Treasure Hunter: Terry Weiner

Photography by Mark Davidson

Terry Weiner, CEO of Leeds & Son Fine Jewelers, loves coming home to BIGHORN after his international shopping trips. “It’s my favorite place to be – great friends, great food and fabulous amenities – I’m a lucky man!” shares Terry.

From treasure hunting for exquisite jewels across the globe to hanging out in The Pour House after a round of golf on the Mountains course, Terry Weiner enjoys connecting with the people he meets in his travels.

Relationships have been at the heart of the family jewelry business his parents started in 1947, and joining a community built on meaningful personal interactions was one of his reasons for moving to BIGHORN five years ago. “BIGHORN is the perfect place to practice the saying, ‘Try to be more interested than interesting,’” Terry explains. “Everyone here has a story, and they are all fascinating.”

Terry comes from a family who both cultivated and enjoyed hearing fascinating stories. When his parents Edward and Eleanore Weiner opened Leeds & Son 70 years ago in Indio, they were creating more than a small town jewelry shop; they had embarked on a legacy. Few could have imagined their budding bridal jewelry and wedding band business would turn into an internationally recognized shopping destination for fine jewels and heirloom watches. Terry and his sister, Riki Stein, joined their parents in the business in the late 1970s and were later followed by Terry’s nephew, Brett, and his wife, Christine.

Looking back on decades of stories shared with generations of clients, Terry credits his parents for having the vision of how the area would grow over the next seven decades into an esteemed center for golf, fashion, and social events known worldwide. He inherited that same gift of vision from his parents, and has been proud to be a part of a business that has served and evolved with the community.

Terry is CEO of Leeds & Son Fine Jewelers on El Paseo in Palm Desert, Baron & Leeds Fine Jewelers (with three locations in Hawaii), and Rolex Boutique at South Coast Plaza. He is also an Ambassador of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie for the high art of watchmaking. As of this fall, he is also the name and face behind BIGHORN’s new Golf Shop’s glittering Jewel Box. Housed in a striking oval-shaped glass cylinder, this is where luxury pro shop meets Madison Avenue chic. Artfully integrated, the Jewel Box is a stunning yet serene space in which Members can browse, shop, and dream among Terry’s hand-picked selection of exceptional jewelry and extraordinary timepieces.

“I love to travel and find the rare and unusual – and I can think of no better place to showcase these treasures than BIGHORN,” says Terry, whose role in the family business has developed into that of a masterful “treasure hunter.” He values the role he has in traversing the globe to find and source extraordinary products, bringing back only the best of the best to share with his discriminating clients, who are well-traveled themselves. “The BIGHORN Member expects and understands quality, and is not satisfied with the ordinary,” surmises Terry. And neither is he.

Those who know him often remark on his innate ability to exceed the highest standards of professionalism while being friendly and approachable. He establishes genuine personal connections with every single client, whether encountering them for the first time or greeting them again after many years of friendship. It’s one of the reasons the business enjoys such a loyal customer base. He and his talented team also enjoy educating clients about jewelry, gemstones, metals, settings, watches, and the latest styles, including how to wear them. The opportunity to offer a specialized shop in his home Club means everything to him. In effect, he is bringing his parents’ mission full circle.

Terry is proud of the world-renowned team assembled at Leeds & Son Fine Jewelers. Stop by their El Paseo location or the new Jewel Box located at BIGHORN’s new Clubhouse to experience their first-class service and selection in person.

Continuing the Legacy
The store name “Leeds” was created by combining the first two letters of his parents’ names: Eleanore and Edward. Founded by one family to serve many local families, their business quickly became a beloved establishment in the valley. High-quality products, sincere love of community, and a passion for elegance set them apart, spearheaded by a personal touch and outstanding service at every turn.

“Leeds and Son has always been a family business,” Terry explains. “My parents opened their store in the Coachella Valley in 1947, and, in our 70-year history, there has always been a family member in the store. With the opening of the Jewel Box, Riki and Brett have become more engaged with our BIGHORN Members, offering me the privilege to hunt the world for the treasures we offer.”

Those treasures reflect some of the same names clients have loved for years at the Leeds store on El Paseo. In fact, Leeds & Son is Coachella Valley’s only Official Jeweler for Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Baume & Mercier, and other fine and certified pre-owned watches. They offer jewelry from internationally recognized name brands and also work direct with Italian designers for more unique and one-of-akind creations. Additionally, Leeds & Son specializes in GIA-certified diamonds and can source every size, quality, and shape. On site, a state-of-the-art watch service department is staffed by industry-trained professionals using only manufacturer-approved parts and testing equipment. A master goldsmith attends to jewelry repair and custom creations.

The legacy that began when Ed and Eleanore Weiner believed in the community and planted both familial and business roots here continues today through Terry, Riki, Brett, Christine, and other family team members who share in the joy of expressing the caring spirit behind the brand.

Leeds & Son Fine Jewelers hosts the Coachella Valley’s most rare and unusual collection of diamonds, gemstones, and watches.

The family-owned business celebrated its Platinum Jubilee in 2017 and looks forward to a sparkling future as the Coachella Valley continues to thrive as a global destination for luxury and style.

People Comes First
Terry emphasizes that everyone who is part of their family business believes that integrity is paramount. Knowing that their friends and neighbors rely on their knowledge and high standards, they have devoted themselves to providing time-trusted service while placing utmost importance on offering only the finest colors, clarities, and quality in every piece.

“Leeds and Son’s philosophy is simple: At every price category, source the best quality,” Terry shares. “Our goal is to save our customers both time and money with our incredible sourcing abilities. Whether you’re looking for a million-dollar diamond or cufflinks for $300, we want to be your jeweler.”

For Terry, a jeweler is an essential trusted resource who helps his or her clients express love, mark special occasions, and reward themselves for achievement.

“Many of our team members and customers have been with us through our generations and that makes them a part of our family, too,” he says. “Now in our 70th year, we’re approaching our fourth generation of customers. We’ve had the honor of sharing countless treasured moments with our extended families including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and professional milestones.”

That commitment to consistency and dedication to a personal experience have made them the area’s Most Trusted Jewelers. To be able to step into their spectacular boutique anytime over the last 7 decades and know you will always be warmly greeted by a family member is what has made the business a long-standing local asset.

Hiking Mountainous Treasures
During Terry’s down time he loves to hike, but for two decades his passion was climbing at a world-class level. “I started serious mountaineering when I was 20 and retired from the sport in my 40s when my daughter, Alex, was born,” he recalls. “I always loved the outdoors, and schools like Outward Bound provided expert training for the wilderness. I honed my rock skills at Joshua Tree National Monument. Later, my interest drew me to technical ice climbing and expedition climbing.”

The dynamic brother-sister duo, Terry with his beloved sister, Riki Stein. “I am so lucky to partner with my sister and very best friend – she’s my rock and I love and admire her dearly,” shares Terry.

“Climbing in Nepal and Peru along the Bolivian border was extremely powerful for me. The rich heritage of the Andes was fascinating, especially the treks into the mountains, experiencing the culture, and finally standing on top of a major summit. It’s exhilarating!

“My first ‘treasure hunt’ happened in Kathmandu, Nepal. After a climbing expedition in the Khumbu region, I became enamored with a very rare bead that the Tibetan’s call a XI stone. It took me four years of searching to find one, which I eventually purchased from a former bodyguard of the Dalai Lama. These are very rare stones that are thought to bring good luck, spiritual enlightenment, and health. There is quite a mystery around their origins, and they are now considered priceless. I wear mine every day and, so far, its powers have worked very well.”

Life and Jewelry at BIGHORN
Terry joined BIGHORN about five years ago. “I grew up in the desert and knew that one day I would join this club and live here,” he reveals. “There never was a second choice for me. BIGHORN was my dream and my reward for 40 years of hard work. I love every day that I am home.

” For Terry, “home” meant a Club that offers a unique environment with a world-class experience. When home, Terry catches his breath while taking in a Tennis Drill ‘n Play, swimming laps at the Spa & Wellness Center, or playing golf and striving to use the same ball for an entire round. “I love to meet new Members,” adds Terry. “The Membership is a treasure at this Club, and the staff is definitely the lifeblood. It’s a remarkable place.”

“The Jewel Box is as unique as the BIGHORN Membership,” says Terry, adding that his fellow Members are his inspiration behind the one-of-a-kind boutique. “I have already received a great deal of positive feedback. We present extraordinary jewels and timepieces as well as wearable, everyday wardrobe pieces. Our focus is on quality and originality.”

Originality for Terry always implies a certain artfulness. “I love art. Jewelry and timepieces are one of the highest forms of art,” he notes. “True fine jewelry incorporates the arts of design, goldsmithing, diamond setting, gem sourcing, enameling, polishing, and more. All of these by themselves are art forms.”

BIGHORN Members’ understanding and appreciation for fine art extends to the jewelry they wear. Whether purely sentimental or designed to make a fabulous statement, any piece can become artful in its presentation. “Jewelry is like art. You can mix metals. You can mix sentimental pieces with statement pieces. Wear whatever brings you pleasure.” As long as you opt for quality over quantity,Terry adds.

For Terry personally, he has long held an affinity for distinctive mechanical watches. “High-end watchmaking is on the same level as fine automobile manufacturing or fine art,” Terry explains. “You have to understand the love that goes into individual timepieces that are sometimes one to two years in production.”

“I love celebrating special moments with my amazing daughter, Alex. She means the world to me,” shares Terry.

Climbing the greatest peaks in the world began early in Terry’s life.

It takes endless hours and extreme devotion to curate an international jewelry collection the likes of which fill the glittering cases at Leeds & Son and BIGHORN’s Jewel Box. Any given day for Terry might begin before sunrise, when, for example, an auction in Monaco features a cache of rare watches he knows his clients will be keen to appreciate. He journeys to the Far East in a quest for heavenly pearls then back to Europe to source precious stones and meet with renowned designers. (The vast majority of the jewelry he stocks is made in Italy, as Terry believes Italians are the best craftsmen on Earth.)

To craft a bespoke experience and selection for clients, Terry travels over 200 days a year. In addition to working closely with manufacturers, he attends conferences, watch shows, and factory tours, researching the latest in timepieces to best serve his knowledgeable clients. His “commute” finds him jet-setting frequently between Palm Desert, Laguna Beach, Hawaii, and Italy.

“I love to travel to these destinations, but my house at BIGHORN truly feels like a home,” he says. “When I come back after an extended trip, this place wraps its walls around me like a warm blanket. Every morning, I open the window shades and marvel at the beauty outside. BIGHORN reminds me that I am the luckiest man alive.”

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