The House

Three Generations of passion, commitment and drive, growing from strength to strength. A landmark of luxury, a sanctuary of timeless mode and a house of design genius – Colombo Jewellery Stores has been all this and more for the past ninety nine years. Founded in 1922, CJS has built its foundation on quality, high fashion and a value system of "no compromise on quality". Guided by its founders visionary belief in fabulous precious gems and a keen eye for fashion, backed by enviable craftsmanship, CJS stands today as a hallmark of luxury, style and quality.

Founder Thaha Cassim, his son M C T Cassim and grand son Akram Cassim

Timeline

1922 - February 6th

Thaha Cassim; Born in the year 1899, leaves his hometown Galle, a motivated and passionate youth, with the dream of creating an exclusive jewellery brand. On 6th February 1922 in Colombo, Thaha Cassim’s dream comes to realization with the launch of Colombo Jewellery Stores. The story of timeless elegance, thus begins…

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1927

The first ever flagship store for CJS was located at No. 21, Queens Street, Colombo 1. The subsequent shift to No. 57, Bristol Building in York Street – Fort in 1929, would become an influential part of the brand’s legacy; Introducing the trademark retail experience to Colombo’s elite, and going on to service discerning jewellery buyers for over 55 years.

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1944

CJS would be among one of the first jewellery brands to establish a presence within the country’s star-class hotel circuit. The brand’s first venture in this regard was the opening of a dedicated store at Mount Lavinia Hotel; Sri Lanka’s premier colonial-styled luxury property, and cultural landmark. Following the conclusion of World War II, the second hotel-based outlet was established at the Galle Face Hotel - Colombo in the early 1950's.

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1949

CJS displayed an extremely rare 12-ray star ruby weighing 25 carats at the American Museum of Natural History. This was the rarest star Ruby in the world at the time; boasting twelve perfect rays extending from the centre, and an intense deep-red colour.

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1951

Horseracing was one of Thaha Cassim’s most ardent passions. On this year, his favoured steed; ‘Golden Buckles’, made history with an unprecedented achievement of winning three races inside of a single week.

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1954

The year saw M. C. T. Cassim; son of Thaha Cassim, joining his father at the helm of CJS. Together, they would usher in a new era for the brand, by skilfully infusing a touch of modernism to the jewellery they created, while still retaining the grandeur and glamour of the vintage movement.

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1964

CJS capitalized on several opportunities during the year, to proudly display its gems and jewellery to audiences here at home, as well as overseas. From a month-long exhibition of a stunning array of precious stones in Japan, to holding the first ever jewellery fashion show in Colombo, it truly was a year for showcasing in style.

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1976

All great personalities must, when the time comes, leave their earthly life. Their legacies however, endure through time inspiring many. After 54 years of dedicated service to the brand he founded, connoisseur of high-fashion jewellery; Thaha Cassim was laid to rest. CJS would continue on, under the vision and guidance of his son; M. C. T. Cassim.

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1983

The road to success holds many trials and tribulations. In 1983, the CJS flagship store in the Bristol Building was burnt down during riots. Mildly inconvenienced, yet largely unhampered; the brand began its revival in carving out a new path, that looked towards a future of limitless possibilities.

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1984

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. Such was the case for CJS following the aftermath of the tragedy in 1983. The brand; under the direction of M. C. T. Cassim, established a renewed presence at Alfred House Gardens, Colombo 3. The rest, as they say, is history. The AHG outlet to date, serves as CJS’ flagship store, and continues to be a centre-focus for exclusivity and glamour, just as it did when it first opened doors in 1984.

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1987

Steadfast in its values, yet adaptive in its style; the essence of CJS is one that is timeless, and transcends generations. Akram Cassim; son of M. C. T. Cassim, officially joins his father’s side in jointly helming CJS, with the vision of taking its legacy to a new generation of customers.

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1994

When CJS opened up a dedicated store inside ODEL, it was merely the start of a partnership that would go on to make many exciting collaborations. Through ODEL, CJS found new and enthusiastic audiences that have now become loyal followers of the brand.

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1998

Crescat; then, was announced as Colombo’s first upmarket shopping mall, anticipated to feature many high-end brands. As the venue was also an extension of the Cinnamon Grand 5-star Hotel, it made perfect sense for CJS to establish a presence there in catering to overseas travellers; an audience that the brand already held attraction to.

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2003

When CJS was appointed sole agent and distributor for luxury watch brand Tag Heuer, the occasion marked an evolutionary turn for the business. The coveted affiliation contributed to a stronger international positioning, that would open up many international collaboration opportunities for CJS.

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2007

The ‘Life is Rich’ campaign, could probably be regarded as CJS’ first proper thematic brand campaign. The visual direction that drew inspiration from the richness infused in Sri Lankan culture, portrayed the brand as being authentically unique in possessing a strong sense of inherent stateliness.

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2008

For a brand to achieve the status of timelessness, it must persevere and endure through shifts in culture, trends, and preference. Chairman of CJS M. C. T. Cassim's contribution to this end was instrumental; having navigated the brand's growth across multiple eras. After 54 years of illustrious service, he was laid to rest, and the baton for leading the CJS brand was passed on to his son; Akram Cassim.

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2008

Modern times require modern thinking. Representing the third generation of leadership for CJS and the first to guide the brand into a new millennium, Akram Cassim; son of late M. C. T. Cassim and grandson of CJS Founder the late Thaha Cassim, is appointed Chairman of Colombo Jewellery Stores.

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2008

Jewellery has always been an integral part of fashion; whatever the driving culture, movement, and style may be. CJS partnering with Sri Lanka’s premier fashion event; ‘Colombo Fashion Week’, signified the brand’s growing adaptability in staying fashion-focused and time-relevant.

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2009

Signifying a milestone moment for modern Sri Lankan fashion, CJS made the brand's first collaboration with fashion icon Otara Gunewardene in launching the exclusive range of jewellery titled 'Otara'.

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2009

Sri Lanka's first celebrity jewellery range 'Otara', gained mainstream publicity with the launch of the coinciding campaign 'Oh la la!'. The release of the campaign presented CJS in a new light; as being a brand that strived for perfection and exclusivity in the collaborative associations it made.

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2010

‘SILVER’ by CJS, is a collection that embodied colour, energy, and happiness; in complementing the more casual and carefree aspects of life. The exquisite designs of pure silver were inlaid with the vibrancy of coloured stones; making them exotically decorative and as twice as trendy.

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2011

It truly was a case of the stars aligning when Jacqueline Fernandez; former Miss Sri Lanka for Miss World and Bollywood Star, became the Brand Ambassador for CJS. The high profile collaboration launched CJS to an elevated status; both in an aesthetic, as well as perspective sense.

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2011

CJS announced its association with new Brand Ambassador Jacqueline Fernandez by launching the inaugural campaign with her titled ‘Quite Simply Stunning’. The campaign portrayed CJS in renewed glamour; an extremely contemporary yet heritage-driven brand, that was now entering a new threshold of international-class positioning.

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2011

The former Dutch Hospital in Fort, Colombo was revamped and reopened to the public as a trendy shopping precinct, which attracted a more discerning and fashionable segment of customers. CJS opened doors of a new retail outlet housed at this location; showcasing a contemporary and hip collection of jewellery that catered to the many international shoppers frequenting the venue.

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2012

The vivacious 90th anniversary campaign 'Roaring 20's' was launched in its signature style at a glitzy event, held within the vintage setting of Tintagel; the very location the campaign was shot at. Brand Ambassador Jacqueline Fernandez, adorned in some of the celebratory jewellery pieces, formally announced the launch.

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2012

The celebration of the ninety-year legacy continued, as CJS hosted an exclusive event for its most loyal customers and brand partners from over the years. Every element showcased at the occasion was an immersive reference to the golden era of the 1920's; the decade that birthed CJS and inspired the campaign 'Roaring 20's'.

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2012

For the brand's 90th anniversary, CJS chose to pay homage to the decade it was born in; the 'Roaring 20's'. Featuring styles and fashion elements that were definitive of the era, the 'Roaring 20's' campaign further established CJS' ability to stand out on its own terms, and still remain compelling.

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2012

CJS’ participation at the 2012 edition of Colombo Fashion Week saw the brand present a special pageant, conceptualized to highlight the brand’s ‘Roaring 20’s’ collection. The special collection was part of CJS’ 90th anniversary brand campaign, in which Brand Ambassador Jacqueline Fernandez was once again a part of.

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2012

It has been long known that CJS prides itself in the many associations it has with arts and culture. It was a special moment for the brand when acclaimed Australian-American soprano of Sri Lankan descent; Danielle de Niese, performed her debut Asian concert dazzling in diamond & white gold jewellery from CJS.

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2012

CJS’ new 'Silver' collection made its debut on the Colombo Fashion Week centre-stage, presented against a backdrop of sea, surf, and sand. 'Silver' showcased a stunning collection of fun and fashionable jewellery, that highlighted the vibrancy of Sri Lanka's finest coloured gems, set in silver.

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2013

'Perpetual Grace'; the newest collection by CJS, was conceptualized as a tribute to the brand's founder Thaha Cassim. Inspiration for the new range was drawn from Thaha Cassim's passion for horses and the magnificence they represented, epitomized in the designs through a display of beauty and grace.

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2013

The campaign for 'Perpetual Grace'; created to complement CJS' newest collection, found inspiration in Thaha Cassim's passion for horses and horseracing. The story of his favoured and winning steed 'Golden Buckles' was a focal element in the thematic setting, which was highlighted in parallel to CJS' own accomplishments of excellence as a brand.

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2013

Unique individualism was the emotive statement, as CJS debuted the 'Wild Horses' Equestrian Collection at Colombo Fashion Week. The selection was unconventional in its concept, as for the very first time, CJS combined natural leather together with precious gems; showcasing a novel approach in the brand’s craftsmanship.

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2013

A cultural haven; Kandy was always a logical expansion point for CJS. Among the city’s extremely discerning and art-loving customer segments, the brand found new audiences for its exquisitely designed jewellery and precious gems. With CJS expanding into new territories, its popularity as a high-end jewellery brand was fast gaining islandwide acclaim.

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2013

The launch event for CJS’ latest brand campaign and collection; ‘Hometown’, recreated the timelessly rustic ambiance that is unique to the Galle Fort, and was held at the similarly styled Gallery Café – Paradise Road, Colombo. With the launch of ‘Hometown’, CJS further established, and displayed its affinity for thematic brand executions.

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2014

For the brand campaign; ‘Hometown’, CJS revisited its roots in the heritage city of Galle. Being the hometown of Thaha Cassim; Galle holds much nostalgic value for the brand, as well as its CEO Akram Cassim. The campaign; with its portrayal of jewellery as representing the birth and founding values of CJS, became one that resonated strongly with customers and audiences.

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2014

The ‘Hometown’ jewellery collection by CJS; was one that struck a nostalgic chord, with design references to the vintage glory of the Galle Fort and the city of Galle, where the brand found its genesis. Through a creative union of pearls, diamonds, and precious gems, CJS created a selection that was a tribute to its heritage, and its founder; Thaha Cassim. The ‘Hometown’ collection made its public debut at the 2014 edition of Colombo Fashion Week.

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2014

CJS' partnership with the Colombo Fashion Week Resort Wear Show; held within the vintage setting of the historic Galle Fort, proved to be a nostalgic and thrilling outing for the brand in its hometown. Coinciding with the occasion, CJS launched a limited-edition range of casual & fun jewellery titled ‘Cock-a-doodle-doo’, which featured the Dutch Gallus (Cockerel); a prominent art element from the Dutch Era of Galle.

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2014

CJS' exclusivity was extended to the jet-setting membership of Sri Lankan Airlines' frequent flyer program; FlySmiLes, through a special partnership. With the collaboration, CJS offered members a range of amazing benefits, which also included the earning of flight miles for every purchase made at CJS.

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2014

CJS’ appointment as sole agents and distributors for high-luxury watch brand Hublot could be interpreted as a perfect union; where CJS’ essence of timeless elegance found synergy in Hublot’s art of fusion. The addition of the iconic watch brand to CJS’ portfolio, signified the brand’s steady progression into the specialty of international-level sophistication and luxury.

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2014

CJS' newest exclusive store opening was at the Galle Dutch Hospital Shopping Complex; a historic building from the Dutch Colonial Era located within the Galle Fort. This newest store venue holds special value to CJS, as it in many ways reconnected the brand to its beginnings and early ambitions.

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2014

CJS, in collaboration with Otara Gunewardena, launched the 'Hoola' range as part of the 'Otara' jewellery collection. In celebrating the occasion, a special unveiling was held, with the first piece of 'Hoola' jewellery being presented to CJS Brand Ambassador Jacqueline Fernandez.

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2014

CJS launched 'Cool Luxury'; a jewellery collection that was conceptualized around the mysteries of the sea, at the Colombo Fashion Week Resort Wear Show. The event, held using the Indian Ocean as a backdrop, proved to be a fitting platform for the launch of the brand's new and themed collection.

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2014

CJS partnered with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) to launch ‘Unforgettable - A future in the Wild'; a campaign for the protection and conservation of wild elephants in Sri Lanka. CJS CEO Akram Cassim, CJS Brand Ambassador Jacqueline Fernandez, and SLWCS President Ravi Corea, along with villagers from the Wasgamuwa region, took a landmark walk through an elephant corridor in order to understand the uneasy coexistence shared by man and elephant. The insights thus gained, would lead to several initiatives being taken by the SLWCS; for which CJS would provide committed support.

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2014

CJS, in partnership with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, developed the campaign ‘Unforgettable’; an ambitious yet, genuinely thought out initiative to save Sri Lanka’s elephants. The campaign would endeavour to provide several rural villages situated within wildlife habitats, sustainable solutions in bringing about a state of peaceful coexistence between man and elephant.

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2015

Through a merging of creativity and sincerity, the new campaign 'Unforgettable' was born. The focal point of the campaign was to create awareness on the plight of elephants in Sri Lanka, and towards amassing a movement to promote their conservation. The coinciding collection ‘A future in the wild’, too was specially crafted to showcase the different hues of Sri Lanka’s biodiversity, and serve as a reference to the majesty and grace of our elephants.

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2015

The catwalk at the 2015 edition of Colombo Fashion Week became a platform for the voiceless in the wild, as CJS unveiled its campaign and collection ‘Unforgettable – A future in the wild’. The portrayal and messaging carried out by CJS drew the attention of the audience and media, to the growing plight faced by elephants in Sri Lanka.

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2015

One of the first initiatives carried out following the launch of the ‘Unforgettable’ campaign, was the presenting of a 24-seater bus for the use of villagers living inside of an elephant corridor in rural Sri Lanka. The donation of the ‘Ele-Friendly Bus’; made by CJS in partnership with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, made an immense impact towards uplifting living standards of an underprivileged part of society, while also ensuring them some form security.

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2015

CJS became the matriarch sponsor for ‘Sri Lankan Elephant 2016’; a trilingual travelling awareness and education exhibition, that focused on educating the public of Sri Lanka on the prevailing status of the country’s elephant population and other wildlife species. The Exhibition; which covered 12 cities across a span of 50 days, was initiated by the Federation of Environmental Organizations (FEO).

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2015

CJS’ partnership with Bvlgari came at a time when Sri Lankan shoppers were shifting their preferences to the trend of high fashion. Together with the celebrated Italian jewellery and watchmaker, CJS offered discerning and highly brand-conscious customers a range of exquisitely crafted and beautifully adorned watches, that were definite statements of refinement and prestige.

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2015

‘Common Ground’; a documentary which detailed the intensity of the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka, received a special screening in New York City, hosted by The Explorers Club. CJS CEO Akram Cassim, and Ravi Corea; Founder and President of the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) attended the screening of the film, which also highlighted some of the award-winning initiatives the SLWCS had developed and implemented over the years.

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2016

CJS' 'Unforgettable' campaign found new life, when the brand invited Saba Douglas Hamilton; wildlife filmmaker and conservationist to speak at the 2016 Galle Literary Festival. Her deeply resonating message on addressing the plight of elephants due to habitat loss was well received by audiences. For CJS, the accomplishment of creating a movement; that hopefully would positively impact the front of wildlife conservation, was one that was deeply gratifying.

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2016

‘Love. Obsession. Romance.’ is regarded as one of CJS’ bolder campaigns; realized through the addition of New York-based model Adam Flamer-Caldera, who shared the frame with CJS Brand Ambassador Jacqueline Fernandez, to create an alluringly sensual setting in showcasing CJS’ latest collection.

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2016

The ‘Love. Obsession. Romance.’ campaign, was unveiled in the form of a new collection by CJS, at Colombo Fashion Week 2016. The catwalk was lit up by the stunning pieces of jewellery that were boldly colourful, and striking in design; perfectly embodying the passionate obsession CJS holds, where precious gems and jewellery are concerned.

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2016

CJS displayed its full range of diamond jewellery and luxury watch brands; Tag Heuer, Hublot, and Bvlgari, at Sri Lanka’s premier Gem & Jewellery Show FACETS Sri Lanka. The occasion was marked in its prominence due to the large number of international buyers that graced the event.

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2017

For CJS’ 95th anniversary celebrations, the brand developed the campaign '95 Years of Timeless Glamour’, which portrayed the timeless beauty and grace of eras past, while paying homage to inspirational woman personalities across generations.

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2017

The ‘95 Years of Timeless Glamour’ collection; created to coincide with CJS completing 95 years in its brand story, showcased the evolution in its becoming of a highly individualistic brand that possesses a unique sense of elegance. The ninety-five designs launched were celebratory in their portrayal of feminine grace, and carried the aura of timeless beauty that was first envisioned by CJS Founder Thaha Cassim.

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2017

CJS partnered with Dr Adam Flamer-Caldera, in having him as a spokesperson to create the much needed awareness for ‘Project Orange Elephant’; a joint project for elephant conservation that CJS supports in partnership with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society.

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2017

‘Project Orange Elephant’; developed and driven by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society in collaboration with CJS, sought to provide a micro-level solution to rural communities affected by the human-elephant conflict. Under this project, a local variant of green orange was introduced as an alternative cash-crop and natural repellent for elephants, thus contributing towards the lessening of rural poverty while also providing habitat-security for both man and elephant.

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2017

Breitling; inventor of the modern chronograph and brand that has had associations to the biggest aeronautical events, became part of CJS' lineup of international luxury watch brands. Breitling's values of high performance strongly resonate with the CJS promise of uncompromised quality, making the partnership between the two brands harmonious.

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2017

The catwalk at the 2017 edition of Colombo Fashion Week became a scene of dazzle as CJS debuted the ’95 Years of Timeless Glamour’ collection. The expansive range which drew inspiration from the many milestones in CJS’ legacy, would prove to be a definitive statement on the brand’s longevity and commitment to remaining relevant.

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2017

A solution made to be sustainable; the ‘Ele-Friendly’ bus service launched by CJS in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, reached the celebratory milestone of being active for a complete year. The bus and its service has become a lifeline and a critical aid to the lives of the villagers and school-going children in the Wasgamuwa region.

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2017

CJS’ participation at FACETS 2017; Sri Lanka’s foremost gem and jewellery exhibition, was one that conveyed a sense glamour and class, with the brand laying out its breathtaking display of gems, jewellery, and luxury watches at the Premier Jewellery Pavilion. By creating a true luxury store setting, CJS drew the attention of all visitors gracing the event.

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2017

CJS, in collaboration with Hublot, hosted a special meet and greet with Rohit Sharma; Indian National Team cricketing star and Hublot’s ‘Friend of the brand’. The occasion was graced by Hublot clientele as well as several Sri Lankan cricketing legends; all of whose presence, contributed to a glamorous evening that celebrated the union between sports and world-class brands.

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2018

CJS once again extended its contributions to arts and culture by becoming the Official Jewellery Partner for Sri Lankan born Australian-American Soprano Danielle de Niese’s performance at Sri Lanka’s 70th Independence Day celebrations. The brand took upon itself to add a bit of CJS glamour to the singer’s wardrobe.

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2018

CJS’ latest landmark brand campaign; ‘Ocean Blues’, saw the brand drawing inspiration from the splendour and raw energy of the ocean. The challenging execution became an exercise in charting new territory for the brand. As with ‘Unforgettable’, ‘Ocean Blues’ held a deep embedded message; one that spoke on the vitality of our oceans, and the need for their conservation.

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2018

The CJS exhibit at FACETS 2018 was styled with the visual textures of a boat deck and the foaming white of crashing waves; all in reference to the brand’s latest campaign and collection ‘Ocean Blues’. Once again taking centre stage at the Premier Pavilion, CJS showcased its offering of precious gems, jewellery, and international luxury watch brands to specialist buyers from all over of the world.

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2018

With ‘Ocean Blues to Oceanswell’, the brand formed yet another conservation-driven collaboration; this time with acclaimed Sri Lankan Marine Biologist and Researcher Dr. Asha de Vos and her organization, Oceanswell. The intent of the partnership was to create awareness on the importance of marine conservation, using the ocean-inspired 'Ocean Blues’ collection as a vocal piece.

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2018

CJS became the Official Jewellery Partner for ‘Supercar Sundowner’; an exclusive networking event for Sri Lankan and Indian Supercar owners. Initiated by the Performalux Club; a ‘by-invite-only’ group of individuals banded through their ownership of Supercars, the event served as a platform for CJS to showcase its value offering and brand personality.

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2018

CJS’ newest retail outlet was opened at the Colombo City Centre (CCC); a hyper-modern mall showcasing multi-brand offerings for a new generation of consumers. The spacious and impeccably appointed addition to the CJS store network, showcased the appearance and ambiance that is inherent to global luxury retailing.

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2019

The campaign ‘For the love of the Blue Whale’, saw CJS creating 50 limited-edition Blue Whale Pendants set with a sapphire eye, to be sold with 100% of proceeds dedicated to the conservation and research efforts of Oceanswell. CJS collaborated with Dr. Asha de Vos towards creating awareness for the campaign, and the resulting outcome and response was overwhelmingly positive.

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2019

CJS joined hands with the ‘Positive Sri Lanka’ movement along with many others, in becoming a brand that stood for unity and hope under one national identity. Founded following the Easter Sunday tragedy in 2018, the movement promoted positivism and spending on local brands, towards raising funding to uplift the struggling sectors of an economy impacted by a wanton act of terrorism.

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2019

CJS continued to spread its message on the importance of ocean and marine conservation with the launch of the new ‘Reefs’ collection; an addition to the ‘Ocean Blues’ range that captured the delicate and vibrant nature of coral reefs with its intricate designs. The new collection; unveiled by CJS Brand Ambassador Jacqueline Fernandez, highlighted the complex relationship coral reefs share with many of our oceans’ ecosystems.

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2019

CJS became a key collaborator with the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS), in hosting Saba Douglas-Hamilton; wildlife filmmaker and conservationist, for the 125th-year anniversary celebrations of the organization. In marking the event, CJS crafted one-hundred and twenty-five pieces of a limited-edition elephant pendant; the total sale proceeds of which would be dedicated to the conservation efforts of the WNPS. The first commemorative pendent, was presented by CJS to Saba Douglas-Hamilton as a keepsake.

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2019

In collaborating with the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society, CJS introduced an experimental LED Light Repelling System (LRS) to farmers whose cultivations were constantly harassed by elephants. The light system provided a non-lethal means to deter elephants from harming crops, and signified a contribution made towards elephant conservation; a movement that CJS pledged to support at the time of launching the ‘Unforgettable’ campaign in 2014.

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2019

The limited-edition elephant pendant crafted by CJS to commemorate the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society’s (WNPS) 125th-year anniversary, was unveiled by Sri Lankan cricketing legend and WNPS Ambassador Mahela Jayawardene. All proceeds from the sale of the special pendants were donated to the WNPS, in aiding several of their ongoing conservation projects.

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