La Maison d’Or: A Shining Example of Longevity

“We have always stayed true to crafting the highest quality jewellery and providing the absolute best customer experience possible. That has carried us through.”

And how! This year, La Maison d’Or, one of Ottawa’s premiere jewellers, celebrates its 75th anniversary. 45 of those years have been spent in Ottawa, when the family-run enterprise moved from its native Hawkesbury to its current home in Orleans. 

Brent Harden, the company’s second-generation President, grew up in the original store. After studying business at Carleton University, he acquired the acumen to take over the shop. That included the decision to relocate from Hawkesbury to the busier suburbs closer to Ottawa’s core.

Brent Harden, the visionary behind 45 years of exquisite craftsmanship and unparalleled service at La Maison d’Or, inspects a stunning Canadian diamond ring, featuring a 4.35 carat Canadian diamond in bright 18 karat rose gold.

“We felt that it was time to branch out and serve a new market,” explains Brent. “It was one of the best decisions we ever made. Ottawa quickly became our new home and has been very good to us ever since.”

Not to mention loyal. In the same way that the company is enjoying continuity—Brent now works alongside yet another generation, his daughter Jessica—people who purchased engagement rings from La Maison d’Or 50 years ago are showing up with their grandchildren to help pick out similar merchandise for them. “Approximately 60% of our trade is made up of returning clients from our existing customer base,” Brent tabulates. “The rest are new. It’s a very healthy mix of familiar and fresh faces!”

Both cohorts are attracted by La Maison d’Or’s distinctive approach to selection and evaluation. “Every diamond we carry is personally selected by me for beauty and value,” Brent explains proudly.

“With our American Gem Society accredited in-store gem lab, I’m able to evaluate diamonds carefully and accurately, ensuring that only the best of the best makes its way into our counters. It’s very unusual for a jewellery store owner to participate in these types of activities, but I’m committed to putting my personal seal of approval on each and every diamond.”

Brent has traveled the world scouting diamonds, from Antwerp to Las Vegas. His most exciting trip, however, took place right here on Canadian soil. In March, he ventured to Yellowknife to observe the workings of Ekati, Canada’s first diamond mine. Not only was he blown away by the quality of the stones, but he was equally impressed by the other opportunities being created by the mine.

La Maison d’Ors’s dedicated team of fine jewellers.

“I learned so much about Canadian diamonds and the impact that they’re having on the community,” the still-reeling Brent recounts.

The mine has created hundreds of jobs for the local population, at some of the highest salaries a miner can earn. Further, 10% of the profits of all crystals go directly towards supporting the Indigenous Dene people. “It was one of the best trips of my entire life!” says Brent. “Truly inspirational!” As proof, La Maison d’Or has since partnered with the Natural Diamond Council in a mutual mission to promote the benefits of natural diamonds worldwide.

Brent and daughter Jessica Harden pose with a photo of Brent’s father, Bill Harden, founder of Harden’s Jewellers.

Two stunning Tacori rings sparkle at La Maison d’Or, left, the Tacori RoyalT Emerald Cut Diamond Eternity Band, right, Tacori Emerald Cut Diamond Engagement Ring (18 Karat White Gold, 2.09 Carat Emerald Cut Diamond Center).

La Maison d’Or is making a big splash at home, too.

Aside from expanding its aftercare services and offering free polishing on Saturdays, they’ve just re-painted and upgraded everything in their flagship location from their seating areas to their in-store café. “The response has been very positive,” Brent reports happily. “When clients are here, they feel like they’re at home.” Or at a house party: In conjunction with its dual anniversary, La Maison d’Or will be giving out 45 special dinners for two in partnership with Beckta, one of Ottawa’s most prestigious restaurant groups. They have also designed special commemorative rings, made exclusively with Canadian diamonds, that they’ll be donating to local charitable organizations for fundraising purposes. And if that isn’t enough, the business is helping a handful of them, including Bruyère, the Montfort Foundation, and the Sens Foundation, to raise $200,000 in aid of the needier sectors of the community. “We want to give back to the community that has truly been like family to us over the years.”

Brent with daughter Jessica and store manager Rita Elias, who has been with La Maison d’Or for almost two decades. Photo by Michael Willems Photography

Meanwhile, Brent, his daughter Jessica, manager Rita Elias, and the other members of La Maison d’Or’s equally knowledgeable and personable team—including long-timers Tammy, Arpi, and Tracy and newbies Laura, Erica, and Amey—will continue to offer the selection, service, and ongoing product care that have helped Ottawans celebrate countless engagements, weddings, anniversaries, and big life moments.

“I am so thankful, from the bottom of my heart, to every single client who has come through our doors over the last 75 years. It has been such a privilege to be your trusted family jeweller for so many decades. Fine jewellery is our passion, and because of our clients, we get to come to work and live our dreams, every single day. Now, it is time to look forward to the next 75 years!”

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