Diamonds are a work of art for this Rockford jeweler. Discover how nearly 40 years of experience lend themselves to this unique jewelry.
Did you know that diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow?
This is one of the things John Bondick, co-owner of Anthony Alexander Diamonds, enjoys explaining to customers.
“It’s a fascinating thing that Mother Nature gives us these beautiful gifts,” Bondick says. “The diamond is the most condensed form of wealth in the world.”
Anthony Alexander Diamonds is a full-service jewelry office located at 7123 Cherryvale N. Blvd., Suite 202, in Rockford. Bondick owns the business with Jerry Bloom.
The diamond brokerage buys high-quality diamonds and gemstones and crafts customized pieces for jewelers and private clients at reduced prices. It also offers private, one-on-one consultations, free computer-aided designs (CAD) of potential pieces and buyback options. All diamonds sized half-carat and above are certified by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The majority of the gemstones and diamonds come from dealers or diamond houses in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
Bondick has been involved in the jewelry business for almost 40 years and his company is named for his maternal Italian-born grandfather, Anthony, and his paternal Polish-born grandfather, Alexander. The office opened in March 2010 with an adjoining shop.
Engagement and bridal pieces are at the core of the business, but clients also bring requests, ranging from creating unique rings – one containing 179 diamonds – to locating various items within an affordable price range. Bondick enjoys searching for everyday pieces and hard-to-find pieces. Mostly, he enjoys helping people to save money, he says.
“You’re not just looking for jewelry, you’re making a memory,” he says. “Here, you can count on a completely custom setting and meticulous care, provided quickly and easily to you from a comfortable and secure office setting.”
The company also designs promotional and charity pieces and has created jewelry for organizations such as Rockford Heritage Museum, Vietnam Honor Society, 911 Memorial, United Way, Kantorei Boys Choir, PAWS Humane Society and a number of bridal expos.
Anthony Alexander Diamonds is a member of the Better Business Bureau and has never had a complaint, Bondick says.
“We never offer poor or lesser-quality jewelry,” he says. “We help people to find what they need or help to design custom pieces. Almost everything we sell is either made by us, or acquired from U.S. manufacturers.”
Bondick prides himself on sharing his gemstone knowledge with others and has acquired plenty of it, over the years.
A career in the jewelry industry wasn’t his first dream, but life has a way of surprising people. “Faith means you never know where you are being led … You have a plan, I have a plan, but God has the only plan,” he says. Bondick’s journey into the world of jewelry began unexpectedly – and a little painfully.
After leaving the U.S. Navy in 1972, he joined a local construction union. In time, an accident left him unable to perform the tasks necessary for his job.
Earlier, he had been approached by a gentleman who knew a businessman looking for someone with the “right set of skills” to help him with his jewelry business. At the time, Bondick didn’t think much about the idea and passed on the opportunity. But after his injury, that changed. He called the manager of the jewelry store and soon found himself delving into the jewelry business.
Bondick learned as much as possible and worked for several jewelry stores before managing his first one in the Quad Cities. He then worked with several manufacturing companies, selling to jewelers in more than 40 states and living in eight, before going to work on Jewelers Row in Chicago. He says he immersed himself in “a lot of facets” of the jewelry business, learning to view things from both sides of the counter.
Bondick decided to bring his style of the jewelry business to Rockford, in order to give people a completely different option, as opposed to opening up “just one more” jewelry store. He wanted people to experience purchasing jewelry the same way jewelers experience buying it, he says. And, he wants to change the negative perception people often have about jewelers.
“What I do is the finest quality jewelry,” Bondick says. “I also can tell people about the quality of what they have. We do things a lot of jewelers don’t have time to do. People say, ‘this is what I want’ and we get it. Here, it’s not about me. I’m here to serve you and I say that with all humility. Doing business with us versus other places is like the difference between wondering and knowing.”
Bondick offers advice to those shopping for jewelry.
“Don’t be afraid to shop around,” he says. “It’s a smart thing to do. If you’re looking for something special, ask questions. Ask about buyback options and whether the diamonds are certified. Shop apples for apples and oranges for oranges.”
Bondick says that, in more than four years of business, he’s never had a return. He attributes this to the quality and fair pricing of what he offers and the fact that he doesn’t pressure clients to buy. He doesn’t ask for money up front, either. It also helps that he sends customers a CAD of what specific pieces will look before they’re made, he says.
“I treat my clients like friends and conduct business deals by a handshake,” he says. “That’s a tried-and-true method for me.”
Bondick says he strives to follow the Golden Rule.
“It’s all about treating people how you want to be treated. I take the job personally. It’s not what I do, it’s who I am. I’m honored and humbled to do it. I want to pass on my knowledge to people and help them to make good decisions.”