Did someone say that “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend?” Oh yes, they sure are, and if I ever doubted those words to that song of yesteryear, let all doubt be forever banished from my thoughts!
I recently had the unexpected and surely undeniable pleasure of visiting Abigail’s Jewel Box located in the heart of downtown Putnam CT. The specific location is 76 Main Street and the owners couldn’t have picked a better spot. I was buzzed in by Zee Scott who owns the shop with her brother Jeffrey. Here is a truly friendly and almost magical shop that is as unique and eclectic as its owners. Zee is filled with historical knowledge of period pieces offered, traded, and sold. She is articulate and very well-spoken; knows her vintage, antique, and state-of-the-art jewelry lines; and presents her knowledge in a very down-to-earth fashion. Their shop is very customer friendly, and they look forward to meeting new clientele from the younger jewelry and/or engagement ring buyers to the more sophisticated investor.
Abigail’s has been a downtown Putnam fixture for over five years, but the beginnings of this unique business date back over a hundred years to Zee and Jeffrey’s dear grandfather.
The store’s name derives from a collection of heirloom jewelry (numbered in the thousands) that was to be shared with a granddaughter who never was to be. It is a sweet, sad story about an Italian immigrant, Antonio Tomassi, who came to America seeking his fortune. Mr. Tomassi was a jewelry designer/craftsman who soon married and had a son. His business prospered, and he decided to leave a legacy for a granddaughter, who in his mind would be named Abigail. Realizing that hand-crafted jewelry would one day be overtaken by machine-produced items, he began to stow away lovely Victorian pieces exemplifying the era of his designs.
He continued designing and collecting his Abigail collection for years. Mr. Tomassi’s son, Fortunato, knew of his father’s intent; once the elder passed, the collection remained in its hideaway waiting for Abigail. As fate would have it, Fortunato became a teacher, and although he was always surrounded by children, he never met his true love and remained single. When Fortunato neared his final days, he bequeathed the collection of uncirculated, never-worn jewelry to his closest friend. And from this humble beginning, Abigail’s Jewelry Box was born.
There truly must be lots of Abigails out there who would love a keepsake of the Victorian Era. I know I would….
Upon entering Abigail’s your eyes are immediately drawn to the tastefully arranged jewelry cases that are distinctly lighted against a muted background. Small sparkling lights adorn the back draped wall giving the showroom almost an ethereal feel. You are being charmed into a wonderland of beautiful turquoise, silver, cameos, antique watches, silvered-stranded and most delicate necklaces, onyx, tourmalines, garnets, blue topaz, opals, sapphires, and pearls. Oh, and did I mention diamonds? Their diamond collection of simple to ornate settings is most dazzling. Many of the stones are without settings and can be hand set to your specifications and design. I had the unmistakable joy of trying on one of the most beautiful diamond rings I’ve ever seen. The 1.5 carat diamond with tapered baguettes was a cut and clarity that is rare to find these days, according to Zee. Most chain store varieties are from China, India, and Thailand and are not of the same quality. This most beautiful stone was nearly colorless, most nearly perfect—and it was actually a trade-up. The setting, also stunning, was like none I’d ever seen. And it was so me!
The owners are proud to say that they rarely have pre-made jewelry pieces in stock, and that they’re proud of their custom design skills. They will be happy to design loose stones into settings of their customer’s request. They also buy jewelry, gold, gold and silver coins, and gold watches. Specializing in diamonds, engagement rings and wedding rings, as well as estate and pristine antique jewelry, Abigail's is a full service store offering steaming, cleaning, and restoring of your most delicate pieces. Friendly and accommodating? Yes. No high pressure here, just wonderful people who are glad to see you.
Abigail’s Jewel Box, 76 Main St., Putnam CT 06260 (860) 928-1300. Open Thurs-Sunday from 11am-6pm. www.abigailsjewelbox.com
- Wednesday, 15 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Region