With 120 years of experience, we know a thing or two about diamonds! It was a dream that started in 1896 when Austrian immigrant Joseph Stern opened the doors of his first jewellery store in Johannesburg , South Africa. The success of this store was based on his belief that, with the combination of quality and craftsmanship, one could create the perfect piece of jewellery.
What set Joseph Stern apart from other jewellers was his interest not only in the jewellery he sold, but in the people who wore it. He believed that the beauty of jewellery would be wasted if only available to a select few, and because of this, his wish was to create a range of jewellery that was accessible to everyone.
Known as the “home of flawless diamonds”, Sterns grew significantly and by 1950 it was a household name. When television was launched in 1975, the words ‘Girl in a million’ (the jingle from their now famous T.V. commercial) instantly reminded consumers of Sterns’ emotional Bridal positioning. With very little competition, the world was their oyster.
Nothing remains the same though, and it became increasingly difficult to adapt to the changing market. New attitudes, radical gold and diamond price increases, interest rate hikes and increased competition from new jewellers almost lead to the demise of Sterns. In 1993 the Foschini Group acquired the floundering Sterns brand and began the task of rebuilding the famous brand.
Today the company still holds Joseph Stern’s philosophy very close to its heart. Because even though the range of jewellery may have changed over the last 100 years or so, the dream hasn’t.