14 Karat was started by Robert Osterholm, in 1979. At a time when gold was in great demand and prices were high, he saw an opportunity he couldn’t resist. The business acted as a wholesale agent for gold jewelry manufacturers and sold primarily to retailers and corporate clients, maintaining what was at the time a very limited public clientele. During those early days, Mr. Osterholm began to envision a company founded on high-quality jewelry at low costs. He knew that in order to achieve this he would need to be committed to low overhead and could not invest in advertising to drive his product. Word of mouth would have to be the lifeblood.
In 1983, he leased office space to accommodate his new venture. It was at this time that he decided to expand his company’s product line to include semi-precious and precious stones, pearls, and loose diamonds as well. Even though his new business was based on an appointment only regimen and there was no showroom to display his product, 14 Karat Gold, Inc. began to take off.
From 1985 to 1990, the company put an increased focus on the diamond industry, making reputable connections and expanding their diamond product lines. The low overhead allowed the business to remain debt-free and thus purchase more loose diamonds, steadily increasing its inventory.
Since 1995, 14 Karat has seen tremendous growth. Bob’s son, John, came on board in 1998, joining an experienced and loyal staff comprised of six full time GIA trained associates and three part-time representatives. In 2009 we opened our first storefront showroom in the Shops of Legacy in west Omaha, Nebraska. Our new space has increased our display flexibility while still allowing us to cater to our customers who prefer a more private sales experience. We have been awarded “Best of Omaha” many times, an honor we attribute to first-class customer service, the highest quality diamonds and fine jewelry, and a value that is unsurpassed in this region.