Birks | Canadian Diamonds

Maison Birks unveils its new branding and visual platform - including a brand new logo -- while opening its new mono-brand store in Mapleview Mall. (CNW Group/BIRKS & MAYORS INC.)

As Canada’s premier luxury jewellery brand and most respected designer and manufacturer of fine jewellery, timepieces, sterling silverware and gifts.

The Birks house of jewellery was founded by Henry Birks on March 1, 1879. The magnificent Birks current head office building, an architectural treasure which also houses its flagship store that opened in 1894, is located on Phillips Square, in Montreal. The same year Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, Henri Birks decided to launch his own company: With only $4,000 in capital, he opened the first Birks store… 15 feet of façade on St. James Street.

Ring boxes are an old tradition at Birks: In 1900, the company launched the iconic heart-shaped box. Later, during the 1930’s, the bell-shaped box was introduced at Birks.

William Birks, Henri Birks’ son, became head of the company in 1901. He always envisioned Birks as a Canadian brand: His goal was to bring Birks into the future. His strategy was based on mergers and takeovers. The first stores were the following: Ottawa in 1901, Winnipeg in 1903, and Vancouver in 1907.

It’s during the 1930’s that William Birks had the brilliant idea to introduce the blue box, which became a symbol of the House of Birks. Previously, the boxes were of a discreet grey color, but William realized the possible benefits of the famous blue box in the eyes of the customers.

In 1991, Jonathan Birks, sold the company to the group of Dr. Lorenzo Rossi di Montelera, which already had a majority interest in the business. With his forward-thinking visions, the Earl intuitively recognized the outstanding value of the brand.

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