In the spring of 1970, Carolyn and Don Hines left Casper and moved to Jackson, opening Hines Goldsmiths. Don left Jackson in 1986 and after setting up shop in a few different locations, Carolyn settled into her current locale on the east side of Town Square.
Now, 52 years later, Hines Goldsmiths is not only the oldest jewelry store in Jackson, but the most diverse.
The operation is run by Carolyn and Gary Smith, who has worked as the lead jeweler for Hines Goldsmiths for 27 years. His passion for getting outdoors in the Tetons inspires each piece of jewelry he creates — especially the brand’s famous Teton line. Meanwhile, Carolyn is constantly seeking out the nest quality gems and stones.
“My appreciation of rare and beautiful gems, as well as classic, timeless jewelry, is evident, whether it be in a one-of-a-kind piece or from our exquisite Teton collection,” Carolyn says.
The duo design a wide variety of jewelry, from pendants and pins to earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. And perhaps most famously, they are the original creators of jewelry inspired by the majestic Tetons and the Snake River. The Teton line includes jewelry of all kinds in silver, white gold, or yellow gold. Unique offerings include pavé diamond-studded Tetons with an opal or turquoise Snake River. Carolyn says that customers love the fact that they can take home a piece of the Tetons for as little as $25, or splurge on that once-in-a-lifetime piece.
“We put a lot of integrity into each piece of jewelry,” says Carolyn proudly, noting that “customers really appreciate the craftsmanship and design.”
In 2007, Carolyn took a leap of faith and started carrying crystal and glassware sand-etched with images of the Tetons, a bucking bronco, or a series of local animals, including moose, bear, elk, and bison. In 2017, Carolyn’s daughter Tawnya who, after a 25-year stint working in Phoenix, left the corporate world to take on the job of creating the sand etchings. Tawnya works out of her home to prep, etch, and wash the glass and crystal, a process that can take an hour or more for each piece depending on the intricacy and number of designs applied. From there, the crystal and glassware is packed and delivered to Jackson.
When asked about the difference between sand etching and other types of etching, like laser or diamond etching, Tawnya says, “Though sand etching is extremely labor intensive, you can get a depth in the glass you are not able to get with laser etching, and defined, clear lines you cannot achieve with diamond etching.” While holding a piece of Hines Goldsmiths glassware you can feel the trees, elk antlers, or even the whiskers of the cougar. The crispness is evident by sight. The outline of a grizzly bear on a wine goblet, a wolf howling out of the depths of a crystal beer glass, or a bugling elk on a liquor decanter all stand in sharp relief against the smooth translucence of the glass. The effect is reminiscent of the stark outline of an animal on a misty morning.
“With Yellowstone National Park commemorating its 150th year, as well as the famous Grizzly 399 with her four cubs, we offer remembrances of these special occasions etched on glass and crystal,” says Carolyn,
Hines Goldsmiths’ line of glass and crystalware includes wine, martini, and double old-fashioned glasses in addition to wine carafes, liquor decanters, bowls, vases, and much more. Each piece pays a fitting tribute to the deep mysteries of the Tetons.
“It’s a lot of fun to see my customers’ reaction to the glassware. It’s something they can take home and use every day to remember their Jackson vacation, or use in their beautiful Jackson home,” says Carolyn.