Harold Rutgers was born and raised in Flushing, New York. His father Victor was a jewelry designer who opened up a jewelry store in Great Neck in 1962. Rutgers, a certified gemologist, joined the family business and opened up Bell Family Jewelers in Bayside in 1987.
Rutgers is associated with Jewelers for Children. It is a nonprofit organization that donates to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Rutgers has a box and a sign in his store that states that he won't charge customers for jewelry cleaning services. Instead, they can donate a sum of their choice to the charity by dropping it in the box. Rutgers says that after he started this initiative 10 years ago, he found that people come to his store for the services because they also know they get the opportunity to give back. This year, he has already collected more than $1,500 and hopes to surpass that and collect $2,000 next year.
Rutgers says his biggest inspiration is his father, " He gave me an engraved ID bracelet when I went to high school" that said " The secret to success is the consistency to purpose, that's the Rule I live by".