101 Great Little Shops: Jewelry

A little sparkle for every budget

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen March 16, 2015 Published in the March 2015 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Queen of Heirs

Image: Todd Spoth

The Bead Shop

Since 1970, Houstonians have found themselves seduced by the sheer number of colorful beads on display at this store, hung by the strand from every wall and filling the display counters with canisters organized by color. We’ve spent many, many gray afternoons here, painstakingly picking out beads and stringing together the perfect necklace—often for less than the cost of a movie ticket and popcorn.

Deville Fine Jewelry

In 2008, after more than 20 years with Cartier and Bulgari, Elizabeth Glanville launched this high-end custom jewelry studio, specializing in engagement rings and other jewelry-to-order. We love her dazzling bangles, whose precious stones form sparkling flowers, intricate vines, and other moody—and unexpectedly modern—designs.

I W Marks

Since 1978, this iconic Bellaire store has grown from 500 square feet to over 15,000, passing from one generation to another—some neighborhood families have never bought an engagement ring anywhere else. Under the ownership of Brad Marks, the store has expanded its watch selection and added Judith Leiber purses and high-end costume jewelry from Oscar de la Renta, alongside longstanding luxury lines such as Mikimoto, Stephen Dweck, and Philip Stein.

J. Landa

Jay Landa started out making jewelry with silver from his native Mexico, incorporating crosses, skulls, and other iconography into his work. Now his high-end pieces often feature turquoise, labradorite, and other semi-precious stones, and his store is a major destination for other designers, including Dian Malouf, Uno de 50, and Alexis Bittar. It’s also the only shop in Houston that carries jewelry by La Grange silversmith Richard Schmidt.

Johnny Dang

Could there be a more Houston success story than Dang, a diminutive Vietnamese immigrant who went from repairing watches at the Houston Flea Market to designing blinged-out custom grills (sorry, grillz) for Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and Miley Cyrus? A decade after Nelly and Paul Wall released their ode to Dang’s distinctive mouthpieces, he’s still getting his George Foreman on.

Judith Ann Jewels

Since opening eight years ago, this shop has given a platform to over 30 high-end, independent jewelry lines. It’s the only place in town where you’ll find beautifully expressive lines like Sylva & Cie, Monique Pean, Erica Courtney, and Coomi.

Past Era Antique Jewelry

Raised by London jewelers, Marion Glober has an eye for unique historical jewelry pieces like no one else in Houston. Since moving her shop here from Hawaii over 20 years ago, she’s made it the go-to source for jewels and accessories from the Victorian era to the Art Deco period.

Queen of Heirs

Stop by Robin Lindberg’s cute little Bellaire bungalow and ooh and ahh over a trove of antique sparklers. This is a great place to find vintage engagement rings from the 1880s to the 1950s, as well as statement pearls and delicate drop earrings.

Tenenbaum & Co.

You’d have to go to a lot of estate sales to find the kind of jewelry on display at this showroom for classic designer pieces—a Chanel J12 watch or Bulgari Zero 1 earrings, say—as well as antique treasures from the Edwardian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco periods.

Thomas Markle Jewelers

Markle opened his first jewelry store in Kingwood in 1981, and today he not only has three locations, he’s the largest independent Rolex dealer in Texas. Last year, the store debuted TMJ Couture, its first exclusive collection of statement jewelry.

Zadok Jewelers

With the Zadok family now into its seventh generation of jewelers, there’s no Houston store where tradition plays a bigger role. Its 12,000 square feet boast over 30 of the top brands in the world, including fine jewelry by Chopard, H. Stern, Ippolita, Tacori, and Roberto Coin, and watches from Breitling, Hublot, and Jaeger-LeCoultre.

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