Geniune Goldsmith

Hank Viccellio Handcrafts His Original Jewelry Collection In Yorktown's Riverwalk

J. Henry “Hank” Viccellio appreciated the smalltown experience of growing up in Yorktown, but at age 18 he picked up and left, vowing to see the world. Almost 30 years later, he found himself in love less than a mile from where he grew up.

As a child, it’s hard to imagine what you’ll be when you grow up, and even harder to remember years later how you got from those dreams to where you are. Little did Viccellio know that atage 6, his aspirations of being an explorer and crafting something small that would bring joy to others would be exactly the life path he would follow.

After traveling across the country and working as both a silversmith and goldsmith, Viccellio decided that he wanted to create his own jewelry collection. In 2005, when the new waterfront development project was underway in historic Yorktown, he jumped at the chance to open a shop at Riverwalk Landing. With its colorful rugs, modern lighting and inviting atmosphere, Viccellio Goldsmith is not what you’d expect when walking into a high-end jewelry establishment. Viccellio, wearing his apron and often working on something at his work table toward the back of the store, immediately greets customers as friends. As you inquire about a particular piece, he pulls it out from under the glass and encourages you to hold it, try it on, and examine all of the details. His excitement for his pieces is instantly evident.

Viccellio sits down daily, typically in the morning, and sketches ideas. He finds that his best pieces evoke a different time or a different place. All pieces in his collections are handmade in one of two ways—some are forgedwhile other pieces are carved in wax and then cast. He works with allgenuine stones and has a fondness for the semi-precious stones. While the prices of his jewelry range from very affordable to engagement-worthy pieces, Viccellio is happy to work on a custom piece or blend his design with a customer’s idea to create the perfect piece. What separates him from other goldsmiths and other jewelry stores is that he’s constantly making new designs, “I owe it to people who collect to constantly push my designs further,” says Viccellio. In addition to Viccellio’s collections, the shop features other artists. His wife, Leslie, plays a big part in helping choose these other pieces to offer customers a wide variety of items. Colorful beads from a local Williamsburg artist and nauticalthemed charms from a New England company are just a few of the unique pieces featured in the shop.

Looking at his journey, his explorations led him back to Yorktown where he uses his hands-on craft to bring people joy. Viccellio remembers his 6-year-old self and wonders if he was always meant to be a goldsmith. Those who have seen his jewelry would certainly say it’s so. Viccellio Goldsmith is located at 325 Water St. in Riverwalk Landing, Yorktown. For more information, call 757-890-2162 or visit