By Marianne Mueller


The Gem Shop & Diamond Source, LLC is a staple of Rockton’s Main Street community. This unique shop is celebrating a very rich 40-year history. 

The C & M Rock Shop started in 1968; started on card tables in Beulah, Michigan. Featured in the store are rocks, fossils, minerals and jewelry. When first opening there with no employees, other than Owners, Bruce and Shirley Mueller. As the business continued to grow and expand employees were hired. 

The Gem Shop in Rockton started in 1981 about the same way began with Bruce, Shirley, and their son Kevin. They were located next door to the China Palace in a smaller sized building. With the need to have more space they moved into the former Macktown State Bank building in 1990. Since that time they have added four employees; with a new one coming entering the fold. All work under the direction of Manager Shelly Schweigart. 

Initially, both stores cut and polished various semi-precious gems such as turquoise, malachite, tiger-eye, onyx, and some others into cabochons and mounted them into belt buckles, bola slides, pendants and the like. Tiring of the commercial mountings available, they began experimenting with casting their own pieces in silver and later in gold.

Naturally, jewelry repairs were added early on. The Gem Shop is now a full service Jewelry store offering custom work using hand -made patterns as well as computer-aided design. Buying or trading of gold, silver, diamonds and other items has become a much utilized and appreciated service in the state-line area. The Gem Shop now carries over seven different designer collections with the latest in the Pandora line. 

Overall customer service has always been at the core of the stores principal to treat others right. Living by these standards has earned the Gem Shop the BBB- (Better Business Bureau) Torch award for Marketplace Ethics twice; the first time in 2001.

On Wednesday, Jan.24, 2018 the Gem Shop & Diamond Source received the honor of accepting their second Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics from the Better Business Bureau-Rockford Regional Office. Criteria to be considered for a Torch award includes: Leadership Commitment to Ethical Practices, Communication of Ethical Practices, and Leadership Practices to Unify the Organization, Organizational Commitment to Performance Management Practices, Organizational Commitment to Ethical Human Resource Practices, and Organizational Commitment to the community. 

The Gem Shop has received numerous awards and recognitions over its 40 year history notably including the Best of the Stateline Award for “Best Jewelry Store.” This award was voted on by the public and sponsored by the Beloit Daily News. They also won first place in jewelry design at the Midwest Jewelers Trade Show. 

The Mueller family has remained strong on philanthropic action. One of the organizations that the Gem Shop has been a major supporter of is Hononegah High School’s HOPE Foundation. They have partnered with Hononegah High School’s HOPE Foundation for the past 10 years. The Jan Modersohn Memorial Scholarship was developed to honor the memory of former Rockton Village Clerk, Jan Modersohn who had a true passion for youth and education. Every year Gem Shop owner, Kevin Mueller who is also a 1980 graduate of Hononegah designs a ring, which is raffled off at the HOPE Foundation Touch of Spring event. Expanding on this donation; In 2017 Mueller began working with a teacher at HHS to bring a segment on jewelry into an art class to the high school. 

The shop also donates to “Doves and Diamonds” which supports the Beloit Regional Hospice Association. For a number of years they have donated pieces for raffles or door prizes. 

“Looking back it is hard to imagine how 40 years could have gone by so quickly,” Owner, Kevin Mueller said. “We started from such humble beginnings that it is easy to feel great pride in the transformation when looking at how the shop has grown. 

“We have to remember, however that the success of our shop is due to the many wonderful people who have visited us over the years,” Mueller adds. 

“Before there was the internet website there was and continues to be word-of mouth advertising. To this day we continue striving for well-satisfied customers who then, as now share their positive experiences with their friends and family. In this way word spreads and the increased business allows us to add products and services to fulfill the needs of the community. “

“We have made many close friends throughout the years and this may be the most important aspect of founding a small Family owned business like the Gem Shop & Diamond Source. “ 

“It is with the utmost sincerity that we thank everyone who has entrusted us to fulfill their jewelry needs and services throughout our many wonderful years in the Stateline area. Our business has been a community effort.”

Customers are invited to stop by to celebrate all month long. Beginning on Oct. 5-30 they are offering a 30 percent discount on everything in the store; with the exception of Pandora and loose diamonds. Drawings will be held for a chance to win a piece of jewelry every week; one entry per week is allowed. During a grand prize giveaway one lucky winner has a chance to win a One Carat Princess Cut diamond ring. 

The week of Halloween Tuesday through Sunday a haunted house is being held for kids. A food collection is being taken; just bring in one non-perishable food item to the store in exchange for a ticket, which includes the secret location of the haunted house. Foods that are collected will be donated to the Old Stone Church Food Pantry. 

All are welcomed to stop in to celebrate 40 years in Rockton.

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