A.J. Horton: Goldsmith

CAPITAL STYLE Winter AJ Horton Goldsmith Store Rev 33




A.J. ‘James’ Horton at his workstation

A.J. ‘James’ Horton at his workstation






CAPITAL STYLE Winter AJ Horton etal Rev lr 33

AJ Horton Goldsmith Jewelry

A.J. Horton: Goldsmith

Words and Photos by Dani-Elle Dubé

Nestled away in an indoor marketplace a man sits behind a small workstation in a shop built with wall-to-floor windows. As his glasses rest on the tip of his nose he carefully shapes a precious stone, every calculated movement resulting in a dramatic alteration that brings out life in one of Earth’s raw treasures. He dusts off his creation and examines it under the light; and will repeat this practice until he determines the piece is complete.


Located inside 47 Clarence Street, in the Byward Market (Ottawa), A.J. Horton Goldsmith is a quaint jewelry shop specializing in custom designs and repairs. Decorated in dark mahogany wood, gold and brass trimmings, and with plants and nostalgic knick-knacks, the warm atmosphere truly sets the tone for the shopping experience.


Born in the French colony of Guyana, South America, shop owner James Horton first made his home in Vancouver upon arriving in Canada in the 1970’s. One day while walking downtown James came across a sign for a jewelry-making course. He signed up, took the courses, and found he had a talent for intricate creations.


Some years later he moved to Ottawa and began a short career at Birks Jewelers before setting up his own shop in Ottawa’s Byward Market. With a distinguished Ottawa based clientele including the wife of the Governor General, Sharon Johnston, and the National Arts Centre founder Gordon Hamilton Southam, James also fulfills orders from Toronto, Montreal, and New York City.


One secret to James’ success is that people find his creative, design and workmanship affordable for a superlative piece of fine jewelry, or a top-notch jewelry repair. From engagement rings to earrings, bracelets and necklaces, for both men and women’s jewelry, there is nothing that A.J. Goldsmith will not create or repair. James is not one to don a suit and tie nor have a stuffy, stiff approach. He has a very personable relationship with every one of his clients, remarking, “I love my customers. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be here.”


Category: Goldsmith, JEWELLERY