One of the premier spots in all of Minnetonka for antique jewelry would have to be Jewel of Minnetonka, where you’ll also find a jeweler with a specific knack for recreating antique jewelry, Ann Eliason. Not only is she also the shop’s owner, but she helps her customers remake piece of inherited jewelry that aren’t quite their style. Outfitted as one of the premier spots for jewelry appraisal in Minnesota, Eliason also brings this specialty to the table.
“A lot of people come in and have things they inherited from family members that are out of date or don’t fit them,” Eliason said. “They want something modified into something a little more wearable. A lot of people inherit something and put it in a drawer, and never wear it their whole life.” Eliason doesn’t just make her income from jewelry appraisal. Jewelry appraisal only accounts for a portion of her business, and does what she loves by redesigning family heirloom jewelry.
Some of Eliason’s most prominent clients go so far as to learn her travel schedule, so they can see her findings upon return. Her shop and service has become somewhat of a phenomenon to the people of Minnetonka. Eliason designs everything by herself as well as working alongside expert craftspeople to accomplish the physical construction of her pieces. She aims to keep her clientele’s family heirlooms, while creating a piece of jewelry that they can actually wear.
Located on the corner of Minnetonka Boulevard and Country Road 101, the Jewel of Minnetonka is brimming with antique pieces of jewelry that Eliason has managed to purchase from numerous estate sales all across the United States. Since 1987 when she opened her business, and moved it to Minnetonka after hosting her business in St. Paul, and Hopkins.
“I have a wide-ranging clientele looking for specific stuff,” Eliason states. “I hunt hard for special pieces around the country. I also sell to other people in the trade around the country and out of the country.”
The Jewel of Minnetonka not only deals in handcrafted antique family heirloom-styled jewelry. Over the years, through jewelry appraisal, engagement ring and band sales, and more, Eliason has been able to continue focusing on her passion and the heart of her business. “That’s the stuff I know really well and love,” she says,” I have a lot of neat stuff in my collection.”
“When someone comes in, and a mom or grandparent has passed away, they are emotional, and [the often] have something that isn’t wearable. They are scared to bring it somewhere, because a diamond is falling out or loose. Men whose wives have passed away make their daughter a ring. It is my favorite thing to do. It means something to them.”
Eliason boasts her love of antique jewelry from a lifetime of surrounding herself with antiques. Her father, who collected antique cars, helped inspire her love. “I toured all over the country since the time I was born,” Eliason explains. “I used to go into antique shop. I started redesigning jewelry in college as a way to make extra money. When I graduated, I thought I’d get a regular job, and here I am, still doing it.”