Dedication to Quality for More Than a Century

Josephs has been family owned for five generations, and we have never lost sight of our dedication to quality merchandise and expertise. From baby gifts, saying “yes” or landing your dream job, we help each person celebrate life’s special moments.

1861

Humble Origins

Before Ellis Island was established, Solomon Josephi immigrated from Prussia to New York City.

1862

A Path Emerges

During the Civil War, Solomon moved to Illinois to learn the watchmaking trade at the Elgin Watch Company.

1870

The First Step

Solomon established himself in Des Moines and joined Plumb Brothers Jewelry.

1871

The Legacy Begins

After changing his last name, Solomon Joseph started “S. Joseph and Sons” on 4th and Walnut in the Kirkwood Hotel. He became known as a meticulous jeweler and timekeeper. His impeccable reputation earned him the official timekeeper for the railroads in Des Moines.

Solomon’s store added thimbles, watches, eyeglasses and repair services, and eventually Polk county license tags to its services.

1900

A Familiar Form Emerges

The store, now called Josephs, expanded into fine jewelry and giftware. The first piece of jewelry ever sold is currently at the West Des Moines location. It is a base metal lapel pin that made its way back to Josephs.

1924

Prosperity and Growth

Josephs operated in five locations in Marshalltown, Waterloo, Grinnell, Carlisle and Springfield, Missouri. The headquarters moved to the Equitable Insurance Building.

1927

A Near Calamity

After two partners passed away and their widows took a cash stake, the company was forced to sell all but the Equitable Building location to pay them off.

1934

Leading the Profession

The American Gem Society is established. Josephs was a founding member and investor.

1946

A Continuing Vision

Burton Joseph was appointed to GIA’s Board of Governors. He was instrumental in developing GIA through his participation in the Jewelers Research Group. Josephs is still an active member to this day.

1959

Modern Store Takes Shape

Josephs opened a store in the new Merle Hay Plaza and was one of the first 11 tenants.

1979

A Holy Customer

Josephs sold the piece of Cybis porcelain that was presented to Pope John Paul II. A framed photograph is at the West Des Moines location.

1991

Heading West

Josephs bought Plumb’s Jewelers space in Valley West Mall.

2005

The New Flagship

Josephs closed the Merle Hay Mall location and opened the new flagship location in West Des Moines on Mills Civic Parkway.

2016

Focus on Service

The company merged the Valley West and Mills Civic locations.

2018

The Family Continues

Jake Joseph was promoted to company president, making him the fifth generation Joseph to run the stores.