Veteran jeweler Thrapp retiring, closing shop

Longtime Indianapolis jeweler Gary Thrapp announced Tuesday that he is retiring and will wind down operations at his north-side store with a going-out-of-business sale starting on Thursday.

Thrapp in 1984 opened G. Thrapp Jewelers at 56th and Illinois streets in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood. His decision to open shop in what had been a declining area is credited with helping revitalize the neighborhood.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and build so many friendships during my 32 years in business, and I am so very grateful for all of my loyal friends and customers,” Thrapp said in a written statement.

The store’s entire multi-million-dollar inventory of fine diamonds and designer gems will be on sale with savings of up to 60 percent, he said. Thrapp chose the timing of the sale, just before the holidays, to give customers the chance to purchase gifts at steeply discounted prices, he said.

Thrapp, a pole-vaulter at Indiana University, assumed he would become a coach in his hometown of Kendallville in northeast Indiana. But that changed in the early 1970s when a three-week graduation trip to Santa Barbara, California, morphed into months after he took a part-time job with a local jeweler.

Eight years later, he came to Indianapolis to work for another jeweler. Thrapp opened his store in 1,200 square feet at his current location in a building he later purchased. He eventually expanded the shop to 3,500 square feet. The store has 16 employees.

Thrapp, 65, said one of his career highlights is his relationship with designer David Yurman. Thrapp became the first jeweler in Indiana to represent Yrman, who was one of the first designers to brand his collections.

Thrapp also offers appraisals, estate-buying services, jewelry repair and custom-design services.

In 2012. Thrapp grabbed headlines after he suffered serious injuries when he was shot twice during a break-in at his home near the Keystone at the Crossing retail area on the north side. He went back to work four days later.

After closing the shop, Thrapp plans to remain active in civic causes and will serve as a consultant for auction houses in the fine estate and period jewelry field.

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