23 Aug 2014
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Alex and Ani Owner Buys Belcourt Mansion

Carolyn Rafaelian, founder and owner of Cranston-based Alex and Ani, announced she bought Belcourt Castle in Newport yesterday.

Alex and Ani Owner Buys Belcourt Mansion Alex and Ani Owner Buys Belcourt Mansion

Alex and Ani founder and majority owner Carolyn Rafaelian announced she bought Belcourt Mansion in Newport for more than $3 million.

"I have a love affair with Newport. I've fallen completely in love with Belcourt," Rafaelian said in a release. "I am fascinated by its rich history and roots and it's a true honor to have the blessing from Mrs. Tinney to continue the legacy. I look forward to restoring it to its natural beauty."

Rafaelian bought the mansion from the Tinney family and she intends on renovating it and continue to operate it for tours, weddings and "an array of charity based social events reflecting [her] vision for the historical mansion," the release stated.

Alex and Ani, headquartered in Cranston, is one of the fastest growing small businesses in Rhode Island. The jewelry company is famous for its charms and bracelets but it has branched out recently, opening several Teas and Javas coffee shops and buying Sakonnet Vineyards.

According to a release:

The third largest and unique among the mansions of Newport, “Belcourt,” a Louis XIII style-hunting lodge, was designed by Richard Morris Hunt, “the Dean of American architects.” Construction cost $3.2 million in 1894, a figure of approximately $80 million in 2011 dollars. Three hundred skilled European craftsmen were employed in Belcourt’s creation between 1891 and 1894. The entire first floor was devoted to a fine carriage collection and a stable with 30 luxurious stalls accommodating prized coaching horses. Currently, the manor is home to an extensive collection of art and antiques while it hosts guided tours, weddings and social events.

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