The Browns Diamond Heritage

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The Browns story began back in 1934 when Larry and Gavin's late grandfather, Jack, opened a boutique jewellery store in downtown Johannesburg. Jack was a talented and highly skilled goldsmith having been taught by his own grandfather.

Jack worked hard and gradually word of his skill began to spread.  It wasn't long before Jack was able to move to larger premises and clients began to travel from far and wide to view his wonderful creations and purchase his exquisite designs. In time Jack married and had a son and three daughters. The family all helped in the jewellery store and over the years his grandchildren too spent many hours watching him work. His youngest daughter Myra married Bernard Brown and went on to have four sons; Sandy, Johnny, Larry and Gavin.

Barely tall enough to see over the dark wooden counters, Jack began to teach the boys all they needed to know about the jewellery business. He inspired in them a passion for fine jewellery and nurtured their artistic and creative flair. As they grew older they were taught the fine craftsmanship and goldsmithing techniques of their grandfather, ensuring that the legacy of jewellery making would continue to pass down through the generations.

Larry BrownLarry

Younger Years

Larry Alon Brown was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on the 6th of November 1964. He was Myra and Bernard Brown’s second youngest son in a family of 4 boys. Growing up, the family jewellery business started by his grandfather, the late Jack Friedman, was always central to his life and many hours were spent in the store watching and learning. Jack, recognising Larry’s natural talent and flair for design, spent many hours teaching him about the business and most importantly the goldsmithing techniques taught to him by his own grandfather.
During his schooling career Larry recognised his other passion, finance. In 1989 Larry Brown was awarded his Bachelors Certificate in Accounting Science from the University of South Africa (UNISA) and the following year received his Honours. Larry went on to complete his articles with the South African firm of auditors, Grant Thornton.

Inspired by their own unique and creative vision it was during the early 1980's that Larry and his younger brother Gavin embarked on building Browns into what it is today. As South Africa’s largest and most successful jewellery store Browns epitomizes exceptional quality, enduring designs and outstanding customer service. Larry constantly travels the world in search of inspiration for the brand’s next spectacular collections, he is intimately involved in the creation of every single piece in stores. A great deal of his time is spent studying the jewellery retail industry, he is an expert in the field of store design and ambiance from lighting to furnishings. This unique combination of experience and talent means that every aspect of a Browns store has been carefully considered ensuring that your experience will be both special and memorable.

However it isn’t just the brand that Larry investments his time in, he is as equally passionate about the people who work alongside him to make Browns a success. Larry strives to employ and educate the South African youth about the jewellery industry, just as his grandfather had done for him, with the Browns Learnership Academy. He also encourages a company culture steeped in respect, personal growth, and excellence.

80 Years Of Craftsmanship

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At Browns our guiding design principles are balance and proportion ensuring that all of our jewellery has a timeless elegance that will not date. Our talented designers draw on their natural flair and creative imagination and combine it with an inspiration drawn from the fire and life of our exceptional gemstones to create a design that is a unique celebration of the wearer.

Jewellery made in the Browns Workshop is handcrafted and our exacting standards of quality ensure that every piece is truly remarkable. Some items are so intricate that they require several hundred hours of labour to complete. The settings are customised around each diamond’s specific size and proportions. Craftsmen pay special attention to individual diamonds, ensuring they are lifted above the setting and into the light, maximising brilliance.

The Diamond Investment Programme

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Purchasing a diamond is an emotional and important occasion. At Browns we ensure that your diamond investment is safe with us, leaving you free to enjoy and celebrate this very special time. Through our 4 step Diamond Investment Programme, when you purchase a diamond from Browns you can rest assured that by investing in your love today, it will reward you for a lifetime.

The 4 Pillars of the Diamond Investment Programme


Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

When you purchase your diamond from Browns you will receive a Browns Jewellery Certificate. This documents the characteristics of your diamond allowing us to offer you a lifetime authenticity guarantee.


Unique Identity

Each piece of diamond jewellery engraved with a unique identity number allows us to trace your diamond’s history from source to finished piece. At Browns we subscribe to the Kimberley Process and support Fair Trade, therefore you can have peace of mind that your diamond comes from a legitimate source.


Grow Your Diamond

The Diamond Investment Programme allows you to reset your  engagement ring either utilising your centre diamond in a new setting or you may exchange your diamond for a larger more valuable one only paying the difference.


Buy-Back Guarantee

At Browns we have confidence in the quality and value of our diamonds allowing us to offer a 5 year Buy-Back Guarantee on diamond jewellery with a 1 carat diamond or more. This means that should you wish to sell your diamond jewellery after 5 years we will buy it back from you for at least the price you paid for it.

Terms and conditions apply.

The Diamond Price Match Guarantee

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We believe that we offer the best quality diamonds at the best prices. Visit our store or call us at 011 438 7937 to inquire. In most cases, we expect to have the lowest price, but can typically match a price if the competitor’s price is lower  for a diamond of comparable quality and characteristics. Visit our website for full T&Cs.

Social Responsibility

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"At Browns we endevour to strike a balance between our business interests and the obligation we feel towards the environment, our workers and the community. To this end we have involved ourselves in a number of projects enabling us to give back to our community, our country and the world"

Larry Brown, Designer & Director

Plum Tree Project

The Browns Plum Tree Project is a project aimed at providing fruit bearing trees in low-income communities. The project is particularly close to our hearts because it directly affects the lives of children. We specifically chose fruit trees as we wanted children to have the opportunity to experience up-close the wonder of Nature’s cycles, the abundance of Her harvest and finally to enjoy a tangible sweet result.

We at Browns have committed to this project for at least three years which will result in an estimated R1 million being spent on fruit trees. Every time one of our clients purchases an item of jewellery from our Private Collection we will purchase and plant a tree on their behalf. By entering your unique tree number as it appears on your original invoice you will be able to see exactly where your tree was planted.

This project is being run in conjunction with Food & Trees for Africa’sTrees for Homes project. Trees for Homes is a highly successful public greening initiative that addresses climate change whilst improving quality of life in areas which have been traditionally disadvantaged.

  • Some of the benefits of trees:
  • Trees help heal the environment by improving soil and water quality, reducing the effects of soil erosion and by improving our air quality by absorbing dust and pollution.
  • Trees provide a place for children to play and a mature leafy tree produces enough oxygen to support 2 people.
  • Trees help to reduce the temperature of cities and are a significant factor in reducing global warming and helping to combat climate change.
  • Trees provide an opportunity to observe the change of seasons and the wonder of nature. They beautify the communities we live in and increase the value of property.
  • Studies show that sick patients recover more quickly when they have a view of trees.
  • Fruit trees planted in low income areas help provide children with their daily dietary requirements.
  • The latest studies suggest that living in places where there are  trees improves relationships and reduces domestic violence and child abuse.
Carte Blanche Making a Difference

Moved by the plight of the children featured on Carte Blanche, we at Browns felt compelled to help make a difference by contributing a million Rand towards assisting child headed households.

This money was donated on behalf of all Browns customers and staff for without their loyal support it would not have been possible. Forming part of the Carte Blanche Making a Difference Campaign, this donation will contribute towards supporting the numerous children, some as young as 6 or 7, who are trying to cope with caring for their younger siblings and making a home.

At Browns we understand that these children are our future. We believe that all South Africans need to pull together today because it is only by providing a safe and nurturing environment for the children of today that we will be able to secure a safe and successful South Africa for tomorrow.
Christmas Bears from Browns

Christmas is traditionally a time for giving and for the past four years Browns and the Teddy Bear Campaign have found a way to give back and bring a cheerful smile to those children less fortunate than our own.

In the year 2007 we decided to gift our clients with a unique Browns bear; it would be a collector’s item and a token of our appreciation for their continued support. We introduced Mr Brown, a cuddly bear, who became a much loved surprise for our clients. We followed him up the next year with the very adorable (chubby) Tubby.

Benji bear followed in 2009, and in keeping with our company ethos of touching people’s lives, we decided to spread the joy the teddies brought our own clients by starting up the Browns Teddy Bear Campaign. We made it our goal to donate 1,000 teddies annually to orphans, disabled, impoverished or abused children nationwide. We furthermore gave the opportunity for all of our employees to get involved. We invited nominations for orphanages or care facilities within their own communities to receive bears over the festive season. Groups of our staff then personally took the teddies to these children, which of course was accompanied by many a tear of joy.

We have been reaching our goal and the campaign subsequently thrives with the introduction of a different teddy each year. In 2010 we met rugged Rufus, in 2011 came the debonair Eddie and in 2012 we welcomed the charming Rupert. This year is no different with the introduction of a fluffy rose amongst all the Browns gentlemen our first lady, Lucy.

To date our staff, together with the Carte Blanche Making a Difference campaign, has donated in excess of 4,000 teddy bears to hospitals and orphanages across the country.

Teddies we've handed up to date: