Stucki Jewelers: Innovative, with a storied history

WHEN YOU’RE SHOPPING for fine jewelry— for a wedding, anniversary or other special occasion—we’re big believers in the “buy local, shop local” mantra.

A trusted family jeweler is a prudent choice, and the foothills—built on multi-generational “mom and pop” stores—have some stalwarts. One example: Roper’s Jewelry in Auburn, founded by Ralph Roper in 1956 and still run by the same family.

Talented local jewelry makers throughout the foothills also benefit from raw materials, such as gold quartz, located right in their backyard.

The oldest continually operating jewelry store in the foothills is Stucki Jewelers in Grass Valley, which began in the Holbrook Hotel in 1904.

Stucki is now owned by James Arbaugh and his wife, Nicole. The Arbaughs exemplify the home-grown business talent in the foothills.

Like others we have featured— Wendy Van Wagner of In the Kitchen and Emily Scott Arbaugh of Emily’s Catering—James and Nicole grew up in the foothills, left for their education and returned home to run their own successful business and raise a family.

Stucki is an experienced jeweler. James is a Graduate Gemologist from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America and has worked at Stucki’s since 1997. He also has a business degree from Chico State.

Stucki is one of only 70 jewelry stores in California that belong to the American Gem Society, which maintains stringent membership standards.

Stucki has a CAD-based software program called “counter sketch” that lets customers sit at the counter and design their own jewelry. Stucki is skilled at all aspects of custom jewelry, including restyling treasures that have been handed down within a family—a growing trend nowadays.

Stucki also creates stylish custom jewelry, including pendants fashioned out of gold-bearing quartz from the nearby Original Sixteen to One Mine in Alleghany.

For four years, Stucki has made this generous pledge: buy jewelry from them on November 28-29, and if it snows on Christmas Day (at least an inch), your jewelry purchases are free. Last year that happened and Stucki refunded 48 customers more than $53,000. Details about the “Free if it Snows” promotion are here.

Stucki Engravers & Distinctive Gifts

Stucki Engravers opened three years ago, largely because of all the requests for engraving at the jewelry store.

It also specializes in awards and trophies. One example: Stucki prints more than 8,600 ribbon awards alone for the Nevada County Fair. It also sells distinctive gifts, such as gourmet picnic baskets for summer.

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