Transforming Heirloom Jewelry into Modern Keepsakes
Walk into Marthaler Jewelers, the co-venture of jewelry experts and enthusiasts Andy and Tonya Marthaler, and you’ll instantly feel at home in the refined and elegant showroom. It’s a true testament to the idea that the world of high-end jewelry can be an experience that is both fun and comfortable, without compromising quality or integrity.
Though the showroom collection is extensive, Marthaler Jewelers offers much more than what first meets the eye. The jewelers specialize in custom designs, cleaning and repair and, most uniquely, restoration or reimagining of heirloom pieces. Andy and Tonya began to offer the heirloom service after realizing that so many people have heirlooms or keepsakes tucked away in a box somewhere, precious and sentimental, but no longer worn.
“When we are re-purposing a piece of jewelry, we are essentially creating something that is new and unique to the wearer, something that matches their style, but that also retains the sentimental value of the piece,” Tonya says.
Both Andy and Tonya spend time with the customer as they move through each step of the re-imagination process. It begins with their first meeting, where they hear the story of the piece and share ideas and concepts about how to transform it, followed by the design phase, and finally the actual creation of the piece. They want to make sure the customer is comfortable along the entire transformative path and excited about the outcome.
“It’s important to encourage people through the process and to be able to offer them the reassurance that we will retain as much of the originality as possible,” Andy says. “The customer is trusting us to make something new and beautiful that honors the original, and we respect that and don’t take it lightly.”
One of the special aspects of heirloom jewelry is the element of history that it carries. With each new owner, a piece picks up new energy, and the vibrancy of the past eventually comes alive in the present, embodied in the jewelry and reflected by the wearer.
“I’m always amazed at the stories people tell me,” Tonya says. “This is about so much more than just a ring; there are personal stories and experiences tied up in the jewelry, and it is our responsibility to honor that.”
One special story of such honoring involved a customer who brought in a bag of rings collected over the years. Some had been passed down through the family, others were purchased or given as gifts, but all had sentimental value. When Andy, Tonya and the client began to spread the rings out on a table, they realized they were seeing a bracelet begin to take form. The customer chose the rings she wanted to use in the final piece, and the outcome was a work of art that simultaneously reflected the owner’s style and retained the essence of the original pieces.
It’s this attention to details, to the subtleties of each customer and their special pieces, that sets Marthaler Jewelers apart. For Tonya and Andy, it’s not just about jewelry—it’s about soul.