National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Retail chain Riddle’s buys Black Hills Gold co.

March 11, 2014

Rapid City, S.D.--Retailer Riddle’s Jewelry announced that it has acquired gold manufacturer Landstrom’s wholesale and manufacturing division.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Riddle’s did not acquire the Landstrom’s name, but has instead agreed to license and use it. 

Landstrom’s is the oldest manufacturer of “Black Hills Gold” jewelry, pieces with a distinctive grape and leaf design in three colors that reportedly had their origin in the Gold Rush days, after the metal was discovered in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The company says it is the “only true heir” to the original Black Hills Gold designs, tools and manufacturing methods created more than 100 years ago. 

Landstrom’s name recognition was one of the main reasons that they wanted to buy the business, Riddle’s CFO David Westergaard said in a statement.

Management at Landstrom’s will stay the same, according to Riddle’s, and day-to-day operations will also not change at the company.

“The decision to merge was due to a mutual desire to combine manufacturing and marketing efforts to achieve certain economies of scale and opportunities for diversification,” Westergaard said. “Overall, we feel the climate in the Black Hills, and nationwide, is strong for American-made products.”

Robert Lemley, grandson of founder Ivan Landstrom, continues to hold the rights to the Landstrom’s name. The company also has a jewelry store in Rapid City, which was not part of the deal and operates as a separate entity.

Rapid City-based Riddle’s was founded in 1959 and now owns and operates 45 stores across the Midwest.

Landstrom’s, which is also in Rapid City, is the oldest Black Hills manufacturing company.

It began as the Black Hills Jewelry Manufacturing Company in 1878 and then separated into two entities in 1919 before rejoining again when Landstrom’s purchased the F.L. Thorpe and Company in 1995.