Professional Jeweler Archive: Anatomy of a Luxury Sale

June 2004


Anatomy of a Luxury Sale

J.E. Caldwell & Co. and Oscar Heyman & Bros. work together to create a necklace that illustrates the ultimate custom experience

W hen the time came for one lucky woman to receive the spectacular necklace featured on these pages, her husband could have chosen a quiet, private moment to make the presentation.

Instead, after a three-year collaboration to create the piece with his jewelers at J.E. Caldwell & Co. in King of Prussia, PA, the husband chose to give his beloved her gift right in the store.

Witnessing the presentation of a beautiful, custom-made jewel is a peak experience for jewelers, yet they’re rarely around for it. It’s a testament to the work accomplished by J.E. Caldwell’s manager, Kevin Kozlowski, and assistant manager, Sally Mooney Reines, that they became part of the moment.

The two are quick to credit Tom Heyman of Oscar Heyman & Bros., the legendary manufacturing jeweler, as a key player in the creative process that led to the completed jewel. It’s a dance the two companies have performed for almost a century – Heyman says his company’s records show Caldwell and Heyman have collaborated to sell spectacular jewels that long.

Mechanical Wonder

The necklace is an engineering and mechanical feat that reflects enthusiastic input from the husband, who originally came to J.E. Caldwell to buy an enhancer for an almost 9-ct. diamond he bought elsewhere. Kozlowski and Mooney Reines quickly suggested the store create a larger, removable “jacket” for the diamond featuring white marquise diamonds. From there, it was a short leap to another jacket in yellow diamonds; then the two suggested adding a hard-to-source large round yellow diamond to the growing suite. Important pink and blue sapphires with jackets followed, because the husband and wife collect corundum and love it.

Sketches: Rough to Finished

As ideas proliferated, the client often sketched his design ideas on the backs of envelopes and paper napkins and talked them over with the Caldwell team.

When the individual gems grew into a vision for a complete necklace, Heyman, historically known for its masterful design and manufacturing skills, stepped in to sketch sophisticated drawings and produce a wax model layout, keeping Caldwell informed of what was possible from an engineering viewpoint. “Everything in the jewel had to be independent, interchangeable and removable – that presented us and Oscar Heyman with technical challenges,” says Kozlowski. Because Heyman makes its own dies, tools and findings, it’s able to solve complex mechanical problems and welcomes such challenges, says Heyman, a grandson of one of the original six Heyman brothers who founded the company.

Necklace Subdivisions

Meeting those challenges was non-negotiable – the client wanted enough attachments and tools so the piece could be subdivided for future inheritances. In the finished necklace, every element works by itself as well as together. Oscar Heyman kept records of each element and put a serial number and mark on each piece for easy tracking at a later date or when the piece is broken up – a service it provides to all its clients.

– by Robert Weldon, G.G., & Peggy Jo Donahue


Oscar Heyman & Bros. created special tools and findings for the necklace, enabling its owner to change the jewel in countless ways. The base shown at the bottom of this photo is the one used when the necklace appears with its important gems surrounded by their jackets. A second base was created to feature the gems as solitaires (next page, bottom photo). The necklace and components are cradled in a custom-made leather box Heyman ordered from Switzerland.
One of many looks possible for the necklace Oscar Heyman & Bros. created for a J.E. Caldwell & Co. client. This variation features all four important gems surrounded by their removable matched jackets (for an alternate view with contrasting jackets, see the necklace configuration on the cover).
Oscar Heyman & Bros. engineered the necklace with an alternate bottom half so the four most significant gems can appear without their jackets for a simpler look.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications