ENID, Okla. — After almost 56 years of work, the owner of Bell Jewelers is retiring and the store will close its doors.
According to a Facebook post in early May, the store is looking at remaining open until mid-July or until all of items are sold, but the last day is uncertain at this point. Bob Clemens, owner, president and jeweler of the store, said he decided to retire because he was diagnosed with macular degeneration.
“I did not want to retire,” Clemens said. “But I really can’t check diamonds and stuff as close as I used to, so it’s come to the end of the reigns.”
The building, located on the corner of Grand and Randolph, was bought by attorney Robert Faulk. Faulk said he will rent the property to another party but is not at liberty to disclose what the property will become yet.
Clemens, 79, started at Bell Jewelers in July 1963 because he needed a job, and the owner at that time was a jeweler in Fort Worth, Simon Richard Lang. The company eventually split, and Lang asked Clemens to sta. When Lang died 25 years later he left the store to Clemens, who purchased it in 1995.
“We always did nice jewelry, quality goods, all at a good value,” Clemens said. “We have a lot of third-, fourth-generation customers who are still with us to this day, because I have people coming in left and right telling me how sad they are to see me going.”
Clemens said he doesn’t have a particular favorite moment from Bell Jewelers — “they’re all favorite memories” — but his favorite part of the job is the people.
“I don’t care whether you buy a $6 battery or a big diamond ring, you’re still my favorite people,” Clemens said.
Clemens said he hates to leave because his job never felt like a job to — more of a hobby, since he really enjoys it and finds it interesting.
“It’s always been fun, it’s been an enjoyable time,” Clemens said. “I think we did it right. We tried to do it right, course you have to make a few dollars here and there but you don’t have to make a fortune off of anyone.”