Shane Company, a jewelry retailer with four locations around Atlanta according to its website, filed a Chapter 11 petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado.  Chapter 11 Case No. 09-10367.   Hear the announcement from Tom Shane himself.

From Reuters:

Shane Co, a privately held jewellery retailer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Colorado court on Monday and said it appointed Kevin Regan of FTI Consulting as interim chief restructuring officer. ..The company also said it has about 6,000 creditors including trade vendors, customers and employees.

The company owes more than $26 million to its top 20 unsecured creditors, according to court filings and it listed Dison Gems as its top unsecured creditor.

From the Rocky Mountain News:

Now you have a bankrupt friend in the diamond business…

Tom Shane has been the public face of the company for much of that time, earnestly delivering he company’s tag line "Now you have a friend in the diamond business" in advertisements that tout the company’s "no-middle man markup" approach to buying diamonds and other gems.

Shane owes as much as $26.2 million to its 20 biggest unsecured creditors, according to court papers. The largest unsecured creditor is New York- based Dison Gems Inc., with a $4.7 million claim, the company said. Among Shane’s 6,000 creditors are 4,600 customers who placed special orders or made layaway deposits on future purchases...

In a 2002 interview with the Atlanta Business Chronicle, he called the ads "the longest-running continuous campaign in the history of radio" and said he writes them himself.

"A lot of owner-spokesmen are really pitchmen, and I’d like to think that’s not how we position ourselves," Shane was quoted as saying. "We try to be credible and sincere. Most people don’t know much about jewelry. They want to be assured that they’re not going to be ripped off."