Owner store

Lexington, SC jewelry store to close after 58 years

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Lexington Jewelers, which has been around for 58 years and has been owned by Barnette Scott for 38 years, is definitely closing its doors on Christmas Eve. Scott is retiring.

Photo by Chris Trainor

For almost 60 years, people in the Midlands have been able to turn to Lexington Jewelers for necklaces, rings and various other shiny trinkets. But now the store’s time on the local scene is getting shorter and shorter.

Lexington Jewelers, located at 134 East Main St. along the busy downtown Lexington corridor, will close permanently at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The store is organizing a closing sale, with discounts being offered on a large part of its inventory.

Longtime store owner Barnette Scott, 73, said she believes the time has just come to end the business and enjoy a retirement.

“I prayed about it,” Scott told The State. “I’ve been threatening to shut down for a few years. My family wanted me to retire and enjoy life a bit. I have worked hard all my life. … It was just the right moment.

Lexington Jewelers was first opened by Bruce Cook in 1963. He sold the business to Scott and her husband in 1983. Scott’s husband died in 1996 and she continued to run the store after his death.

“The good Lord has blessed us with all the ups and downs of owning a small business, and the community has given us such support over the years,” Scott said. “We have been very blessed, for sure.”

That community support was bolstered Monday night when Lexington City Council passed a proclamation honoring jewelers Scott and Lexington for their decades of business and service.

Scott said it had been difficult to discuss the closure with longtime customers and friends.

“You talk about an emotional roller coaster,” Scott said. “This has been my baby for all these years. Many tears flowed. But everyone was happy that I retired. … When you walk through my door, you become my friend. Men, women and children. There were a lot of hugs and a lot of tears. But there are many friendships that will continue.

The longtime jewelry store owner said customer service was paramount in her day and her specialty was custom design and repair.

“I have been designing and manufacturing jewelry for over 40 years,” Scott said. “We called ourselves personal jewelers, and that’s how we’ve been all of our lives. Personal jewelers to make sure we get what you need, help you find what you need, and make heirloom pieces that will be passed on.

The impending closure of the jewelry store will be another turning point for the changing face of the Main Street hallway in Lexington. The thoroughfare has undergone dramatic changes in recent years, with a number of new bars, restaurants, cafes and other destinations emerging. The Icehouse Amphitheater, just off Main Street, offered concerts, movies, festivals and more and served as a focal point for the neighborhood.

Chris Trainor worked for newspapers in South Carolina for over 17 years, including previous stops at (Greenwood) Index-Journal and (Columbia) Free Times. He has won numerous South Carolina Press Association awards including accolades in column writing, reporting on government events, profile writing, food writing, election coverage, and more.