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Expert service offered at new jewelry store in Carlinville

Miguel Carillo carries 50 years of experience as a master jeweler. He is now back in Carlinville with his wife, Carolyn. The Carillos’ new jewelry business is open from Tuesday through Saturday, as of Aug. 1. Enquirer~Democrat photo by Jackson Wilson.


Grand opening September 1

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

Long-time master jeweler Miguel Carillo and his wife, Carolyn, opened a new custom and repair shop in Carlinville Aug. 1.
The Carillos previously ran the Jeweler’s Bench on East Main Street. Now, they are back in business at a new location on the other side of the town square.

The Carillos provide expert service Tuesday through Saturday at 202 West Main Street.

In addition to regular custom design and jewelry repair in platinum, gold and silver, the Carillos are assisting customers with appraisals, re-mounting, antique restoration, pearl stringing, watch batteries, knife/scissor sharpening and eyeglass repairs. The Carillos even have to ability to re-furbish older pieces of jewelry and keep them maintained.

“I get a lot of different requests,” M. Carillo said. “Someone came to me with a ring she had had for 30 years and we helped her keep it in good shape.”

“We are committed to doing a little of everything,” said C. Carillo. “We, at least, try.”

M. Carillo carries broad experience that ranges half a decade. He was first apprentised as a master jeweler in San Antonio, then moved to Tulsa, where he met Carolyn and ran his first business, in which she assisted.

After they got married in Oklahoma, the Carillos moved to Carlinville – Carolyn’s hometown. They opened The Jeweler’s Bench in 2000, then left for St. Louis after vacating the building in 2016.

When they returned to Carlinville following a local six-year hiatus, the Carillos received a warm and ecstatic welcome from a community that was buzzing when re-opening rumors surfaced.

“It’s been quite a nice reception to start up again,” C. Carillo said.

“The people are just so glad that we are back,” said M. Carillo. “That’s the regular feedback we’ve been getting ever since we opened again. The support has been incredible.”

On their wall, the Carillos have several portraits that feature some of M. Carillo’s masterpieces. One example is a backhoe, which has wheels that spin and other parts that move.

“That was made to be a pendant, but the man he gave it to liked it so much that he didn’t want to do that,” C. Carillo said as she reflected on the Tulsa memory. “He put it in one of those see-through jars on his desk in his office.”

“I made that particular piece from 16 parts,” M. Carillo said.

“That’s what he can do,” C. Carillo continued. “He’s also made pool rings, old-fashioned school desks [with the apple and book on top], dart boards; a lot of things.”

Another portrait in the shop features a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, which M. Carillo made from two opal stones that were brought in by a customer.

“What we have up at the moment is just a small sampling of what [Miguel] has done,” C. Carillo said. “There’s not very many jewelers out there that will do everything like that.”

While there are computers and machines that can create different models for designs, M. Carillo has the ability to carve them out of wax.

The Carillos originally planned to open the new shop with their son, who was also “a very good jeweler,” and have him eventually take it over. Unfortunately, he passed away June 6. Yet, the Carillos vowed they would continue the family legacy in his honor.

“Jewelers never retire, honestly,” M. Carillo said. “Plus, we decided to keep doing it because the support we get from the people in this town is so great. For those who have had to travel to Springfield, Edwardsville or St. Louis for stuff like this, it’s now right here. We can literally do the littlest and most simple things too, even just fixing a broken chain for, let’s say, a football player.”

“If we don’t have what you want, we can get it,” C. Carillo said.

“Our suppliers get everything to us in 24 hours. I can order something today and have it tomorrow.”

The Carillos are giving away diamond-studded earrings for their grand opening Fri., Sept. 1.

For more information, call 217-854-7400 or send an email to