Jewel of the Desert

Jeweler Oliver Smith inspects a heart-shaped diamond necklace

NB|AZ helps local jeweler keep shining bright

It took a cross-country trip from Philadelphia to Balboa Island more than 30 years ago to get Oliver Smith to where he is today.

With a degree in economics—and a stint as a craps and roulette dealer in Atlantic City—under his belt, Smith knew a good deal when he saw it. That deal came in the form of an opportunity to start a jewelry business with his sister. She invited him to make the move from the city of brotherly love to the island in Newport Bay, where their business grew and thrived. But the constraints of island life had Smith wanting more, so he took his half of the business and headed for the desert.

“I knew Arizona would be a great market for me,” Smith says. “When I moved here, everyone was new to Scottsdale so they needed new schools, new doctors, a new jeweler. I saw this as a great opportunity to start a new business.”

In 1985, Smith opened his first shop, a 550-square-foot space on Via Linda, where he sold mostly earrings and earring charms. Business grew and, in 1992, he expanded to a 1,500-square-foot location.

Over the next 15 years, the business ebbed and flowed, had its ups and downs. But Smith adapted to the changing market by designing and branding his own line of jewelry.

“Manufacturers started raising prices and I realized I wasn’t going to be anything to anyone but myself,” he says. “That’s when I decided to focus on designing and building my brand. That’s what makes us unique in today’s market.”

In 2007, Smith moved to his current location at Doubletree and Scottsdale Road, where he’s now been for almost 10 years. Today, Oliver Smith Jeweler is known not only for their fine jewelry, commitment to quality craftsmanship and high ethical standards, but also for their exceptional customer service.

“We build strong relationships with our clients through trust and personal service,” Smith says. Wende Tuerk, Vice President at National Bank of Arizona, couldn’t agree more.

“I began working with Oliver almost 10 years ago and it’s been a great relationship since then,” she says. “At National Bank of Arizona, we share a lot of the same philosophy Oliver has. It’s that personal service—that one-on-one—that has kept our banking relationship going strong all these years.”