Oh the stories and treasures to behold inside Melba Walton's personal jewelry box! With over forty years in the jewelry business, one can only begin to imagine all the wondrous pieces that she had chosen to be hers. Enjoy this glimpse at her personal favorites, as they are truly one of a kind, just like the wonderful woman herself!
In 1980, Melba's experienced a total loss in the robbery that occurred at her jewelry store in Carter's Court. In 1982, the stolen jewelry was located in Phoenix, Arizona. The three-stone blue sapphire and diamond ring was one of recovered pieces, an Art Deco diamond and sapphire ring.
Her jewelry career began in the early 1970's when Melba and her husband Jack Sr. would round up their two kids, Jack Jr and Mike, and head to the flea market. Melba would spread a blanket on the hood of her car and place her collection of antique jewels out for sale. In 1974, she set up shop in Carter's Court, the new up and coming shopping venue for Franklin back in the day. People came to Melba because of her southern charm, wit and above all, her honesty. Business was thriving, so she began to branch out to gain more inventory. She even made trips to the Diamond District in New York City where she and Jack Sr. gained quite a reputation as the cute southern couple doing business in the Big Apple.
In 1984, Melba, with the advice of a close relator friend, purchased the building at 410 Main Street in Downtown Franklin. At a mere $52,000, it was the best investment she could have ever made. Now, Walton's Antique and Estate Jewelry is the longest surviving business on Main Street. We often hear from Melba's longtime customers whom she first met through the jewelry store, but became close friends with over the years. She created a legacy that will not be forgotten; one that will continue to be cherished within our Franklin community.