Krementz is a well-known name to anyone with an interest in costume and historical jewelry. Collectors prize Krementz jewelry pieces for their beauty and for the incredible quality the company put into creating costume jewelry that looks authentic. The company has a long history and continues to produce jewelry today.
The Krementz jewelry story began in the 1860’s, when George Krementz founded his company in Newark, New Jersey. Their original intent was to create men’s jewelry, such as collar buttons and cuff links. In 1886, they turned to the use of gold overlay to create their jewelry. They used rolled gold plate to create a high quality jewelry that was, although technically costume jewelry, by no means cheap. According to Krementz jewelry advertisements of the time, they used gold 30 times as thick as that used in the production of most costume jewelry. The intention was to create a high quality line of jewelry to be sold in department stores.
In 1920, as fashions for men began to shift away from the kind of products made by Krementz, the company began production of women’s jewelry. Necklaces, pins and other pieces of women’s jewelry quickly became popular and sold very well. By the 1930’s Krementz jewelry is being sold internationally. A salesman would take a yearly trip to many exotic destinations to sell the jewelry in countries such as India.
Krementz is well known for their pieces created during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras, and there are many fine examples of beautiful jewelry from this time period that are highly valuable to collectors. The fine quality of the pieces means they are durable and many pieces remain in excellent condition.
Krementz continued to produce their gold overlay costume jewelry until 1980, marking nearly 100 years in the business. The company was taken over by Richard Krementz who now produces fine jewelry made of high quality 18k gold and platinum and incorporating such unusual gemstones as tanzanite and tourmaline as well as popular choices like emeralds and sapphires. Although Krementz jewelry has never been entirely inexpensive, at least not for costume jewelry, today the pieces can be valued well into the tens of thousands. Krementz jewelry is now manufactured under the name Krementz Gemstones.
Collecting Krementz Jewelry
Collectors looking to start or add to a collection of Krementz jewelry are often seeking the older pieces, particularly the late Victorian and Art Nouveau/Art Deco pieces. A particular line of Krementz jewelry known as “Diana” is specifically sought after by many collectors of the brand. Featuring heavier gold plating than the standard Krementz jewelry, the Diana line from Krementz is difficult to find today, increasing its value even further to collectors. Another favorite with collectors are the famous Krementz roses, beautiful, delicately formed pieces.
In 2006, Krementz celebrated 140 years in the jewelry business. Although they make very different products now than they did in the beginning, what has not changed is the commitment to high quality, attractive jewelry that people are proud to own and wear. The proof that they have succeeded is in the high collectability of Krementz jewelry.
Interesting Moments in Krementz History
Throughout the history of the company, there have been many moments of interest surrounding the company. In the 1890’s George Krementz went before the Supreme Court in a patent case that he eventually won. As a result of that case, the Supreme Court made the decision that they would no longer hear patent cases. Another interesting note regarding the history of the company is the belief that a large collection of Krementz jewelry was on board the Titanic when it sunk. It is believed to have gone down with the ship and has yet to be located by underwater search teams.
For well over 140 years Krementz jewelry has been prized by those with an eye for quality, and there is no sign that their position will ever change. With both old and new pieces still selling worldwide, the Krementz name is one that will likely be among the top in fine jewelry one day. Krementz jewelry has become a part of American history as well as part of the jewelry collections of American women. It is a name that is likely to stand the test of time, just as its products have done.