Fountain Valley/Huntington Beach Jewelry District
In the summer of 1900, jeweler Arthur William Ballard moved his family from the plains of Omaha to the growing city of Los Angeles, where he opened a small retail shop. When Ballard’s son, Arthur V., joined his father in the business in 1917, the firm’s name was changed to Ballard and Ballard. Setting up in what would become the Jewelry District of downtown Los Angeles, Ballard and Ballard became Southern California trailblazers. Before the United States went off the gold standard in 1932, the Ballards purchased gold currency from banks for use in their jewelry manufacturing.
Shortly after the end of World War Two, the elder Ballard died and Arthur V. Ballard took over the operation. Arthur’s two sons, Arthur Jr. and Daryl, went to work with their father. In Los Angeles, Ballard and Ballard helped define the Jewelry District’s reputation for quality of product and the integrity of the industry. Always ahead of the curve, Ballard and Ballard was one of the first American companies to maintain an office in Antwerp, Belgium, the diamond capital of the world.
By the middle of the 20th century, the company was producing gold mountings sold to retail jewelers throughout the country as well as manufacturing gold and silver jewelry. When their father retired, Arthur Jr. and Daryl assumed control and added major new clients, selling to California law enforcement agencies, as well as to wholesale buying clubs.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Daryl’s sons, Glenn and Guy, joined the company. Both men became master bench jewelers and are still creating handcrafted jewelry. Guy’s specialty is laser welding, while Glenn focuses on the latest in CAD/CAM computer-aided jewelry design technology, greatly expanding the capabilities of the business. When they took over the store from their father in 1997, they realized the Jewelry District in downtown Los Angeles had gone downhill in relation to overall quality and reliable integrity. Wanting to do better for their customers in a safer environment, the Ballard brothers chose to make a historic move to Orange County.
Today, Ballard and Ballard’s super showroom is located on Brookhurst Street in the City of Fountain Valley. The Ballard brothers have become known by their clients as the Mayors of the Jewelry District in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach. When they opened their jewelry store in Fountain Valley, the Jewelry District did not exist. Over the years, the Jewelry District of Fountain Valley has blossomed. There are currently 8 independent jewelry stores all within a 1.5-mile stretch of Brookhurst Street. This happens to be the same stretch of street know as restaurant row, where there are over 25 places to eat.
The Fountain Valley Jewelry District is arguably the highest concentration of full size, full service, and independently owned fine jewelry stores in all of Orange County. Unlike the questionable ethics of many stores in the Los Angeles Jewelry District, the Fountain Valley jewelry community continues to reflect Ballard and Ballard’s qualitative focus on craftsmanship and integrity. Following in this tradition, Ballard and Ballard specialize in diamonds, custom design, state-of-the-art manufacturing and repairs. The extensive facilities include a custom on-site jewelry factory, working design studio and full service repair shop.
It is always better to have clients tell the story as opposed to the owners of a business. When interviewed, a Newport Beach Investment Advisor said: “I can’t say how much I appreciate the Ballards. They are a class operation. Glenn and Guy Ballard always take care of me and my family. They designed a gorgeous ring for my wife and showed me a computer-generated 3D image before they actually made it. My wife thinks I’m a genius.”
A successful Real estate Broker from Irvine explained her long-term loyalty to the Mayors of the Jewelry District “It’s so nice to have a jeweler you can trust. Guy and Glenn are nice guys with a bunch of great ideas and great jewelry. I wouldn’t trust anyone else with my things.” Glenn and Guy are proud that they have been able to transfer the excellence that their Great-Grandfather Arthur William Ballard began in Los Angeles to the Jewelry District in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach.
Over their entire history in Southern California, the Ballard family has the combined experience in the jewelry industry that exceeds over 200 years and spans four generations. Asked to describe Ballard and Ballard’s success, co-owner Glenn Ballard smiles, “We have made a commitment to take care of our clients like family.” As the Mayors of the Jewelry District in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach, Glenn and Guy Ballard have created a base of excellence and true quality that continues to influence the surrounding community.