[ Gunderson’s Jewelers ]
Story by Alexis Swenson
Photography by Micah Zimmerman, Amdak Productions
Family-owned Gunderson’s Jewelers is the newest jewelry store to be welcomed to Fargo. With store locations in Omaha, N.E., Sioux City, I.A., and Sioux Falls, S.D., Gunderson’s in Fargo is the largest of the retail stores yet, with a stunning space dedicated to Rolex and the largest Forevermark Boutique in the country. This month, Gunderson’s was gracious to give us insider tips on the hottest jewelry trends - just in time for Christmas!
Gunderson's was originally founded in Sioux City as a watch repair shop in 1945 by George Gunderson. The small shop soon transformed into a full service regional retail jeweler and is now one of the largest independent jewelry stores in the Midwest. Gunderson’s brings decades of experience to Fargo along with several lines exclusive to Gunderson’s including Rolex, John Hardy, Uneek by Benjamin Javaheri, Carl F. Bucherer, Grand Seiko, Goshwara and Assael. Appreciative of a small hometown feel, store manager, Samantha Bergmann said Fargo was a natural choice for their next location.
As the only authorized Rolex dealer in North Dakota, Gunderson’s features the largest Rolex boutique in an independent jeweler. “We’re very fortunate that Rolex was a driving force for us coming to Fargo. They really wanted a good jeweler in Fargo to carry their line. They’ve done a lot for us,” said Bergmann.
With a bar provided by Rolex, shoppers are welcome to enjoy water, soda, coffee, wine or beer while they relax, have a drink, and experience the Rolex collection. Gunderson’s also offers a private showroom for Rolex shoppers as well. “It’s a little bit more secluded, a little bit more private, and gives you just a bit more of a one-on-one vibe,” said Bergmann.
“All of their professional series are very sought after currently. I’ve found that men tend to gravitate toward those, partly because they’re more masculine looking. Each watch has a specific job like the diving watches. The classic Oyster Perpetual Datejust watches are always a good gift, as well,” said Bergmann.
John Hardy creates beautiful jewelry perfect for adding to your existing jewelry collection. “You can stack a lot of the bracelets. It’s something that not only can you wear every day, but you can mix and match them with any outfit. So, if you already have a diamond bracelet, it’s a nice thing to match with it,” said Bergmann.
Gunderson’s features Nambe champagne flutes with a dot pattern to portray an illusion of gem studded stems. “The nice thing about the Nambe champagne flutes is that they have a nice weight to them and a very high polish,” said Bergmann.
Sleek & Celestial
“Celestial inspired jewelry is very trendy right now. Pieces featuring stars, moon, and North Stars are super fun and suddenly the hot item,” said Bergmann. Each piece shown in this case is under $1,000.
Additionally, Gunderson’s has several geodes available for purchase in store. Gunderson’s owner, Brian Gunderson, hand selected each geode to place in the store.
Pop the Question!
For those whose holiday plans include a proposal, Bergmann recommends California crafted Uneek Settings or Michael M. rings. “Uneek Settings does a lot of nontraditional bridal cases as well as your traditional bridal cases. For example, they’ll do a little bit of a twist on a halo,” said Bergmann.
“We can accommodate most carat sizes. You can pick out your own setting and stone so if you want a princess, oval, or pear cut; we can do any of those. It makes it a little more customizable and special that you physically picked out what you want her to wear for the rest of her life,” said Bergmann.
“Fargo is a unique area. There’s a lot more square and rectangle shaped stones that people are drawn to, which I think is really neat. It’s nice to see that people are trying to do something different all the time. Something that’s fun to do is an engagement setting paired with a band that is completely different or to stack a few different bands with the engagement ring. It just gives you another opportunity to personalize the setting,” said Bergmann.
Rings for Him
Modeled after the links of Rolex watches, Carlex Luxury Rings wedding bands can be customized in any combination of metal. “It really offers something different that guys want to wear,” said Bergmann.
With four sales professionals, an office manager, and an in house jeweler at the Fargo location, nearly all projects and pieces can be completed in the store without having to send out. Gunderson’s offers jewelry repair including simple cleaning and polishing, sizing rings and setting gemstones, watch repair and maintenance, appraisals, and custom design.
“We have a rich history in custom design. Both Brian’s dad and grandfather were jewelers and watchmakers so they were very hands-on years ago when they started. We’ve kept that tradition. We can take everything from your old ring and make it new. If it’s not necessarily your style anymore, we can make it your style. We have an in-house CAD designer, so, generally speaking, we can throw your ideas together and have something for you to look at in a few days. Custom design doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive. In fact, it’s pretty close to retail pricing unless it’s extremely intricate,” said Bergmann.
The Gunderson’s Difference
A family-owned business since their inception, over 70 years ago, Bergmann said, “It’s a great company to work for with really stellar people. They’re 100- percent family-oriented, and that's awesome.”
“The one thing that Gunderson’s does extremely well that sets them apart from everyone else is the actual, physical look of the store. We just want it to be like you’re walking into a home, a very comfortable environment, so that’s kind of what you see. There’s color everywhere - it’s bright, warm, and inviting,” said Bergmann.
Gunderson’s seeks to bring that same warmth to the community as well through supporting and championing the work of local organizations. Looking forward to the new year, Gunderson’s is excited to become more involved and have a greater impact in the F-M community.
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