Hidden Gem - Buckley and Co. JewelryJun 20, 2022 09:52AM ● By Mary Colarik
Colin Buckley and Monique Pieton.
by Mary Colarik
Sometimes a hidden gem of a store is tucked away in a strip mall off a thoroughfare sharing space with nail salons and fast-food spots. Colin Buckley’s jewelry store is one such gem, tucked between a Sushi restaurant and a veterinarian.
Opened in the Pico Plaza Pavilion in December 2018, Buckley and Co. Jewelry is filled with gems and jewels of all kinds, with display cabinets a treasure trove of sparkling diamonds, colorful gemstones, rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches. The space is clean, open and welcoming for customers searching for the perfect bauble.
Buckley spent 10 years working at a family friend’s jewelry store located in Laguna Niguel learning all about jewelry and the mechanics of jewelry making before opening his own store front in San Clemente. Although he lives in nearby Laguna Hills - not too far from the sand and surf - he is not a surfer. He wanted to open his family-owned fine jewelry store in San Clemente because he loves the town and enjoys the proximity of having a business close to the ocean.
Buckley’s hobbies from the time he was young involved crafting projects with his dad in the garage. Together they did metalworking, woodworking and other related crafts like model building. Later, when he was older, he and his friends enjoyed working and tinkering on motorcycles.
Beginning his apprenticeship with his jeweler friend, he realized that his passion for hands on projects helped him in the process of discovering a good fit for a creative career building pieces of custom jewelry. He spent 10 years honing his skills and learning different aspects of the trade, including repair work. As an apprentice and the shop manager at the jewelry store, he studied at the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A). While learning about the industry he became interested in the mechanics of watches, and his interest piqued as a goldsmith learning how to work with all types of metals; aligning with the type of creating he had always enjoyed.
While Buckley and Co Jewelry is a full-service fine jewelry store, displaying all types of elegant and modern jewelry, it also offers simple jewelry repairs. Strongly focused on custom work, Buckley’s customers often want to recreate family pieces or have something made that is uniquely their own style. Most of Buckley’s custom work is inspired by photos collected by individual customers, combining their ideas with pieces that they see displayed in the store.
Buckley’s in-house jewelry maker and designer, Monique Pieton - who attended Arizona State University graduating with a degree in art - thoroughly enjoys working with the clients, helping them create unique designs, interpretating what they desire from their inspirational ideas, including their personal vision, individual goals and budgets for their special keepsakes. She begins by drawing the concept while working very closely with Buckley and the customers to get the design just right. The design is then displayed on a 3D software computer program which allows the client to see their unique design on all sides. Once everybody agrees that they like the design, metals and stones are chosen allowing Buckley and staff to begin executing the special piece at their jeweler’s bench.
Buckley also employs Amanda Cable, a bench jeweler who has been making and designing her own jewelry since 2014. Charlie Buckley, Colin’s nephew and Evan Buckley, Colin’s dad round out the staff truly making the small business a family affair. Charlie is mainly the in-house watch technician, customer service person, and handler of outside sales and deliveries. The entire staff takes turns in the front of the store helping clients choose their desired ring, necklace, bracelet or watch. Buckley’s family also includes his wonderful wife, Lupita who is jeweler, (antique specialist), and is currently taking time off to be at home with their beautiful 2-year-old daughter, Mara.
Buckley informed me that he works with some of the largest diamond suppliers and has access to every size and shape of diamond, including natural and lab grown varieties, plus he has a variety of different gemstones, precious and semi-precious, in every shape and color imaginable. Couples searching for engagement rings and wedding bands are offered over 500 styles to try on in-store, and his website features four thousand styles for brides-to-be, a little something for everybody’s unique taste and budget.
It’s worth your time to stop in and chat with the friendly, knowledgeable staff ready and willing to help you choose a new piece of jewelry to wear, or to aid you in creating an heirloom to cherish.b
Buckley and Co. Jewelry
415 E. Avenida Pico, D, San Clemente, (949)218-1184