Helzberg Diamonds is into hard rocks. The company sells a wide selection of diamonds and precious gems -- mostly set into rings, but also set into other jewelry; Helzberg Diamond Shops also sells men's and women's watches. One of the largest jewelry chains in the US, the company operates more than 230 stores nationwide. The mall-based chain also sells jewelry online. Helzberg Diamonds was founded in 1915 by Morris Helzberg and remained in his family until 1995, when it was acquired by investment guru Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (owner of jewelry chains Ben Bridge Jeweler and Borsheim's). Helzberg Diamonds offers a 60-day return or exchange option and free jewelry repairs for 12 months after purchase.
While Berkshire Hathaway doesn't breakout results for Helzberg Diamond Shops, the chain rang up $574 million in sales in 2011, a 9% increase vs. 2010, despite a small dip in its store count. Helzberg and rivals, including Signet Jewelers and Zales, are benefitting from the rebound in jewelry sales following their steep decline during the financial crisis.
Leading Helzberg Diamonds is CEO Beryl Raff. Raff joined the jewelry chain from department store operator J.C. Penney, where she was the top jewelry executive. Prior to joining Penney, Raff was chairman and CEO of Zale. Since joining Helzberg, she has shaken up the merchandising department, resulting in the departure of some longtime senior executives. She has also forged a partnership with Jewelry.com, a online resource for jewelry information that links shoppers with its jewelry partners. To spur sales the company has revived its "I Am Loved" slogan, a phrase the company has used in its marketing for more than 40 years. – less