Seth Shipley is a local jeweler and auctioneer, the proprietor of Shipley’s Fine Jewelry in Hampstead.
When he left the US Air Force in 1986, he got into the jewelry business. Shipley worked in Jackson, Mississippi and then transferred to Mobile, Alabama. He bought that store and ran the store until 1989 when he moved back to Maryland.
Shipley grew up on a small farm in Eldersburg, so he wanted to return to his roots. He worked for a retail establishment and doing jewelry work on the side. He got so busy, Shipley incorporated as Jewelers’ Bench Inc in 1990.
In 1991, Shipley opened his retail store in Hampstead. Shipley bought his current building in 1999 and moved his business there where the store remains today. Trends in jewelry change over the years. In the 1980s and 1990s marquise diamonds were very popular. A marquise diamond is a football shaped diamond.
From the early 2000s to mid-2000s, a square princess cut became the fashion. Recently, cushions and ovals and rose gold have become trends. A cushion is a pillow top look. It is a cross between a princess cut, a round and an emerald cut. Retail has changed.
“The biggest thing we have to do is let people know why something is priced as it is. Our job is to let people know, ‘You get what you pay for,’ because what you see is not what you may get on the internet,” Shipley said.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day this Monday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m., we are presenting an amazing one-woman show entitled “Harriet Tubman: The Chosen One.”
By Judy Morley
Jan 16, 2019 | 11:00 AM
Shipley enjoys traveling to Antwerp, Belgium to hand pick diamonds for his clients.
“To me every diamond and every gemstone tells a story. It is the reason why. I bought this because or I bought this to give to someone because,” Shipley explained. “When we design a piece of jewelry, it is usually taking a family piece of jewelry or something that has a story and starting a whole new story.”
Twenty-six years ago, a gentleman named Glenn Anderson came into his store. Shipley designed wedding rings for Anderson and his bride-to-be. The couple graduated from Western Maryland College. Both were in the ROTC program.
When he met Lisa, the fiancée, in a joking manner, she said, “when I retire from the Army, I want to be your business partner.” Shipley is happy to announce that in 2015, Glenn and Lisa Anderson became his business partners.
He likes being in the jewelry business because it is being part of the “love” business. People buy jewelry because they love somebody; husband, wife, daughter, sister, son, or brother.
Businesses on Main Street get asked daily for donations to local charities. In his early years, his family lived in Arcadia and he spent Friday nights at the well-known Snyder’s Auction in Hampstead. He has always had a hidden desire to be an auctioneer.
In 2013, he realized his dream by attending Mendenhall School of Auctioneering in High Point, N.C. Being involved with some local nonprofits and learning what an auction could do to help a nonprofit raise money, Shipley soon brought auctioneering to their benefit. Shipley’s first auction was for Carroll Community College’s Starry Night event, where he raised $7,000 in seven minutes. At another local charity auction, the money raised has doubled with Shipley’s help in the past three years. It brings an excitement to the event.
He is a 2018 graduate of the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute at Indiana University and Certified Auctioneers Institute.He can be contacted at shipleysfinejewery.com or 410-239-9477. They are at 1224 North Main Street in Hampstead.