MADE IN PROVIDENCE
once revered as the jewelry capital of the world, providence, ri today remains home to a selection of costume jewelry manufacturers, most of which are still family-owned operations. but, as is the case with many industries in the modern era, costume jewelry production has largely moved overseas, leaving providence with a much smaller - albeit still important - role than the one it used to hold.
in the late-1700s, a providence jeweler named Nehemlah Dodge invented a new process of plating less expensive metals with gold and silver. this new process made it possible for Dodge - and, later, other jewelers - to sell jewelry at a lower price point than was previously possible.
as other jewelers in the region began to incorporate Dodge's plating technique into their own business practices, the costume jewelry industry in and around providence grew rapidly. by 1880, half of all the jewelry and silverware manufactured in the united states came from rhode island. this growth continued, solidifying the nation's smallest state's position as the leading costume jewelry manufacturer in the nation - and, according to some, in the world.
with the owner of our manufacturing company, in providence.
today, though the industry has suffered due to exported labor, providence is still home to a bustling hub of mostly family-owned jewelry manufacturing operations. when I first started emma mckinstry and was researching us-based manufacturers, providence kept popping up in my research. at the time, I wasn't aware of the role the small city had played in the industry, but as I learned more, I narrowed my manufacturer search to the area. ultimately, I did find an excellent providence-based manufacturer - the same one with which we still work today!