'A museum for stones': Lighting, design make A Cutting Edge's new jewelry store shine

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FARGO—A Cutting Edge Gallery of Jewelry has long said it carries the largest inventory in the upper Midwest. Now, it can also claim to be the largest jewelry store between Chicago and Seattle.

Its new 7,000-square-foot store, 4507 33rd Ave. S., opened to the public June 6. It's nearly triple the space of the original location, 1700 32nd Ave. S., that opened in 2002.

Owner and President Jeff Frey said he began thinking about making a move five years ago. After a few years of planning, construction started last year on what he called a "first-of-its-kind" store that has cutting-edge technology.

That doesn't mean it's full of touchscreens. Instead, he said the technology that helps the store shine is all about the lighting, as well as the design of the building itself. State-of-the-art LED lighting that illuminates the store and display cases is combined with plenty of diffused light that streams through the plentiful windows in the new space, he said.

"We tried to get the most natural light so you can see it in the actual environment that you live in," he said.

Standing out

Frey said the latest in display cases, lighting and even the design of the building, which faces true north to get more diffused sunlight, adds up to the new store's ability to show the "maximum beauty" of stones.

"This store is almost a museum for stones," he said.

Frey got his start in the business 38 years ago mining sapphires in Montana. He said he's the only cutter, goldsmith and gemologist in North Dakota.

It's a profession that allows him to learn something new every day, he said, while also giving him and his team the task of creating one-of-a-kind pieces for customers.

Like other industries, Frey said the jewelry business is subject to changing preferences. Today's jewelry shoppers tend to want to know more about what they're buying, he said, which helps them pick more valuable stones that will stand the test of time.

People are also more "individualistic" now, he said, and they want something unique.

Frey said that's why A Cutting Edge stands out in the region. The staff handles stone cutting, makes custom mounts and carries the biggest selection in town, meaning the store can quickly make repairs, alterations or custom designs.

But longtime customers already know all that. He said there was another big reason for moving the store to a new part of town—it's now in the heart of a neighborhood that the potential to be "women central."

Rejuv Medical Aesthetic Clinic is just to the south, 3301 45th St. S., while a new facility being built to the north will house several businesses catering to women, including a restaurant and Hair Success Salon & Day Spa.

The new location is a good bonus, and the store's modern lighting and design helps showcase jewelry. But Frey said the store's selection of stones is just as important in the success of the business.

"We've always had the biggest inventory by far in this area," he said. "Now, we have more of it on display."

That includes the store's 300 or so Alexandrite stones—more than all the other jewelers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and Montana have combined. The gemstone, one of the rarest in the world, is known for its color-changing properties.

Business profile

What: A Cutting Edge Gallery of Jewelry

Where: 4507 33rd Ave. S., Fargo

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday (between Labor Day weekend and Memorial Day weekend)

Phone: (701) 356-7700

Online: www.acuttingedgejewelry.com