Oscar Heyman & Brothers was founded under its present name in New York City in 1912, however the family's jewellery making heritage dates back to the 19th century and their homeland of Ukraine. Nathan and Oscar Heyman, the eldest of six brothers and three sisters, were the driving force behind the creation of this highly skilled and innovative family business and it was they who travelled to the United States at the turn of the century to trade their exceptional skills in jewellery making.
After several years of manufacturing for some of the most well known retailers such as Cartier, Black, Starr & Frost, Neiman Marcus, Shreve & Co. and Bailey, Banks & Biddle, the Heyman brothers decided to open their own workshop and jewellers from where they could continue to supply their established wholesale customers whilst simultaneously showcasing their own designs. Ever since Oscar Heyman & Bros. has been synonymous with exceptional craftsmanship, scrupulous attention to detail and consistency in style and quality.
Birks, established in Montreal in 1879, was one of the leading Canadian jewellers of the 20th century, if not the most prestigious. Their purchase of jewels from the Heyman Bros workshop is, as discussed, typical of a high end retailer of this period and again testament to the high regard in which their peers held the Heyman Bros. craftsmanship. This is further underlined by Birks decision to sign each jewel in full themselves, alongside the OHB maker's mark.