November 2008

Heritage Fine Jewelry: A Trusted Source

Author: Lindsey Hawkins | Photographer: photography by anne

Diamonds and gold and platinum, oh my! No matter how old or valuable, how classic or gaudy, jewelry, like a wall that could talk, could tell juicy secrets.

Just think, if wedding rings could speak, what kind of therapy they could offer. Talk about truly knowing both sides of the story. If old lockets could talk, writers, like me, would have written perfect, heart wrenching love stories like The Notebook a long time ago. If a man could listen to the blood, sweat and tears of a Super Bowl ring, ladies might have a lot more bling in their life!

There is just something about diamonds, precious stones and metals that will forever intrigue and speak unheard volumes of social interaction, revealing the emotions, the history, and, well, the good stuff of living. These characteristics are what make jewelry such a precious, thoughtful, sought after gift.

Think about the bejeweled events in Western culture: births, proms, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, galas, Hollywood red carpet events, and more. We have a need and want for jewelry because it means fun, represents status and has the ability to uniquely hold our memories. But with all the hype and expense, finding the perfect jewel can be intimidating.

Here is where the importance of a jeweler comes into play. Trust is key, jewelry maniacs! The hardest part about finding that perfect diamond or bracelet really isn’t the worry of the design. It’s the worry of whether or not you are purchasing true quality. When you have a family-owned-and-operated local jewelry store with the reputation and status to directly import diamonds and other precious stones, you need not be intimidated.

Heritage Fine Jewelry, conceptualized and refined over the last 32 years, now located in Pineland Station off Hwy. 278, is your local island jewelry shop, jewelry repair, and custom jewelry designer all in one. Store owner, Patti Catalano Braddock, is no rookie and neither are her two sons and daughter, Patrick, Doug and Jennifer.

Braddock started living the American dream in 1977 at a little Florida store of her own with only 12 pieces of jewelry, some driftwood and rocks. Since the beginning, she has attended to the most important aspect of any retail business: the needs of the customer.

“I can remember people stopping by and saying, ‘It’s a cute little store but you don’t have much,’” Braddock said. Back then Braddock told customers to just tell her what they wanted and she would make it. “If they didn’t like it, they didn’t have to buy it,” she said.

Twelve years and many more than 12 pieces of jewelry later, Heritage Fine Jewelry was born with a name that comes from the concept of heirlooms and a generation-to-generation family business. From new trends to classics, heirloom restoration, custom design and craft, wax carving, casting, and repairs, this family knows their stuff and believes in quality at true value. In fact, one-third of the store’s inventory is custom made and the rest of the treasures are generally one-of-a-kind, hand picked pieces from Europe.

Heritage Fine Jewelry guarantees their product and expects the companies they buy from and import from to do the same, said Braddock. “We never deal with companies who don’t stand by their product 100 percent,” she said. In fact, all of the diamonds they use are directly imported from Israel and are non-conflict diamonds. They do not carry brand name lines of jewelry, because name brands dictate pricing. They are truly providing equal or higher quality for true value, Braddock explained.

Heritage Fine Jewelry is a rewarding shopping venture because they allow the demand of the locals to fill their cases. Braddock said she really believes it’s about the locals. “People have watched the kids grow up and graduate and work here,” she said. “I’ve said it so many times that your jeweler is like your family doctor; you build a rapport with them.”

No matter what the vision, it can be reached at Heritage Fine Jewelry. The family encourages customers to come in with pictures and ideas or drawings to individually conceptualize each custom piece of jewelry. “We like our customers to do a little homework and give them things to think about,” Braddock said. “We sit down with them several times so we can really get fine tuned to what they’re after.”

So much trust goes into purchasing jewelry, and Heritage Fine Jewelry has earned its trustworthy reputation, not only locally but globally. It is rare to be able to directly import from a diamond cutter. It is an honor and an indicator of quality when shopping for jewelry. Heritage has earned this status.

Locally, Heritage Fine Jewelry has been voted number one jeweler for the last four years in a row by more than one survey. With the holidays coming around and the wallets being a little tighter this year, having our local gem of a jeweler is something to be celebrated.

Heritage Fine Jewelry is open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (843) 689-2900.

Let Us Know what You Think ...

commenting closed for this article