Nigrelli’s was founded in 1947 by Joseph Nigrelli Sr., fresh out of his service in the Air Force. Originally operating out of his mother’s home on Granite Street, Joe moved the business downtown but it stayed under the watchful eye of Theresa, who never missed a day at the shop. More than seven decades later, Joe follows in his mother’s footsteps by continuing to work at the shop every day, even at the age of 95 years young.
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Joe’s son Billy attended Bulova Watchmaking School in New York and joined his father after college and now runs the store, and Billy’s own son Connor is continuing the tradition and joining the business as well, having just graduated from jewelry school himself.
Tracie Gunning has worked as Nigrelli’s Director of Marketing for the last four years, and can personally attest to the familial nature of the business. “I came from a retail background, but I fell in love with this shop in particular because of the people – the owners and the customers,” she shared. “Everyone’s just so friendly, it really feels more like being part of the family.”
While it’s tempting to shop online or check out Big Box stores at the mall, Tracie believes that shopping small is well worth your time when it comes to important, investment purchases like diamonds and other jewelry.
“Our passion and our customer service really sets us apart. When you come in, you’re family, because we know that you’re trusting us to take care of your jewels, your family heirlooms,” Tracie explained.
Billy takes the time to clean and prepare each jewel and stands behind his work for life.
“If you buy a diamond from a big box store and it falls out, they won’t be held responsible and they won’t do anything for you, but when you buy from Nigrelli’s, we’ll take care of you. We want to make sure that every single person that steps into the shop leaves with something good, and with a good feeling in their heart. It’s not just a sale, it’s a relationship.”
Diamonds are forever, indeed.
“People come in with their shopping lists and can get all of their gifts taken care of at once, and at a discount,” Tracie shared.
Between watches, bracelets, rings, and earrings in a variety of silver, gold, diamond, and other jewels, there’s something for everyone on your list.
Nigrelli’s also stays busy year-round and Tracie sees no signs of the shop or the industry slowing down, despite the popular headlines that cycle through social media sites blaming millennials for “ruining” diamonds.
“There’s always going to be a need. Watch repairs are a huge part of our business, and people come in for those every single day. People are going to keep getting married and also keep bringing in the jewels of their loved ones to have them cleaned or re-purposed into another piece of jewelry that’s more their style,” she explained, which is an uncommon but beautiful service Nigrelli’s offers.
The shop has also recently been selected as an Elite Dealership for Citizen Watches and their new line dedicated to and inspired by first responders – The Thin Blue Line for police, and the Thin Red Line for firefighters. Nigrelli’s is the only location in Rhode Island that will be carrying this special selection of watches, and they’ll be offering badge number engraving as well, making them the perfect gifts for your loved ones on the front lines.
No matter who’s on your list for gifts this season and beyond, a trip to Nigrelli’s is always the right choice – they’ll help you choose the perfect piece to commemorate your special moments and loved ones in beauty and style.