GROSSE POINTE WOODS, Mich., Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/-- As it celebrates its 65th year in business today, Ahee Jewelers, one of Detroit's largest, oldest, and most successful jewelry retailers, will add a unique award to its already long list of national and international recognitions. Ahee will become the first jeweler in the U.S. ever to receive the Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.
Known for its extensive reviews of restaurants and of the travel industry, the Academy has expanded its ratings to cover other products and services. Ahee is the first jeweler ever to win the prestigious international award for outstanding quality and customer service.
"After 65 years of helping our customers to celebrate the special moments of their lives, this is a very special moment for us," said Ahee President, Peter Ahee. "We're humbled and honored by this recognition and thrilled that it's coming to Michigan rather than to Paris or New York or Los Angeles, and we understand what it will take to keep it here so that the Five Star Diamond Award will become another Ahee tradition and not just a one time event."
"Ahee has traveled a long road to now reach the height of jewelry style, service and quality," said the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences in a statement. "From opening in the lobby of a bowling alley to being named best jewelers in the United States by National Jewelers four years in a row is a remarkable achievement."
Beyond receiving the Five Star Diamond Award, Ahee will celebrate its sparkling 65th anniversary with several other announcements and activities Oct 9. The company will unveil its unique design, $250,000 65th anniversary "Rocks of Ages" jewelry ensemble, 65 carats of significant diamonds cut from a stone over a billion years old. It will also show unique, one-of-a-kind pieces specially designed by Roberto Coin and Ivanka Trump in honor of Ahee's anniversary, and will preview its exclusive Matilda Dodge Wilson Collection of fine jewelry.
"We're a family business and we're passionate about it," says Ahee. "Virtually everyone in our family has been involved with the business in one way or another for three generations. We pride ourselves on our commitment to and understanding of the business and of our customers and we instill it in our kids from the time they're old enough to understand."
Edmund T. Ahee started the company in a bowling alley at Harper and Van Dyke in Detroit in 1947. He brought his children and grandchildren into the business as soon as they were ready and encouraged them to share his passion and to learn everything they could about gems. Because of that commitment, according to the Gemological Institute of America the Ahee family has more in-depth education and training in the jewelry business than virtually any other jeweler in America.
Ahee family members have done everything from designing, evaluating and purchasing rare and precious stones to selling them and designing the company's website and social media programs. Currently 16 family members ranging in age from 18 to 82 are actively participating in the business where Edmund Ahee's mantra, "give the customers more than they expect," lives on. Ahee customers come from all 50 states and several foreign countries.
Over 25 years ago Ahee formed a unique partnership with Pluczenik Diamond Company, one of the largest diamond suppliers in the world. Together they own and operate a diamond facility in Antwerp, Belgium, a city through which virtually all of the world's diamonds ultimately pass. This partnership gives Ahee the opportunity to examine and purchase the world's finest diamonds at extraordinarily good values just as they are extracted from the mines.
"We're very proud to be celebrating 65 years in business," said Bettejean Ahee, widow of Ahee founder Edmund T. Ahee and Chief Executive Officer, "and we're grateful to all our customers who helped us get here. And we're equally proud of our continuing commitment to the community, especially the more than $5 million we've raised through the years for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. Philanthropy and community involvement are core values at Ahee and always will be."
Following are the most recent of more than 100 awards and recognitions Ahee has received:
- International Star Diamond Award, the first such award ever granted to any jeweler
- Industry's Best Educated Jeweler, Gemological Institute of America
- "Best Jewelers in the United States," The Wall Street Journal and National Jeweler
- "America's Best Jewelers," four years in a row by National Jewelers (An honor bestowed on only 17 of 56,000 jewelers nationally and one of only five to win it three years in a row)
- Michigan Retailer of the Year
- First Place and 'Best of Show' by Jewelers of America for custom design, Chris Ahee
- First Place in International Platinum Guild Design competition, Pamela Ahee Thomas
- "Best Watch and Jewelry Store," America Online
- "Best of Detroit," HOUR Magazine
- "Editor's Choice," Styleline Magazine
- "Coolest Website," InStore Magazine
SOURCE Ahee Jewelers