Jack Van Dell’s father, John, an Italian immigrant, learned to fix watches in New York before he opened a jewelry store in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1939.

After a stint in the US Army, Van Dell began working for his father in the family business and realized that the jewelry business was his calling. However, after a lengthy career that spanned decades, Van Dell is closing two of his three jewelry stores in Florida so he can retire. His Wellington store location will remain open. “I’ve worked hard all my life,” said Van Dell, 85. “I just felt the time was right, and I’m leaving the business in skillful hands.”

Retirement Sale Underway — Shoppers looking for great deals on fine jewelry can visit the retirement sale when it opens to the public starting on Thursday, March 21, hosted at all three of Van Dell’s stores: Royal Palm Beach, Loxahatchee Groves and the Courtyard Shops at Wellington. Expect to find one-of-a-kind deals on high-quality and unique jewelry, including engagement rings, wedding bands, anklets, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and pendants.

Expect sale prices to meet a variety of budgets. “We’ll sell jewelry in the $500 range to around $30,000,” Van Dell said.

One reason that Van Dell Jewelers has grown a loyal customer following over the years is its selection of one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. “About half of what we sell is designed and made in the store,” he said. “Every other piece is unique and different.”

Renowned Equestrian Jewelry — Van Dell Jewelers is also known worldwide for its eclectic line of equestrian jewelry. “We make more equestrian jewelry than any other jeweler in the country,” said Van Dell, who has loved horses since his father put him on one at age two.

Examples of the store’s fine equestrian jewelry include horse head and diamond ring earrings, flying mane pendants, mare and foal heart pendants, and polo mallet hoop earrings. Van Dell has also been a fixture in the local equestrian community, which drew him to Florida in the 1980s so he could play polo.

He loved the area so much that he decided to open a store in Wellington. He eventually opened two more stores, in Royal Palm Beach and Loxahatchee Groves, because business was booming.

Serving Generations of Customers — That dedication to exquisite craftsmanship and customer service has been a cornerstone of Van Dell Jewelers’ success.

Van Dell stresses that the key is providing shoppers with exceptional customer service, fair prices and an array of high-quality jewelry. If you’ve shopped at his store before, chances are you’ve spotted Van Dell in a dress shirt and tie, warmly greeting customers.

He described his approach this way: “Be kind to your customers. Make sure they are happy first. Treat them properly.”

In return, Van Dell has forged close friendships with customers over the years. Those customers’ children and grandchildren have also become friends. He has even sold diamond rings to their great-grandchildren. Three generations of the Van Dell family have also worked in the store and served customers.

Van Dell expressed gratitude for the enduring support from the community. He said the business is being consolidated into the Wellington store and will continue to deliver above-and-beyond customer service in the years to come.

But there’s still a chance you might catch Van Dell at the store. “I’m retiring, but that doesn’t mean I won’t visit the store now and then,” he said.

The retirement and consolidation sale for Van Dell Jewelers will continue until all inventory is gone at the three Van Dell Jewelers locations: Royal Palm Beach at 11051 Southern Blvd., Suite B120; Loxahatchee Groves at 15673 Southern Blvd., Suite 111; and the Courtyard Shops at Wellington, 13860 Wellington Trace, Suite 20.

For more information, visit www.vandell.com or call the Wellington location at (561) 753-7937.

By ting