A Tradition Enduring
Dedicated to offering excellence in value, merchandise, custom design and repair, Armel Jewelers has stood the test of time, continuing to uphold a high ethical standard in jewelry and customer advocacy. CEO, Certified Gemologist Appraiser and second-generation jeweler, Michael Melnick carries on the family legacy. The company has celebrated two major milestones 80 years since the inception and 50 years serving Sarasota county. Armel Jewelers has partnered with various organizations over the years including The Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County, The Salvation Army Pantry, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and NPR
Our Signature Collection
Proudly Made in the U.S.A
Using only the best quality materials in diamond and colored stones set in platinum and nickel-free 18 karat gold
Armel’s story began in 1937 when Michael’s parents, Solomon “Sid” and Arlene Melnick opened the family’s first jewelry store in Staten Island, New York. Although the name ‘Armel’ means ‘prince’ in Old Welsh, Michael reveals that it was derived by combining the first two letters of Arlene and the first three letters of Melnick. He shares that his father who was once a jewelry store manager always wanted to continue in that field and committed himself to being the best in the business.
At the beginning, the store was staffed solely by Sid and Arlene until the mid-1940s when they were able to move into a larger space and hire two employees. Armel’s growing success led the couple to purchase a 4,000-square-foot storefront in 1961 and hire 4 more employees. The Melnicks also expanded their fine jewelry collection and added giftware, tabletop decor and fine silver to their inventory.
An unexpected change took place for the company in the late 1960s when Sid and Arlene happened upon a store that was under construction while visiting St. Armands in Sarasota, Florida. “After a few inquiries,” tells Michael, “one thing led to another and a ‘semi-retirement’ plan emerged…
…At the time, my Uncle Harry and Aunt Mae were partners with my parents and felt that they could share the responsibilities of running the store.” In 1967, the 30-year-old company officially relocated to its new home on St. Armands Circle.
Armel thrived in Florida and in 1973 Michael joined the family business. “I was very much enamored with gemology,” he says. “I earned a degree in Geology from USF, then went back to school to receive my graduate’s degree in Gemology from the Gemological Institute of America. I decided to go all in by taking 4 more years of specialized training which earned me the Certified Gemologist Appraiser title from the American Gem Society, an honor only achieved by a handful of people in the industry.”
Within a decade of relocation to Florida, the Melnick family opened a second store on Longboat Key. After 8 successful years, they sold that store and opened another at the Southbay Shopping Center in Osprey. By the late 1980’s, Michael’s brother, Jonathan, came on board and worked for 22 years before retiring.
Armel continues to uphold the practices that has propelled it to its success by demonstrating integrity within the business community and retaining its annual American Gem Society (AGS) certification. Armel wholeheartedly adheres to the AGS guidelines and recognizes the unique value this training affords, considering it to be one of the company’s greatest assets in helping to provide the best service and information available to its clients.
Over the years, one of the important elements contributing to the company’s success has been offering premium quality products. “Our major emphasis today,” Michael explains, “is on fine gems, diamonds and cultured pearls, plus a very diverse estate department, which offers well-made pieces at a great value. Going forward, we plan to continue offering the very best to our communities for many years to come.”