by Eric Stearley
Precious Gems & Metals, a retail shop located at 3 East Canal Street, will close its doors for good on May 22.
Precious Gems & Metals has been in the business of buying and selling quality jewelry, precious metals since 1979. The company has built its business on going into communities for short periods of time and buying up vintage and estate jewelry at competitive prices. Word spread over the years and past customers brought more jewelry, as well as friends and family interested in selling pieces. As much as 90 percent of the items purchased are melted down and sold as gold and silver bullion. A few years ago, owner Stan Walter opened a retail store in downtown Wabash to sell high quality items that he didn’t want to scrap.
With the recent drop in the prices of gold and silver, jewelry owners are less willing to sell their items. With fewer items available for Walter to purchase, there has been a notable decrease in the supply of qualities items to sell in the downtown store.
“This is my last retail operation,” said Walter, who has owned several businesses in Wabash throughout the years. “I just want to thank the Wabash community for their support over the years. I’ve been able to make a good living and raise a family through my businesses, so I’m just very thankful.”
While the retail shop will soon close, the business will continue. Walter and his associates will continue to buy and sell in other markets through private purchases. Walter said he will also be open to make appointments with interested parties.
Currently, Precious Gems & Metals is holding a total liquidation going-out-of-business sale, with items marked as low as 70 percent off retail value.
“We’re just going to start pushing stuff out of here these last few days,” said Walter. “After May 22, everything is going to be out of here. It’s either going to get sold or melted down.”
The newly renovated building on Canal Street will also be for sale. Walter said he has had inquiries from interested parties, but the building is still available.