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Platinum wedding set from Caron Jewelers
Gold wedding set from Caron Jewelers
We had the chance to speak with Joseph Caron about his business, Caron Jewelers in Bristol, Rhode Island.


Caron’s parents opened the business in 1956, with Caron buying the business from them in 1997. In 2006, he actually sold the business, but he bought it back after the new owners went out of businessin 2014r. Caron and his wife, Diane Berube-Catanzaro, came back and started all over again from scratch. “It’s still a family business,” said Caron. “We’ve been here for what seems like forever! But we’re not like most jewelry stores you’d see in the malls or those cookie cutter jewelry stores – a lot of the stuff we carry is one of a kind.”

The Business

All phases of jewelry sales and repair can be done at Caron Jewelers: Caron himself does watch and clock repair, and Berube-Catanzaro designs jewelry, all on the premises. Caron’s favorite part is the watch repair, in fact: “That’s what I’ve been doing forever since I was a kid, and the jewelry and watch repair is actually most of what I do, and my wife does most of the sales.”

Each of Berube-Catanzaro’s designs are one of a kind and created specifically for the stone that she had picked out for it. The process for having a piece custom made at Caron Jewelers is simple, but always customized. “Depending on whether you had your own stones, or we were picking out stones for you – or us picking them out with you, it’s really just a matter of picking out the size, the shape, and the design. 99 percent of the engagement rings that we do, people come in and they have an idea in their head of what they want, or they have something they’ve seen somewhere, and they want that. But they also usually want it a little bit different, so we help figure that out, or they have a stone that belonged to their grandmother that they want to incorporate. We’re pretty flexible, so we can really go in any direction.”

The pieces are designed in CAD, and as for stones, the only limit on the choices are in the customer’s budget. “There can be limitations on what someone wants and what their budget is, but there are so many diamond dealers and lab created diamond dealers. And we have really great people that we work with for colored stones, which is actually probably most of our business. And as far as putting together the mounting, there are literally thousands of options available.”

Watch repair is careful, precise work, and Caron explained how he goes about inspecting a piece and then fixing issues. “It depends on the type of watch. If it’s a mechanical watch, then the watch generally has to be inspected to find out what the problems are. For cleaning and servicing, it has to be completely taken apart, cleaned, polished, and put back together again. And if there are any parts that can’t be fixed, they have to be replaced, and then it has to be regulated after that. If it’s a quartz watch – most times, if someone really likes their quartz watch and the movement (the motor that drives it) goes, you just replace the movement, like when you just put a new engine in your car.”

Caron added, “Our customers are great. We’ve made some great friends with a lot of our customers in the time we’ve been here.”

Bristol Business Community

Caron Jewelers not only has fine handmade jewelry at all ranges, they’re also heavily involved in the Bristol community. Caron was the chairman of the Bristol Merchants Association for two years until this year, 2022. “I relinquished the title,” said Caron with a laugh. “But I’m still a member, and we’re very active in the community with all of the festival committees, the Bristol Festival, the Christmas Festival Committee, and the other events we put on downtown to bring people into Bristol.”

The hardest part of his position as chairman, he said, was getting new members to participate, “whether in committees or one on one – but once you get people involved and they realize how it’s going to benefit their business, they’re in it for the duration,” said Caron. “We do four different artist fairs each year.  They’ve grown to the point where we’re actually going to be taking over part of the Bristol Commons because we’re running out of space. And the festivals are well attended, with usually three to four thousand people that attend, and the artists in the booths, the vendors, they do really well. And we bring in live music for these events too. It started with one that we did in May, and now there are four of them, possibly five this year.”

Check out Caron Jewelers at 473 Hope Street in Bristol, Rhode Island.