Helzberg Diamonds

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Buying jewelry—especially diamonds—is often a celebration of life, love, and the happiest moments. Helzberg Diamonds understands that and is dedicated to providing its customers with the highest-quality jewelry and the best customer experience for the most important moments.

Helzberg Diamonds is a nationally-recognized chain which got its start selling diamond rings in Kansas City. The company is known for its signature red “I am Loved” buttons that allow that everyone, no matter how rich or poor, to let their loved ones know they care. The buttons are available for free in every Helzberg Diamond store.

Helzberg Diamonds has an extensive inventory of jewelry available including engagement rings, wedding bands, gemstone jewelry, watches, necklaces, earrings, and more. It also has some jewelry with is customizable so that clients can choose the perfect metal and stone. The company has a website with its extensive offerings, and also has more than 200 stores across the nation.

Brief History

Helzberg Diamonds was founded in Kansas City in 1915 by Morris Helzberg, a Russian immigrant. A few years after the store opened, Morris had a stroke and the management of the business fell to his 14-year-old son, Barnett Helzberg. Barnett, however, found that he loved the store and quickly began plans for expansion of the business.

Under Barnett’s leadership, Helzberg Diamonds grew impressively. Through the 1920s, the business ran numerous advertising campaigns offering things like free airplane rides to valuable customers and payment plans so less wealthy customers could purchase jewelry. Helzberg rode the success through the Great Depression without much difficulty and by 1940 was the largest jewelry business in the Midwest.

In 1967, the company launched its most successful campaign with the debut of the “I Am Loved” buttons. The popularity of the buttons catapulted the company into the national spotlight. Then in the 1970s, it debuted the open-design store layout that is now popular with mall jewelry stores, allowing customers to browse the cases as they walk by.

Helzberg remained a family-run and operated business until 1988 when the first CEO was hired from outside the family. The company continued to grow under the new CEO’s leadership and was eventually sold to Berkshire Hathaway in 1995 after a brief debate about taking the company public.

Since joining the Berkshire Hathaway, Helzberg Diamonds has continued to open around 20 stores a year and by 1996, averaged around $2 million a year in sales at each of the more than 100 stores. In 1999, the company launched its online store and as of 2001 was one of the largest jewelers in the nation.

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