Krementz is a jewelry company that has been prospering for more than one century. Its origins are in Newark, a city known for three things - leather, beer and jewelry. While the number of leather tanneries decreased over time and beer producers vanished, the Krementz & Co. building continued to stand.
Krementz & Co. is among the most well-known names in the jewelry business. As soon as its Chairman, Richard Krementz Jr. took over the third generation of the company, it was a certainty that Krementz would continue to flourish.
The American Success Story
The company’s founder George Krementz was born in Germany and his family emigrated to Albany, New York to live within a community of immigrants. Despite the surroundings and conditions, Krementz had high ambitions and moved to New York City. At that time, the city was a hub for manufacturing jewelry and he became a jeweler’s apprentice.
In 1866, George Krementz launched his own jewelry manufacturing firm along with his cousins. Although this collaboration dissolved, the business that remained grew quickly and Krementz relocated to a larger building.
A ‘Gold Collar Button’ Revolution
It was George Krementz who saw his company’s first great opportunity for growth by producing buttons that gentlemen used to fasten their stiff, detachable collars. It was his collar button design that made Krementz a well-known name in the jewelry industry. The buttons were designed in solid gold and were later constructed of gold overlay to be merchandised in unprecedented volumes.
Krementz promoted growth in other lines of jewelry. Even though the company was doing well with the collar button sales, George knew that there were other profitable avenues to explore. They started designing fashionable, exquisite and trendy jewelry for women using gold, colored stones and enamel.
The Art Deco and Depression era did not bode well for many companies working with gold causing them to go out of business. Krementz directed its attention to gold overlay and electroplated jewelry which allowed the company to grow even stronger. Wedding and engagement rings were introduced later and were well received.