Ludis Brensinger says the case of estate jewelry at Forest Jewelers in Princeton is full of stories.
Brensinger, the store’s assistant manager, selects a business card holder, made of 18-karat gold. She opens it to reveal the engraved name of a previous owner.
Brensinger said that the store carries pieces for sale ranging from antique estate jewelry, to trendy modern lines, such as Angelique de Paris. Bridal pieces from the Martin Flyer line are also popular, she said.
Mitchell Forest, the store’s owner, said his staff looks for pieces at trade shows and in magazines.
“We have a lot of unique pieces in the showcases,” Forest said.
Forest Jewelers opened in 1982. It was originally located at a different spot on Nassau Street, before moving to 104 Nassau St. around 1992.
Prior to opening the store, Forest studied gemology at the Gemological Institute of America in Manhattan. He has managed a jewelry store in Queens, and also worked in Manhattan, manufacturing fine jewelry for designers.
Forest Jewelers has two bench jewelers, who manufacture many of the pieces found in the showcases, Forest said.
A bench jeweler can create a finished product from raw metal or build a model for a piece of jewelry using wax, Forest said. He said that knowledge of jewelry design and repair also helps the staff select pieces for the store, because they can tell when jewelry is well made.
Forest said his experience in New York allowed him to build relationships with other industry professionals. He turns to them when he needs an outside resource for things such as craftsmanship, he said.
Forest Jewelers also does a lot of custom designs. Forest said that customers can arrive with a photograph, or simply an idea of a design they like, and the store can work with them to manufacture it.
“They can tell us a dream design that they have, and we can produce it for them,” he said.
Forest Jewelers can supply unusual gemstones, such as bright orange sapphires or alexandrite, a stone that changes colors, he said. The store can also use those stones to manufacture pieces.
Forest Jewelers offers jewelry repairs on the premises. Appraisals by a graduate gemologist are also available. The store can also arrange for engraving and watch repairs.
“We’ve always been very service oriented,” Forest said.
Forest said he has enjoyed working with generations of customers, and building a sense of trust in the community. That trust is very important when working with jewelry that people treasure, he said.
Forest Jewelers is located at 104 Nassau St. in Princeton. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. More information is available by phone at (609) 924–1363 or online at forestjewelers.com.