About Us

A Pirate’s Treasure is an appointment-only custom jewelry design studio. With 40 combined years in goldsmithing experience between the Fred Paoletta (Owner, Goldsmith) and Kim Vorel (Design/Production Manager, Goldsmith) we specialize and cater to unique requests. Located in DeKalb, IL we are minutes away from Northern Illinois University and Interstate 88.

Our Founding

Twenty nine years ago, Fred was looking for an engagement ring for his future wife when he met Master Goldsmith Jim Johnson, who ran a small business in custom jewelry design. Fred agreed to mentor under Jim in the art of goldsmithing, and worked on jewelry projects for Jim in return for his teachings. When Jim retired in 1989, Fred bought his business, opened a studio on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and A Pirate's Treasure was born. The business expanded into an international custom design studio, and in the early 2000's Fred relocated the business to DeKalb in order to spend more time with his family and newborn daughter.

As A Pirate's Treasure continued to grow, Fred would occasionally turn to Lee Peck, the Professor of Metal and Jewelry at Northern Illinois University, to recommend a grad student who might be interested in working on various projects. Students came and went until August of 2003, when graduate metals student Kim Vorel joined A Pirate's Treasure. She began working with Fred to expand her experience in the Fine Jewelry business, and in 2005 she graduated from NIU with her Masters in Fine Arts and Metals. Since then, she has continued to work at A Pirate’s Treasure as Designer/Production Manager and Goldsmith. She is also an Instructor of Art at McHenry County College where she launched the Jewelry and Metal courses, as well as at the College of Lake County in Illinois where she also teaches Jewelry. Kim is currently working on her Graduate Gemologist certification through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).


Today A Pirate's Treasure moves into the digital world! We are on Facebook and Etsy.