Celebrates 70 Years Of Exquisite Craftsmanship And Expert Customer Service.
By Ashley Breeding
Nestled on El Paseo beside majestic purple mountains, Leeds & Son Fine Jewelers boasts the best the Coachella Valley has to offer in the way of beautiful jewels, elegant timepieces, and top-notch customer service.
In 2017, the family-owned store celebrates its Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of helping the valley community make memories with fine jewelry and precious keepsakes.
Leeds & Son’s history dates to 1947, when Edward and Eleanore Weiner opened their first jewelry store in downtown Indio. “In those days, the small-town jeweler was the heart of the town,” says son Terry Weiner, who joined the family business 40 years ago. “You’d find mostly bridal jewelry and wedding bands back then, as well as popular home items like televisions and stereo systems.” After settling in the Coachella Valley, the Weiners also opened stores in other quaint western towns.
Eleanore, an elegant woman and fashion model with an eye for fine jewels, was the store’s soul. Her husband, a financial guru with a knack for business, made sure to keep their family establishments tied to farming communities, which he said could always be counted on to thrive.
A combination of the couple’s first names, Leeds quickly outshined other jewelers with high quality merchandise and its special bond with customers, whom Terry refers to as “extended family.”
His affinity for jewelry, Terry says, evolved from a time when he began helping his parents at the store. “I finally joined the company in 1976, along with my sister, Riki — and like George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life, I never left.
“First I became enamored with gems and diamonds through my mom. Then, an evolution with watches happened in the 1970s, when many companies were abandoning fine watchmaking — changing from mechanical to quartz movement — and relying on only their name and history to attract customers to their brand. There were only a handful of watchmakers that continued to manufacture mechanical watches. That’s when I became addicted to this business — I understood their philosophy and leadership.”
When his parents retired in the early 1980s, Terry purchased the company. Soon after, he opened stores in Palm Springs and the valley’s posh El Paseo district, and was rejoined by his sister, Riki Stein, and her son, Brett. Although fashion trends have changed, Ed and Eleanor’s legacy of fine customer service and carrying only the most exquisite pieces shines on. In the mid-1980s, Leeds & Son added Rolex and Patek Philippe timepieces to its collection — a presentation that continues to set it apart from all other fine jewelers in the valley.
“OUR LEGACY SETS US APART. MY GRANDPARENTS TAUGHT ME TO TREAT EVERYONE AS IF THEY WERE COMING INTO OUR HOME AND TO OFFER THE HIGHEST QUALITY MERCHANDISE IN EACH PRICE SEGMENT.” — BRETT STEIN
Among its elegant collections, you’ll also discover the finest offerings from Mikimoto, Bayco, Marco Bicego, Baume & Mercier, Como Italia, and other elite brands. Housing a team of skilled staff, Leeds & Son is the only authorized Rolex agent and service center in the desert.
Today, Terry spends most of his time traveling the globe to source pieces for the store — whether it’s to Italy to find precious stones and meet with the finest designers, or to the Far East for exquisite pearls. Riki, Brett, and Brett’s wife, Christine, work with customers to help them celebrate their life milestones.
“I joined Leeds & Son to be a part of my family’s business and to continue the legacy of my grandparents, uncle, and Mom,” says Brett. “I am honored to participate in the milestones of our friends and contribute to our community. Family and friendships are what we are all about.”
Terry adds: “Our customers come to us to help them express love, mark special occasions, and to reward themselves for achievement. Now in our 70th year, we’re approaching our fourth generation of customers. Each generation is different in their taste, but they all have this commonality — they’re looking for quality and a store they can trust.”
When curating the store’s collection, Terry cuts no corners: “Ninety-nine percent of the jewelry is made in Italy, simply because Italians are the best craftsmen,” he says. “Integrity comes first. Our friends and neighbors rely on our knowledge and standards, and so it’s important that we offer only the highest colors, clarities, and quality.” That means you can expect the most flawless of finds when shopping at Leeds & Son.
Terry has only one rule for stylishly sporting jewels: “Choose quality over quantity — other than that, I don’t believe in rules. Jewelry is like art. You can mix metals. You can mix sentimental pieces with statement pieces. Wear whatever brings you pleasure.” Although he does concede that he’s fond of the “stories” that often accompany a fine piece, such as a memory of stopping by a store window on a honeymoon or a romantic evening at a restaurant.
Discover a personalized experience at Leeds & Son, where the staff is eager to help you shop for that perfect piece. For many devoted customers, it’s also like a trip down memory lane: “Although we’ve grown, it’s still very much a family business,” Terry says. “When you walk into our store, you’ll always see a member of the family — just like you did in 1947.”
Leeds & Son Fine Jewelers
73670 El Paseo, Palm Desert 92260
District: Canyon Plaza North: Canyon Plaza North