Photos Andy Calvert
If you are planning an engagement or a wedding, chances are you have heard of the four Cs of diamonds: cut, color, clarity, and carat. These are important terms to know when you’re shopping for an engagement ring. At Greene’s Jewelers, however, they add a fifth C that just might be the most important of all: confidence.
“You can have confidence in your purchase with us,” Owner Elaine Abercrombie says. “Couples can be confident that they are getting value for their money and that they are getting a piece of jewelry that can last for generations.” And if there are two things Elaine Abercrombie knows best, they’re jewelry and generations.
Abercrombie’s great-grandfather opened a jewelry business in 1905 in Fairmount, Georgia, where he taught his four sons the trade. One of those sons, Abercrombie’s grandfather, brought his business to Rome, and it has been here ever since.
“My grandparents flipped a coin: my granddaddy wanted to open in Ellijay and my grandmother wanted to come to Rome. Rome won, and I’m very thankful for that,” Abercrombie says. Greene’s Jewelers opened on Broad Street in 1948, where it has remained ever since. “As far as I know, we are the oldest continually operating business on Broad Street,” Abercrombie says.
She has worked at the store in some capacity since she was 12 years old, and she took over all of the responsibilities about three years ago when her mother retired. “My grandparents’ name is on the front of this building, and that means a lot to me. I only want to make my grandparents proud,” she says.
For those brides or grooms whose families are as important to them as Abercrombie’s is to her, Greene’s is the perfect place to shop for wedding jewelry. Designer Tammy Kelley specializes in custom pieces, often working with jewelry that has been passed down through a family. “Lots of people come in with their grandmother’s jewelry or something that’s been handed down to them, and they want to reimagine it,” Abercrombie says.
“Tammy can sketch up something in just a few minutes. You keep the old pieces but make it into something new.” Greene’s provides a unique way to incorporate your heirlooms into your special day while still creating something new for you.
In her many years in the jewelry business, Abercrombie has seen it all, and she says that the biggest change has been people stepping away from convention when planning their weddings. “There used to be a whole lot of traditions around weddings, and it’s not like that anymore,” she says. “We can do traditional or unconventional, whatever they desire. It’s more of an individual thing rather than having something like everybody else’s.”
For couples who want one (or two)-of-a-kind wedding bands, Greene’s is ready to help. “We have the most interesting new line of wedding bands,” Abercrombie explains. “This company can actually make wedding bands out of things that belong to our customers.
If the groom is a hunter and he has a deer antler, they can take that antler and make a wedding band.” The company offers a variety of nontraditional wedding bands, using metals like titanium and tungsten or other materials such as silicone or ceramic.
No matter what you choose, Greene’s wants to help you through the process. In the end, it’s not about the material of the jewelry or the price tag. It’s about creating a special piece for the customer’s special day. “Every person that walks in this door is just as important to us as the last one or the next one,” Abercrombie says. “It doesn’t matter to us how much money you spend with us. What matters is that you spend time with us and that you have confidence in what you’ve purchased. The main thing is to be happy with what you select.”