Robert Limon, Inc.is a family owned and operatedfirm founded in 1950, with rootsback to 1920. It was in 1920 that Jacob Limon, Robert's father, opened his own "trade shop", designing and manufacturing the finest handmade jewelry in platinum and gold for retail jewelers in the Washington, DC and Richmond, VA areas.
After twenty years of training and experience in his father's shop, Robert Limon, by then a well qualified platinum and gold craftsman who had completed the gem courses offered by the Gemological Institute of America, and had earned membership and the title "Certified Gemologist" in the prestigious American Gem Society, left his father's firm and opened his own trade shop and gemological laboratory in 1950.
During the next ten years, Mr. Limon developed a clientele of fine retail jewelers, at the same time opening his business to the public for gemological services (appraising, gem identification and grading) only.
During this period, also, he devised a unique method of grading the "make" (quality of cutting) of diamonds, and invented three instruments required to ascertain those grades. He was elected to the board of directors of the American Gem Society from 1959 to 1966, and 1975 to 1981, serving on the Diamond Grading Committee, The Appraisals Committee, and the Organization and Procedures Committee.
In 1960, Mr. Limon moved in to the jewelry retail business, buying a Washington store from Ferrucio Pini. Mr. Pini, a superb craftsman in gold and silver, had depended on Mr. Limon for all his customers' custom orders in platinum. At that time, Mr. Pini wished to retire and return to his native Florence, Italy, while assuring his clients continuation of the superior craftsmanship and ethical business practices he had afforded them for forty years.
In 1968, the firm was incorporated and moved to its present location at 7909 Norfolk Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. Here, the firm continues to provide platinum and gold jewelry handmade to the highest standards of materials and craftsmanship, as well as restoration and repairs of fine jewelry. The firm specializes in the sale of diamonds cut to ideal proportions and finish, colored gems of high quality, high quality jewelry from other manufactures, and antique and estate jewelry, and provides accurate, dependable gemological services.
In 1977, Clifford F. Limon, Jr., Robert's grandson, joined the firm. He undertook several years of training and experience at the bench, is a Registered Jeweler, American Gem Society, and is now the President of the firm. Under his direction, the firm is continuing to maintain the highest standards of craftsmanship, selection of gems and manufactured jewelry for sale, and personal service to its clients.
Further Historical Notes:
In 1953 Robert Limon was honored at a special dinner meeting of the Washington Guild of the American Gem Society, a group of approximately 25 jewelers in the Washington, Annapolis, Baltimore, Richmond and Hagerstown areas. Mr. Limon was honored for his continuing efforts to help other jewelers become efficient gemologists and to maintain elevated ethical standards of jewelry business conduct.
In 1975, at the request of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, Robert Limon removed the famous Hope Diamond from its diamond necklace setting, made and installed concealed locking hinges in two of its four prongs, and reset it to facilitate the future risk-free removal of the gem for weighing and scientific study.
Robert Limon was the principal author of the AGS Diamond Grading Standards published in 1966 and adopted by the American Gem Society in 1975.
Robert Limon was the author of the AGS Standards for Appraisal and Gemological Services adopted by the Society in September 1979.
In 1972, Robert Limon was the recipient of the Shipley Award, the jewelry industry's most prestigious award, conferred for outstanding service to the American Gem Society, to the science of gemology, and to the public.
On May 12, 1998, Robert Limon passed on after a long battle with congestive heart failure. In August of the same year, Cliff's brother, Robbie Limon joined the firm and is working at the bench with Harry Marsoubian, whom trained with Robert for 27 years.
We continue to be dedicated to the principals of integrity, customer service, quality and value.
Following is the obit that ran in the trade press...
AGS’s ROBERT LIMON DIES AT 85
Robert Limon, an American Gem Society Certified Gemologist and recipient of the Robert M. Shipley Award, AGS’s top honor, died May 12 at his home in Bethesda, Md. He was 85 years old. Limon, the principal author of AGS’s Diamond Grading Standards Manual, received the Shipley Award in 1972 for outstanding service to the society, the science of gemology, and the public.
Limon gained his experience working for his father, Jacob. Jacob Limon opened his own “trade shop” in 1920, designing and manufacturing fine jewelry in platinum and gold for retail jewelers in the Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va., areas.
After 20 years of training and experience in his father’s shop, Robert Limon opened his own trade shop and gemological laboratory, Robert Limon Inc., in 1950.
While operating a traditional jewelry store and appraisal lab, he spent years devising a unique method of grading the “make” (proportions and finish) of diamonds, which eventually became the “Cut” grade of AGS’s “four Cs” grading system. Always a strong supporter of AGS standards, he served on the society’s board of directors from 1959 to 1966 and again from 1975 to 1981. He also was a member of numerous AGS committees.
In 1975, at the request of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Limon removed the famous Hope Diamond from its necklace setting, repaired the original, made and installed concealed locking hinges in two of its four prongs, and then reset it to facilitate the future risk-free removal of the gem for weighing and scientific study. It was at this time that he and then-Smithsonian curator Paul Desautels discovered that the Hope had “grown”; the diamond weighed in at 45.5 cts. instead of its previously recorded weight of 44.5 cts. Jacob Limon reportedly made the original platinum mounting for the Hope.
Cliff Limon Jr., Robert Limon’s grandson, is continuing the family tradition at the jewelry store, which he joined in 1977.