Local Jewelry Store Offers up Antique, Vintage Pieces

Jessica Mahlum, photos by Andrea Paulseth

In the hunt for unique vintage and antique items, a jewelry store might not be someone’s first instinct, but some jewelers bring on the used jewelry game. As part of their green practice, Williams Diamonds Center (2823 London Road, No. 4, Eau Claire) buys pre-owned jewelry, focusing its attention on estate purchases. The jewelry is sold as is, reused or upcycled. Only 1-2% of their inventory actually ends up in the trash. 

“My mom was a big recycler long before it was a thing,” Reminisced store owner, Denise Wurtzel. “We aren’t just a throw-away society.” 

Wurtzel worked as a manager at Williams Diamond Center for 12 years before she bought it from the original owners, William and Audrey Mueller, in 1997. Wurtel described her love for the community and how her art background led her to the jewelry business. “I like jewelry, but I love to work with people more,” she said. “I am in love with the people aspect.”

“When something happens or changes in someone’s life and a piece of jewelry has to be sold, the nice thing is to see it move forward. It gets to find new life. The jewelry has been through something … They were loved.” – Teva Dekel, Williams Diamond Center

It’s the people who bring in great stories and beautiful antique jewelry on a regular basis. The store has a lot of variety and has new inventory weekly, sometimes including the rare finds of celebrities’ pre-owned jewelry and jewelry bought in other countries.

“Estate jewelry is its own little world,” explains Teva Dekel. Dekel, designer and diamond expert at the store, shares Wurtzel’s passion for the business’s sustainable practices. He works with used jewelry to create new and custom design pieces, but enjoys the vintage and antique inventory just as much. 

“When something happens or changes in someone’s life and a piece of jewelry has to be sold, the nice thing is to see it move forward. It gets to find new life,” Dekel said. “The jewelry has been through something. … They were loved.”

He continued to explain how pieces of jewelry tell stories and are tied to different emotions. Dekel enjoys identifying what era a diamond or stone was first sold in based on the cut, and sharing that knowledge with customers.

Williams Diamond Center buys and sells platinum, silver, bluestone, diamonds, sterling, and more and is the only local jewelry store that purchases used costume jewelry. Budget-conscience buyers can find a unique and fun piece without spending a lot of money.

Because the store itself doesn’t use every piece, Williams Diamond Center works with local artists, selling jewelry parts that get used in art pieces. Denise donates 200-400 pieces of jewelry per year to Once Upon a Prom, an organization that works to allow less fortunate students to experience prom like any other. She also donates watches to the local Boys and Girls Club so that the children have gifts for their loved ones during the holidays.

Williams Diamond Center will continue to stay green with its vintage and antique sales. “There is good karma in this type of sales.” Dekel said.

More information about Williams Diamond Center’s estate inventory can be found online at williamsdiamond.com.  

Vintage Wares is sponsored by:

Hope Gospel Mission Bargain Center
2511 Moholt Drive
(off Clairemont Ave, West Side)
Eau Claire

Vintage Wares is sponsored by:

Hope Gospel Mission Bargain Center
2511 Moholt Drive
(off Clairemont Ave, West Side)
Eau Claire