2006-09-28 / News

Discover art treasures at Three Golden Apples

By Sam Bari

Dan MacDonald and his wife Tooni of Three Golden Apples. Dan MacDonald and his wife Tooni of Three Golden Apples. The treasures behind the modest storefront at 140 Bellevue Ave. in downtown Newport are not apparent to the average shopper strolling through the neighborhood. However, the well-heeled clientele who frequent this unassuming shop are quite familiar with the allure of the Three Golden Apples.

Owned by Jamestown residents Dan MacDonald and his wife Tooni, Three Golden Apples opened in 2001 as a retail jewelry store. They offered customers an array of precious and semi-precious gems and metals and represented the world's most prominent designers of fine jewelry in their breathtaking inventory. The store is filled with exquisite antiques and estate jewelry as well as spectacular displays of pieces by Buccellati, Favero, Gregg Ruth, Henry Dunay, Michael Beaudry, Monseo, Sasha Primak, Yossi Harari, and Zobel to name a few.

The elegant line of Armadani bridal jewelry that includes diamond engagement, anniversary, and wedding rings as well as eternity bands in the stunning collection is also prominently displayed. The MacDonalds own Armadani with two silent partners, and manufacture the renowned line with a staff of 12 jewelers, lapidaries, and designers working on premises.

"Since we have these great designers, we also offer custom pieces to our clientele," said MacDonald. "Will Drake, our master jeweler, is one of the best in the business. So we provide his services as well as those of our other fine jewelers to make custom pieces, repair, service, and appraise. We understand our customers, and we fulfill their needs. Fortunately, they keep returning, and that's a good thing," he added.

As if overseeing a store and manufacturing facility were not enough to keep him busy, MacDonald also supplies several hundred retail outlets across the country with his Armadani line and custom orders. He is also a member of the New York Diamond Dealers Club, and over the years has developed an international network of resources to ensure his customers the best pricing and finest craftsmanship in the jewelry industry. His reputation as a reliable source of products and services for the retail jeweler is growing by the day. However, the list of his accomplishments still isn't complete. In addition to Three Golden Apples, Armadani, and a burgeoning wholesale business, MacDonald and his wife recently acquired the bridal division of Krementz, a prominent jewelry manufacturer in New Jersey that is famous for one of a kind, colored gemstone pieces.

"I didn't exactly plan it this way," MacDonald said modestly. "It's all quite serendipitous. One thing just seemed to lead to another, and opportunities are always presenting themselves. We've been fortunate to have made a few good decisions that have resulted in modest success. Tooni has a great eye for design and wonderful organizational skills, and between

the two of us, we manage to get the job done and enjoy ourselves in the offing," he added.

When asked how he got started, MacDonald smiles. "That was serendipitous, too," he said. "I graduated from Providence College in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in business. My first job was at a company called Textron. I wasn't very happy there and only lasted six months. I attended a wedding and met a jewelry manufacturer. He hired me and I went to work in sales. I really enjoyed the jewelry business, and in 1982, I went into fine jewelry manufacturing in Philadelphia. In 1991, a great opportunity presented itself, and I was fortunate enough to start a factory with a worldrenowned artist by the name of Paul Lantuch. That's also when I moved to Jamestown. We made jewelry exclusively for Neiman Marcus. They liked our line so much that they made us sign an agreement to only supply their stores in the United States. We could sell to anyone else out of the country, but they didn't want our line in any other store in the U.S. That lasted for six years and we

closed the business because Paul retired. Within one week, we started Armadani. I met Tooni during the time I had the business with Paul. She was working for one of the largest jewelry manufacturing companies in the country. We married in 1995 and opened the store in Newport in 2001. Before we went to Newport, we tried to find space in Jamestown but none was available at the time. But the store in Newport has worked out well. It's been a wonderful experience," he said.

A lot goes on behind the modest little storefront on Bellevue Avenue. The treasures in the Three Golden Apples are many. In a very short time, Three Golden Apples has become the jeweler of choice for Newport and Jamestown residents alike.

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