In 1897, a young Swedish watchmaker named Gustaf Sylvan arrived in Columbia in search of the perfect location for the jewelry and watch shop he and his brother Johannes, a gifted jeweler and diamond setter, planned to open. He found a vibrant city with a growing economy – everything the brothers were looking for. He sent for Johannes, who was exploring other locations, and began to set up shop at 1524 West Main St.
On Sept. 22, 1897, Gustav opened for business. An article in The State newspaper extolled the elegance of the new store. “Mr. Gustav Sylvan has opened a high-grade jewelry store at 1524 Main Street. He has fitted his store handsomely with walnut and glass cases, which show his elegant stock off to good advantage. Mr. Sylvan proposes to cater to the best trade of Columbia. He handles only the very best jewelry, and anything that may be purchased from him will come up to what it is represented by him as being.” Johannes arrived in Columbia six months later, and on March 2, 1898 the brothers ran their first ad for Sylvan Brothers Jewelers.
The Sylvan brothers moved their shop to the beautiful Second Empire-style building on the corner of Main and Hampton streets in June 1905, where Sylvan’s Jewelers remains to this day. A year later, they installed the beautiful four-sided clock that still stands on the corner. One of the firm’s earliest commissions was to design the official University of South Carolina ring, which were handmade in the Sylvan’s workshop for many years.
Today Sylvan’s Jewelers remains true to the heritage and the traditions of quality and customer service established by the Sylvan brothers 116 years ago. The firm is owned and operated by the fourth generation of a family of jewelers, and continues to represent some of the finest timepiece, diamond and designer jewelry brands in the world including Hearts On Fire, Mikimoto, Christopher Designs, John Hardy, Grainger McKoy, Charles Krypell, Pandora, Marco Bicego, SLANE, Rolex, Ball, Raymond Weil and Tissot.