Elementor #114

“His spirit unwavering, his character proud.

Owned by the Mastmeier family, Blue Diamond Jewelers is a third-generation jeweler that has been serving Southwest Florida since 1997. However, Blue Diamond Jewelers’ story began years ago in Germany with Bernd Mastmeier and his family of complete jewelers and goldsmiths.

Training for Bernd began at the young age of 13, but with World War II creating unpleasant living circumstances for the family, they fled to Sweden. Here, he completed his training before later returning to Germany where he obtained his master’s as a goldsmith. Shortly thereafter, the family relocated to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and with that, Bernd opened the first Blue Diamond Jewelers at just 26 years old. He quickly became known for his devotion to and passion for his work, and in turn, his store grew to be the island’s most reputable jeweler.

It was also on the island that Bernd met Nicole. They enjoyed working alongside each other and together, they made a good pair as she managed the store’s floor, while Bernd executed much of the design. Bernd and Nicole went on to marry and have two children, Alexis and Brooke, before making the decision to relocate to Naples, Florida and open the first pearl boutique in the U.S., Pearl Jewelers, in 1997 located at the Village on Venetian Bay. Ten years later, in 2007, they would move into Coconut Point Mall as the Blue Diamond Jewelers we know today.

Less than two years after the grand opening of Blue Diamond Jewelers at Coconut Point, Bernd started to experience weakness. This was very strange, as he had been very fit and active his entire life. Realizing something wasn’t quite right, the Mastmeiers sought medical attention at some of the finest institutions in the country, including Johns Hopkins. After multiple visits, Bernd eventually received a devastating diagnosis – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

In an effort to provide normalcy and financial support for their family, Bernd and Nicole decided to keep the store open. Nicole was committed to running the business they built together, while also finding time to attend numerous doctor’s appointments with her husband at Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins. As Bernd’s disease progressed, he refused hospice care. Without hesitancy, Nicole took on all caretaking responsibilities that came with this debilitating and aggressive disease.

In 2011, Bernd passed away. Though losing him was very difficult, Nicole recognized her love of jewelry design and wanted to continue her husband’s legacy at the store. So, she did just that, working diligently to keep things running smoothly and successfully, as well as learn the aspects of the business that Bernd had always handled. However, in 2014, Nicole was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. Despite undergoing chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and surgery, she went to work almost every day. Her determination, strength, and perseverance ultimately prevailed as she conquered cancer and continued her work.