Death fine jewelry industry icon

Nilda Zulueta

(PRESS RELEASE) Nilda Zulueta, owner of Cardel Jewelers Inc., an award-winning, nationally recognized fine jewelry manufacturing company located in the heart of New York’s fine jewelry district, died on July 18, 2021.

For over 35 years, Cardel has been one of a handful of preeminent fine jewelry companies offering the highest quality manufacturing dedicated to the art of fine jewelry making. His company produced jewelry for famous award-winning designers, select clientele, elite jewelry lines and iconic retailers such as Tiffany’s, Harry Winston and others.

Cardel’s unique legacy was featured in a PBS Network documentary highlighting the remarkable, high-quality fine jewelry pieces they have created with an unwavering dedication to making every piece the best it can be.

Nilda is a true icon of the fine jewelry industry and a pioneer, being one of the only women of the 80s to succeed in a field dominated by men. She began working in the jewelry manufacturing industry, progressing from a job as a founding secretary to building her own esteemed and successful business. His strong character, ambition, determination, knowledge, honesty, kindness and selflessness were unmatched, as were his fierceness, drive for excellence, passion, generosity, humor and independent spirit.

For a magazine publication many years ago, she said, “I believe that with good self-esteem, good education and management skills, women can join the male mainstream that currently rules this country. . Women are a strong and resourceful species who have fought against insurmountable odds to succeed. I believe that with the right channeling and support, we can realize our potential. She would joke that if she had done and said what she has done in our day and present day, she would be canonized as a saint. She had a great frankness!


Nilda believed that jewelry was an ancient craft and part of human history, an art that was revered, respected and continued no matter how values ​​and fashions changed.

She ran her business with a sense of openness that allowed creative ideas and individuality to flow freely with her clients. While at the forefront of modern technology to achieve things not possible in the past, Cardel maintained an artisanal approach that respected the finest elements of craftsmanship, contemporary in form yet traditional in approach.

Cardel has created one-of-a-kind pieces that are heirlooms that future generations will cherish forever.

As a family business, Cardel Jewelers has passed down an uncompromising work ethic and unwavering commitment to quality from one generation to the next. Nilda has worked closely with her children Adlin and Alex to maintain a remarkable and unparalleled level of quality. Their team was made up of perfectionists dedicated to their craft, and each had a specific mastery of bespoke jewelry making. Their New York City location in the legendary fine jewelry district on West 47th Street in Midtown Manhattan gave them immediate access to the world’s finest stones and metals so their pieces have unparalleled quality.

As a jewelry designer, it is extremely important to have mutual vision, to co-create with your maker to interpret your designs and create them into beautiful jewelry to wear and enjoy. Since 1991, Cardel has been the manufacturer of my high jewelry collections.

Nilda’s attention to detail and love of her craft was a rare and magnificent gift that she shared with the world. Nilda once said “One of the true delights of my life is creating and bringing to life a beautiful design and building the piece to transcend expectations”


Nilda was not only my entrepreneur, collaborator and mentor, but also a dear friend that I will forever hold in my heart. —JoAnne Mulhall

Nilda is survived by her husband Hector, her children Alex and Adlin and many step grandchildren.

A Memorial Mass was held on July 23, 2021 in North Bergen, New Jersey