By Patti Richter
A treasure box can be found next to the Super Target on Highway 92 in Woodstock. This family-owned business could be considered a “diamond in the rough” because even its window signage can only hint at the brilliant array of precious metals and gems on display inside.
Art Jewelers has been anchored to the Woodstock community for decades and sitting in this busy location since 2008. Those who stop in for a visit will have no trouble remembering the place since it’s hard to forget beautiful gleaming objects.
A Family of Goldsmiths
The store manager, Andrew McDeermond, says Art Jewelers has been operating in Woodstock since the 1980s. The business was founded by his father-in-law, Dave Meadows, a third-generation goldsmith-jeweler.
The business name, Art Jewelers, goes back to Dave’s grandfather, Arthur Meadows, who opened his first store in Detroit, Michigan, in 1926. Dave, who is also an award-winning designer and GIA graduate gemologist, has been blessed to call Woodstock home for more than 30 years.
However, Dave is not the only goldsmith on hand at this store. He operates the business along with his daughter, Angelica McDeermond (a fourth-generation goldsmith), and Andrew, who is also a GIA-accredited jewelry professional and is skilled in computer-aided design (CAD).
Store patrons value Art Jewelers for their old-school approach to customer service, with everything done on-site (a mini-museum of jewelry-making apparatus stands in the back quarters of the store).
“Our expertise sets us apart from most other jewelry stores,” Andrew says, explaining, “Most stores of our size do not even have one jeweler. Industry salesmen who have visited our store have told us, ‘You’re a rarity!’”
All That Glitters
In the last year, Art Jewelers has expanded its inventory of lab-grown diamonds, which are trending in the industry. An entire area of the store is now being dedicated to these. Andrew explains that lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds, and they are more vibrant for a lower price than mined diamonds.
Besides the store’s “always-sell/always will” stock of classic pieces — standard silver and gold chains, diamond pendants, and solitaires — the business is further increasing the color selection of gemstones: sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and more. Through Instagram, Art Jewelers allows shoppers to gaze into its treasure chest, with its sparkling gallery of selections.
Another new service at Art Jewelers this past year is laser engraving, though the goldsmiths can also do hand engraving for a more classic look. Laser engraving allows greater possibilities, including customized wedding band patterns, fingerprint jewelry, copying handwriting to or from a loved one, and sometimes even pictures.
Jewelers at this store have the technical expertise and practical skill to evaluate and grade gemstones for “the four Cs” — cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. They are also proficient in the modern process of custom jewelry making, which, besides laser work, involves wax carving, casting, finishing, setting, fabrication, and mold-making.
In a charitable effort, Art Jewelers offers a custom-made “Tree of Life” necklace. This piece, designed by Dave, displays the logo of Restore 17, an organization that supports orphans and at-risk youth in Ecuador. Dave has long served as a board member for this ministry.
In-House Repair and Services
The custom jewelry process available at Art Jewelers includes a 3D model and wax try-on for casting of rings. Andrew says most jewelry stores do not offer in-house 3D.
“Our designers create a 3D model of a buyer’s custom design and then render it to look like the completed piece,” he explains. “This allows for changes ahead of the finish. Customers are involved in every step of the process to make sure they get exactly what they want.”
This process is completed by one of their master jewelers, who will use the wax model to cast the raw and unpolished piece before the final tumbling, filing, and polishing.
Also in-house: redesigning existing jewelry, repairs, and appraisals. The store further offers rhodium plating (“dipping”) for white-gold jewelry, which restores the desirable bright-white finish and removes any scratches.
Art Jewelers’ long list of services includes cleaning, polishing, sizing, plating, prong retipping, soldering, restoring, watch repair (batteries, too), adjustments, and stone-setting. Andrew adds that they offer stud-exchange for earrings purchased at their store.
In addition to all of that, the jewelers will evaluate and buy a customer’s gold, diamond, and platinum jewelry, even if broken, all with a “while-you-wait” offer.
But if the skilled goldsmiths at Art Jewelers’ have one favorite thing they do, it’s designing custom jewelry.
“We enjoy creating unique pieces for customers and the showcase,” Andrew says. “And we’re ready to create a customer’s new favorite piece.”
Art Jewelers Diamonds & Design
136 Woodstock Square Avenue
Woodstock, GA 30189
Instagram - @art_jewelers