Seng Jewelers

For over a century, Seng Jewelers, located in downtown, Louisville, KY has offered the finest quality jewelry in a warm and friendly setting. They are a full service, manufacturing jeweler that offer custom jewelry designs made from platinum, palladium and gold. Founded in 1889 by the Seng family, the establishment was purchased by Benn B. Davis in 1938, when one day, after working with them for only three years, they asked Benn to buy their store.  

Seng Jewelers, now in its third generation is currently owned by Benn and his son, Lee and grandson, Scott Davis.  Seng Jewelers is one of the oldest jewelry store in operation in Louisville, and as Benn puts it, “we have been in business longer than anyone else living.”

Their store started with optical services, watch repair and jewelry sales. They did eventually drop the optical services and just focused on watch repair, jewelry repair and jewelry sales. Little by little, Benn gained the confidence and trust with his customers and his business grew rapidly. Their services today, include jewelry repair, laser welding, engraving, watch repair, watch service, Rolex service and repair, jewelry appraisals, certified insurance appraiser, gemological services, stone identification, Seng view web cam, live jewelry view, pearl restringing and custom design service. 

They are known for their exclusive designs handmade in 18K gold and platinum. There is a large manufacturing facility on the premises in which jewelry is designed with the needs of the individual customer in mind. They have incorporated into their business, a 3D diamond cutting process.

“Our  diamond cutting equipment really makes our diamonds “pop” and increase its fire which is very important for the look and quality of the diamonds we sell. Our diamonds have much more fire than other diamonds that are in existence today, that we had to give them a special name – The Ultimate, “said Benn. It has also increased their overall profit for their store. “Every diamond we have ever sold has the right cutting. It’s very important to have a diamond that has fire, and our diamonds do,” said Benn.

Seng has met the challenges of today’s jewelry retailer by being dedicated to being creative in their jewelry and making beautiful pieces.  “I bought a large diamond and my employees thought I was crazy spending $350,000 on it.  It was such a wonderful value that I couldn’t pass it up. And I did resell it,” said Benn. To meet their personal goals of providing the best diamonds in the world, Lee and Scott Davis purchased the Eightstar Diamond Company in 2010. As part of the purchase, they received all the patents, technology of the Eightstar Diamond line. “We have the world’s most finest diamond there is and sometimes we have a hard time keeping up the demand for it,” said Benn.

Seng can make anything, any size, any shape. They specialize in ideally proportioned diamonds and beautiful colored gemstones from around the world. Rubies from the Burma and Thailand area; emeralds from Colombia and Zambia; Sapphires from Burma, Sri Lanka, and Kashmir; and other fine gems from East Africa and South America. Seng is also a prominent dealer in period and antique jewelry. In buying estates and antique collections from North America, Europe and Asia, Seng has had some very unusual and rare finds. The company recently purchased one of the most important aquamarine necklaces in existence today.

At Seng Jewelers, they do not have sales or promotions. “We’ve never had a sale in the history of our store. We never cut the price.  We are very proud of our product and that is our salvation in today’s “dog-eat-dog” world. For example, many of the watch companies have now opened their own stores and are competing with us with our watch business, which I see will become even more of the future.  But we meet that challenge by our excellent service and by educating our customer. We rarely have “come backs”, returns or refunds because of our level of service we give to our customers.  We never stoop to the line of changing the price or things like that. We sell on value; that is our testament. Our customer base is built on service and education.

Benn and his son and grandson are very involved in the day to day operations of their store. Benn, at 98 years old, still works six days a week because he truly loves the jewelry business and wants to make sure their tradition of exceptional service continues. 

Benn has excellent advice for jewelry store owners.  “There are two types of stores, one that is knowledgeable in jewelry manufacturing, has extensive knowledge of product quality, are detailed orientated and have a fine finishing department at their store, like we do. Their customers are comfortable with their jewelry purchases because of the exceptional service they receive. The other type of store, does not give much attention to detail and doesn’t service their customers in the way they should be treated. They are just a merchant selling jewelry.  In other words, my best advice is to be a jeweler,” said Benn.

“Jewelry stores don’t make it these days, because they don’t have their own product or don’t make their own jewelry. They just buy jewelry and sell it. They don’t really understand jewelry and don’t know how it’s made or how it should be made. They just outlive their usefulness. We explain and educate our customers so they have confidence in buying from us.  It’s really simple,” said Benn. “The most important thing about the jewelry business is if you are going to be on the store floor with your customers, you must be as detailed as you can be.  You can hire people to do the details, but as an owner, you better stay on the floor with your customers, because if they don’t have you to come back to and someone else waits on them, you may lose your credibility,” said Benn.

Credibility, reputation and excellence in service is the reason Seng Jeweler’s success is unsurpassed.  Benn’s dedication to the jewelry business is a model of perseverance, excellence business practices and embracing new technology.

“I really love this business. I have never given up and we are keeping up with the changing trends of our business. With the new technology we are using, it makes me want to stay in the business even longer,” said Benn.  And we all hope he does for many years to come.

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Author:Jewelry Business Advisor

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