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Around Our Town...Business Spotlight

11/01/2004 - You may have seen Ayres' Jewelers, "the store with the clock on the sidewalk" in downtown Casper many times . . . it's been here since 1919. As the oldest jewelry store in the state of Wyoming, Ayres has a charming story behind it.

Eighty-five years ago during the Salt Creek Oil Boom, Claude Ayres took a train west. He left fom Kansas, originally on the way to Washington, but, when he passed through Casper, something endeared it to his heart. As Casper citizens I'm sure you all can relate. Claude Ayres turned around and came back to start Ayres' Jewelry store. At the time there were fourteen or fifteen other Jewelry stores here in Casper, but Ayres is the one that has stood the test of time.

In the mid 1950's Claude's son, Chuck Ayres, took over the business. In 1975 it was passed down to the current owner, Chuck's son Scott and his wife.

Scott met Margaret through a jewelry association meeting. He knew her a little bit through business because she was working as a custom jewelry designer in Billings at the time. He almost did not go to the meeting having just lost his first wife. He's very glad that he changed his mind. He and Margaret got along well together and a year or so later they got married.

Scott and Margaret Ayres just took a trip to Belgium to buy diamonds directly from the diamond cutters. They regularly travel to Germany to buy colored gem stones and also have contacts in Thailand that they buy gems from. They recently invested in a computerized engraving machine that can engrave on metal, glass, wood, rock, and "just about anything".

Both Scott and his wife are very kind, personable and easy to do business with. Casper is lucky to have such a fine jewelry company.

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