Since its inception in 1945, Shiels has been a family business. Founded by Jack Shiels, he and his wife ran Shiels for 32 years, until his death in 1977. It was then that Jacks widow sold the Shiels store to Albert Bensimon and his wife Nyra. The original Shiels store sold jewellery, giftware and silver-plated merchandise. However, Albert and Nyra quickly changed the selection to include more precious jewellery, gold, silver and diamonds, while the giftware lines were dropped. The aim was to establish a reputation for quality, value and range; especially in diamonds.