Set in Stone

Looking for a one-of-a-kind pendant or bracelet? A pocket knife with a woolly mammoth tusk handle? Or just a fabulous engagement ring? Jacqueline’s Fine Jewelry’s got you covered.

Working away in a room at Jacqueline’s Fine Jewelry, designer Katherine Spencer shows off one of the latest—and perhaps more unexpected— items she has been creating lately: a sterling silver alligator that was commissioned by a customer to be fastened at end of his fishing rod. “I carved it in wax,” she says. “And then I sent it to be cast in sterling silver. I have to make a loop for it. It’s the current custom project I’m working on.”

And that just begins to illustrate the wide variety of items available at Jacqueline’s, located in Suncrest Towne Centre. Many are well aware that Jacqueline’s is the go-to shop in Morgantown for engagement rings, watches, and other pieces of jewelry, and to be sure, cases of sparkling, glistening diamonds greet customers who walk through the door. But they can also work with Spencer, commissioning a one-of-a-kind pendant, bracelet, earrings, silver alligator fishing rod decoration—you name it—from the Rochester Institute of Technology-educated jeweler and metalworker.

Some of her pieces are already on display in the store and many of them showcase her organic and naturalistic design aesthetic, including a copper and rose gold ginkgo leaf briolette necklace with a drop diamond. One unique silver and diamond ring looks more like a bracelet cuff, but for a finger. And she also points out a pendant and ring that match a silver and gold cuff bracelet she recently soldered.

Spencer’s addition to the staff in the past year is one of the newer developments at Jacqueline’s Fine Jewelry. Another, of course, is the name change that took place two years ago in March 2015 when owner Tom Licciardi bought out his partner and changed the name of the business from Joyce’s Jewelry Boutique to one that honors his great-aunt and godmother. Joyce’s opened at Suncrest Towne Centre in 2011.

A native of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Licciardi worked in the wholesale jewelry business in Las Vegas before returning home and helping to open Joyce’s—already established in Uniontown—in Morgantown. “It’s a happy business,” he says. “We get to deal with important parts of people’s lives and make them something special.”

At Jacqueline’s, Licciardi offers many lines of jewelry that are exclusive to the region, if not West Virginia. He has also partnered with a factory in China that makes originally designed, ideally cut diamond jewelry, an arrangement that also cuts out the middleman and allows him to offer better pricing on diamonds that are bought directly from the mines. “The cut is what brings out the sparkle,” he says. Many mass-produced diamonds are not cut with the same precision, he adds. “These are perfectly cut diamonds. You look at it under magnification and you can see.”

Jacqueline’s also specializes in engagement rings. “We truly have something for everyone.” Yellow and rose gold are making a comeback. Jacqueline’s also is the only shop in the state that carries the line by Stephen Webster, both in the high-end 18 karat white gold and rose gold—and sometimes yellow gold—as well as the sterling silver line. “They are still unique designs, but they are more affordable and fun,” Licciardi says. One example is a bib necklace featuring four rows of custom-cut blue cat’s eye stones with matching chandelier earrings.At a trade show, Webster introduced Liccardi to Jacqueline Cullen, who creates standout pieces of jewelry using black Whitby jet gemstones, inlaid with black diamonds and set with 18-karat gold accents. Jacqueline’s Fine Jewelry now carries several of the uniquely shaped and designed pieces, such as a necklace with jet panels hanging from a chain.

Jacqueline’s is also known for its selection of watches, carrying a large array of the widely recognized Breitling brand, as well as others, including the feminine Michele label. The shop stocks a lot of other non-jewelry gift items as well, notably, a collection of William Henry pocket knives made from unusual materials such as dinosaur bones and woolly mammoth tusks. “They are all limited editions and they are all handmade in Oregon,” Licciardi says.

For dog lovers, a line of jewelry called Dog Fever offers pendants, bracelets, and wraparound rings that feature about 45 different breeds in sterling silver, painted enamel, or 18-karat gold. “It’s a really fun new thing,” Licciardi adds.

And customers can order china and silver patterns from the collection of Michael Aram, which also includes a variety of other items, from housewares such as a silver teapot set, cheese platters, and trays to a large sculpture of a dandelion. “They make fabulous wedding gifts and housewarming gifts.”

Jacqueline's Fine Jewelry, 1070 Suncrest Towne Centre, 304-599-6981, jacquelinesfinejewelry.com 

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