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Richard Krementz Gemstones

 

Celebrating over 140 Years of Brilliant History
Generations of the Krementz Family Make Their Mark

TimelineBuilding.jpg The Krementz factory in Newark, New Jersey, circa 1900, housed the company into the early 90s.

1849
The 10-year-old George Krementz and his family emigrate
to the United States from Germany on what they called "a sailing ship." They eventually settle in New Albany, Indiana in an established German agricultural community.

1850s
George is sent to New York City to apprentice in the jewelry trade.

1866
George establishes Krementz & Co in Newark, NJ with his cousin. They manufacture 14 karat gold jewelry. Later, they open a New York City showroom for buyers.

TimelineButton.jpg 1876
George attends the Philadelphia
Centennial Expo and is inspired by machinery that makes cartridge shells for rifles.
He then designs a machine that makes collar buttons for men's dress shirts out of one
piece of karat gold.

 

1880s
George begins to use 14 karat gold overlay...2 sheets of karat gold sandwiching
a base metal...to make high-quality collar buttons inexpensively. Sales soar.
Collar buttons give rise to an entire collection of men's
dress sets and jewelry.

George's philosophy was to use only the best materials
and craftsmanship in 14 karat and 18 karat gold "to
create jewelry that was worthy of the most exacting of
this country's fine jewelry stores."

1890s
Krementz & Co is among the first businesses to
generate its own electricity with a massive steam
engine that generates power for machinery as well
as heating.

George is awarded a patent for the collar button
design that is ultimately challenged before the United
States Supreme Court. George wins. As a result of the
complexity of the case, the Supreme Court decides never
to hear another patent case ever again.

TimelineOffice.jpg The Krementz staff meets with buyers in the New York showroom on Fifth Avenue, circa 1900.

TimelinePins.jpg Two pins from two eras. The 14 karat gold, Art Nouveau-inspired cherub with a freshwater pearl and platinum Art Deco pin with sapphires and diamonds are now part of the permanent collection of the Newark Museum in NJ.

1898
Richard Krementz, George's son, becomes first in his family to graduate college. After graduating with a degree in engineering from Yale, he begins working at Krementz & Co. quality.

Krementz begins to advertise nationally. No other name is better known to consumers for the finest quality. Quality and Krementz are synonymous.

1900s
Krementz & Co move their showroom from downtown Manhattan to 580 Fifth Avenue. Almost all of the collar buttons used in the world at the turn of the century are
made by Krementz & Co.

TimelineAd2.jpg 1912
Family lore speculates that a
substantial collection of Krementz
men's dress sets, popular among New
York society, sink in the North Atlantic
on board Titanic.

TimelineWorkShop.jpg Scenes from the early Krementz factory.

TimelineDesigns.gif

TimelineLordTaylor.jpg From Newark to the nation. Above: a dedicated Krementz counter at Lord & Taylor's flagship store in New York City. Below: an Art Deco- inspired window of C.D. Peacock in Chicago.

TimelinePeacock202.jpg

1916
Krementz & Co celebrates its 50th anniversary. From a modest beginning, they were said to be the largest fine jewelry manufacturer in the world.

1920
Collar buttons became out of vogue, so Krementz & Co. shifts its concentration to women's 14 karat gold overlay jewelry.

1929
Beginning with the stock market crash and through the depression, overlay jewelry becomes increasingly more important economically for Krementz & Co. The famous "Krementz rose" is made and continues to sell through the turn of the next century.

Timeline1930sModel.jpg 1930s
Krementz & Co. overlay jewelry becomes
international. A Krementz salesman
makes a yearly trip around the world,
boarding a ship in New York harbor and
stopping in exotic locales such as Cuba,
Arabia and India. Trips continue through
the 1950s, eventually on an airplane.

 

 

TimelineModels.jpg Fashion photos for advertising circa 1940s.

TimelineCollarButtonMachine.jpg

1933
After Adolf Hitler takes power, Richard Krementz takes his family, including 6-year-old Richard Krementz Jr., to see Germany and Europe. He had the foresight that "it would never be the same again after this terrible man."

1937
A 10-year-old Richard Krementz Jr. sees the Hindenburg fly over his home in Elizabeth, New Jersey on its fateful voyage to Lakehurst.

1938
Krementz & Co. buys the Jones & Woodland company. It was
from this line of fine gemstone jewelry that the current Richard
Krementz Gemstones collection evolved.

1943
Collar button machinery is used for the war effort to make parts
for radio tubes during World War II.

 

 

1949
After graduating from Yale, Richard Krementz Jr. joins the company. He apprentices in every aspect of the business to learn his family's trade. Soon, however, he discovers his one true passion: colored gems.

1960
All of the gems prior to this year were purchased domestically, but Richard's next move charted the course that made the company what is is today. He travelled to
Idar-Oberstein, Germany on his
first international buying trip,
completely changing the gem
buying part of the business by
exposing Krementz to an entire
world of exquisite colors. The
very first major gem he ever
purchased: a stunning black
opal from Australia.

 

Timeline1950sAd.jpg Krementz jewelry in the 1950s made Hollywood
glamour accessible to the nation.

Timeline1960sAds.gif

 

1966
Richard Krementz Sr., second generation and George's son, pledges to see the company celebrate its 100th anniversary. He attends the centennial celebration. He dies in December of that same year.

TimelineRings.jpg

1970s
Krementz & Co. is one of the first American manufacturers to exhibit at the Basel Jewelry
Fair in Switzerland. They open up offices in Idar-Oberstein, Brussels and Paris.

1980s
Now a major player in the gem market, Richard Krementz Jr. purchases hundreds of gems from a spectacular aquamarine crystal in Brazil. He keeps the finest one for his wife. He joins the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) shortly after it began and is among one of the first members of the International Colored
Gemstone association (ICA).

Richard travels to Saudi Arabia where Krementz collar buttons are still used for
men's traditional dress. He partners with an importer in The Peoples Republic
of China where Krementz retail stores eventually open. Krementz & Co is well
established as a full service jewelry manufacturer, creating everything from $25 to $750,000 retail.

TimelineGemCover.jpg

1990s
Krementz & Company sells its branded overlay jewelry and wedding band divisions
to other manufacturers to streamline its focus.

Richard develops a high-end platinum and 18 karat gold collection that features the

very finest gems from around the world.

2005
Rick Krementz, Richard's son, is named president of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA).

2006
The company celebrates
its 140th birthday.

2007
The collection expands even
further in very fine emeralds,
sapphires, black opals and
the creme de la creme of
all other gems.

The terms "quality" and
"color" remain synonymous
with the Krementz family name
as Richard continues to create
beautiful jewelry.

Timeline_10.jpg

 

 

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