Our Story

EST. 1974

Walton's Antique and Estate Jewelry was founded by Melba Walton in 1974 (years before women could open a line of credit or a business without their husband's blessing). Melba defied all odds and transformed from a jewelry vendor at flea markets, who sold her wares from the hood of her car, to a successful business owner with a couple of storefronts in the historic Downtown Franklin area.

Since then, we've never stopped blazing a trail with our unique approach to business. Woman-founded and woman-owned, our history spans three generations of Waltons across nearly 50 years. Whether you're browsing our in-store selection of antique jewels or enjoying a complimentary consultation for a custom piece, heirloom restoration, or repair, our team of graduate gemologists, repair specialists, and experts on all things fine jewelry are ready to help.

Melba Walton

Walton’s Antique & Estate Jewelry began over 50 years ago by Melba Walton, an entrepreneur who had a sincere passion for antique jewelry. Before having a storefront of her own, she would sell jewelry on the hood of her car at flea markets, oftentimes set up right next to people selling chickens! When she decided to open her first brick and mortar location during a time when women were not able to get a loan on their own, she had her husband, Jack, cosign in order to pursue her dreams of becoming a business owner. Melba persevered, opening Walton’s Antique and Estate Jewelry in 1974 in our original location in Carter’s Court - the premier Downtown Franklin shopping destination at the time. In 1982, she decided to invest in the future, purchasing our current building at 410 Main Street in Historic Downtown Franklin, Tennessee.

Second Generation
Mike Walton

Michael, Melba’s youngest son, joined the family business in 1980. He received his Graduate Gemology degree to become the resident jewelry appraiser. He also took courses and put in hundreds of hours to become our resident jeweler. For many years, Mike handled almost every aspect of day-to-day operations. His passion, knowledge and genuine, honest character helped to grow Walton’s into the jewelry store it is today.

Third Generation
Julie Walton Garland

In 2012, Julie, Mike’s oldest daughter and Melba’s granddaughter, joined the family business. Throughout her time at Walton's, she received her Graduate Gemologist Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America, established the business's strong online presence, and more recently carried out our showroom remodel, enhancing customer experience and creating a beautiful space for clients to enjoy.

Baby Julie Walton Garland and MawMaw Melba.
Mike and Melba Walton working together at the store.
Mike posing for a photo at his jeweler's bench.
Baby Julie admiring her reflection with MawMaw, Dad, and Mom just in view.
Julie peering through the glass showcases to admire the jewelry.

Like the authentic Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Deco jewelry in our beautifully lit showcases, our showroom always pays homage to the past. Built in the late 1800s, our historic location in Downtown Franklin has stood the test of time with many of its original features proudly on display.

In 2017, Julie was selected as one of eleven business owners from across the country to become a Member of the Facebook Small Business Council. She is also a Founding Member of the Facebook Leaders Network. This incredible partnership with Facebook has opened up a world of possibilities and opportunities for Walton’s. Watch the Facebook-produced video of the Walton’s story here:

Watch the Video

Our Mission

At Walton's Jewelry, we are committed to building lasting relationships with our clients based on trust, integrity, and personalized service. Our mission is to create an unforgettable experience, offering an unparalleled selection of fine jewelry. Specializing in pre-1940s antique and estate pieces, Walton's maintains the foundation on which Melba created the store; a place where all are welcome to share in the love and admiration for pieces of one-of-a-kind jewelry. Today, under the stewardship of the third generation of the Walton family, we continue to carry forward Melba's legacy of providing exceptional jewelry that become cherished heirlooms for future generations.

Giving Back

Walton's has been locally owned and operated in Franklin, Tennessee since 1974. Giving back to the communities that support us has always been a part of who we are. Our philanthropic efforts are supported by our customers and our team, who play a critical role in our community giving. We're proud to support the following organizations:

Williamson County Court Appointed Special Advocates
The National CASA/GAL Association, together with state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every child who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, have a permanent home, and the opportunity to thrive.

Learn more about CASA »

Williamson County Animal Center
Williamson County Animal Control's mission is making Williamson County Tennessee better for animals through adoption, education, enforcement and pet population control.

Learn more about Williamson County Animal Center »

Saddle Up!
Saddle Up!’s mission is to provide children and youth with disabilities the opportunity to grow and develop through therapeutic, educational and recreational activities with horses.

Learn more about Saddle Up! »

Harpeth Conservancy
Founded in 1999, Harpeth Conservancy’s vision is clean water and healthy ecosystems for rivers in Tennessee championed by the people who live here.

Learn more about Harpeth Conservancy »