Jerry joined the antique business with parents Abe and Lillian at a young age. The family started their business in 1965 and slowly grew it into the fine jewelry store that it is today. Jerry now owns the business and runs it with his wife Diane and grandsons Alex and Austin.
Diane is Jerry’s wife and naturally a lover of jewelry. She is a friendly and familiar face to many of our customers.
Alex joined the family business in 2014 has enjoyed learning gemology and the business of appraisals from his grandfather, Jerry. Buying, selling, and appraising jewelry has become his niche in the family business.
Austin joined grandparents Jerry and Diane and cousin Alex in 2016 and quickly found his calling in the technological side of the business. He runs our website and keeps things working behind the scenes so that we can stay up to date and run our business smoothly.
The family hired Sarah in 2016 as the business’ main jeweler. She has spent her time at Lilliane’s refining her skills in antique jewelry repair and working one-on-one with customers. She has over 20 years of experience and enjoys continually growing her skills and knowledge.
Lauren was hired in 2020 as a recent college graduate and has since found her place in product photography and content creation. Lauren enjoys being creative and focuses on the digital side of the business.
Nabila was hired in 2021 due to her extensive history in jewelry sales and knowledge. She fits right in to the Lilliane’s family and always goes the extra mile to help any way she can.
Abe and Lillian Chaitman started out with next to nothing. Trying to make a living, Abe acquired some antique jewelry from a good friend of his and attended a jewelry show in Lawrence, KS in 1965. The success he experienced with the show gave him a new vision for his life. It became his dream to find unique and interesting jewelry that would excite his customers.
Abe decided to name the business “Antiques by Lilliane” in honor of his wife, although he added an “e” for visual appeal. Together Abe and Lillian built up the business out of a station wagon traveling from one show to the next. They grew an entire collection of fine jewelry from all time periods including Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco, Retro, Modern and everything in between. Looking for new outlets to expand the business they began dealing in all varieties of fine antiques. Their two sons Jerry and Marty Chaitman joined the business and learned the ways of the trade from their Mom and Dad. Over time they bought and sold exceptional antiques including the 3 Viennese enamel and silver neffs (sailing vessels) that were commissioned by Franz Joseph I of Austria and were used on the 3 tables in the royal banquet hall. Each one measured over a meter tall. The Chaitmans worked as a family day in and day out. In 1984 they found a brick and mortar storefront in Overland Park, KS. Whenever they were not traveling to shows they set up shop at the store.
In 1988 Abe passed away. Lillian, Jerry, and Marty continued living his dream. Eventually life on the road grew stale. In 1994 they found another location in Prairie Village, KS. It was a building that used to be a horse stable that housed race horses, in particular a horse named Laurin who won the Kentucky Derby. They once again narrowed the focus to specialize in jewelry and changed the company name to “Lilliane’s Fine Jewelry.” Business remained strong. The brothers partnered with another woman named Nancy Bertelsmeier in order to keep up with the demands of a growing business. Lillian passed in 1997 and since then Marty and Nancy have retired. Now we have a total of 5 employees: Jerry Chaitman, his wife Diane, their two grandsons Alex Stephens and Austin Chaitman, and our talented in-house jeweler Sarah Bichsel. We are in our new, larger, and more beautiful location following our motto, “Life is too short to wear ordinary jewelry.” We thrive on finding unique pieces that you won’t find anywhere else!
Store Locations History
1976 – 1986
Mission Road Antique Mall
1994 – 2018
2018 – Present