A chance meeting on the golf course was the start of Gary J. Long’s introduction to the jewelry business. As an enterprising junior high student, Gary was working at North Ridge Country Club in Fair Oaks as a golf caddie when he met Walter Merksamer of Merksamer Jewelers. The two hit it off, and Gary caddied for him throughout seventh and eighth grade.
Several years later, they reconnected at a grocery store where Gary was working as a bagger. Walter encouraged him to go into the jewelry business and offered him a job in sales. Gary accepted the offer, and his first day on the job was September 1, 1970.
Gary worked for Merksamer Jewelers while studying business administration at Sacramento State University. After graduating, he took over one jewelry store and managed several others. In 1983, Gary opened Gary J. Long Jewelers in Lincoln Center, Stockton. The store moved to its current location in 1988, and is one of the long-standing businesses of the Center.
Family owned and operated, Gary’s children grew up working in the store during the holiday season, joining him in the showroom to help with sales, jewelry cleaning, and repairs. As the store has grown and evolved, our team of experts has expanded to provide customers with unparalleled customer service as they select the perfect engagement ring, enhance their collection, or create their own custom design.
As president of Gary J. Long Jewelers, Gary holds the title of American Gem Society Registered Jeweler. He earned the prestigious title after completing exams in diamond grading and a series of courses on diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry. He continues to expand his industry knowledge with ongoing courses through the Gemological Institute of America.
Gary is also a community-minded business leader, and served as President of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce 2012-13. He is a director at Farmers & Merchants Bank, and involved with United Cerebral Palsy and March of Dimes.
With nearly 35 years of experience, Gary J. Long Jewelers is your local diamond and fine jewelry expert for all of life’s celebrations. We are one of very few businesses in the county that has been voted The Record’s Best of Stockton for 25 consecutive years, and we’ve been voted “Best of San Joaquin” for nine consecutive years since the inception of San Joaquin Magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
As Stockton’s premier full-service jeweler, we are proud to offer world-class designer collections and custom designs to customers in San Joaquin County and beyond.