Born and raised in Czechoslovakia, Emil Katz came to England in 1939 just before the outbreak of the Second World War. It was a journey fraught with risk, but using his wits and some good fortune, Emil arrived safely in London – along with several diamonds that his mother had sewn into his suit.
With the end of War in 1945, a period of rapid economic recovery meant that demand for fine jewellery increased: Emil needed to find premises to operate from. In June 1946, Emil persuaded the owner of no55. Hatton Garden to allow him to operate from the caretaker’s office on the 5th floor: E Katz & Co was born.
In 1955 E Katz & Co moved across the road to 88-90 Hatton Garden – and has been located here, operating as an independent family business ever since.
Emil suddenly passed away in 1956, leaving his wife, Edith, with four children and a desperately difficult decision to make regarding the future of the business. Having never worked in the shop Edith rolled up her sleeves and learnt the trade inside out. But she didn’t do this alone. George, her eldest son at 16, started an apprenticeship in jewellery manufacturing, and once he was qualified joined his mother in the shop.
Today, with over 50 years of trading in Hatton Garden, George – or Mr. Katz as he is fondly referred to in Hatton Garden – continues the E Katz legacy. He does this alongside his son-in-law, Robert.
Through the adoption of the most up to date technologies and techniques the business has changed immeasurably since the 1940s, Despite this, our core values of quality, value for money and trust continue to underpin everything that we do. Indeed, they remain as important now as they did for Emil as he laid the foundations for what is now the oldest jewellery shop in Hatton Garden – an achievement that we hope would have made him very proud.