By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

The Goldsmith Jewelers Inc.

The most common question I get from customers and friends is “How did you get into the jewelry business?”

How it all started: By David Mell

At 19 and freshly graduated from Henderson High school in 1974. I thought I knew it all, as most teens.

Leaning on my “vast world experiences and knowledge,” knowing that working to improve my 1962 Chevy Bel-Air was my favorite pass time, I decided that becoming an auto mechanic was the best path for me. Two years at DeKalb Jr. College, resulted in an Automotive Associate in Science Degree and an engagement ring on my favorite girls left hand ring finger.  The ring by the way came from Rich’s Department Store because their diamonds sparkled the most when compared to the ones at Service Merchandise. You see, I had no idea there was such as a “jewelry expert” or an “Independent Jewelry Store.”

Ann and I were wed on April 2nd 1976, forty years this coming April.  About a year later I decided that being greasy up to your elbows in the hot Georgia summers and cold in the winter when those garage doors open up was not as much fun as trying to improve the performance of my old ‘62 Chevy.  With my Dad’s recommendation I landed an apprentice job with US Dental services as a dental  technician in their GOLD crown and bridge department. Funny how GOD works some times.  This was my exposure to crafting gold which I enjoyed and found interesting that some of the guys there made jewelry as a hobby. Melting gold then casting and polishing teeth is very similar to doing the same with jewelry.  I worked my way up to being in charge of the casting department. 

Then one weekend, since I still loved working on cars, I went to a car show, where I ran into a good friend, from our church youth group during our high school days. He was there with his boss who ran a jewelry repair shop about four blocks from where I was working as a dental tech. Funny how GOD works sometimes.  The boss wanted to set up a casting room so they could do custom work as well as repairs. I started working there part time, eventually leaving the dental tech job to go full time in the jewelry business. In late 1980 I was working in the jewelry repair and custom design shop in Decatur Georgia. 

When the opportunity arose to open a SMALL (200 square feet) jewelry shop in the Mayflower building on Clayton street in Lawrenceville, my wife Ann and I decided to sell my extra car to raise the cash needed to get started. There we were with a 100 sq ft show room and 100 sq foot shop, no inventory and, shortly after we opened, our first daughter on the way. (I never would have taken the chance of opening a new business had I known Ann was pregnant.) Funny how GOD works some times. 

Ann and I in mine190Left: David and Ann Mell in the Kimberley Diamond mine in South Africa. Nicknamed the ‘Big Hole’, it was excavated by hand  beginning in 1871 and was  considered the world’s richest mine for over a century.

I had a background in auto repair so to make ends meet until the jewelry shop got running I would buy an old car, fix it up and then sell it to help pay the bills. We were there, across from where the City Hall is now, for seven years.

We moved to the newest retail location in Lawrenceville in 1987 being the first to sign a lease in the Township Village shopping center at the intersection of Hwy 120 and Hurricane Shoals. The store grew, adding staff, as we continued to offer quality repairs and custom design as well as a growing selection of diamonds and fine jewelry. In March of 1994, I completed my studies to become a Graduate Gemologist with The Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Now I knew the real meaning of what it takes to become a jewelry professional. We were there for fifteen and a half years.

Our last move was in 2002 to the Goldsmith Jewelers building at 430 West Pike Street (Hwy 120).

Where we are now being eternally thankful for the community support these past thirty five years.

During this time I was a member of the Lawrenceville Rotary, Deacon at Lilburn Alliance Church and a strong supporter of the Gwinnett chapter of the American Cancer Society. We took many diamond buying trips to Antwerp, Belgium. We went to the source for fine gold chain and gold jewelry in Italy and researched diamond mining inside the Kimberly Diamond Mine in South Africa. We brought back pearls from Tahiti, New Zealand and the South Seas off the coast of Australia.

God has blessed us greatly and Lawrenceville has supported us, for that we are truly grateful!

It is with sadness and appreciation that we are announcing our retirement. Beginning March 8th we will launch our GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE!!