Mel Bernie Company

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Mel Bernie Company
1928 Jewelry Company
IndustryJewelry manufacturing
FoundedLos Angeles, California (1968 (1968))
FounderMelvyn Bernie
United States
Key people
Melvyn Bernie
OwnerMelvyn Bernie
Number of employees
  • Increase 200 (1990)
  • 250 (2013)

The Mel Bernie Company, trading as 1928 Jewelry Company (and sometimes referred to simply as "1928 Jewelry") is a manufacturer and wholesaler of costume jewelry and novelties. They also distribute their products directly to consumers through their website.

Company information[edit]

The 1928 Jewelry Company was founded by Melvyn Bernie in 1968.[1] Today, it is one of the largest and last standing jewelry manufacturers in the U.S. The company specializes in reproductions and interpretations of antique jewelry designs. It is located in Burbank, California and has about 250 employees as of 2013. It is a privately held company.

The company has diversified and grown by extending the 1928 brand into several other labels and categories including "2028", "1928 Boutique", the "Vatican Library Collection", "Antiquities Couture", and "1928 Hair Jewelry". In 2011, 1928 Jewelry reached an agreement with Laundry by Shelli Segal (a Perry Ellis International brand) to design and market jewelry complementary to that fashion line.[2] In 2012, 1928 Jewelry launched a line of Marvel Comics superhero themed jewelry.[3]

Environmental issues[edit]

In 1993, The Mel Bernie Company reportedly discharged 250 pounds of toxic copper compounds into groundwater.[4]

The Mel Bernie Company was included in a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, based on 1995 data, as a "large quantity generator of hazardous waste".[5]

In 2000, the company entered into a consent decree with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). The Department had accused the Mel Bernie Company of illegally polluting runoff water with cyanide and other toxic byproducts of jewelry manufacture. The Mel Bernie Company, without admitting any violation, agreed to ensure that its operations would comply with state regulations in future, initiate inspection procedures, and train employees in toxic waste handling.[6]

In 2002, the California DTSC obtained an enforcement order[7] after a 2001 inspection found eight violations of state environmental law at the Mel Bernie Company, including keeping a leaking hazardous waste tank in operation and keeping toxic substances in improperly labeled containers.[8]

In 2005, the company reached a settlement with the California DTSC to resolve a dispute regarding the 2002 enforcement decree. Again without admitting any violation, the Mel Bernie Company again agreed to train employees in toxic waste handling and to pay an additional fine of $25,000US. Company has corrected all violations noted during the inspection.[8]


  1. ^ Patrice Apodaca (May 1, 1990). "Jewelry Firm Finds Gold in Antique Styles : Fashion: 1928 Jewelry Co., which started in a garage, now has revenue of $100 million a year". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 6, 2014.
  2. ^ Lauren Parker (August 15, 2011). "1928 Inks Deal for Laundry by Shelli Segal Jewelry". Accessories Magazine. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  3. ^ Betty Felon (May 22, 2012). "Marvel and 1928 Jewelry Co. Launches Superheroic Jewelry Collection". Comics Alliance. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  4. ^ list of companies discharging toxic waste, 1990-1994 Archived July 11, 1998, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ EPA list of large-scale toxic waste generators Archived September 11, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ 2000 consent decree Archived August 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ 2001 inspection findings Archived August 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ a b "$25,000 Settlement Reached with Mel Bernie and Company Inc" (PDF). California Environmental Protection Agency. March 9, 2005. Retrieved February 3, 2014.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]