Once a hidden gem in Lambertville, fine estate and designer jeweler Oakgem now offers its unique curation of items to the masses. With more than 3,000 pieces, Oakgem is the largest independent retailer of estate jewelry — pieces previously-owned, regardless of age. Oakgem was even one of the first estate jewelry companies to deal online, says store manager Sasha Krivitsky, daughter of Oakgem owner Vadim Krivitsky.
The jeweler buys and sells a wide selection of fine jewelry from renowned brands, including Tiffany & Co., in the form of earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces, cufflinks, pins, brooches and watches. Home décor items, including glass bowls and vases as well as silverware, flatware, goblets and pitchers, many in sterling silver from designer Georg Jensen, also are bought and sold.
While modern and vintage estate jewelry is still Oakgem’s top draw, the retailer has expanded to offer new pieces from recognizable brands that appeal to a wider clientele, says Sasha. Their most popular designers include David Webb, Buccellati, Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, Bulgari and Seaman Schepps.
“Customers will come to us for those brands of designer jewelry. We specialize in pieces from the 1950s and newer and have all their signature collections," she explains.
While the majority of business is conducted online, Sasha says the Lambertville location, where most inventory is held, is open for walk-ins Thursday through Sunday, and by appointment for customers to bring in pieces to sell or browse their selection. A second retail location in Palm Beach, Florida, features a smaller assortment of high-end pieces.
How might one decide whether they're ready to part with a specific piece?
"If you have not worn a piece of your jewelry in three years or more, it is most likely time to look into selling,” Vadim recommends.
Sasha, who, since 2013, has handled everything at Oakgem from inventory and cataloging to representing new jewelry designers — her current role — especially enjoys connecting with customers, a perk of doing business this time of year. “Working with our retail clients is very rewarding,” she says. “Now that we have customers coming into the store, it’s great to meet them in person.”
The holiday season is in full swing, says Sasha, with sales expected to stay steady through February, thanks to Valentine’s Day.
Around the holidays, customers tend to purchase items they’ve eyed for a while. Popular holiday gifts include earrings, cufflinks and diamond-heavy pieces. “We have so many choices,” she says.
With the holidays being a time for celebration, engagement and wedding rings are popular this time of year, too. Oakgem offers custom bridal, allowing customers to design a ring based on their style, cut, color and clarity preferences and budget. From there, the jeweler sources the diamond and designs the setting. Altogether, the process takes approximately six to eight weeks.
“What’s nice about the custom bridal process,” Sasha explains, “is you don’t have to be limited to what a store has in their case. Whatever somebody would like can be made for them with any customization.” She adds, in terms of quality and selection, “sourcing a diamond from scratch is a much better process than getting what a store has in stock.”
In fact, Oakgem’s customization and truly unique pieces have contributed to the jeweler's three decades of success. “We have the most competitive pricing and unique curation of pieces,” Sasha says, “in addition to special one-of-a-kind pieces you can’t find anywhere else.”
39 Bridge St., Lambertville
"Around the holidays, customers tend to purchase items they’ve eyed for a while. Popular holiday gifts include earrings, cufflinks and diamond-heavy pieces. We have so many choices,” assures Sasha Krivitsky, Oakgem store manager.