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Jürgens Jewelers
By Lisa Carroll, Staff Writer 

Jürgens Jewelers (Pronunciation: Ur-gens) is a jewelry store where unique jewelry is designed and created on site by well trained and talented people living in our community. In addition to jewelry repairs, cleaning, and ring resizing, Jürgens is also valued for heirloom jewelry restorations, taking pride in making something old become new again.

Master goldsmith and jewelry designer Jürgen Pooch began his training almost 60 years ago in Germany. Carmen Pooch, wife of Jürgen and general manager of the store, says “A master goldsmith means you are able to take a piece of paper, design something on it, and then turn it into reality. Here in the showroom, we help people with redesigning jewelry pieces they already have, but if there’s something the customer would like something that is totally unique, that’s when Jürgen steps in. He can make that happen from scratch.”

Jürgen Pooch with wife Carmen, owners of Jürgen's Jewelers, pictured here with their employees Karl, Stan, Maricela, and Nancy. (Photo by Lisa Carroll)

Carmen showed me some of Jürgen’s designs and handiwork, which is stunning and precise. Jürgen learned hand engraving when he was 14, and is one of the few left in the world who can still do it. “He is a perfectionist,” Carmen said. “He trains people to produce the type and quality of work he liked to see.” That Jürgen is a perfectionist is simply to say he learned his trade well and insists on quality craftsmanship at all levels, with no shortcuts taken either in materials used nor craft work. He has seen repair work done on gold rings where lead solder was used- and lead is the worst thing that could ever happen to gold. That’s not the kind of thing you’ll find at Jürgens Jewelers.

“People share their stories with us,” Carmen shared as we looked through a binder showing examples of Jürgen’s work. “A lady came in with the wedding band of her husband who had passed away. She wanted it redesigned into a pendant, but kept whole.” Jürgen made a gorgeous pendant for the lady keeping the ring whole but twisting and looping it in such a way that you’d not realize it used to be a ring unless you were told. A Mother had a necklace made from the military insignia pins of her son who had fallen in service. “People lose their loved ones, and they want to wear these pieces. It’s a way to keep their memory close all the time. There’s something magical about precious metals.” A person came in with a treasured ring in which the stone had cracked. Unable to repair the stone, Jürgen instead picked up the leaf design of the ring and placed a hand-engraved leaf over the crack in the stone, creating a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry the lady was proud to wear. Jürgen has made a pendant from an abalone seashell a client wanted to preserve, custom making a gold bezel frame to hold it. He even made a pendant for someone using a plain old rock that was special to the person.
Jürgens Jewelers also makes and sells top quality class rings to schools across the nation. Here, we are very lucky that our students do not have to order their class ring cold from a catalog or the internet. With Jürgens, you get to meet face-to-face the people who are designing your ring; thus, you become part of the experience of creating it. That way you can ensure it is made like you want it the first time. This is a fun and personal way to support a local business.
Jürgen’s shop now uses state of the art equipment and modern technology for some of their work, such as a 3-d printer used to create molds, but he still has all his old equipment stored downstairs. The machines are mechanical and hand powered, and there are some he built himself. He has considered setting up a museum one day. “I have a hard time letting go of old equipment. Growing up, I learned to not waste anything, because we never had anything to waste. You never know what is going to happen, and I can always go back to this.”

When not working, Jürgen likes to spend time composing and writing music, while Carmen is an avid gardener. Times have been tough economically for many businesses, but Jürgens is one of those that have managed to stay strong. Jürgen and Carmen are very honored that people have the confidence in them to preserve their heirlooms or to carefully repair a broken piece of treasure, as well as the talent and creativity to design something entirely new. “We first and foremost serve the community,” said Jürgen, “and we do it right the first time. It is what kept us in the business.”

Jürgens is located at 1911 Newmark St, in North Bend, and their store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-4pm.  Give them a call at (541) 751-0111, or visit the website is www.designmyjewelry.com.

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