Raybar Fine Jewelry transitioned to a full-service retail storefront in 2012. Previously, we operated solely as a wholesale jewelry service provider and manufacturer. In other words, we’d be “behind the scenes”, actually repairing and custom designing jewelry for retail establishments. We did this for over 40 years. However, as with most industries, the business has changed over the years – and not for the better. Consolidations and lower profit margins have squeezed most jewelry stores into an unfortunate business model of “just making the sale”. As a result, customer service has suffered, and employee turnover is high as consumers are faced with a steady parade of underpaid and unenthusiastic “sales associates” with little jewelry knowledge.
We want this to change, so we’re part of the paradigm shift back to the days of local, friendly, and reliable service providers. We’ve made the transition by offering our services DIRECTLY to the public. We haven’t looked back since.
Owner | Master Bench Jeweler
Jerry’s career as a master jeweler began one humid morning in the summer of 1974. Picking up the newspaper, Jerry read the headline of a Virginian-Pilot ad: “Retail Store Needs Polisher. No Experience Necessary.” Intrigued, he went to the address listed and discovered a quaint, well-established jewelry store in the heart of Norfolk.
Jerry got the job, and for that first summer, he worked hard. He polished, he cleaned, he did anything the jewelers asked him to. After all, it was some quick money that would get him through, and the work wasn’t too challenging.
As summer turned into fall, though, Jerry couldn’t bring himself to leave. Something intrigued him about the jewelry he was polishing. There was a beauty to the craftsmanship; the way precious metals cradled the gems offered a compelling invitation to the eye.
Jerry knew then that he had found his calling. He sought out the famed Argentinian jeweler Roberto Restucha to learn how he could create such beautiful art himself. During his five-year apprenticeship, Jerry learned everything he could from Roberto, but most importantly, he discovered passion. Passion for the craft. Passion for the people.Passion for creating.
Jerry emerged a freshly minted jeweler, full of ideas and energy and a burning desire to be the best he could be. As an independent contractor, Jerry built up his skills and reputation until he was one of the most sought-after jewelers in the trade. After thirty years of helping others run their businesses, Jerry decided to stake his claim on the jewelry market and create a space where the artisanal form, in its truest essence, could shine.
Co-Owner | Graduate Bench Jeweler
Drew began his jewelry career in his father’s jewelry repair trade shop in 2003. In the beginning, his primary responsibility – like his father before him– was polishing. Although it was a part-time job, he quickly developed an admiration for the skill and exactness required to produce professional quality work.
Over the next several years, while apprenticing under Jerry, Drew decided to forego his music career ambitions, and supplemented his training by enrolling at the much-respected jewelry school, New Approach, under the direction of an industry-renowned jeweler, Blaine Lewis. Drew chose to pursue the Graduate Bench Jeweler diploma, which he successfully attained in the fall of 2006. Through an intensive 12-week course, he was trained by Blaine Lewis and fellow master jeweler and engraver,Jason Marchiafava. From this firm foundation, he’s sustained an insatiable appetite for continuing education in the field.
- 2006 – Graduate Bench Jeweler diploma, NASJ
- 2011 – Advanced Stone Setting certificate, NASJ
- 2012 – Accredited Jewelry Professional diploma, GIA
- 2013 – Diamonds & Diamond Grading certificate, GIA
- 2013 – Combination (Hand Engraving/Stone Setting) Course certificate, GRSTC
- 2014 – Advanced Micro-Pavé certificate, GRSTC