History of Jonette Jewelry: Start-Up
The JJ company was started by a man named Abraham Lisker. Before he decided on his career path, Mr. Lisker trained as a physician, until he changed directions and entered the jewelry industry, working for several years in Rhode Island. In 1935, he started his own business, “Providence Jewelry Company”, and produced costume jewelry in East Providence, RI.
In 1937, when his brother Nathan joined the business, the name was changed to "Lisker & Lisker". Following the sales success and popularity of their ballerina and mother-of-pearl pins, Abraham Lisker directed the company towards novelty figurals.
When World War II began, Abraham Lisker closed the factory (due to government restrictions and shortages of materials), then enlisted and served a two year tour of duty in the U.S. Army. At the War’s end, the Lisker brothers decided to rename the company, and they combined the names of their parents, John and Etta, to form the name Jonette. Records show that “Jonette Jewelry Co.” was established in 1944, incorporated in the state of Rhode Island.
History of Jonette Jewelry: Production
1970 marked the start of the “copyright JJ” mark, which was signed on all pieces from that point on.
Abraham Lisker decided to retire in 1972, and his son, B. Gordon Lisker, became the new head of the company. Gordon Lisker began to outsource some of the firm’s production to other companies.
In 1986, they registered the name "Artifacts", and used the Roman numerals MCMLXXXVI on jewelry cards.
In 1988 they released a Southwestern line with the "Santa Fe" mark, signed “JJ 1988”.
The company used different metals and finishes (including brass, pewter, base metal, sterling silver, enameling and resin) and manufactured thousands of figural and whimsical novelty designs, to date. Best known for their pins, Jonette Jewelry Co. also manufactured jewelry, letter openers, photograph frames, watch straps or bands or bracelets, bookmarks, candle holders and more.
History of Jonette Jewelry: Closing
After 62 years as a family owned private company, Jonette Jewelry Co. ended production in September, 2006.