The Royal Chain Group, a family business manufacturing and importing precious and alternative metal jewelry, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year as a premier supplier of gold and sterling silver, basic and fashion jewelry and “some of the strongest, coordinated branded jewelry programs in the industry.”
President and owner Paul Maroof founded the business in 1978 and continues to work alongside his son Phillip Gabriel Maroof, the company’s Vice President and designer behind Royal Chain’s nationally recognized Phillip Gavriel collection. To celebrate this milestone year, the company introduced a 40th anniversary gold edition of its famous catalog, along with a supplemental anniversary book with specially designed pieces that look to the Royal Chain archives as well as modern pieces.
The company started as a small operation in New York City and grew swiftly. “It was my father’s goal to offer gold chain at a great value,” Phillip says. “He kept costs down and offered exceptional service, and we created the lifetime warranty on gold jewelry that we still offer on every piece of gold today. In hand with the demand for gold, the company saw huge growth over the next 30 years, expanding year after year not only physically, but also in terms of product assortment.”
Phillip, whose collection reflects his Hebrew name Gavriel, joined the company in 2003 after completing his education at New York University, redesigning the product assortment and in 2007 launching the Phillip Gavriel brand in silver, 18-karat gold and precious stones. Currently he is responsible for the Phillip Gavriel brand as well as the marketing, designs and creative direction for the entire company. Paul’s daughter Natalie joined the company in 2006 after working in the world of fine art. Another family member, Shaun Yafeh, is Vice President of the company.
Travels during his youth gave Phillip an appreciation of the world’s beauty. During college he studied art and history in Florence, Italy, and also worked with Italian jewelry artisans in the nearby towns of Arezzo and Vicenza. Pieces he designs today still evoke the beauty of the places he has been.
Phillip remembers as a boy picking up ruby and diamond rings in his father’s office. “I think I always wanted to work in the business because I would love to go to the office during summer break and play with bunches of gold chains that would arrive every week. The only thing I didn’t like about the business was sometimes I thought the jewelry was a little out of touch. I vowed that I would change that someday and make pieces that were trend-right but could also last a lifetime. It took a long time, and patience to part with a lot of designs and to keep the assortment fresh. But I have to say that sometimes the most unexpected pieces become best-sellers. The company wouldn’t be where it is today without the variety of pieces and the eclectic styling that we offer.
“In 2001, I decided to study in Florence, which is only a few towns over to Arezzo, one of the gold capitals of Italy. It was there where I got inspired by the jewelry producers and artisans and felt there was something bigger here for me. I moved back to New York to finish my degree, but it has always kept a special place in my heart. And of course my travels around Italy and the world have opened my eyes to the beauty of the world, and I want to share the experience.”
A Return to Gold
When Royal Chain first started, Phillip says, gold was in huge demand. “Anything sold and because we offered it at a great value and warranty, people flocked. Over the years as tastes changed, gold became a harder sell. We diversified into other categories such as silver, steel, alternative metals and brands like Phillip Gavriel to offer more options to our retailers. We have always tried to be on the pulse of trending products as long as they were not in bridal or diamonds. There are plenty of players for that. But today we find ourselves in a gold renaissance, and people are ready to get back into gold. Royal Chain really is the expert in the category. No one has the expertise in gold like we do.”
Along with Phillip Gavriel, Royal Chain offers a variety of collections including:
- Royal Chain Gold
- Royal Chain Silver
- Friendship (stackable bracelets in 14-karat gold and sterling silver)
- Intuitions (contemporary stainless steel bracelets to be worn alone or stacked, with messages of inspiration)
- Angelica (adjustable bracelets with unique charms made of recycled metals; the option of customizing charms is also available to retailers)
Royal Chain has remained in the same location since its founding, citing excellent customer service to its family of retailers as top priority. “We started out in a small one-room office, and expanded to take more space over the years, eventually getting to a full floor and just a couple of years ago adding another level in our expansion,” Phillip says.
“We are still in the jewelry district and we hope to stay there for years. This is a historically important part of the industry and New York’s landscape! We do everything in our New York office and have 13 remotely connected sales representatives across the U.S.” In all, Royal Chain employs about 60 people.
Earlier this year, Royal Chain received certification from the Responsible Jewellery Council, an organization promoting trust in the global fine jewelry industry by defining a standard for responsible ethical, social and environmental practices. “As we look back on our success and celebrate our 40th anniversary, we want our partners to understand that our core values also include the way we treat our employees, where we source our materials, and how we manufacture our product,” Paul Maroof says. “We are very committed to making a positive impact for future generations.”
“As the authority in gold in the industry,” adds Phillip, “it was important to lead the way in our sector.”