Antique and period jewelry offers fine jewelers valuable opportunities to expand their audience and their bottom line, guidance for which Dori and Tuvia Paul, owners of eFiligree, are eager to impart.
For more than three decades the Morristown, New Jersey-based wholesaler has been a trusted supplier to fine jewelers across North America, many of which specialize in custom design and estate jewelry, as well as retailers who curate in their mix a special display of unique period pieces to delight customers.
“These jewels were designed to be heirlooms,” Dori describes of the distinct design, style and craftsmanship of antique jewelry (100+ years old) and coveted period pieces (which may or may not be antique, but come from a defined, recognized and collectible era).
Among its offerings, eFiligree specializes in jewelry from the Georgian (1714-1837), Victorian (1837-1901), Edwardian (1901-1910), and Art Deco (1920-1940) periods, with mid century (1950s and ‘60s) up and coming.
The benefits of selling antique and period jewelry are compelling:
- It’s a good profit center with more attractive markups for jewelers, as it’s difficult to price shop bespoke jewelry, allowing retailers to shine as the expert in their community.
- It brings in new customers, particularly younger consumers attracted to products that offer recycled and sustainable solutions, and good value for original design.
- It also inspires storytelling about the construction of a piece and the key styles that define desirable jewelry design periods.
Addicted to Antiques
Dori is the third generation in the business. Her grandfather David Kordansky began buying watchbands to sell for scrap in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. He later added jewelry findings and other interesting pieces.
After Dori’s parents married in 1945, her father Jerry Kordansky took to the road like his dad. Also entrepreneurial, Jerry evolved the business to where it was exclusively selling antique jewelry by the time Dori was born.
Dori, who has a degree in finance, and her husband Tuvia, possessing a degree in early childhood education, decided to leave their respective professions and join the family jewelry business in 1991, as their own family was growing.
A natural fit as buyer for the company, Dori grew up in antique jewelry, joining her parents on buying trips and visits with customers. While Tuvia’s experience in education complemented his focus on sales, developing trusted relationships with retailers and inspiring enthusiasm for antique and period jewelry.
They both find this industry to be fascinating and fun, and see themselves as treasure hunters for busy jewelry stores.
Among the biggest trends at play in this profitable niche market, Victorian jewelry is particularly popular, Dori shares, most notably yellow gold, long chains, charms, fobs, and rings, with desire for pins and cameos on the rise.
“Jewelers who sell online are reaching a much younger clientele who are bringing back certain things, which is so exciting,” cheers Dori, who sees that younger consumers value antique and period jewelry. “The audience has grown from women aged 40+, to now attracting customers in their 20s, who are comfortable buying from a picture online.”
Partners for Success
Successful retailers who work with antique and period jewelry do their share of buying off the street. But they know that much of what comes through the door is destined to be melted, and recognize the advantage of working with a trusted supplier to fill in their inventory, as well as entice customers with unique finds.
Forging strategic partnerships with suppliers like eFiligree offers jewelers the education, services, and stock they can lean on to keep their inventory fresh and customers engaged.
eFiligree helps jewelers move product via memo opportunities, trunks shows, marketing tools, and an online catalogue listing current inventory in retail prices for retailers to show their clients.
“We always have something new and exciting that your customers will fall in love with,” promises Dori. “Because our inventory is one-of-a-kind, jewelers are excited to see our latest acquisitions.”
In fact, retailers can visit eFiligree at the upcoming Original Miami Beach Antique Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Jan. 11-15, 2024, closed Jan. 13, Booth #1205. The company also will be at the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show at the Wynn Las Vegas, May 30 – June 2, 2024, closed June 1, Booth #713. For further information, explore www.efiligree.com.