Did you know you can get award-winning earrings made right here in Carlisle at a local jeweler? In this episode of Homemade PA, we’re going to visit Parker Jewelers to learn how they design and create custom jewelry. We’ll meet one of the owners, Katrina Durham, and find out what the company has planned for the Christmas season.
Designing Unique Jewelry
Parker Jewelers is a third-generation family-owned business here in Carlisle. Katrina’s husband’s grandparents, Tom and Connie Parker, started the store—with Tom as a watchmaker and jeweler by trade. Katrina and her husband Josh joined the business about 10 years ago and then bought the store about 4 years ago. They truly love what they do.
They do all of their custom designs right in their stores. One pair of their earrings—priced at $7,000—won a national design contest. Using in-house stones and designed by their talented sketch artist, the earrings are just one example of the many beautiful pieces they create. The process of designing jewelry starts with getting the idea on paper.
For example, creating a ring begins with a sketch. Next, the sketch gets a CAD rendering to get an idea of exactly what the ring will look like. This allows their client to see it, allowing them to make any changes very easily before the piece is made. From start to finish, it usually takes about four weeks to deliver the finished design.
From 3D Printer To Setting The Stones
Once the CAD render is finalized, the second step is 3D printing. The 3D printer prints a wax resin piece that’s exactly what the ring is going to look like. This method allows the client to come in, try the ring on, and see exactly what it’s going to look like on their finger before it’s made. This is where the real magic happens.
Parker Jewelers then takes the 3D print and casts it into metal. The process entails putting the print into the chamber of a casting machine, which heats up to any temperature needed to melt that specific metal. They pull a lever that lets the metal fall into the casting, and once it’s cooled, they’ll clean the casted piece.
The next part of the process includes settling all the stones. They then do a final polish, making everything bright and shiny.
Gifts For The Holidays
With the holidays coming quickly, Parker Jewelers has a variety of options for gifts. They recently got in a bunch of new pieces for Christmas. For moms, their Samuel B collection features two different styles of rings along with earrings, necklaces, and two styles of bracelets. They come in all birthstones and are made with sterling silver, 18-karat yellow gold, genuine stones, and are all handmade in Bali.
For gifts for dad, Parker Jewelers have new a new knife collection from BucknBear Knives. Most of them are made from Damascus steel and crafted right here in Pennsylvania. These unique knives are perfect for people who like to hunt or just carry a knife around. They also come with a leather sheath. Options include folding knives, a straight blade, and a cleaver for the kitchen. They’re also affordable, with the knife starting at about $100.
Another option for dads is their Parker watches, the company’s very own brand of watch. All watches feature a Swiss movement and sapphire crystal, making them a nice, hardy watch for dad to wear every day. They’ll also change the batteries for free for the life of the watch.
A great option for daughters is their classic diamond studs. Parker Jewelers offer a lifetime trade-up program on their studs. If you buy your daughter 1/5 carat for her 13th birthday, you can upgrade those earrings for her 16th birthday and get what you paid for those diamond studs for the next pair.
Getting Your Custom Jewelry
As the holidays are coming quickly and with all the supply chain issues this year, you’ll definitely want to shop local. Parker Jewelers has everything in stock and also offers free gift wrapping. They’ll deliver or ship anything you want—and also offer custom pieces.
To visit Parker Jewelers, you can find them at 300 East Street here in Carlisle, right on the corner of North College. You can also visit their website or check out their social media accounts, where they like to post a lot of their custom designs. They also periodically do live sales on their Facebook account, where you can snag some awesome pieces for less.
With 49 years as a staple in the Carlisle community, Parker Jewelers is definitely worth checking out. If you have any questions about what it’s like to live here in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, feel free to reach out to me and I’d be happy to connect with you. Don’t forget to also subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of Homemade PA, my show that focuses on everything south-central Pennsylvania. Stay tuned to see what I feature next!