Boyer's Diamond & Gold Source was founded in 1987 by Dr. Hardin and Meredith Boyer. Their mission statement was simple – to offer fine jewelry at reasonable prices with exceptional customer service. The Boyer's built a firm and loyal customer base by fulfilling that mission for 24 years.
After much deliberation, Dr. and Mrs. Boyer sold the business in August, 2011 to David Cohen, a trusted friend and diamond wholesaler from Virginia Beach, VA. The Boyer's chose David from other suitors because they saw David's philosophy of business to be the same as theirs and he agreed to keep the store name and all store staff in place.
After 25 years in business, Boyer's continues to offer fine jewelry at reasonable prices with new lines and new vendors added regularly. Our specialty is still diamonds, but our inventory is varied across the full spectrum of fine jewelry.
“They say America is a land of opportunity,” David Cohen says with a smile, “and it is; but only if you take advantage of it. In Israel, we love the United States. America has always been like an older brother to us. That’s why I felt comfortable moving here. Without the support of America, Israel wouldn’t exist.”
Since arriving in Virginia Beach in 1991, David has become somewhat of an expert in recognizing and making the most out of the opportunities around him. In his native Hebrew language, there are two different ways to spell the word opportunity: hizdamnut, which represents the singular form of the word, and hizdamnuiot, which represents the plural form. After listening to David share some of his experiences about becoming a successful entrepreneur on American soil, there can be little doubt which of the two words is appropriate for his circumstances.
“I have been here (in Virginia) for twenty years and experienced a lot of excellent things,” he says. “But I started out in a very negative position. When I moved here, I had a partner in the diamond wholesale business who was also my best friend from high school. We grew up together. His family was like my family. A couple of months after I arrived, our wholesale office was robbed and my friend was killed. I was devastated. The robbers stole everything, so we had no money. I had a wife who was terrified, a son who was four years old, and I spoke very little English. When my mother heard about it, she sent my older brother to come get me.”
As David struggled to come to terms with this tragic turn of events, he was buoyed by the support of a couple of friends who were attending classes at Old Dominion University. Taking their advice, he made up his mind to stay put and pursue his dream of living in America.
“It was hard,” David remembers. “I couldn’t function for at least a month. But then, slowly, I started to get back on my feet. I moved to a different office and started to see customers again. I had a good friend in Israel who was a diamond-dealer. He gave me a bunch of diamonds, and said ‘David, go to work.’ He knew that there were no guarantees, but he said, ‘When you get the money, then you can pay me.’ That helped me a lot.”
In addition to receiving help from friends, David credits much of his success as an entrepreneur to hard work and adherence to good moral principles. Before coming to America, he cultivated the ability to multi-task as an air traffic controller in the Israeli armed forces and also spent time working as a diamond cutter. After twenty years of building relationships in the Williamsburg and Southside communities, he is now the owner of Boyer's Diamond and Gold Source in Lightfoot, the proprietor of two restaurants in Virginia Beach, and continues to work as a global diamond wholesale dealer. In order to keep up with his assortment of business ventures, David splits his time between his home in Virginia Beach and his home here in Williamsburg. He also makes periodic trips back to Israel to visit family and to stock up his inventory of wholesale jewelry products.
“I go back to Israel two or three times a year to buy diamonds,” he says. “The people there are very warm. When you visit, you don’t go to a hotel; you stay at someone’s house. In the beginning, I was confused by how I felt when I went back. I didn’t lose my identity, but it was hard. After a while, I didn’t feel like I was a part of (what was happening over there). I had become an American. I will always feel I have two homes, but I have to say that America is my home now. I think I have become a lot more patriotic than some of the people I know who don’t care as much. When I go to basketball games and they play the national anthem, I get the chills. I feel like I am part of it.”
David’s zeal for living in America was rewarded several years ago when he got a call from a friend who had ties in the political community.
“One day, a good friend called and asked if I wanted to meet the President,” he remembers. “I said, ‘Are you kidding?’ It is hard to explain, but when you grow up in a small country like Israel, and there is so much war, you are very appreciative that there is someone watching over you. The President [George W. Bush] was scheduled to come to Virginia Beach for a private brunch at someone’s home. When I met him, we shook hands, and I told him Shalom (peace) from my family in Israel. After that, we took a picture, and talked for a few minutes. He asked what I thought about this and what I thought about that. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh....I’m giving advice to the president.’ When I left, I felt like I was walking on air. The first thing I did was call my mom!”
Though George W. Bush is probably the most prominent personality David has met in his travels, he has come across many other people who turned out to be just as interesting in their own way. Recently, David bumped into a man who was the keynote speaker at the Jewish Community Center in Virginia Beach. The speaker was actually a reformed terrorist who, during a long period of incarceration, had changed his mind about Israeli citizens and was seeking to promote peace in the Middle East. David listened intently to the man’s message, and wondered if there could be a connection between him and an older brother who had served in the Israeli secret service. After the talk was over, David walked up to the speaker, introduced himself, and asked him if he had ever heard of his brother. When he told the speaker his brother’s name, there was instant recognition.
“Of course I know him,” the man said. “Your brother is one of the men who arrested me!” Both men got a good laugh out of this strange coincidence, and David commended the man for his commitment to standing up for Israel. “It’s a small world,” he says, laughing.
Talking with David about his life over the past twenty years brings to mind an ancient Hebrew legend. As the story is told, there once lived a phoenix named Milcham who, because of good deeds, was awarded the gift of immortality. After enjoying a peaceful millennial existence inside the walls of a sanctuary, Milcham heralded the end of his life cycle by rising up and bursting into flames. When the heat of the fire dissipated, a new phoenix rose from the ashes to live again for another thousand years. Over time, this mythical story of rebirth has evolved into a parable of hope and healing for those who suffer from afflictions in the modern-day world. Today, both Milcham and David serve as a reminder that even the scorching heat of present adversity cannot keep us, at last, from rising out of the ashes into a new day.
Looking back, David remembers the rough start he endured his first year in the United States. “I was at the bottom of the pile mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially,” he says. “I tell my story to a lot of people to teach them that if you are committed; if you are an honest person, you are not lazy, and you have good integrity, you can make it. God will give you the tools, but He will not do it for you. You never know how strong you are until you go through something like that. But when things happen, you find out that you have a lot of strength that you didn’t know about. If I did it, so can you.”
It brings to mind that special word again - the name for difficult trials and obstacles that are successfully overcome: Hizdamnuiot
Boyer’s Diamond & Gold Source Sold to Veteran Diamond Dealer
Local business owners sell well-known jewelry store, but will keep current name.
Boyer’s Diamond & Gold Source has been sold to David Cohen, a diamonds dealer from Virginia Beach that has had a long-standing relationship with the Boyer's. The store will begin new ownership on August 29, 2011. Dr. Hardin and Meredith Boyer, store owners, opened the store twenty-four years ago in Lightfoot, VA. After a shared business trip to Israel to purchase diamonds, first talks began regarding Cohen taking ownership of the store in Williamsburg. Interest on all sides intensified in what both felt was a perfect partnership.
“After many years of thought, my wife and I decided we wanted to spend more time with our family and traveling, after being completely dedicated to our store for the past twenty four years,” states Dr. Boyer. “We knew eventually we wanted to sell, but had some specific parameters we wanted to meet.”
Always considering their employees as family, the Boyers would only entertain a purchase that would allow them to retail their full staff and that would be a beneficial deal for everyone, regardless of price offered. It was also critical that the philosophy of the company remain unchanged; their prices would remain extremely competitive, they would continue to offer the same quality jewelry they were known for, and would give the same high level of customer service they have always strived to provide. The Boyer's feel that David Cohen will achieve all of these objectives while keeping the company’s name and current staff.
David grew up as a diamond cutter in the jewelry industry; then moved into buying and selling diamonds wholesale to jewelry stores. He has contacts worldwide and travels to Israel several times a year to purchase diamonds. David is a resident of Virginia Beach and Williamsburg and has two children.
“We feel we have found the best possible new owner for our beloved store, whose values are identical to our own in everything Boyer’s Diamond &Gold Source stands for,” says Boyer. “I think that if you walk into Boyer’s six months from now, everything will be just as it has always been even with a new owner. David is going to do a phenomenal job with the business and taking care of our customers, and we are confident he will meet with much success.”
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