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INSTORE’s editors share their top picks from America’s coolest jewelers entries.

YOU’LL HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER MONTH to find out just which stores are the coolest of them all. Our panel of retail-expert judges has cast its votes, and the top five Big Cool and Small Cool stores will be revealed in our August issue. But in the meantime, we thought you might like to see a sampling of some of the best of the 115 entries we received in the 2011 America’s Coolest Jewelers Contest. These are the stores that received the highest votes in their categories from INSTORE’s editors in the preliminary judging.

1 Max’s, St. Louis Park, MN
2 John Paul Designs, Bend, OR
THE EDITORS SAY: The use of vintage cases and found objects as displays really shows how a store can be unique on the cheap.

3 Mahlia Collection, Tucson, AZ
4 Kas A Designs, Jefferson City, MO
5 Canadian Jewelry Exchange, Kelowna, BC

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1 Mahlia Collection, Tucson, AZ
2 Kas A Designs, Jefferson City, MO
3 Rodriguez’s House of Stones, New Philadelphia, OH
4 John Paul Designs, Bend, OR
5 Snyder Jewelers, Weymouth, MA
THE EDITORS SAY: We liked how Snyder preserved the facade of the retired firehouse while introducing an upscale feel with a neat lawn and granite stonework.
 

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1 John Paul Designs, Bend OR
2 Max’s, St. Louis Park, MN
3 Mahlia Collection, Tucson, AZ
4 Kas A Designs, Jefferson City, MO

5 Charlotte, Santa Fe, NM
THE EDITORS SAY: Charlotte just gets the idea of consistent branding, simplicity and showing off its products.

1 Mahlia Collection, Tucson, AZ
2 John Paul Designs, Bend, OR
3 Max’s, St. Louis Park, MN
4 Chardé, Houston, TX
THE EDITORS SAY: Chardé’s website has a richness of texture and color that matches the designer jewelry the store sells.

5 Koehn & Koehn Jewelers, West Bend, WI

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1 Aires Jewelers, Morris Plains, NJ
THE EDITORS SAY: Aires’ interior design exudes luxury without being

stuffy. It provides the ultimate stage for its products.
2 Samuel Gordon Jewelers, Oklahoma City, OK
3 Tiny Jewel Box, Washington, DC
4 Betteridge, Vail, CO
5 Fragments, New York, NY

 

1 Tiny Jewel Box, Washington, DC
2 Levinson Jewelers, Fort Lauderdale, FL
3 Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers, San Diego, CA
4 Gould ’s Diamo nds & Jewelry, Anoka, MN
THE EDITORS SAY: A brick and red sandstone building whose design was based on a train depot in Duluth, MN, evokes the 19th century but is less than a decade old. An impressive landmark!

5 Samuel Gordon Jewelers, Oklahoma City, OK

1 Smyth Jewelers, Annapolis, MD
2 Samuel Gordon Jewelers, Oklahoma City, OK
3 Betteridge, Vail, CO
4 Tapp er’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, Troy, MI
5 The Laughi ng Dog Gallery, Vero Beach, FL
THE EDITORS SAY: Talk about branding! Love or hate the Checker-cab look, no one’s going to forget an ad, card or bag came from this store.

1 Betteridge, Vail, CO
2 Fragments, New York, NY
THE EDITORS SAY: Fragments’ website is one of the most polished independent jeweler’s sites we’ve seen. It lets the jewelry speak for itself, and more important, it’s incredibly easy to find the jewelry and all essential information to get the customer in the door.

3 Samuel Gordon Jewelers, Oklahoma City, OK
4 The Laughing Dog Gallery, Vero Beach, FL
5 Canadian Jewelry Exchange, Kelowna, BC

[span class=note]This story is from the July 2011 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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