Frank Sinatra was fussy about his eggs. He liked them Italian style, scrambled in olive oil with a hunk of crusty bread on the side. During the 50’s and 60’s, he frequently visited South Philadelphia, especially a little night club on 9th Street called Palumbo’s not to croon, but to get a good Sunday dinner in the Nostalgia Room, of macaroni and meatballs and to hang with his “pally boys” and the local gentry. Sinatra was fussy about his jewelry, too. One of his pals was jeweler Daniel P. Olivieri Sr. “My dad made him a custom-made pair of solid gold cuff links” son Dan Olivieri Jr. recounts to me. There’s a framed, autographed 8×10 glossy of the vocalist hanging on the wall. Where are the cuff links now? I ask. “They’re still in the Sinatra estate, but we have the original model that my dad made. We are actually talking to Frank Jr. about a possible showcasing of them in the store.” Hey! How about if I wanted to get a copy of them for special gift? Olivieri lets me know that he’ll be happy to reproduce them or anything else my heart desires.
“We can duplicate something from an existing piece, a picture, a drawing, or custom design it for you. And upon your approval, make it for you. Our prices won’t rock your boat, either. We have no middle men here to jack it up. All work is done on the premises. We also give you a written document and lifetime guarantee.”
Olivieri, a master jeweler and gemologist, just brought in the third generation with the hiring of his nephew, also named Daniel Olivieri, a University of the Arts graduate. “He’s bridging the gap of the old style pencil and paper technique to more computer generated methods. He also set up our web site. At any given time, with my mother behind the counter, you will find three generations operating here.”
The Olivieri family lives, works and breathes in the community. “That’s how we can keep our prices low. You will pay about a third less here because we don’t have the center city rent.” Another feature that you won’t get uptown is the ability of the shop to do repairs while you wait. “We’re proud to say that we’re the only jewelry store that does this service.” You can also make an appointment for a one-on-one with Olivieri. “Many of our clients like to do this for diamond purchases. It’s usually the couple that will come in but the betrothed will sometimes come solo.” What’s popular in engagement rings? “We are seeing less of the trendy cuts to the more traditional round solitaire.” But the choices are not limited to one sparkler. Olivieri Jewelers has the biggest inventory of loose colored stones that can be set in any type of ring. You’ll pay the same for something in the case or a one of a kind design.
Italian 14k and 18k gold chains and bracelets are very popular. What’s new? “Vacation jewelry is here. You can get a nice solid gold anklet for $50.00. Rope chains are back in style and we have them. We also have a big inventory of vintage and antique watches, Rolexes and clocks. Our baby jewelry is constructed with the utmost in safety and are specifically made with that in mind.. We are very aware of the child’s delicate skin. Initial rings and bracelets for girls and boys make a lasting impression for Communion and Conformation. We have customers that order jewelry for their pets! If you can imagine or dream it, we’ll interpret it for you.”
Olivieri, who was one of the South Philadelphia Business Association’s People of the Year truly puts his heart in all he does. He fully supports school and police and fire fundraisers with donations of jewelry and gift certificates. “I love to put back into the community, my community, our community. It helps with the immediate economy.”
Danny, you’re a gem of a guy!
2523 S. Broad St
Philadelphia PA 19148