Zikos Jewelers

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GEORGE ZIKOS OF ZIKOS JEWELRY, OWNER, DESIGNER, ARTIST

George Zikos was lured to the United States from Greece in 1969 when a young woman tourist from the United States entered his newly established jewelry shop in Athens, Greece. It was love at first sight and he did what any hot-blooded romantic would do, he left his ancestral home in Arta, where he learned the fine art of goldsmithing from his paternal grandfather, and followed his heart to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The ambitious, young Mr. Zikos promptly found his way to Jeweler’s Row in Philly. Several prominent jewelers recognized his rare Greek influence designs and meticulous workmanship and he was hired to create pieces on consignment. A year later while strolling through New Hope he saw a shop for rent and signed a lease on the spot with a deposit of $125 he had in pocket. George spent two months crafting his own display cases and opened the doors to Circes, named after the goddess in Greek mythology who gave Odysseus’s men directions to their journey home.

Circes showcases were brimming with George’s own contemporary designs inspired from all things Greek, from olive branches to keys to architectural elements. His clientele at the time veered toward ostentation, according to George, so he applied his passions to designing necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings to satisfy their cravings. Success led him to a larger spot at Pam Minford’s glitzy Hacienda just a few building away, where celebrities from the Bucks County Playhouse lodged and dined and frequented his shop. Eventually a piece of real estate across from the Hacienda became available and this time George not only changed location but also changed his business name and began trading as Zikos Jewelers where he spent the next few decades.

Thoughts of returning to his native country got stuck in his brain and George sold his New Hope business to open Zikos

 Jewelers on the white island of Mykonos on the Aegean Sea where cruise ships converge, commerce thrives and famous people from around the world bought his jewelry. With the help of a crowbar, I was able to pry a few famous patrons’ names from him, among them Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oliver Stone, Paul McCartney, and Ethel Kennedy. “It was a very exciting time living on the island and doing business, encounters I will always cherish,” said George.

I asked about the most elaborate piece he’s ever created and George described an 18 karat yellow gold necklace and matching pair of earrings with 35 carats of small diamonds and 13-millimeter South Seas pearls. It came with a hair-raising price tag of $350,000. The lucky lady who was gifted the jewelry must have been the apple of her gentleman’s eye.

While in Greece the debonair Mr. Zikos was approached by the Hollywood director Tony Amber who was shooting part of a film in Mykonos and offered him a bit part in her soon to be released film Bird’s Eye View. He demurely accepted his role as a CIA agent who is required to decide who can leave earth in a special spacecraft before aliens demolish the planet. “Although there was no monetary compensation per se for my acting debut, the director made a significant jewelry purchase and afforded me fifteen minutes of fame,” said George in his own imitable way.

After the filming it was back to terra firma with another change of heart. George left his shop in Mykonos for his brother to manage and returned to New Hope where he opened the new Zikos Jewelers on South Main Street. You can see him at his workbench, as affable as the first day he set foot here, still with fresh ideas, creating magnificent works of art with gold and precious stones.

Mr. Zikos told me the reason he left Greece behind (and this time for good) was “too much la dolce vita.” We laughed out loud together when I gently reminded him that life in New Hope is very much susceptible to the same. Nevertheless, it’s great to have this polished gem of a jeweler back.

Article by Susan Sandor

Necklaces, Earrings, Bracelet, Rings, Art

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36 South Main Street, New Hope PA 18938

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