J. Vair Anderson Jewellers - Uncovering Calgary’s Oldest Jewel

By Danielle Rourke

“If it was easy, there would be a lot more of it.” J.Vair – on summing up 70+ years of success. 

It was 1909, it was Montreal, and it was where it all began. J. Vair Anderson was a young man, patiently completing his training to become a watchmaker. After skilfully completing his mission, he soon excitedly boards a train heading west.  Originally on route to Vancouver and California, he makes a stop in Calgary to visit his uncle Harry Anderson. He never leaves. Once in Calgary, J.Vair is introduced to DE Black, one of the city’s first notable jewellers. Immediately struck by J. Vair’s talent, Black quickly offers him a spot on his first jewellery bench. J. Vair knew a good opportunity when he found one, so spent the next few years with working with Black then Birks, learning the ropes of the business inside and out. Dreams came true in 1925, when J. Vair officially opened what is today considered Calgary’s oldest luxury jewellery store, J.Vair Anderson Jewellers. 

Downtown Calgary has been home to J.Vair over the span of 9 decades of Canadian history. They’ve seen it all. From the great depression, to the Second World War, the BOOM and the Bust of the oil industry, to a global pandemic, J. Vair has remained. Decades of devotion later, this successful generational business is almost 100 years old. Originating on 8th Ave in the original Bay building, the store has been on 1st St, TD Square Mall, and now its current location on 3rd Street across from the Westin hotel. Here in Calgary’s vibrant downtown core, generations of loyal customers and staff have become family and a retail labour of love has endured. Fostering personal long-term relationships is key, and it’s common to find generations of grandparents, parents and now sons and daughters, buying their wedding and engagement rings from J. Vair Anderson. It is these and other on-going relationships that are the absolute pride to the Andersons. Three years ago, new owner Annette Toro came on the scene and she plans to keep the high regard for personal relationships at the core of everything they do. Whether you’re a customer, vendor or partner, your relationship is valued and based on trust, integrity and excellence.

Enticing window displays, a recent renovation, and skilled, accredited, informative staff is what you’ll discover here today. The full time designer and gemologist are ready to design your unique engagement ring, educate you about different stones, or appraise your family heirloom. A custom project might include an in-person sketch or 3D rendering. A dated family heirloom can be transformed into the modern ring or necklace of your dreams, or your certified timepiece or estate jewellery can be bought or consigned. 

You can get a watch repaired or you can buy your next Rolex here. A team of skilled watchmakers have continued throughout the generations here, made of grandfathers, fathers, and sons. Their eclectic European sourced selection of brand new watches, rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets will please the most discerning customer. You will find the finest selection of diamonds, coloured stones, gold and pearls. Frequent trips are made around the globe; ensuring clients have the very best of what the world has to offer. Exclusivity often exists with their designer jewellery brands and this can include, Wellendorf, Mikimoto, Isabelle Fa, Henrich and Denzel, Lauren K. and Stephen Webster. Watch brands include Rolex, Sinn, Grand Seiko, Seiko H. Moser & Cie., NOMOS and Bremont. 

Sometimes life throws stones while we keep finding diamonds. A certain authenticity and a certain resolve, is what keeps this generational business in tact for nearly 100 years. A strong commitment to service, quality, and luxurious product, is sure to maintain that Calgary’s oldest luxury jeweller, J.Vair Anderson will be around for another century and many more. Keep shining bright!

Posted by ROSS Magazine on


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