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About Us

The owners of Edgardo Jewelers, Dean and Elizabeth Agius, carry on the family tradition of exquisite craftsmanship and dependable service begun three generations ago on the Mediterranean island of Malta. Customers can choose from a vast array of items, from watches to jewelry to crystal, or bring in their own ideas to be crafted into an artistic treasure. All of the work is done on site: from designing the piece, to hand-carving the wax, to casting in gold and gem setting to the customer specifications.

Edgardo Jewelers carries a wide variety of lines including Swiss watch maker Esquire in addition to Bulova and Accutron. Edgardo’s also carries the Edward Mirell line for men; the award winning Claude Thibaudeau line; and bridal lines which features 18K gold or platinum pieces with perfectly cut diamonds. In addition you’ll find high quality Movado clocks as well as Waterford Crystal, including the W Evolution line — gorgeous crystalware from Ireland handcrafted in beautiful vibrant colors.

Excellence in design, excellence in quality, excellence in service. At Edgardo Jewelers, excellence is a family tradition.

• HISTORY
• STAFF & CERTIFICATIONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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History:

A passionate artisan — it’s all in the family.

Yanking a 10-year-old boy out of school and putting him to work in the family business may seem shocking here in America, but years ago, among people of European heritage, it was a practice as old as the rock island of Malta.

Now, Lake Havasu City and the island of Malta are about as far apart — geographically, historically and from a societal standpoint — as any two places on this earth. Set in the middle of the Mediterranean, a mere 58 miles from the toe of Sicily, Malta is a small speck on the planet fairly bursting with history. It’s people are hardy, resilient and fiercely independent. Malta has never been conquered by an invading force — never. A rocky outcropping of strategic significance, the Maltese people are descendents of ancient Carthaginians and Phoenicians, with a dash of Italian and other miscellaneous Mediterranean stock thrown in for good measure.

It was in 1929, on this patch of stone smaller in size than Lake Havasu City, that the story of Edgardo Jewelers actually began. Dean Agius’ grandfather started a small jewelry and watch repair business. When his oldest son, Edgardo, reached the age of 10, his father deemed further schooling impractical. Little Edgardo was promptly perched on a stool in his father’s small shop and taught the delicate art of watch making and jewelry repair. For many years the family business grew and prospered, and life was good — until interrupted by World War II.

Looking back, Dean muses that his grandfather’s choice of careers was fortuitous, because it essentially saved the family from virtual extinction during those long difficult years. “The Axis tried to take the island many times,” Dean says. “First they firebombed Malta. The people laughed because the structures were all made of stone — there was nothing to burn. When that didn’t work, they tried aerial bombing. But the Maltese were being backed up by British guns, so the Axis pilots were forced to drop their bombs from great heights and missed the tiny island altogether.”

When these tactics proved unsuccessful, the enemy instituted a seagoing blockage with the aim of starving the population into submission. Dean’s father, Edgardo, often told stories of relief boats being blown up by the enemy guns while the young men of the island dove into the sea to rescue whatever they could from the flotsam that washed toward shore. These were dark days for the people of Malta. Food was scarce and money meant nothing. Because no one knew who was going to win the war, no currency was reliable. And as so often happens in uncertain times, the people reverted to a known value — gold and jewels.

“It was a good thing my Grandmother had so much jewelry.” Dean relates. “You could offer $100 for a loaf of bread and no one would take it. But they would take that gold earring out of your ear, or the gold necklace off your neck. That’s what kept the family alive.”

Once the war was over, the island’s economy, like so many others, was devastated. Edgardo decided to make a new start for himself in the New World that was America. In the early 1950’s, a young man of seventeen who looked no more than a boy of twelve, landed in New York City and soon found himself face to face with harsh reality and a long way from home. Already a Master Horologist and secure in the knowledge of his craft, Edgardo sought employment in the warren of small jewelry and watch repair shops that dotted the streets of New York City at that time. He was turned down again and again, advised repeatedly to...”get lost, kid. Go home.” After one too many such admonishments, Edgardo retaliated fiercely that he just needed a chance, just one chance, to show what he could do. The surprised shopkeeper relented, and told Edgardo to be at work the following morning — and the rest, as they say, is history. The craftsmanship born of long hours at his father’s workbench bloomed amid the less inspired talents of Edgardo’s colleagues. He turned out pieces no one thought possible — and in record time. When parts were not available, Edgardo made them himself, often fashioning a gear or a finding on an old fashioned lathe. His was a practical legacy, and he put it to good use.

The step from the frigid Northern winters to the more familiar heat of the desert Southwest in 1979 was logical, for by now Edgardo had acquired a wife and two children. With a careful eye toward the future, Edgardo brought his little group to Lake Havasu City, where he purchased a jewelry store in the budding community. To the youngest of his two children, his son Dean, he introduced the word of gems and jewels. He encouraged Dean to master his craft, and Dean’s numerous degrees and certifications show that he took his father’s advice to heart. Dean has been accepted into the American Gem Society, an honor awarded to only the top 5% of all jewelers in the United States and Canada. He holds a graduate degree from the Gemological Institute of America, is a certified master goldsmith as well as a certified insurance appraiser.

Edgardo’s dream of taking his family back to the island of Malta, back to their ethnic roots, was never realized. But today you can still find the dedication to fine craftsmanship and commitment to excellence that Edgardo Agius brought with him from the Old World. Dean runs his shop as his father would have wanted — offering great knowledge in the world of gemstones and fine jewelry, and committed to upholding value and integrity with each piece he sells.

Whether restoring a family heirloom or designing new and imaginative pieces out of old dated jewelry, Dean has his heart in the past and his eye on the future.


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Staff & Certifications:

Dean S. Agius, Certified Gemologist, Master Goldsmith
It’s not surprising that Dean learned his craft from his father, who in turn learned it from his father.
Indeed, the art of fine jewelry making is a family tradition for Dean Agius, the owner and co-founder
of Edgardo Jewelers.

Yet Dean’s skill and wealth of knowledge were not supplied by his family alone. Dean earned a
graduate degree from the Gemological Institute of America in California, and is a Certified Master
Goldsmith as well as the only Certified Insurance Appraiser in Mohave County. Such excellence doesn’t
go unnoticed or unrewarded. Dean is proud to point to his acceptance into the American Gem Society (AGS). This prestigious professional designation — of which many apply but few are accepted — is conferred upon only the top 5% of all jewelers in the United States and Canada. Achieved only after a strenuous evaluation of his knowledge, talent, and experience, and maintained by passing rigorous annual exams, membership in the AGS is evidence of the highest standard of professionalism and expertise. As an AGS-certified gemologist, Dean Agius’ status as a professional is unique among his colleagues.

 

Neil R. Frana, Graduate Jeweler Gemologist
Dean is not the only one at Edgardo’s with years of experience and education. Graduate Jeweler
Gemologist Neil Frana, also a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, has been working
alongside Dean for over twelve years now. In addition to stone setting, Neil is also highly skilled
in jewelry repair and the redesigning of old rings.

 

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