Our Story

A beloved and revered jewelry store, Alter’s Gem Jewelry has a history as faceted and lustrous as it finest diamonds and precious metals. This three-generation, family-owned business established in 1915, thrives today on a foundation of determination, strength and flexibility, the defining traits of founder Morris L. Jacobs. After losing his dry goods retail operation in the great flood, Mr. Jacobs relocated to Port Arthur. He secured a $3000 loan, opened a fine jewelry store and enjoyed enough success to repay his initial loan the first year and even expand the operation to Beaumont, Texas in 1929.

In 1950, Mr. Jacob's son-in-law joined the business and proving himself a worthy successor, Nelson Alter assumed the role of President and continued the store's record of success. Adopting his mentor's innovative style and possessing a good head for the jewelry business, Mr. Alter, oversaw the addition of nearly a dozen stores in two states. Soon fine and exclusive jewelry and watch franchises were awarded, solidifying Alter's as a premier jewelry retailer.

Today, Alter’s Gem Jewelry is lead by Brian Alter, the third generation of industry leadership and innovation. Keeping pace with the dynamic retail jewelry market, Alter's now maintains a corporate show division, expanding its reach beyond the limits of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. This division performs over 100 charitable fundraising shows benefitting hospitals and auxiliary organizations across the country like Children's Miracle Network.

Nearly 100 years after Morris Jacobs pulled himself up from disaster with grit and determination, Alter’s Gem Jewelry continues to thrive and looks forward to the future and passing on the traditions of excellence to the next generation of jewelers in the Alter family.

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Store hours

  • Monday - Saturday: 10am - 6pm
  • Sunday: Closed

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