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The History of Samuelson’s in Baltimore

Sep 27, 2018

Steve and Ron Samuelson in front of the previous storefront in Downtown Baltimore.

At Samuelson’s, our commitment to providing customers with outstanding service and quality is more than a mission statement. It’s a core company tradition dating back to 1922, and it’s a story we love to share.

The history of Samuelson’s is a celebration of the Baltimore community and our Charm City roots, and a testament to what can be accomplished when you treat customers like family.

In celebration of almost 100 years of service, join us as we look back on the early days of our family’s business and reflect on the journey that led us to where we are today.


Samuelson’s: A family tradition for over 90 years

Milton Samuelson founded Samuelson’s Diamonds in 1922

Family businesses aren’t a sure thing. Some last for many decades, while others lose momentum when the second or third generation takes the helm. Samuelson’s is a different story – we’ve remained family-owned and operated since the very beginning.

In 1922, as the famous Royal Theatre (formerly Douglass Theatre) first opened its doors in downtown Baltimore, just down the street at 902 Pennsylvania Avenue, Milton Samuelson decided to start a retail jewelry business.

Milton loved selling jewelry, but he loved his customers more – nothing compared to the experience of helping people find the perfect special piece. In no time at all, Milton had established a reputation in Baltimore built on excellent service and beautiful jewelry. Soon, his business was thriving.


With each generation, the business continued to grow

Steve Samuelson joined the business in 1962

In 1962, Milton’s son, Steve, joined the business. Together, Milton and Steve focused their efforts on expanding their jewelry selection, always keeping quality top of mind; everything the business offered was hand selected for its beauty.

The efforts of father and son paid off, and in 1972 the business grew and purchased 12 buildings along the 400 block of West Baltimore Street– just 3 block north of where Camden Yards sits today. The retail store moved into the corner of Baltimore and Paca Street, renting the other 11 spaces to local and national tenants.


In 1972, Samuelson’s Diamonds moved into the 400 block of West Baltimore Street

1972 was also the year that Steve’s son, Ron was born. Ron grew up surrounded by the family business and developed the same passion for jewelry and the people of Baltimore as his father and grandfather before him. He attended Emory University in Atlanta, spending time studying alongside some of the largest diamond dealers in the south. In 1994, Ron officially became part of the family business.


Samuelson’s enters the 21st century

In 2001, in a city where companies like Under Armour were redefining what it meant to be innovative, Samuelson’s began taking a more forward-thinking approach.

The Samuelson’s website was launched, and a few years later, Ron created the Diamonds Fans Facebook page, which rose to become one of the top jewelry pages on Facebook with over 1.3 million fans.

These efforts, combined with the business’ continued commitment to great service and quality jewelry led Samuelson’s to be featured as the “Best Place to Buy an Engagement Ring by the Baltimore City Paper. In 2008, Ron was even featured in the Wall Street Journal!

The business continued to grow and in 2009, Ron and Steve moved the retail store once again. This time, the business moved a few doors down, making its home at 419 West Baltimore Street.


Moving and growing: the launch of Samuelson’s Buyers

Samuelson’s Buyers officially launched in 2010 with a new location in Chevy Chase, MD

As the prices for precious metals began to climb, the need for a trustworthy and reputable jewelry buyer become more and more apparent. The company responded by creating an active and reliable buying business within the retail store location.

However, as demand in the DMV area continued to grow, the company realized an additional storefront focused on the buying side of the business was necessary. In 2010, Samuelson’s responded to demand by launching Samuelson’s Buyers, and opening a new location in Chevy Chase, MD.

Thanks to the company’s history in the jewelry industry combined with Ron’s passion for and extensive knowledge of diamonds, gold, silver, and estate jewelry, Samuelson’s Buyers was able to offer a buying experience unlike any other in the Baltimore area.

Old and new customers now had a trusted source where they could bring their gold jewelry, silver, diamonds, coins, and other items of value. The team of in-house jewelers and numismatists brought the experience needed to accurately evaluate valuables, answer questions, make a great offer, and pay for the items on the spot.


The Samuelsons cement their reputation as a top jeweler in Maryland

Ron Samuelson has been trained by GIA in diamonds and diamond grading.

Over the last decade, the Samuelson’s businesses have continued to innovate and evolve, receiving numerous awards and recognition – from being named one of the best jewelry stores in Baltimore by CBS Baltimore to receiving the title of “Best Jeweler” from City Paper.

Meanwhile, Ron has been featured in Baltimore Magazine’s 40 under 40, The Baltimore Sun, and has presented at numerous jewelry trade shows and is a trusted source when it comes to diamond market insight.

Throughout many years of expansion and growth, one thing has remained the same: the commitment to making sure customers are happy and 100% confident with their decisions – whether they’re purchasing an engagement ring or selling a family heirloom.


The next chapter of Samuelson’s: Moving to Quarry Lake

Ron, Steve, and family at the ribbon cutting ceremony of Samuelson’s new Quarry Lake location.

With each generation, Samuelson’s has continued to grow. And as we near the milestone of nearly 100 years of service, we’re once again growing.

On September 14, 2018, we moved out of the downtown Baltimore store and into a new location at Quarry Lake. This move to Quarry Lake represents our commitment to providing our clients with a high-end Diamond District experience without the hassle of traveling to the Big Apple.

Our new location combines transparent, educational, and private diamond and estate buying and selling with a individualized approach. All visits are now by appointment only, allowing us to provide a completely personalized and private experience.


Attendees of the Samuelson’s Quarry Lake grand opening event browsing one-of-a-kind diamond jewelry.

We’re proud of our Charm City roots, but it’s our customers who have made this journey a success.

To thank our valued customers and celebrate the move, we held a special grand opening event at our new location — complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony, ‘hors d’oeuvres, champagne, and a chance to tour our new space and browse our expertly-curated collection of high-end diamonds and jewelry.

It was the perfect way to kick off the next chapter of Samuelson’s.


Looking to the future

As we begin the next chapter as Samuelson’s Diamonds & Estate Buyers at our new location at Quarry Lake drive, we want to say thank you for being apart of our story.

Although this move represented a departure from our downtown Baltimore store, we are proud of our history in this community and are committed to its future.

Learn more about our move to Quarry Lake!


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