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Meet Rena and Sarah Abeles of Reliable Gold

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rena and Sarah Abeles.

Rena, Sarah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 1934, Henry Limer opened Reliable Gold Buyers in downtown Providence as a gold buying business. He began the business because the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 caused gold prices, previously fixed at $20 per ounce, to be revalued at $35 per ounce, incentivizing people in the midst of the Great Depression to trade in their jewelry for cash in high numbers.

By the end of WW2, the United States economy began a rebuilding phase and based on the growing prosperity, along with the addition of new employees, his nephews (Leonard Rotenberg and Harry Limer), with their youth and eye for design, Reliable Gold Buyers became Reliable Gold Ltd.

Thus began the showroom and retail side of our company, saving the pieces that were just too beautiful to melt down. We moved to Wayland Square on the east side of Providence in 1958. Leonard and Harry took over the store as the second generation, ushering the flourishing business through decades.

I (Rena (Rotenberg) Abeles) joined my father and uncle at Reliable Gold in the 1980’s after an acting career in New York and eventually took over as the owner. I run the store with my daughter, Sarah Abeles, who is back from New York herself, after over a decade of practicing law there. She moved with her young family – perhaps, fingers crossed, the store’s fifth generation.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Reliable Gold’s roots in the Great Depression have always underscored the external challenges presented by the economy as well as the importance of genuine value. Fast forwarding many years later, our largest challenge has been the change in lifestyle.

No longer do people dress up for the theater, dinner and even travel, and styles are much more casual now, which means their accessories follow suit. The Internet and e-commerce have also been disruptors to the traditional brick and mortar model.

While there is opportunity online, the shopping experience generally has changed, with it, an undeniable competitive element, and transitioning an older store with one-of-kind items into the digital age has proven challenging.

Further, in 2014, a sprinkler flood irreparably destroyed our store and put us out of business for a year. We have since bounced back fabulously, landing in a vastly superior location, but being out for a year caused a lengthy period of recovery and many sleepless nights.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Reliable Gold – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Reliable Gold sells beautiful fine jewelry, both estate, and newly-designed, contemporary pieces. We carry a wide range of styles and price points and also handle repairs, custom design, special orders and appraisals.

We are best known for our knock-out, carefully curated inventory. Little is more gratifying than the impressed reactions of customers while they browse and admire our selection.

We are also known for our specialty of expert, highly personalized customer service – we bend over backward for our customers, keep our pricing affordable and competitive, and have a prescient ability to match the right piece with the right customer.

Having the pleasure of being around such dazzling items has also honed our specialty in custom design jewelry, which we are doing more and more of, forging the opportunity for customers to be involved in creating exactly what they are looking for, delivered with excellent workmanship, practical considerations and fair pricing.

I feel proud of many aspects of our business. I am proud of the long-term relationships we have cultivated over the years, serving generations of customer families. I am proud that we treat the customer with $5 to spend the same as someone with $50,000 to spend.

I am proud of the reputation that we have built for being a destination for superior yet approachable jewels that are anything but cookie cutter and that stand the test of time in artistry and quality.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We have some very exciting plans in the works, including redesigning our storefront and launching a program featuring a series of rotating collections from new and emerging jewelry designers. We also are growing our custom design services and plan on a large outreach to market this exciting area.

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Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Lewis Satloff

    January 11, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Hi,
    I’m sure you remember my father Morris Satloff. Just wanted to say hello. I believe your father Lennie is alive and living off of Blackstone Blvd. My father would have been 97.

    Lewis Satloff

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