The roots of Ames Silversmithing were put down in 1976 with $1,500 and a dream. 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..
Kyle, 40, 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, 38, 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 over a decade now and is an asset to the team armed with her degree from GIA and impeccable taste and fashion sense.
Ames Silversmithing expanded again! The purchase of a property adjacent to the store allowed for 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.