Siegel Jewelers was founded in downtown Grand Rapids in 1889 by Joseph Siegel. Joseph came to America in 1881 by himself at the age of 17. With the advent of the railroads, Joseph’s skill as a superior watchmaker became invaluable to passengers needing an accurate time piece to ensure that they did not miss their train. Siegel Jewelers soon added jewelry, diamonds, silver, and eye glasses to their shop and many of Grand Rapids most prominent citizens became loyal customers. Reflective of Joseph’s success was the purchase of a summer home on Lake Michigan which he enjoyed with his wife Ethel and their 3 children.
Shortly after WWI, Joseph's two sons, Norton and Arthur, joined him in business. They also became active in various Grand Rapids service organizations. Siegel Jewelers’ smart business practices enabled the business to survive the depression when most jewelry stores failed. An interesting anecdote is that in 1936 Arthur (who was an officer in the Amateur Boxing Association), went to New York to petition the United States Olympic Committee to boycott the Olympic Games in Nazi Germany.
Miller Siegel, Norton’s son, joined his father, uncle, and grandfather in the business after WWII. Miller came to Siegel Jewelers with a business degree from the University of Michigan and the newly titled gemologist degree.
Siegel Jewelers took note of the growing national trend of suburban shopping and opened a second store. Along with other local merchants, Siegel Jewelers opened at the new Woodland Mall Shopping Center in 1968. The decision turned out to be the right one. Explosive growth and expanded space at Siegel’s center court location propelled the store to dominance in the Grand Rapids market to become one of the largest independent mall jewelry stores in the nation. Leslie Siegel, Miller’s wife, managed the silver, crystal, china and gift departments that were a part of the nation’s premier jewelry stores in every community.
By the turn of the 21st century, the landscape for jewelry stores and retail stores of all kinds had changed. No longer were strong local merchants part of the collection. No longer were strong local merchants part of the collection of stores inside malls. Big Box and strong local stores started to dominate retail in shopping districts in the suburbs.
Jim and Joel Siegel, the sons of Miller and Leslie Siegel, moved the large Woodland mall store to 2845 Lake Eastbrook in Grand Rapids, the current location. From the new location, Siegel jewelers is building the very best jewelry store for the customers of the twenty-first century. In a time where the average jewelry store send out their repair and custom design work Siegel Jewelers has a full time watch maker and two full time bench jewelers. At a time when average jewelry stores have sales clerks Siegel Jewelers has trained and credentialed gemologist who can authenticate and appraise all types of jewelry and gems. And at a time when the average jewelry store buys old jewelry to melt down Siegel’s buys and then sells older jewelry in their Estate Jewelry department which is unmatched in size and selection. As it has for over 125 years Siegel’s goal is to have a jewelry store that brings to the community the very best of what jewelry stores can offer their customers. Never just average.
Siegel Jewelers has been recognized as West Michigan’s premier jeweler ever since Joseph Siegel brought his skills as a superior watchmaker to Grand Rapids, and ensured customers met their trains on time. His son, Arthur became an optometrist, providing eyeglasses and vision services to the community in addition to watch repair. Joseph’s grandson Miller, added accounting and business acumen to Siegel Jewelers, with a business degree from the University of Michigan, in addition to being one of the earliest recipients of the gemologist degree. His wife, Leslie, enlarged the gift ware department to provide the finest china, crystal, silver, and unique gift selections in the area. Their sons, Jim and Joel, have continued in the Siegel tradition by adapting to meet the needs of customers and to and surpass their expectations. Siegel Jeweler’s vibrant staff, proud history, and deserved reputation for integrity and reliability, ensures that the Siegel Jewelers will continue to offer superior customer service for many years to come.
Siegel Jewelers is a unique 21st century store. At a time when most jewelers send their customer's jewelry out to be repaired, Siegel Jewelers oversees every customer repair by employing a full time watchmaker and two full time “bench jewelers.” At a time when many jewelry stores hire sales clerks, Siegel Jewelers hires staff trained in the industry and even has a credentialed gemologists who appraise and authenticate gems on-premise. Siegel Jewelers has one of the largest and finest selections of Estate Jewelry in the midwest. We buy and sell dozens of pieces each week, boasting 15+ cases of jewelry professionally restored by our own jewelers.
130 years of Siegel Jewelers
Siegel Jewelers founded by Joseph Siegel in the Sweets Hotel at 43 Lyon
Siegel Jewelers moves to 12 Canal St. Joseph & Ethel are listed as Jewelers
Siegel Jewelers moves to 17 Canal St. as Joseph Siegel Jeweler (this location is later named 17 Canal St)
The store moves to 207 Monroe Ave then 82 Monroe a year later now with a sign that reads Joseph Siegel Jewelers - Jewelers and Diamond Merchants
2nd Generation Norton & Arthur Siegel take over the store
Relocates to 124 Monroe
Relocates to 134 Monroe
Relocates to 55 Monroe
Great Depression-- Siegel Jewelers survives when many jewelry stores do not
3rd Generation Miller Siegel takes over management
A young Gerald R. Ford buys engagement ring from Siegel Jewelers
New flagship store opens at the the all new Woodland Mall. Siegel’s is the first Leesee
Move or remodel: Stores located in Woodland were set with the challenge of moving or remodeling every 10 years. Siegel accepted the remodel challenge and contentiously updated the 5,200 sq feet store until 1998
4th generation Jim & Joel Siegel take over store management
Consolidate to one store at 2845 Lake Eastbrook Blvd
Jaron Siegel officially joins the store as the 6th generation
Shiah Siegel (6th generation), age 17, starts as a part time employee
Siegel’s Celebrates 130 years in business