Lake Norman Magazine

Treasure Hunter

Master Jeweler Mike Malyszko, owner of Your Personal Jeweler of Lake Norman, as his work bench repairing a ring.
Master Jeweler Mike Malyszko, owner of Your Personal Jeweler of Lake Norman, as his work bench repairing a ring. Grant Baldwin Photography

“Every piece of jewelry has a story,” Michael Malyszko says. It’s this firm belief that has fueled Malyszko’s passion for the jewelry business for the past 42 years. A master jeweler, he has owned his own jewelry shop for 35 years, 21 of those years in the Lake Norman area, and the last seven in its current location in Cornelius. “I hear stories all day long about the meaning behind a piece of jewelry,” Malyszko, 56, says. “Why it’s important to that customer to have it repaired or redesigned. When I am able to do that, to make them happy makes my day.” It’s this direct connection to his customers that is behind Malyszko’s genuine enthusiasm for his work. “I’ve been in business for 42 years, but I’ve never worked a day of that,” he says. “This is a passion for me, not work—I absolutely love what I do.” His store is a gem at the lake, especially if one is looking for stunning custom made pieces. “When a customer comes in with an idea for a piece of jewelry, they describe it to me and I do my best to interpret what their idea is and make exactly what they want. There is only one level of interpretation. At large jewelry stores, customers describe to a sales person what their idea is, who then tells the designer, who then tells the jeweler who hopefully gets it right, but the idea’s already been through three levels of interpretation, so there is more room for miscommunication.”But it’s not only custom pieces that Your Personal Jeweler offers. They carry a hefty array of unique wedding sets, estate jewelry, right hand rings, necklaces, and more, ready to wear. “For many of my customers, I wasn’t just the guy who sold them a piece of jewelry, I was a part of their lives; anniversaries, engagements, graduations—big events—that I was a part of,” he says. “And it’s that connection to people that makes me love what I do.” Malyszko offers an example of the meaning he gets out of being a jeweler. “A widow came in with her wedding band, her deceased husband’s band and the diamond from her engagement ring. She wanted me to make something that she could wear. I took both bands and interlocked them, then mounted the diamond in the middle and placed it on a chain so that she could wear it as a necklace. When the woman picked it up, I can tell you, there wasn’t a dry eye in the shop.”Thinking of making your own dazzling purchase? When asked about the seemingly-great internet deals available, Malyszko shares a cautionary tale. “People will order a piece of jewelry online and bring it to me to see if they got a good deal,” he says. “Sadly, they rarely do. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.”