Skeie’s Jewelers began its long history as a family-owned, customer-friendly store in 1922 when Ole Larsen Skeie opened his first store in downtown Eugene, Oregon. Skeie, a Norwegian immigrant, moved to Eugene from Roundup, Montana, where he had been part-owner of a jewelry store. Ole and Mamie Skeie had three children: Lucille Skeie Hamaker, Norma Skeie McNutt, and George Skeie. The children began working in the family business during their teenage years, starting a tradition of family involvement in the Skeie’s stores.
That first store, at 927 Willamette Street, was small – just 15 feet by 30 feet. Ole’s commitment to customer service and traditional European craftsmanship helped his business grow. Rex Hamaker joined the firm in the 1930’s after marrying Lucille Skeie. During the 1940’s, George Skeie came on board as an optometrist, a common practice at the time. Eventually, the optical services were phased out, and George devoted his time to jewelry.
Skeie’s downtown store moved to a new location at 1027 Willamette Street in 1947. George Skeie and Rex Hamaker became full partners that year. Ole Skeie retired in 1955. The company opened its second store in 1969 in the “new” Valley River Center. Steve Hamaker’s career at Skeie’s started in 1957. He was 15, doing janitorial work at night. He became a full-time employee in 1965, the same year his father, Rex Hamaker passed away.
Rick Skeie started in 1968, working part-time after school. He moved to full-time in 1974, after earning his Graduate Gemologist diploma. In 1979, Steve and Rick purchased the store from Rick’s father. George Skeie enjoyed his retirement, spending it in Rancho Mirage, CA, and in Eugene before passing away in 1991. At the end of 2018 Rick Skeie sold the store to his nephew Rick Beckett. We are excited to see the store passed along the family line to the next generation and look forward to many years under his leadership.
The organization has grown over the years, but the philosophy of the business has remained constant: provide the finest jewelry and the best possible value while giving friendly, professional help. Today, Skeie’s employs more than 30 people, including jewelry designers, watchmakers, manufacturing jewelers, and Graduate Gemologists.
The Skeie’s difference is the attention to quality and value. We hand select every piece of jewelry we sell because we care about the durability just as much as we care about the beauty. We tailor every purchase to your style and your budget. We do not need to sell you a warranty, because we guarantee everything we sell. Unlike large chain stores, we can pay more attention to fashions and trends (see our designers – https://skeies.com/pages/shop-by-designer). We offer everything from small collections of the latest styles to the age-old tradition of a classic diamond ring (see our engagement rings – https://skeies.com/collections/engagement-rings).
Everyone is welcome at Skeie’s Jewelers. Our only rule is that you have fun. Stop by for a beverage and explore our collections of fine jewelry from all over the world. Take a trip to Brazil and see our emeralds, or to Thailand for rubies, Japan for pearls, Italy for gold, and return home with a handcrafted piece as unique as you.