The pull of familial ties is strong in many industries. But in Atlanta, nowhere is this more true than in the jewelry business. Many local companies span decades and generations, often deeply rooted in their communities. Sara Beth Brown Prendeville, president of Brown & Co. Jewelers, thinks clients gravitate toward independent and family-owned stores because of their experience, which is often predicated on core values set generations before. When investing in fine jewelry, buyers value longstanding relationships. “Purchasing a piece of jewelry is so much more than a transaction,” she says.
Ronnie Agami, owner of Universal Diamonds, also stresses that “the relationships you make in this industry are priceless, from the client all the way to the supplier. We now work with children and grandchildren of our father’s original clients. It’s a privilege to work in a family business.”
Here are seven family-run Atlanta-area jewelry stores to browse this Valentine’s Day.
Brown & Co. Jewelers
Brown & Co. Jewelers celebrates 50 years this year with big news, such as the Roswell location’s addition of the largest David Yurman boutique in the state, and the Buckhead location’s recent move to Buckhead Village District. The company has been helmed since May 2022 by president and second-generation Brown family member Sara Beth Brown Prendeville (her father, Frank, still serves as CEO). The Buckhead outpost offers Rolex, Cartier, and designer watch boutiques—and is adding a Patek Philippe boutique this year.
D. Geller & Son
Founded in 1939 by Dan Geller, D. Geller & Son was the first jewelry wholesaler and diamond dealer in the Southeast. (The family’s industry ties go back 15 generations, and a branch of the Geller family served as jewelers for a czar of Russia.) Three retail showrooms are in Kennesaw, Atlanta, and Sandy Springs, offering bridal and retail jewelry, repairs, and appraisals. Mike Geller is the current owner and CEO, with son Jonathan serving as managing director.
Guven Fine Jewelry
The Guven family has been serving customers for 40 years at its Buford location. Started by Isa Guven, who originated his trade in Turkey in 1969 before coming to the Atlanta area, it’s now a full family affair, with Isa’s wife, son, and daughter joining in. Retail jewelry, custom pieces, watches, appraisals, and more are on offer, with fast turnaround times.
Brothers Zahir, Rafi, and Mo Jooma run Icebox, the jewelry store originally founded by their parents in 1976. The brand is known for its custom designs for celebrities like Ludacris, Grady Jarrett, Lil Baby, and more, and scores social media views in the millions. In 2024, the 24,000-square-foot store will add a boutique focused on preowned luxury watches. The brothers have also expanded into wholesale for Saks Fifth Avenue, e-commerce, manufacturing diamonds, and leather goods.
Pickens Jewelers, Inc.
Hays Pickens is the third generation looking after his family’s jewelry business, one of the oldest established jewelers in Buckhead. He now serves as a vice president, having joined officially after college in 2010. Pickens Jewelers started as a trade shop serving other jewelers and continues to do so today, in addition to selling retail and custom work. They have nine bench jewelers—a tribute to Pickens’s grandfather, who began creating fine jewelry in the ’40s.
Brothers Ivan, Howard, and Anthony grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. Ivan came to Atlanta first and started the jewelry business in 1982. The brothers joined soon after, and now Ivan’s son Jaron serves as president. They have locations in Buckhead and Alpharetta.
One of the largest diamond wholesalers in the Southeast, Universal Diamonds specializes in engagement rings and diamond jewelry. Amos Agami founded the business more than 40 years ago and now runs it with his two sons, Ronnie and Jonathan. The Buckhead boutique also offers estate and loose diamonds, which can be made into custom pieces.
This article appears in our February 2024 issue.