Joseph Blank, a company primarily known for its loose diamonds, is branching out this year in celebration of its 95th anniversary. Its new Bolero collection, featuring a series of what I find to be sweetly delicate-looking, classic engagement rings, and named for the bolero-style detail in its designs, is the first in its bridal line. I had the opportunity to ask current president and CEO Douglas Blank (pictured, right, with director of national sales Jeffrey Crohn) a few questions about this latest venture, which you’ll find pictured below. But first, a bit of history.
The company was started in 1919 by Douglas Blank’s grandfather, Joseph, and in its first 50 years became known as one of the largest colored-gemstone houses in America. It was in the late 1960s that Douglas’ father Martin began to lay the groundwork for what became the American diamond melee business, traveling to India and importing loose diamond melee for the American jewelry manufacturing market.
In 1990, current president and CEO Douglas Blank joined the firm, leaving a successful career in real estate. He was a road warrior, selling loose diamonds and mounted jewelry, beginning the firm’s first venture into finished jewelry.
Douglas Blank: With 2014 being the company’s 95th year in business, I sought to commemorate the honor by launching the exclusive Bolero collection. Its contemporary design focuses on today’s millennial bride. It is of the moment and yet has been refined to withstand the test of time. The engagement rings are available in all metals, with or without center stones, starting at 50-pointers.
JCK: What has been the reaction from retailers on the new bridal line?
Blank: Our long list of retail customers have enthusiastically embraced the new collection. Our emphasis on customer service and attention to detail has served well in loose diamonds, and, I think as a result, we have seen strong customer support for the collection. In addition, we paid careful attention to the retail price points that are successful in today’s market—our prices start at $550.
JCK: Do you see more finished jewelry in your future?
Blank: Yes, we intend on expanding the Bolero collection this spring with earrings and pendants. We’re also developing an organic, natural-diamond jewelry collection from our India factory that will launch this winter. This all complements JB’s core loose diamond business.
Learn more about the new Bolero collection from Joseph Blank on JCK Marketplace by clicking each ring image, and visit JCK Marketplace for more from this collection not pictured here. You can also become an authorized retailer—for more information, email me.