 209 Main St. in downtown Marlborough. For additional information, visit their website, www.joy-den.com, or call 508-480-0309.