WHO WE ARE
From presidents to astronauts, Bailey Banks and Biddle has truly made a mark on our nation’s story. From our founding in 1832 to now, we’ve always had a passion for excellence. We strive to make your jewelry shopping experience enjoyable, quick and hassle-free.
But enough about us—let’s talk about you. Whether you’re looking for a stunning engagement ring, diamonds, designer watches or anything in between, we’re here to help you. With the aid of our knowledgeable Jewelry Experts, we strive to make your jewelry dreams a reality. We are committed to providing you with exceptional service in a timely manner because we respect your time.
OUR PART IN HISTORY
On September 10, 1832, Bailey & Kitchen, the name of Bailey, Banks & Biddle at the time, was founded by Joseph Trowbridge Bailey and Andrew Kitchen in Philadelphia. This founding date makes us the oldest nation-wide jeweler in America.
In 1857, we designed the inaugural invitations for President James Buchanan, producing many of the inaugural invitations for subsequent Presidents as well.
On December 25, 1860, a silver mug and plate were created and presented to President-elect Abraham Lincoln.
In 1861, the Confederate States of America contacted Bailey, Banks & Biddle to commission a one-cent piece designed by Robert Lovett. Designed with a woman’s head with a topknot cap and a reverse bearing a wreath made from cotton, tobacco, corn, and rice. Lovett made 12 sample coins and hid them in his cellar afraid of Union authorities. 9 or 10 coins remain and one was auctioned by Bowers & Marena in June of 1984 for $11,500. Taking no sides in the war, we also created presentation swords for General Meade and General Ulysses S. Grant from the Union.
On April 14th 1865, President Lincoln was assassinated and Bailey & Co. was commissioned to create a mortuary medal for the occasion.
In 1866, Eli Wescott Bailey retired and Joseph T. Bailey II took over. Joseph Bailey crossed the Atlantic 140 times. He loved big game hunting and for months at a time lived and hunted with the Indians. In 1871 he was forced to flee Paris during the German siege. One of his daughters became a European Countess.
In 1868, Bailey, Banks & Biddle created a snuff box from the rafters that supported the roof of the Hall of Independence on the 4th of July, 1776 and trimmed it with gold. It now resides in the Smithsonian.
On March 1st, 1878, Bailey and Co. officially changes their name to Bailey Banks & Biddle.
1900 - The late 1800's and early 1900's saw the expansion of Bailey, Banks & Biddle's insignia department. The Congressional Medal of Honor, the first 40,000 Purple Hearts ever awarded, and class rings for West Point and Annapolis were produced for almost a century. As the official designer of medals, ribbons and honor awards for the U.S. Government and its military and naval academies, Bailey, Banks & Biddle struck thousands of medals.
In 1904, we created and updated the final version of the Great Seal of the United States. The great seal is used to seal more than 2,000 important government documents, treaties, and Ambassador appointments every year. In addition, the great Seal can be found on every United States dollar bill and all military uniforms.
In 1905, Bailey Banks & Biddle designed and created the modern-day Medal of Honor.
On April 30, 1902, First Lady Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, champion of women’s rights, purchased a brooch from Bailey Banks & Biddle that she wore as First Lady in 1912.
Tradition dictated that the ancé of a West Point graduate was to wear a miniature of her husband’s class ring designed by Bailey, Banks & Biddle as her engagement ring. When Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed to Mamie and she heard of this tradition, she balked. She wanted a miniature of "nothing". She wanted a full-size copy of “the real thing”. Upon hearing of Mamie’s wishes, Bailey, Banks & Biddle complied. The First Lady wore this everyday ring for the rest of her life.
In 1917, we were contracted to produce the first Pilot Wings that would be awarded to Naval Aviators.
In 1926, Bailey Banks & Biddle produced the Distinguished Flying Cross. These were exclusively rewarded to any of officer or enlisted man in any branch of the Armed Forces that distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight.
In 1932, We designed and made two more military awards for bravery and merit, the Silver Star, and the Bronze Star. The Silver Star we made was awarded to General Douglas MacArthur.
In 1932, Bailey Banks & Biddle was contracted to create the first 40,000 Purple Hearts that were presented to all qualified recipients from previous wars.
October 1981 - President Ronald Reagan was presented with an inkwell set created by Bailey Banks & Biddle at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.
In 1989, The Philadelphia Liberty Medal presented to world leaders who have demonstrated leadership of vision in the pursuit of liberty, was designed by Bailey, Banks & Biddle. Some of the recipients include Thurgood Marshall in 1992 and F.W. deKlerk and Dr. Nelson Mandela in 1993.