Disenchanted with college, Gary Youngberg was searching for some direction in his life. Gary had always loved rocks and gems and had even taught himself how to make jewelry while in college. Gary eventually decided to leave college after two years and, in August 1976, Gary and his fiancee Karen, opened Ames Silversmithing in downtown Ames, Iowa.
Originally working in silver and semi-precious stones, Gary worked diligently, producing his one-of-a-kind jewelry creations. These pieces were sold not only in the store, but also at various art fairs around the area. As business grew, both Gary and Karen received their diamond training through the Gemological Institute of America, the leading gemological laboratory in the world. Soon, Gary was working in gold, platinum, and diamonds as well as an extensive selection of precious and semi-precious colored gemstones..
In 1977, Ames Silversmithing moved to a larger location at 220 Main in downtown Ames. In 1981, Dave Anderson joined the Ames Silversmithing team. In addition to being trained through GIA, Dave's artistic talent and technical abilities are without peer.
In 1990, Ames Silversmithing completed yet another expansion, this time more than doubling their size. This was accomplished by building a completely new facility on their old site. Shortly after this expansion, Scott Sorem joined Ames Silversmithing. Scott also is trained through GIA not only in diamonds, but jewelry design as well.
In 2000, it was soon apparent that Ames Silversmithing would again need to expand. This expansion made room for two more workbenches, thus allowing four full-time artists to design and create their jewelry. In addition, a second generation joined the staff at Ames Silversmithing. Kyle, 33, joined the staff in 2003 after attending the University of Kansas for three years and then returning home, graduating from Iowa State University in business. Kyle works not only in sales and customer relations, but also in inventory management and administration. Kirk, 31, explored college for 2 years, but in 2003 joined the team and brings an exciting and refreshing perspective to the bench in his jewelry designs. In addition, both Kyle and Kirk took their educations further and received their diamond training and degrees from the Gemological Institute of America. Kyle's wife, Katie Youngberg, has also been a part of the business for close to a decade now and is an asset to the team armed with her degree from GIA and impeccable taste and fashion sense.
In 2005, Ames Silversmithing expanded again! The purchase of a property adjacent to the store allowed the expansion of both the retail and work areas. The extra space enabled them to completely re-design the retail area with all new showcases and interior displays. The extra space has been a benefit to not only the staff, but for our customers as well. In 2012 Katie Stark, joined our staff after receiving her diamond training through GIA, . Katie was originally involved in sales, inventory management and customer relations. She then upped her game and is now working at the bench doing repair work jewelry design and honing her creation skills.
As Ames Silversmithing continues to grow, we'd like to thank you, our customers, for trusting and believing in what we do. Your support has allowed us to have vision, to become the artists we so dearly love to be and for this we say, from the bottom of our hearts, "Thank you!