Meet the Bonifas Men Behind Fourtané Jewelers

These California guys know the value of hard work and extremely rare estate jewelry John Bonifas’ first retail job, at age 15, was sweeping floors and emptying ashtrays at a jewelry store in Toledo, Ohio. “At that time, every employee and customer smoked,” he recalls. “You wouldn’t believe how fast the ashtrays got filled.” Twenty years later, Bonifas and his wife, Sandy, sold a series of jewelry kiosks they operated in Ohio and bought Fourtané Jewelers, an existing jewelry outpost in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., to indulge their passion for buying and selling estate jewelry. John has been the store’s chief buyer since its debut, and Sandy has always kept the books. But the endeavor became a ­second-generation business in 1998, when their son Joshua joined the firm as its resident vintage watch expert. And in 2009, their younger son, ­Kristofer, came on as the technology

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