The Daily Times
WEST OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — Things are looking golden for D.A. Kozma Jewelers. Earlier this month, after 11 years of being a fixture in West Ocean outlets, Dan Kozma opened a new door by moving his jewelry business to the Food Lion Shopping Center on Route 611.
“We wanted to be close to our old space,” said Kozma. “We are surprisingly surprised. Our customers are finding us, which is the important thing.”
While their 11 years at the outlet center were profitable, Kozma feels the Food Lion Shopping Center is more local and more of a shopping destination, with Elliott’s Hardware across the street, a gym and carryout.
“It’s cozier over here,” said Mike Brown, Kozma’s goldsmith since the late 1990s. “There was a little bit more apprehension of customers to come in the door over there. I do notice that more people will pop in now, just to see what’s going on.”
D.A. Kozma is a full service jewelry store. They make custom jewelry on site, buy and sell estate jewelry, sell new jewelry, and buy gold, silver and coins. Kozma boasts about their competitive prices and knowledgeable employees.
“We have fabulous employees. All of our help is extremely friendly.”
Kozma is an accomplished jewelry artisan himself, designing his own creations since he was a child. Born in Ellicott City, Kozma attended the University of Maryland in College Park for a degree in geology and has been in business in the resort since the late 1970s.
“After high school, I was making jewelry and selling it at craft shows and flea markets and to my friends,” said Kozma. “I opened a little teeny store down here on Somerset Street in 1978. I saw there was potential, and just kind of hung in there with it. At first it was a tourist business. Now that has evolved into more local trade.”
After relocating to Ocean City’s 45th Street Village for a time, Kozma, who runs the business with his wife, Adrienne, moved his shop to developing West Ocean City in 2003.
“West Ocean City’s really grown up, with a lot more restaurants and traffic out here,” he said. “When I was first down here in ’78, people boarded up their stores (for the winter).”
Kozma started staying open all year in the early 1990s.
“It was a transitional kind of thing. We started staying open a little later. First it was September, then October, then November, then opening a little bit sooner.”
When the price of gold went through the roof, Kozma’s jewelry business changed. Gold is currently selling for an all-time high of around $1,700 per ounce.
“For most of the 30-some years I’ve been in business, it was in the $300, $400, $500 range. It’s tripled and quadrupled what it was.”
People are cashing in on gold jewelry that is out-of-style or never worn. Kozma melts down some of the gold jewelry he buys and reuses it, “just like it’s been done for centuries. Some jewelry we keep. If it’s nice looking pieces — estate pieces — if it’s in decent condition, we polish it up and try to resell it, try to give it a life again.”
Kozma, a coin collector himself, also buys coins to keep or resell to other dealers.
“We do buy collectible coins,” he said. “I’ve paid up to $5,000 for a silver dollar.”
Gold buying is “a bigger part of (our business) that never really existed before. So it’s a nice little extra perk,” said Kozma.
Information from: The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., http://www.delmarvanow.com/
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)