Mel Bernie Company

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Mel Bernie Company
1928 Jewelry Company
Industry Jewelry manufacturing
Founded Los Angeles, California (1968 (1968))
Founder Melvyn Bernie
Headquarters Burbank, California, United States
Key people
Melvyn Bernie
Products Jewelry
Owner Melvyn Bernie
Number of employees
  • Increase 200 (1990)
  • 250 (2013)

The Mel Bernie Company, trading as 1928 Jewelry Company (and sometimes referred to simply as "1928 Jewelry") is a manufacturer and wholesaler of costume jewelry and novelties. They also distribute their products directly to consumers through their website.

Company information[edit]

The 1928 Jewelry Company was founded by Melvyn Bernie in 1968.[1] Today, it is one of the largest and last standing jewelry manufacturers in the U.S. The company specializes in reproductions and interpretations of antique jewelry designs. It is located in Burbank, California and has about 250 employees as of 2013. It is a privately held company.

The company has diversified and grown by extending the 1928 brand into several other labels and categories including "2028", "1928 Boutique", the "Vatican Library Collection", "Antiquities Couture", and "1928 Hair Jewelry". In 2011, 1928 Jewelry reached an agreement with Laundry by Shelli Segal (a Perry Ellis International brand) to design and market jewelry complementary to that fashion line.[2] In 2012, 1928 Jewelry launched a line of Marvel Comics superhero themed jewelry.[3]


In addition to the core foundation of 1928 jewelry, the company also designs and sells under six specialty brands:

  • 2028. 2028 was developed as an exclusive line for Macy's, as a modernized take on vintage aesthetics using premium components.
  • The Vatican Library Collection. Through an exclusive licensing agreement with the Vatican Library, 1928 Jewelry obtained the rights to reproduce objects and jewelry that are found in the collections of religious artifacts in the Vatican City library. Drawing on these resources, 1928 Jewelry created The Vatican Library Collection, a line of faith-oriented jewelry and gifts such as jeweled angels, etched crosses, engraved crucifixes, hand strung rosaries, hand-enameled rosary boxes, bookmarks and key chains.
  • Antiquities Couture. A couture-inspired jewelry line inspired by design styles of the Renaissance, Victorian and Grecian eras. Items include pendant necklaces, brooches, earrings and bracelets in gold and silver tones with pearls and semi-precious stones.
  • 1928 Boutique. Intended to offer a retro style upscale alternative to the widely distributed costumer and vintage jewelry collections found in large department stores
  • T.R.U. This collection blends multicultural and vintage trinkets intended to convey a bohemian effect, using semi-precious and Swarovski stones, aged suede and leather, gold wiring and tumbled metals.
  • Downton Abbey. Inspired by the Edwardian and Art Deco jewelry of the TV show’s period, this collection was created by the design team at 1928 and approved by the Downton Abbey producers in England through an exclusive licensing agreement. The Downton Abbey Jewellery Collection features authentic details and motifs from the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras.[4][5]

Environmental issues[edit]

  • In 1993, The Mel Bernie Company reportedly discharged 250 pounds of toxic copper compounds into groundwater.[6]
  • The Mel Bernie Company was included in a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, based on 1995 data, as a "large quantity generator of hazardous waste".[7]
  • In 2000, the company entered into a consent decree with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). The Department had accused the Mel Bernie Company of illegally polluting runoff water with cyanide and other toxic byproducts of jewelry manufacture. The Mel Bernie Company, without admitting any violation, agreed to ensure that its operations would comply with state regulations in future, initiate inspection procedures, and train employees in toxic waste handling.[8]
  • In 2002, the California DTSC obtained an enforcement order[9] after a 2001 inspection found eight violations of state environmental law at the Mel Bernie Company, including keeping a leaking hazardous waste tank in operation and keeping toxic substances in improperly labeled containers.[10]
  • In 2005, the company reached a settlement with the California DTSC to resolve a dispute regarding the 2002 enforcement decree. Again without admitting any violation, the Mel Bernie Company again agreed to train employees in toxic waste handling and to pay an additional fine of $25,000US. Company has corrected all violations noted during the inspection.[10]


  1. ^ Patrice Apodaca (May 1, 1990). "Jewelry Firm Finds Gold in Antique Styles : Fashion: 1928 Jewelry Co., which started in a garage, now has revenue of $100 million a year". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ Lauren Parker (August 15, 2011). "1928 Inks Deal for Laundry by Shelli Segal Jewelry". Accessories Magazine. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ Betty Felon (May 22, 2012). "Marvel and 1928 Jewelry Co. Launches Superheroic Jewelry Collection". Comics Alliance. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ Accessories Staff (April 4, 2013). ""Downton Abbey" Jewelry to Bow in May Market". Accessories Magazine. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  5. ^ Kristi Garced (May 6, 2013). "1928 Jewelry Co. Inks Deal for 'Downton Abbey' Collection". WWD. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  6. ^ list of companies discharging toxic waste, 1990-1994 Archived July 11, 1998, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ EPA list of large-scale toxic waste generators Archived September 11, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ 2000 consent decree Archived August 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ 2001 inspection findings Archived August 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ a b "$25,000 Settlement Reached with Mel Bernie and Company Inc" (PDF). California Environmental Protection Agency. March 9, 2005. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]