Continental Jewelers, Inc.
Continental Jewelers, Inc. (Originally Established 1955) According to this firm’s official website, “…from 1955, Continental Jewelers, Inc. has moved through a series of family ownership changes.”
The firm’s heritage started in a small shopping center in New Castle, Delaware called the Continental Shopping Center. There, Continental Jewelers used a local repair shop owned by Jay G. Cohen, a goldsmith.
Jay wanted to expand his business and entered into a partnership with Andrew Gallagher and Harry Rofel who owned Continental Jewelers. From this agreement evolved today’s Continental Jewelers, Inc.
In 1959, Jay expanded the business into the newly developing North Wilmington, Delaware area, which, at the time, was mostly farmland. Continental Jewelers opened in the Graylyn Crest Shopping Center and flourished there for 30 years.
During that time, Jay and his wife, Miriam, became sole owners of Continental and introduced their two sons, Paul and Art, into the business. Around 1977, Jay left the business and ownership transferred to Miriam, Paul and Art.
In 1980, Chrysa Farnan joined the management team. Miriam passed away in 1987 and Paul and Chrysa took over running the business. In 1989, the firm moved to its current location on Silverside Road in Wilmington; a brick and stone house renovated to the owners’ specifications.
In 2012, Paul retired to explore other opportunities in the jewelry industry and, today, Chrysa continues to run the business and maintains the firm’s tradition of fine service.
The firm’s website further states that, “Chrysa feels her current ownership role in the store is best described as caretaker of what she considers an amazing business.”
She says, “We pride ourselves on our knowledge, ethics and integrity. We can take care of all your jewelry needs, from [creating] the perfect engagement ring to [offering] a rare alexandrite (an amazing gemstone that changes color in different lighting). [We can also] change a watch battery [as well as] restore a family heirloom. As custom design has become more popular, we enjoy working with our clients to design jewelry of the quality and style that will be handed down through generations. Our selection of pre-owned jewelry continues to grow and has become an important area for both our buying and selling clients.”
Chrysa has spent most of her working career designing and presenting the face of Continental Jewelers to the buying community in and around Wilmington, Delaware. She has kept Continental Jewelers on the cutting edge of every phase of the jewelry industry, whether bringing the most desirable brands to the area (Hearts On Fire, Simon G, Pandora), overseeing a state of the art in-house repair and design facility, or moving to a freestanding, owner occupied building.
Located in the heart of the Brandywine Valley in Delaware, in 1989, Continental was one of the first jewelry stores in the country to make the move to a freestanding building. It is an environment that complements the firm’s highly personalized services.
The firm buys gold, platinum, silver jewelry, fine watches, diamonds, and gemstones. They also purchase old sterling flatware, tea sets and tableware.
Continental has a consignment program for certain jewelry. Participants receive payment when the firm sells the item presented to them under this arrangement. It is their job to research, document, market, and find a buyer for the item. This process is usually limited to larger, more expensive jewelry, like engagement rings, colored gemstones, or jewelry from well-known designers.
The firm is a member of the American Gem Society. It follows that organization’s guidelines for appraisal practices to assure clients they are protected in the event of loss.
The firm has an Accredited Gem Lab and also has Certified Gemologist Appraisers of the American Gem Society on staff.
The firm also offers appraisals for the purposes of insurance, tax liability, and verification of identity, plus quality and value of third party offerings. It can also offer assistance in other areas where appraisals of prized jewelry, watches, and other items are helpful.
The firm also handles jewelry and timepiece repair needs. Jewelry repair is done on the premises. These are performed by skilled craftspeople who employ both old world techniques as well as state of the art technology
The firm’s watch repair services are done both on and off site. While they can change watch batteries and make minor length adjustments to watchbands on the premises, repairs to movements are done off the premises.
In addition to promoting its own creations the firm showcases many fine designers from Hearts on Fire and Simon G. to Pandora and Kameleon.