Traditionally, the 40th anniversary gift is supposed to be ruby, and few retailers are as well-prepared for it as Castle’s Jewelry in the Mayo Plaza. As of Saturday, that shop has been open for 40 years.
The shop’s owner, Doug Pugh, helped open the store in his senior year of high school. At that point, the primary Castle’s location downtown had been established for more than 40 years already, after Clarence Castle first opened his doors in 1937. It moved again in 1938, 1942 and again in 1958.
The two locations overlapped for about a decade, Pugh said, with the downtown store finally closing in 1988.
Even the Mayo Plaza location predates the conglomeration of many national chains and the rise of online retailers.
“There’s been a lot of changes, and a lot of it has been the technology. I remember at one time putting a piece of jewelry on a copy machine and faxing a picture so someone could see it,” Pugh said.
Pugh credits the business’ staying power to the community they have served for so long and the customer service his shop aims to provide.
“Over the years, we try to take care of everybody the same, whether it’s a watch battery or a big stone,” Pugh said. “It’s not uncommon to see jewelry come in here that my dad sold, or my grandfather sold.”
The store has, many times, repurposed jewelry — turning wedding bands into necklaces, clustered diamonds into earring sets, and much more, to help keep sentimental family heirlooms going on for generations to come.
That recognition, accountability, and having a knowledgeable local staff, Pugh said, has made them a regional favorite, particularly through the holiday season.
“Paintsville has almost always been like a trade center,” Pugh said. “The other night we had customers in here from three surrounding counties.”
The store’s hours may expand for the holidays. For more information, find them on Facebook or call, (606) 789-7572.