Shining On: Hamilton Jewelers

The Siegel family’s jewelry trade mints success by blending heritage with luxury.

Standing proud: At Hamilton Jewelers in Princeton, Hank, left, and Martin Siegel, carry on the family tradition of fine jewelry making.
Photo by Peter Murphy

Hamilton Jewelers is proud of its enduring reputation for well-made, high-end pieces and outstanding customer service. “There are very few luxury brands left in the world that have the heritage,” says president and CEO Hank Siegel.

His grandfather, Irving Siegel, purchased Hamilton Jewelers in 1927, after learning the trade at similar companies in New York and New Jersey. Originally based in Trenton, the company now boasts two New Jersey stores, in Princeton and Red Bank, and two stores in Florida.

Hamilton Jewelers has become a four-generation family tradition. Irving’s son, Martin Siegel, started as a sales associate in 1955; he is now chairman. Hank, Martin’s son, joined the company in 1981. Hank’s two sons, Andrew and Benjamin, have also put in their hours with the firm, but have not decided on their ultimate career plans. “We’ll see what the future brings them,” says Hank.

Hamilton stores carry pieces by in-demand designers like Roberto Coin, but mainly offer the company’s own brand. The firm has a team of designers who create and produce everything from engagement rings to heirloom pieces. They also help clients dream up custom work, and they manage commissioned projects for businesses, clubs and organizations, always staying true to the company’s devotion to quality. “We are committed to preserving and maintaining the heritage jewelry-making techniques that have been part of our history,” says Hank.

The company’s core values drive every business decision. Hamilton Jewelers supports environmentally, socially and ethically sound practices, not only in its own business, but across the trade. “I do a lot of work within my industry and have served in a variety of ways to make sure that business practices, including the mining of minerals, gems and metals, are all done in a responsible way,” says Hank.

Part of the success of Hamilton Jewelers can be traced to employee training. Every new hire goes through an extensive program to learn about the business—from the company’s history to gemology, diamond grading and jewelry design. “I think the role of CEO,” says Hank, “is to help people grow professionally.”

Service to the community is another Hamilton cornerstone. In honor of its 100th anniversary last year, Hank encouraged Hamilton Jewelers’s employees to volunteer with an organization of their choice without sacrificing a day’s pay. “They enjoyed the opportunity to do something to support the communities,” says Hank. The company also has been generous with donations to nonprofits like the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Last year, Hamilton Jewelers gave $32,000 for Hurricane Sandy relief.

“It’s very important to us that we support the immediate communities that have allowed our businesses to grow and prosper,” says Hank. That’s just part of what it means to be a family business.

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