Virginia Jeweler AmRhein’s Celebrates 90th Anniversary

AmRhein’s, located in Roanoke Va., celebrated its 90th anniversary on Nov. 5 by putting something other than champagne on ice.

The store staged a “Diamond in the Ice” event in which 90 preselected contestants had a chance to melt an ice cube in their hands to win a 0.5 ct. diamond with a voucher toward a mounting of the winner’s choice.

According to Rebecca Spaid, who serves as AmRhein’s director of marketing and is married to the store’s general manager Chad Amrhein, water was frozen in three stages in muffin pans, with 89 loose CZs and one loose diamond frozen in the middle. Amrhein, a fourth-generation jeweler, was behind the microscope to tell contestants if they held the diamond.

“Contestants got very crafty, melting the ice with hand warmers, hot water, coffee, and lighters,” Spaid tells JCK. “One ingenious lady was using a blow torch!”

Winner Rosella Hancock and family with Chad Amrhein (right)

The store also honored the milestone by debuting a new website, a new logo, a new storefront and roadside signage, and an exterior facelift at the Roanoke store. “My great-grandfather would be proud that we have not only continued his dream, but expanded upon it, while maintaining the father-and-son jewelry tradition,” said Amrhein in a statement.

The Roanoke store’s new LED board with the new roadside signage

The store was founded in 1921 as FC Amrhein’s, providing jewelry design and repair for the Roanoke Valley. The family also runs a store in Salem, Va., which features only fine jewelry. Both locations sell AmRhein’s Wines and some wine-related merchandise. AmRhein Wine Cellars was added to the company’s offerings in 1999 on Bent Mountain, Va. The winery consists of three vineyards in Franklin, Roanoke, and Botetourt counties, totaling over 40 acres and yielding 20 varieties of grapes. The winery’s portfolio contains more than 15 wines, and has won numerous national and international awards. “The family hopes that Bryce and/or Abby will be fifth generation carrying on the family business tradition,” says Spaid.

The scene outside the Roanoke location during the Nov. 5 anniversary festivities

On Oct. 6, the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce honored AmRhein’s as the recipient of the Small Business Legacy Award. The store has also been selected as the honoree of the March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction, to be held Nov. 15.

“AmRhein’s Day” Proclamation at Roanoke County board of supervisors meeting on Oct. 25
From left to right: Butch Church, Chad Amrhein, Rebecca Spaid, Paula Amrhein, Russ Amrhein, and Charlotte Moore

AmRhein’s will host several anniversary promotions through Spring 2012.