Reflecting Romance for Generations
Williams Diamond Center combines creativity, tradition to create rings and other jewelry that express couples’ love
When you step into Williams Diamond Center in Eau Claire, don’t expect to be upsold on a ring that’s outside your price range. Don’t expect to find pieces that only conform to what some marketing executive thinks should be “in” this season.
Instead, expect to find a knowledgeable staff that will treat you like family, combining traditional Midwestern honesty and quality with a cutting-edge flair for design that will wow you on your wedding day – and far beyond.
“It’s very special to be part of a moment that they will have forever,” says store manager and jewelry designer Teva Dekel, who helps customers select – and even design – rings, pendants, and other pieces of jewelry that define the happiest events of their lives. “You really do fall in love with the people in front of you. You love their story.”
In his eight years at Williams Diamond Center, Teva has crafted nearly 900 custom jewelry pieces. When asked about his own style and inspirations, he demurs. “I think I’m more inspired by the people who come in, especially when I’m doing custom,” he says. “For me, it’s not always about my own aesthetics. It’s about falling in love with their aesthetics, and how they visualize their dream piece.”
He continues: “You really get to insert yourself in this moment of time for somebody that’s going to be bound to that ring or that pendant forever. So for me, it’s really about falling in love with the journey of my clients.”
Teva’s own journey included eight years working as a fashion designer in New York, Italy, and Israel. When he returned to his home state of Wisconsin, he became interested in studying gemology, and his stepmother suggested he visit Williams Diamond Center, where he met longtime owner Denise Wurtzel. She connected him with some friends in the business, who helped him obtain a scholarship to receive training and certification through the Gemological Institute of America. When they crossed paths again later, Denise remember, “I though to myself, ‘I am a fool not to offer this man a job’ ” – and so she did.
These days, Teva is store manager, and Denise is easing into semiretirement. But her dedication to the business – which she joined in 1985 and purchased in 1997 – remains.
“We try and treat people like our family,” she says. “We actually do care, and I would rather care and lose a sale than just not care and get a sale.”
Consider, for example, her attitude toward expectations of how much customers are “supposed” to spend on engagement or wedding rings. “I always say, you’re supposed to spend what you can afford and works in your lifestyle, and we can find that for you,” Denise explains.
Rather than upselling customers, she adds, Williams tries to find value.
“I think if somebody says, ‘I have X amount of dollars,’ I’m a maximizer, which means I’m going to find you the biggest and the best I can for that price,” Teva says.
Williams Diamond Center has a not-so-secret weapon for buyers on a budget: a large stock of estate jewelry, all of it inspected to ensure quality. Some couples may choose estate pieces – or stones from these pieces – to use on their special day.
“It’s amazing how an estate diamond can really save you some money,” Teva says. Such jewelry isn’t less expensive because it’s of lower quality, but because the costs of mining, cutting, and shipping have already been taken into account.
“We try and treat people like our family. We actually do care, and I would rather care and lose a sale than just not care and get a sale.” –Denise Wurtzel, Williams Diamond Center
When working with a client, Teva gets to know them and asks questions to determine their preferences. Do they like pear, marquis, or round stones? What colors do they love? Is their style traditional or contemporary?
“I have an advantage because I was a fashion designer before, so I really do pay attention to how people present in their clothing,” he says. “I can see the kind of jewelry they’re wearing, the color of gold they’re wearing in their ears, are they wearing diamonds studs, are they having a little classic diamond band on? All these things are like clues.”
With the help of customers’ preferences, an extensive inventory of his own creations, and his computer-aided design skills, Teva creates options for brides- and grooms-to-be in a back-and-forth process. Once designs are finalized, they are crafted by master goldsmiths in Louisiana and throughout the U.S.
“I believe he’s so successful with it because he’s a good listener,” Denise says. “I think that’s important. If you only want to interject what you offer, that’s not helping anybody.”
Williams will even help with a bit of coaching for men who are going to propose. “Some guys need a little bit of help,” Denise says with a laugh.
“ I’ve seen proposals happen in the store,” Teva shares. “At least we try to get it in a box, and say, ‘You take it and give it to her.’ You’ve got to create some romance!”
Williams Diamond Center • buyers and sellers of estate jewelry, coins, and more • (715) 834-9929 • 2823 London Road, No. 4, Eau Claire • williamsdiamond.com
Williams Diamond Center
Location: 2823 London Road, No. 4, Eau Claire