Gary J. Long’s introduction to the jewelry business began at an unlikely place: on the golf course. He met Walter Merksamer of Merksamer Jewelers while working as a golf caddie at North Ridge Country Club. The two hit it off, and Gary became his caddie. Several years later, Gary was working at a grocery store when he reconnected with Walter - he encouraged Gary to enter the jewelry business. Gary’s first day on the job was September 1, 1970.
Gary learned the jewelry business while studying business administration at Sacramento State University. After graduating, he took over a store and managed several others. In 1983, Gary opened his own jewelry store in Lincoln Center, Stockton. Gary J. Long Jewelers moved to its current location in the Center in 1988.
As President of Gary J. Long Jewelers, Gary has operated the store for 33 years. He holds the title of American Gem Society Registered Jeweler, which he earned after completing a series of courses on jewelry, diamonds, and gemstones, along with exams in diamond grading. He continues to expand his knowledge and expertise with numerous courses through the Gemological Institute of America.
Gary is a past president of the California Jewelers Association (CJA) and was a member of the Jewelers of America Affiliate Council. He is also actively involved in the Stockton community, 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. He has three children and four grandchildren.