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North Carolina Jewelry Store Was Set to Close After 124 Years — But Now It Won’t

The store rebranded recently as Starnes Bramlett.




Starnes Jewelers in Albemarle, NC, was set to close this year after 124 years in business.

But now the store has a new lease on life, the Stanly News & Press reports.

Due to health issues, Gene Starnes decided he could no longer run the business he’d owned since 1976.

But after the February announcement of the planned closure, it began to hit Chris Bramlett, a longtime certified gemologist appraiser at the store, that “it would not be very good if Albemarle were left without a jeweler the stature and kind that Starnes had been for 124 years.”

Bramlett, 83, reached an agreement with Starnes, who is his brother-in-law, to take over ownership. The store rebranded recently as Starnes Bramlett.

Bramlett said the community’s reaction has been positive.


“Everywhere I go people search me out and tell me how pleased they are that Starnes Bramlett is here and that we’re going to be the same jewelry store that they have been accustomed to all their lives,” he said.



Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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