In one corner of the showroom at Samuelson’s Diamonds stands a display case with some pretty cool family mementos: A diamond cutter, a manual cash register that still works and a matchbook/cigar cutter from the bar that owner Ron Samuelson’s great-grandfather ran decades ago.
The Samuelson family has been linked to retail in this city for generations, a bond as snug as a well-sized engagement ring. The family opened its first jewelry store on Pennsylvania Avenue in 1922. From there, Samuelson’s moved to two more locations before settling this fall into a new storefront at Quarry Lake.
Located on the second floor of an office building, the space is unlike any other jewelry store in the area. The well-stocked showroom is small; the store actually has more square footage devoted to private consultation rooms for clients bringing in estate and family jewelry to sell, one of the biggest features of Samuelson’s business.
The shop is minimalist, admits Samuelson, who runs the business with his father, Steve. But it also follows trends they were seeing. The family owns another jewelry store in Chevy Chase and that one is appointment-only for clients selling jewelry.
“We book a lot of appointments,” Samuelson says, “and we started to see how the one-on-one experience works for us.”
Clients enjoy the privacy and the personal attention. Samuelson’s also holds regular events for insurance companies, financial planners and others to meet and learn from Allie Lopato, the director of estate jewelry.
In a business like his, “you never know what you’re going to be looking at on any given day,” Samuelson says, gesturing to a five-piece Stieff silver coffee set that recently came into the store. And this is why he likes it. “I have the jewelry bug. I love looking at jewelry. I love buying diamonds.”