Sartor Hamann’s origins can be traced to 1905 when Frank Harris established Lincoln, Nebraska’s first fine jewelry store called Perry & Harris Jewelers. In 1913, Ernest Sartor came along, partnered with Harris and the company became Harris & Sartor Jewelers. In 1933, Sartor bought out Harris and from then on, it became known as Sartor’s.
In 1955, William Hamann joined Ernest Sartor and created Sartor Hamann Jewelers. Lauren Hamann, Bill’s nephew, joined the company and soon began doing much of Sartor Hamann’s design, crafting work, stone setting, and watch repair.
In 1957, Bill’s son Donald Hamann came on board as Bill’s partner after graduating from the University of Nebraska. Don was soon running the day-to-day operations and oversaw the expansion from one store to eventually five stores which were located in Lincoln and Grand Island, Nebraska and Fort Collins, Colorado. Through the years, Don became widely known and recognized in the jewelry industry as a leader and innovator. Among many other distinguished titles, Don is best known as past president of the prestigious industry organization Jewelers of America, as well as former chairman of the board of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co.
Don’s son, Rick Hamann graduated from the Gemological Institute of America in 1981 and came to work for Sartor Hamann as a gemologist. Rick learned all aspects of the business from sales to buying to marketing to management and is currently the Executive Vice President. Rick oversees the entire operation but specializes in marketing as well as managing the extensive estate jewelry department.
In 1984, Don’s daughter Lynn Hamann entered the business when they opened the location in Fort Collins, Colorado where Lynn was living after graduating from Colorado State University. Lynn, who is also a Graduate Gemologist, operated and managed the Fort Collins store until 1997 when she left to gain other small business management expertise. Although the Fort Collins store was closed in 2008, Lynn is active in the business today as a consultant to management and a member of the Board of Directors.
Rick’s daughter, Jordan Hamann, joined the firm in 2004 after graduating from the University of Nebraska and receiving her Graduate Gemologist certification from GIA. Jordon is currently the Inventory Manager and Head Buyer as well as a member of the Board of Directors.
Don’s youngest son, Charles (Chip) Hamann lives in Ottawa, Canada where he is Principal Oboist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa School of Music. Chip is an advisor and a member of the Board of Directors.