The King’s Jewelers in Walnut Creek, Calif., Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary

Dave McConnell, the fourth-generation owner of The King’s Jewelers in Walnut Creek, Calif., says his grandfather, Bill McConnell, called the job of jewelry retailer, “the happiest in the world,” explaining, “our clients share their happiest moments and most exciting celebrations with us.” 

And now the family-owned business is inviting its clients to help celebrate a big milestone—the shop’s 100th year in business. 

The company has invited clients and city officials to an in-store party May 7 to celebrate the centennial anniversary and is encouraging attendees to bring and wear pieces designed by three generations of the McConnell family. 

The milestone “is quite an accomplishment,” notes Dave, adding, “we owe a lot of gratitude to so many faithful clients who have trusted us with their jewelry needs and referred us to their family and friends.”

Courtesy the King’s Jewelers

A timeline for the 100-year-old jewelry retailer—from the King’s Jewelers’ website 

The business was founded by Andy Raust in 1915 in an office in the Maxwell Hardware building in Oakland, Calif. There, Raust did engraving for local jewelers in Oakland and San Francisco.

In 1928, Raust hired Bill McConnell, who married Raust’s daughter in 1934. At the end of World War II, McConnell opened his first retail store—in the Syndicate Building at 1440 Broadway in Oakland. In 1965, McConnell and his son, Bill Jr., moved their store, renamed McConnell & Son Jewelers, to 1330 Broadway and began designing jewelry for their own clients.

During the 1970s, the shop was named the official jeweler of the Oakland Athletics, and its clientele was stocked with athletes from the Athletics and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. In 1975, the McConnells opened their second store, returning to the (awesome) moniker, the King’s Jewelers, in Walnut Creek.

When Bill Sr. retired, the family closed the Oakland store. Dave and his sister, Cathy McConnell, began working at the Walnut Creek store in the mid 1980s. In 1989, the King’s Jewelers moved to its current location at 1501A North California Blvd. A few years later, Bill Jr.’s youngest son, Craig, joined the staff, and Bill Jr. retired in 2004. 

Here’s to another 100 years of regal jewels from the retailer!

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JCK Senior Editor

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