Tuesday- Friday: 10:30 to 6:00, Saturday: 10:30 to 5:30, Sunday: 10:30 to 5:00 (Central Time) 630-357-0660

HOME     SHOP DESIGNERS     APPRAISALS     ABOUT US     CONTACT US

SPECIAL EVENTS     IMAGES OF THE STORE     IN THE NEWS     SPECIALS OF THE MONTH

 

About Us

 Harry W. Yaseen Jewelers was established in 1910.  We specialize in award winning designers who work in mostly 18kt. and platinum and limit their distribution.  We are also known for our expertise in jewelry and watch repair, as well as custom designs.  Whatever your needs, there is something for everyone.  Our family is committed to customer service and satisfaction.

 

 Harry W. Yaseen Jewelers strives to accommodate all jewelry needs:  jewelry repairs, watch repairs (all brands) using  genuine parts, award winning and well made jewelry, unique designs, custom designs, appraisals at a reasonable fee, free jewelry cleaning and polishing, free gemological education, free engraving with purchase, fair retail pricing, watches, children's items, religious items, and gift items such as Lalique crystal, jewelry and watch boxes.  Our goldsmith has been on the bench for over 45 years, and we guarantee complete satisfaction on all repairs and custom work.  People often comment that our store carries very unique pieces, unlike other jewelry stores.  We select our designers based upon the uniqueness of their creations, the craftsmanship embodied within each finished piece and their longevity as award winning designers.  Furthermore, our designers are recognized and valued by the finest independent stores in the United States as well as internationally.  The vast majority of our designers perform all their work in the United States as opposed to saving money by sending their work out to job shops in China.

              

History of the Business

 Four generations of family business is most certainly an odyssey as well as a rarity.  Harry W. Yaseen and his two brothers began their jewelry business in New Mexico in the late 1800’s.  This was most certainly not the easiest of places or times to be in this business.  The boys, as I call them, moved to Amarillo and Dalhart, Texas and then onward to Lexington, Illinois.  At the turn of the century, my great grandfather told the boys that there was a boomtown called Chicago Heights, Illinois.  There was industry and a burgeoning populous with a promising cultural awareness that included an opera house and several theaters.  As the story was passed down to me, he said, “If you can’t make it there, you never will.” The rest became history.   

In December of 1910, Harry W. Yaseen opened a new store under his own name in Chicago Heights, Illinois.  My grandfather was an unusual man who spoke six languages fluently and without an accent.  He had an operatic voice, was a master at promotion and had a keen love of historic pocket watches.  In 1923, he dropped the world’s first shock-resistant watch from an airplane over Chicago Heights City Hall.  After the drop, the watch was presented to the mayor of Chicago Heights, Dan Bergin.  By the 1940’s, Harry had the largest antique watch collection held by any private collector in the United States. 

 My grandfather had two sons:  my uncle, Herbert and my father, Richard.  Both boys loved the arts.  As a young man, Herbert went to California to become a writer.  My father went “on the road” working for a manufacturing jeweler.  Eventually, Herbert came home and went into the family business, and Richard did the same shortly after my grandfather’s passing in 1955.  Both boys loved the business.  They enjoyed people, their community and the art of Fine Jewelry.  Aside from the great depression, life was good.  Oh yes, I forgot.  How did they make it through the depression?  Well my grandmother, Rae, who always worked along side my grandfather was a truly wise business woman.  For example, she bartered jewelry for food and established a credit business for the store.  Times were the worst, but like others, they made it through. 

 By the early 1960’s, manufacturing in Chicago Heights declined, and the race was to the first malls.  It became apparent that as the economics changed and the downtowns all over the United States were being abandoned, a move had to occur.  In 1972 we opened our new store in the Flossmoor Commons located in Flossmoor, Illinois.  Quite a store it was!  The store was designed by Jim Hamilton who was a Broadway lighting designer.  Some of his credits were Two For The Seesaw and the original production of Hair.  Jim had never designed a jewelry store.  The new store was multilevel, and all the walls were padded with a wide-wale tan corduroy.  The store had built-in wall cases, and everything was trimmed in solid brass.  In the front of the store, our watchmaker, Norman Sahs, sat below sidewalk level so people walking by could watch him work on timepieces.  The store was lit by the very first low-voltage track lighting.  All in all, it was indeed avant-garde. 

 In 1979, my father Richard passed away.  I, Larry Yaseen, took over the operation of the business, which meant I was the chief cook and bottle washer.  To that date, my previous background was a BFA, MFA, Fulbright Scholar, 3 years teaching at the University of Texas, Austin and the University of Texas, Richardson and 3 years studying with the Gemological Institute of America.  In 1985, I founded a jewelry manufacturing company called Fait Main and produced one-of-a-kind pieces.  Later, I was the first retailer elected to the board of directors for the Chicago Jewelers Association and was later elected to the board of the Illinois Retailers Association. 

 As with all things, times, people and places change.  Our area started to lose family businesses and manufacturing companies.  By the late 1990’s, I pursued looking for the right place for a new store.  It is impossible to put a fine jewelry store in a mall setting, and I knew well enough that I had to find a prospering area that was much like the setting that my grandfather had found in 1910.  The conclusion was Naperville.  Here we have a setting with everything one could want:  strong community sentiments; a tremendous industrial, service and retail sector; family values that transcend all generations; quality education; excellent transportation; and a progressive “new horizons” approach by city government.  For us, there was only one problem: “location, location, location”. 

 Fortunately, I was befriended by Dwight and Ruth Yackley who called and notified me that 226 S. Washington Street, Naperville was open to lease.  Immediately, Louis Karlis presented me with a lease, and the move was on.  We completely renovated the site from inside to the exterior.   My wife, Jody and I wanted to create an intriguing environment which would have a gallery effect: calm, open, and yet visually stimulating.  I believe that jewelry should be FUN.  Jewelry should move you emotionally, and it should cover items ranging from baby gifts to black-tie.  Jewelry creations are miniature sculptures.  We search out artisans who restrict their production and distribution, and we will continue to make new additions as jewelry creation is an ever evolving process.

 In addition, we perform our own watch and jewelry repairs.   What everyone finds most comforting is the special treatment they receive and the vast experience of our entire staff.  We try to do everything on site from watch and jewelry repair to custom-made designs and appraisals.  In short, we provide full professional service which is always fully insured. 

 Our store is not a SALE store, as we price every item to be more than competitive no matter where you travel.  Our concern is quality and value.  Virtually all our diamonds are GIA or AGS Certified, and we explain every detail on all laboratory reports.  Finally, my wife, Jody and I would like to extend our thanks to all of you who have supported our new store.  Some of you already knew our name, and others had not.  Sometimes it is not enough, but THANK YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOME     SHOP DESIGNERS     APPRAISALS     ABOUT US     CONTACT US

SPECIAL EVENTS     IMAGES OF THE STORE     IN THE NEWS     SPECIALS OF THE MONTH