Long-time jewelry store will close
After more than 30 years in business, jeweler Jim Beitz is calling it quits.
Beitz Jewelers will close Dec. 31, 32 years after Jim Beitz started working at the store and bought from his father in 1978.
“It’s been a lot of fun. I have known a lot of people … I just decided it was time to move on” Beitz said Wednesday,
Customers stopped by the Mill Street store, where watches, pearl and gold necklaces, die-cast miniature cars and gold-mining equipment are displayed in turn-of-the-last-century showcases.
The idea to retire hit Beitz a couple of months ago, he said, after someone offered to buy the business.
When that offer fell through, Beitz said he decided to close the business rather than sell it to someone else. The business has never really been on the market, he said.
“After 32 years, I decided to go ahead and close (the store),” he said. “Thirty-two years is a long time.”
The building, a saloon during the Gold Rush years, has been a jewelry store since the 1930s.
Beitz’s father, John Beitz, bought the business in 1968 from the Hartungs, who had been jewelers in western Nevada County since 1875, according to a 1946 calendar at the store.
Jim Beitz, 57, doesn’t really know what he will do next. He does plan to build a couple of hot rods with a friend and spend time with his first grandchild, due in January. “I’m not going to vegetate at home.”
Lori Cooper, who started working at Beitz Jewelers 21 years ago, said the decision to close the store was a big surprise.
Then it made her think about a change in her life. She wants to care for her sick father and perhaps make some jewelry, she said.
“My husband is in construction, and he said he’ll put me to work,” she added.
Gail Beitz, Jim’s wife, said there is going to be a certain amount of melancholy when the store closes, but she is wholeheartedly supportive. “He’s ready for a change.”
They just need to find room for his collection of die-cast cars.
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