The History of Unclaimed Diamonds

In the Beginning

Louis Sulkowitch and grandson Matthew

Philadelphia and Unclaimed Diamonds have a long and ever growing history of jewelry and diamonds. Just as Philadelphia has changed and evolved over the years, so has Unclaimed Diamonds. Unclaimed Diamonds started selling jewelry and diamonds way back in 1914, when it was run by a Russian immigrant named Louis Sulkowitch, the great grandfather of the current owner, Matthew Sulby. The first store, which later evolved into what is today known as Unclaimed Diamonds, was at the corner of 9th and Arch and was named LS Model Co (after the owners name Louis Sulkowitch).

The Family Jewelry Store Tradition Continues

When Louis`son Henry( the grandfather )at about 30 years of age, left his Dad’s (Louis Sulkowitch’s) jewelry store to strike out on his own, he started his own jewelry store on the corner of 8th and Market St. Unfortunately, at the time Sulkowitch (for reasons relating to bias) was not well recieved in the banking community so he changed the family name to Sulby, which it remains today. By the mid ’50s he had sufficiently grown his business to justify a move to  30 South 15th St (the corner of Ranstead and 15th ) next door to the Goldman Theatre, the famous Philadelphia landmark It was at this location that the jewelry store was named “Bond Jewelers”.

The previous shop keeper was a tailor named “Bond Tailors” and the sign on the building read, “Bond Tailors”. In those days a smart business owner always looked for ways to save money so that it could be reinvested in the business  and in order to save costs in the production of signage, the word “tailor” was simply removed from the sign and the name “Bond Jewelers” was born.

Granddad stayed at that location until 1985 when good family fortune led him to sell the business, just 6 months before the Meridian fire, which would have surely driven him out of business had he not already left 6 months earlier.

Retirement must have ill-suited Henry Sulkowitch (now Sulby), for he contacted his grandson Matthew, who was working for another jeweler at the time, about starting a business in Philadelphia’s Jewelers Row offering costume jewelry. For the next 5 years they happily prospered at 108 S 8th St, still under the name of Bond Jewelers.

Jewelers’ Row

Henry retired again in 1992, selling the business to Matthew, who moved it – once again – to 110 S 8th St. in Jewelers Row. It was then that Matthew conceived the idea of selling diamonds that had been put on layaway and never claimed. The business evolved as more and more customers began identifying Bond Jewelers as the “Unclaimed Diamond Jeweler”.

On March 8th, 1999, 85 years after his great grandfather opened his 1st store in Philadelphia; Matthew Sulby moved the business to its present location at 113 S 8th St in the heart of Philadelphia’s Jewelers Row. The long standing history of  hard work, fairness, reliability, and honesty continued to make the business thrive. Customer loyalty was growing. With the name of Bond Jewelers no longer suitable for the primary trade (the business specialized in items put on layaway and never picked up), the name was changed to the more descriptive name of “Unclaimed Diamonds”. Time and progress have not caused the jewelry store to forget its roots and become an elitist store. Unclaimed Diamonds continues the broad “open to all” friendly policies of Louis and Henry with warm welcomes to people of all walks of life. They carry a broad range of affordable jewelry, diamonds, engagement rings, wedding sets, wedding bands and watches and today specialize in items that people put on layaway and never pick up – these items being lost or unclaimed layaways.

Today, 30 Years Later

Unclaimed Diamonds is proud to have served you, our loyal customers, for over 30 years. With changing economic times and uncertainty, it is reassuring to know that Unclaimed Diamonds is unwavering in our commitment to quality diamond and gold jewelry and exceptional customer service