There is no comparable experience to sitting in an elegant jewelry salon, surrounded by gleaming cases of diamonds, and trying on an eye-catching necklace or pair of earrings that instantly brightens up your face and spirits. Hamilton Jewelers understands this precious moment and has perfected warm, welcoming spaces in its three Princeton, New Jersey and Palm Beach locations. Founded in 1912 in New Jersey and led by successive generations of the Siegel family, the jeweler is not only a leader in independent luxury retail, but one steeped in rich history and immersed in its community since the very beginning. In addition to an impeccable roster of world-renowned jewelry and timepiece brands, the store carries an eponymous selection of standout diamond designs.
Ahead, President Hank Siegel and Executive Vice President Anne Russell share the inspiration behind their in-house collection, how to shop for diamonds and what makes an enduring legacy: “We are more than 100 years old, independently owned, and internationally recognized, as well as nationally known and locally trusted.”
The Hamilton Collection offers a beautiful range of jewelry designs, from classic diamond essentials to romantic Love Knots to the more ornate Arabesque. Tell us about your approach to curating the selection.
The Hamilton Collection has grown over the years, from original designs including our Heritage and 1970s Collections, which we have reimagined from our archives; to brand new, more modern collections like the Mercer, which was created to be classically elegant and fashion forward. As we develop each piece of jewelry, we think about what’s missing from our current selection from styles to price points. We want to be sure we have pieces that appeal to every client’s taste and lifestyle.
Why do diamonds resonate with your clientele?
Diamonds seem to evoke a lasting sense of joy, and selecting a piece of diamond jewelry is incredibly personal. We love to see the special way a client’s face lights up when they put on a piece of diamond jewelry.
We are heading into the gifting and engagement season. What tips do you have for shoppers searching for the perfect present?
Do your homework. And that doesn’t have to be a time-consuming endeavor: by simply visiting hamiltonjewelers.com, for example, you can shop 24/7 or do some internet “window shopping” before making a purchase or schedule an online appointment to come into one of our stores to experience the pieces in person.
You are one of the few retailer members of the Responsible Jewelry Council, which strives to create a sustainable future for the industry. Why is that involvement important to you?
Hamilton is extremely proud of our certification by the RJC, and additionally honored to be among the first independent family-owned retailers to be certified. Our firm and my family have long embraced our ethical and social responsibilities to serve our communities and industry, and are deeply appreciative of the RJC’s activities to promote such practices and extend them throughout the entire supply chain. We encourage all fine jewelry retailers, large and small, to consider RJC certification.
Four generations have been at the helm of the company. How does family play into the ethos of Hamilton?
As with many family-owned businesses, Hamilton’s values closely reflect those of our family. We have been part of the greater Mercer County, New Jersey region for five generations, and Palm Beach County, Florida for four generations. We have incredibly strong and lasting ties to our clients and their communities, as well as to our industry as a whole. We don’t just do business in these places—we live there, as well. Therefore, our commitment is two-fold: We must be best-in-class where ethical and responsible business practices are concerned, and also support organizations that share our values, both in our home communities and nationally. This is the very foundation upon which our reputation has been built, and it is the right way to be.
This philosophy has served us well throughout our history. Our late chairman, Martin Siegel, constantly reminded us that ours is a business of connecting with people. He would regularly say, “It’s all about the relationships.” And he was so right. Now more than ever, with clients looking for a more personalized touch in an increasingly digitized world and individualization playing a key role in the overall experience, we feel we are able to stand apart from the larger corporate entities. Our 110-year-old heritage and the fact that we’ve been able to maintain family ownership for that length of time is a unique advantage we have in today’s marketplace. Very few luxury retailers in the U.S. have the same brand heritage, brand equity and industry expertise as Hamilton.
Hamilton is celebrating 110 years in 2022. What’s next for the brand?
We are very excited to be celebrating our 110 year anniversary. We have exciting activations planned throughout the year for our clients and employees, as well as some exclusive capsule collections to share with everyone. We’re thrilled to mark this milestone as it is so meaningful to our family, our Hamilton teams and the communities where we work and live.