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Oakley Jewelers Of Lakeland, FL Set To Close January 25, 2021 (0 comments)


Lakeland, FL—Oakley Jewelers, a 73-year-old luxury jewelry store in Florida (image), is closing. Local newspaper The Ledger reports its owner, 67-year-old second generation master jeweler Ron Oakley, is retiring.

Like many of his peers, Oakley began working in the store as a child. At age 13, his father gave him a gold ring for his birthday, but had no time to size it. That jumpstarted Ron’s lifelong passion for goldsmithing, studying under his father and learning casting at a nearby dental shop. 

He told The Ledger he’d been contemplating retirement for some time, but the COVID-19 pandemic made the decision easier, especially when one of his longtime employees announced plans to move to Georgia. And also like many of his peers in the jewelry industry, Oakley’s daughter has no interest in the business.

"It's been a struggle with the COVID and the masks and the economy and just you know, all these things have taken their toll," Oakley said [in the article]. "It's a good time for me to say I've done it and I can rest easy that you know, job well done," he told The Ledger. "Being that I'm the sole owner and 67 years old, you know, it's time for me to maybe enjoy a little bit," Oakley said. "I've got family or friends who are younger than me who are now in the grave. When am I going to take some time for myself?" 

Master jeweler and goldsmith Ron Oakley is closing his store and retiring.

Friends and customers reacted with both best wishes and sadness on the store’s Facebook page. Multiple customers recall buying their engagement and wedding rings from Oakley, or remember Ron’s parents who opened the store. 

Oakley also is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys restoring 1960s and 1970s-era muscle cars, so perhaps he won’t be hanging up the metal blowtorch altogether.

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