Family Jewelry Business to Close After More Than 200 Years

Celebrities like Muhammad Ali, politicians like President John F. Kennedy and the locals of Cape Cod have shelled out big bucks for diamond rings and bracelets at Monahan Fine Jewelers in Harwich, Massachusetts. But after more than 200 years in business, the mom-and-pop shop will be closing its doors.

Michael Monahan, who owns the shop on Route 28 in Harwich Port, gave a tour through the maze of glass display cases, showing items from their exclusive "Cape Cod Collection," which features bracelets with cranberry shaped clasps. But it's the blast from the past he loves to show off the most.

It's like walking through a time capsule of Americana. They've been around since 1815.

Monahan is also proud of his Irish roots and says his family introduced the Claddagh ring to America in the early 1800s.

"The hands are friendship, the heart is love, and the crown is loyalty to your partner," Monahan said of the ring.

There's something for everyone. The price points vary wildly, from as low as $15, all the way up to $100,000 for a canary diamond bracelet.

While the family business overall is a huge success, Monahan says it's hard to forget the low points, as well.

The unsolved case of a stolen gold leprechaun statue got a lot of media attention.

"There’s still a $1,000 reward to get him back," said Monahan.

A scary armed robbery also took place back in 1993.

"It was the largest in Cape Cod's history, over $500,000," he said.

His partner, Neal Waters, also recently passed away, and Monahan says his daughter is no longer interested in running the iconic storefront.

"With the internet and everything else that's happening, lot of stores closing," Monahan said.

So after his great-great-grandfather first set up the family business in Worcester, the 78-year-old is selling the store on the Cape, closing for good at the end of September, and finally retiring.

"That's what I'm going to miss the most, the people," Monahan said. "But it's time for me to play golf."

The youngest of six generations of Monahans says she will now continue part of the jewelry business online.

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