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Our History

Few other stores have a history like Borsheims. From our humble beginnings to becoming a Berkshire Hathaway company, we at Borsheims are committed to honoring our past.


Louis Borsheim opens Brown & Borsheim Jewelry. Borsheims' history dates to Omaha's early days of retailing, when Louis Borsheim opened a store in 1870 and, for a time, also operated
a store in Council Bluffs that specialized in watches designed to
help Union Pacific conductors keep “railroad time.”


In 1947, Louis Friedman bought the business and operated
it with his son Ike. While Louis and Ike Friedman kept the
Borsheims name, they ushered in a new era of success for
the jewelry store. Ike, a dynamic businessman, developed the
business philosophy that still guides the company today - offer
an extensive inventory and exceptional customer service at
the lowest possible price.


By 1986, Borsheims had outgrown its 8,000 square feet facility
downtown and moved to the anchor position in Regency Court,
a high-end shopping destination in Omaha. On the morning of the
departure to the new 23,000 square foot store, armored trucks
were used to safely transport the merchandise to its new home.


The Friedman family gathers with Buffett behind the Borsheims
counter. From left to right: Marvin Cohn, son-in-law of Ike
Friedman; Louis Friedman, Ike's father; Warren Buffett; Ike
Freidman; Alan Friedman, son of Ike; and Donald Yale, another son-in-law.


In 1989, renowned investor Warren Buffett purchased a majority
of Borsheims stock, making it part of his famous holding company,
Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. Buffett says, "If you don't know jewelry,
know the jeweler."


Appointed President and CEO in 1994 by Warren Buffett, chairman
of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., Susan M. Jacques guided Borsheims
to substantial growth and increased worldwide prominence.
What’s more, she gained an unrivaled reputation within the
jewelry industry.


Borsheims expanded its retail space to 62,500 square feet,
including a large watch department, gift gallery, full-service
jewelry repair and design shop. The store houses more than
100,000 pieces of jewelry, watches and fine gifts and serves
an international clientele spanning 50 states and six continents.


Karen Goracke has been with Borsheims in nearly every role
in the store since starting here in the late 80s. She has worked
in the shipping, gift wrap and customer service departments.
She bought watches, jewelry, and eventually was in charge of
buying for the entire store before Warren Buffett chose her to
lead Borsheims