Placerville Jewelry Store Closing after 166 Years

PLACERVILLE -- A jewelry store that has been open since the 19th century is closing its doors.

Randolph's Jewelry Store on Placerville's Main Street has been operating for nearly 170 years.

The closing is bittersweet for the owner.

No place was busier Friday, on historic Main Street than Randolph's Jewelry Store. But, it's not the big sale that has drawn customers.

Longtime customers discovered that it will be closing down after 166 years in operation.

Customers came to bid owner, Charlie Stephens, farewell as much as for the closeout bargains.

Started in 1852, it's had just a handful of owners since 1852. It's display case shows its proud history.

But when Charlie’s children didn't want to carry on, Charlie and his wife Kathy decided to call it quits after running the store for nearly 40 years.

"You can't do it forever, it's going to have to end sometime,” said Stephens.

Longtime customer Merrilee Heffernan got her engagement and wedding rings here.

“This is the family that's run this for years and years and to lose them is really too bad,” said Heffernan.

There's a lot of emotion and sentiment placed in pieces of metal and stone, making chalice’s job special.

"We're helping people acquire some of their most treasured possessions,” he said.

Charlie says it's not the business they will miss. After all, there are plenty of historic merchants on Main Street. Instead, they say they'll miss the people and the atmosphere.

Customer Judy Magness said, "they're like family, not because you buy a whole lot of jewelry. I'll be in town and just stop by and say high.”

There was plenty of that today mixed in with the horde of bargain hunters.

Kathy Stephens expressed that their "customers have become friends. So, yeah, it's been very emotional.”

They have time now for travel and time with the grandkids as well as a career to remember.

"It's been a great community to live in, a great street to do business on, it's been very rewarding,” said Charlie Stephens.

Randolph's will stay open until most of its inventory is sold off.

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