The jewelry business is in the Perri family blood. When the family moved to Tucson in the 1940s, several of the Perri children set out to learn an aspect of the jewelry trade. Peter, the oldest, was a watchmaker by trade and his reputation for skilled watch repair was known throughout Tucson. Brother Frank Perri studied to be a platinum-smith and opened his own shop, doing custom work in Beverly Hills, California. Both Mary and Simon learned the craft of hand engraving. Simon first learned his trade in Los Angeles, and when he retired in 2003, Mr. Perri was one of only a few hand engravers working in the city of Tucson.
Peter opened Perri Jewelers in 1945 at 129 1/2 W. Congress Street. His brother, Simon took over ownership on November 14, 1957 as sole owner and operator. The store was moved to 37 West Congress Street in 1963, where Simon owned and operated the business until 2003. In 2004, Perri Jewelers moved around to the corner to its current location at 13 North Stone Avenue, when Stephen Perri took over ownership from his father.
Perri Jewelers is unique in downtown Tucson. At one time, there were as many as six retail jewelry stores in the area. Downtown Tucson has undergone many changes over the years. The Fox Theater has gone from a thriving movie palace to an abandoned landmark to a revitalized piece of Tucson history. The downtown area is currently experiencing a renaissance of sorts with Rio Nuevo and several new construction projects and the addition of the Modern Streetcar. Through it all, Perri Jewelers has remained a fixture in the downtown business community.