In 1954, Don Kirckof’s Father opened Rochester Lapidary Supply Company in Rochester, Minnesota. A plumbing and heating contractor by trade, his father soon grew tired of visiting lapidary stores. To him, these US-based stores were nothing more than piles of rocks. Looking for a change of pace, Don’s father decided to bring his hobby to life, so he built a thriving lapidary. In the beginning, he sold amateur and professional-grade rock and gem cutters, rough rocks and gems, and lapidary equipment. Our roots still run strong. In fact, you can see just how much of an influence Don’s father and passion has made on Don himself.
Baptized under the Fire of the Jewelry Trade
Eventually, Don was born. The youngest of six children, Don’s parents brought their newborn on to the store. Don was baptized under fire, and has had a true passion for the jewelry industry ever since. He spent much of his youth working in his parents’ store, developing a deep passion and interest in the mysteries of diamonds and gemstones.
His passion soon became known and those who knew him gave him the nickname, Diamond Don. His love for the jewelry industry only continued to grow as he got older. He managed the family business throughout high school. In January 1997, he actually acquired the business, which he has been running with pride ever since.
Don’s father’s business started as a lapidary wholesaler. Instead of doing wholesale lapidary and jewelry work for stores around the globe, Don decided it was time to make a change. He worked tirelessly to turn the family business into a world-class jewelry store that did much more than sell fine jewelry. The store also offered (and still offers) a variety of in-store services–services that most large stores renounced long ago. True to his roots and his family’s legacy, Don kept "lapidary" as part of the store’s new name.
Though the company has evolved much since its beginning, we continue providing our customers with the traditions that were put into place when the business was established. Honesty, integrity, morals, and values are at the core of our business, and they play a huge role in our success as one of the area’s oldest, family-owned jewelry companies.
The Business Today
The jewelry industry changes over time. As the industry has changed, so has our store. One thing that hasn’t changed is our dedication to pay attention to every detail to ensure the needs and wants of our customers are met. Today, we continue to provide a personal level of service that other stores cannot provide. Our personalized service not only earned us a loyal customer base, but has also led many of our customers to refer others to our store.