After over four decades as a goldsmith and jeweler in Marblehead marking life’s special moments through his personalized designs, Bruce Rogers is retiring at age 76 due to an inherited retinal condition impacting his vision.
Rogers and his wife, Sharyn, moved to Marblehead in the early 1970s after learning to goldsmith in Cambridge. Though first a painter and drawer, he pivoted to the more hands-on art of jewelry making and found his true calling.
“My aesthetic is more art-oriented as opposed to jewelry-oriented,” Rogers said in an interview with the Marblehead Current.
He said his passion led him to create pieces often outside traditional jewelry classifications and looks. Instead, Rogers leaned toward a “sculptural type of look” — unique designs that clients seeking custom creations rather than commercial, mass-produced items.
Rogers emphasized his unconventional design approach.
“You’re not necessarily going to find something that reminds you of other pieces of jewelry,” he said.
Rogers avoids duplicating pieces, often pulling inspiration from what he described as “a mental library of unfinished ideas.” His early passions for visual arts like drawing and painting influence his aesthetic.
As a goldsmith, Rogers said he has always focused on bringing out the inherent beauty in gold and silver through precise craftsmanship, rather than imposing a defined style.
Rogers differs from industry norms even in his choice of materials. For instance, sapphires are his favorite gemstone to work with, not for monetary value but for their diverse color palette including yellows, pinks and greens.
“They come in every different color. They’re very hard and very brilliant,” Rogers explained.
Sharyn and Bruce met in Cambridge in the 1970s. She worked at Harvard, and Rogers was exploring his artistic interests at a goldsmithing shop. Their partnership was integral to the business, and he attributes their success to his wife.
“She’s allowed me to do this,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without her.”
Among Rogers’ most memorable projects was a silver Torah cover commissioned by Temple Emanu-El, requiring extensive research as it was unlike anything he had created before.
After being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, Rogers made the difficult decision to retire about a year ago.
“I will deeply miss the work and my customers,” he admitted.
Specifically, Rogers said he will miss seeing people wear his decades-old designs. He noted a decline in custom jewelry demand but expressed gratitude for loyal customers who still appreciate unique pieces.
In retirement, Rogers looks forward to more time with family. The couple’s son, Brad, moved back to Marblehead with his wife and two boys.
While not anticipating remaining actively connected to jewelry making, Rogers hopes to maintain community ties nurtured over 40 years.
“People come in and they’re wearing jewelry that he made 30 years ago,” said Sharyn. “And we are proud of it.”
As Bruce Rogers Jewelry, Ltd. prepares to close in the coming weeks from its 51 Atlantic Ave. location, it is hosting a farewell “Friends, Family & Neighbors Sale” with 40% off everything.