5 things you didn’t know about JOHN RAVENSTEINBy NIKKI ROWELL,
His passion is collecting cars of varying types. He loves to travel to surrouding areas to ride dirt bikes. Rock bands from the 1970s are his favorite. He loves traveling to Asian countries. He and his wife got engaged in Hong Kong. He says people are usually surprised to learn he went to military school.
Juniker Jewelry is a fourth-generation jewelry store that combines 150 years of experience in the jewelry industry and an extensive collection of jewelry.
This year marks the 75th year of the store’s existence, which began in 1944 as watch repair company with a single case of jewelry on Capitol Street in Jackson.
A second location was opened in Highland Village in 1988. The two locations were consolidated into the Highland Village location in 1990, but it made its home in Madison in 2016.
John Ravenstein, a third-generation owner, took over the store with one of his brothers in 2000.
His nephews Corey Ravenstein and James Ray Adams are fourth-generation family members to take part in the business.
Juniker Jewelry features a large bridal selection, designer lines and one-of-a-kind custom design pieces.
“We are a strong bridal store,” Ravenstein said.
Ravenstein’s favorite pieces are those in the Heritage Collection, which is created by Juniker Jewelry due to a high demand for art deco-inspired rings.
“Our specialty is bridal,” he said. “We import our own diamonds. We really specialize in fine jewelry.”
Ravenstein joined the family business full time one week after he was graduated from high school.
He attended Madison Ridgeland Academy and Wentworth Military Academy.
As for his education in jewelry, Ravenstein said he learned from “the school of hard knocks.”
“My father was a jeweler, my grandfather was a jeweler, my great uncle was a jeweler,” he said. “I think I had it in my blood when I was born. Gold dust flowing through my veins.”
Even though he didn’t join the store full time until after graduation, his work began at Juniker long before that.
He worked part time in the store when he was younger.
“I would get out of school and ride my bicycle downtown, when our store was down on Capitol Street,” he said. “I would ride my bicycle downtown and do engraving and clean the counters. You know, just whatever my mom and dad needed me to do.”
The store also offers a lot of custom jewelry.
“My passion is the design aspect of the business,” he said. “I do a lot of designing and redesigning. Customers come to me with a piece that has been passed down from generation to generation. I take the stones out and remake it into something different.”
The store also offers repair services and engraving.
“When it comes to jewelry, there is not much we cannot do,” Ravenstein said.
Juniker Jewelry is also a member of the American Gem Society.