From Ron Samuelson, CEO, Samuelson’s Diamonds
I was sad to hear of the recent closing of Morstein’s Jewelers on Light Street in Baltimore. One might think that it would make me happy to see the competition go. At first, I may have felt that emotion. But after thinking about it for a while, it dawned on me that Samuelson’s is the ONLY jewelry store left in Downtown Baltimore. In fact, with the exception of Lakein’s Jewelers, who bill themselves to be in Hamilton, Samuelson’s Diamonds is the ONLY jeweler left in all of Baltimore City – and for sure the only diamond dealer in Baltimore. Do a google search and you will see that Maryland’s largest jewelry store chain, Smyth, claims to be Baltimore’s Largest Jewelry Store. They are, in fact, the area’s largest jeweler, but they are in Baltimore COUNTY, not technically Baltimore.
Back in the 1950’s, everyone was downtown. Just two blocks from our current location was Baltimore’s Jewelry District, on Howard Street between Baltimore and Fayette. You could get a watch or jewelry repair at Rabineau or Wagenheim in the Jewelers Building, shop at J Brown, Dahne and Weinstein, Berman’s, Prince Jewelers and so many other private jewelers in the area. Department stores like Hutzler’s, Hamburger’s and Hess were all downtown. My father and his parents used to ride the streetcar downtown to shop. It was like a mini New York. Well, times have changed. ALL of these stores have either gone out of business or left downtown for the suburbs. Now, it’s all malls and strip centers. This was the suburban plight of the last quarter of the 20th century in many American cities.
So it looks like we’re all that’s left. I am proud to say that we have worked really hard to stay downtown since 1922. We have a sizable investment in the 400 block of West Baltimore Street. We are currently remodeling our store. We believe in Baltimore City. My father, Steve Samuelson, is the on the board of the Bromo Arts and Entertainment District and The Downtown Partnership. We are passionate about keeping business in Baltimore City.
As a company, we have grown. We have another location, Samuelson’s Buyers, in Chevy Chase. (right on the Washington DC line) This is in Washington DC’s most exclusive suburb. I have seen where a high end neighborhood can make a difference in your clientele. We see some very important jewelry there and I love going to DC to buy jewelry.
So what keeps our headquarters in Baltimore? Why are we still downtown? It’s an innate feeling that we have as 4th generation Baltimoreans to make this city a better place. That’s why we are BaltimoreDiamonds.com.
We hope YOU will come downtown and support our great city…
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