America’s first DeYoungs were diamond specialists. In 1835 Simon DeYoung emigrated from Holland to Boston, Massachusetts. He established the DeYoung family in the jewelry industry and participated in the first diamond cutting enterprise in the United States. A quarter century later, he joined Henry Morse, who established America’s first diamond cutting factory.
DeYoung, A Family Business
Simon’s son, Jacob, followed in his father’s footsteps, and started working at the Morse factory. In the late 1880’s Morse disbanded and Jacob established himself as an independent diamond broker. Jacob’s son, Sydney, joined him in the 1920’s and expanded the business into natural pearls, colored gem stones and antique jewels.
Expansion and The Great Depression
When the great depression hit, New York banks were foreclosing on jewelry manufacturers, dealers and retailers. Sydney was able to step in and purchase many exquisite gems and jewels. He had a discerning eye and acquired many famous and royal gems over the following decades. Sydney also donated two rare natural color diamonds to the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.: A 2.86 Carat Pink Diamond and a 5.03 Carat Red Diamond.
In 1946 Sydney was joined by his nephew, Joseph H. Samuel, Jr. Joseph continued to expand the business into wider domestic and international markets and served on many industry organizations, including as a governor of the GIA for fifteen years. Joe passed away in 2018. Alan Levy and Janet Samuel Levy have successfully continued the business over the past 35 years. Alan expanded the business throughout Asia, focusing on markets in Hong Kong, Singapore,Taiwan and Japan. They now work alongside their daughter, Lauren Levy, the 6th generation.
During the past several decades DeYoung has maintained a strong presence in the United States and has expanded into overseas markets, including Europe and Asia. Alan, Janet and Lauren are respected experts in the industry and continue to buy and sell rare and unusual jewels.