Hale’s has marked the significant moments in people’s life stories for over a century and a half. To us, those are the stories we are most proud of. However, when your business has served a community as dynamic and unique as Greenville for 156 years, you’re bound to have a story of your own to share.
William Levine was studying accounting when his father-in-law brought him into his New York diamond business during the Depression. Willie was a quick study in the business, but soon realized that there was too much competition in New York to pursue his own ventures. In 1938 he made the bold decision to move his young family to Chicago where there were fewer wholesale diamond dealers.
He traveled by trains and ships including the Queen Mary to New York, Israel and Belgium to bring high quality diamonds to the Midwest. After WWII, it was the diamond house of William Levine Inc. that pioneered the practice of giving generous memo terms to retail jewelers.
His eldest son Carl joined his father in the business after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1958. Nine years later Jess added his talents to the firm, bringing with him an interest in other precious stones and antique jewelry.
Today Carl’s son David is President of William Levine Inc., and under his direction has launched William Levine Fine Jewels, LLC a full line of fine finished jewelry including the classic three-stone ring, diamond necklaces and bracelets as well as precious stone jewelry made with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.
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