Progress: ‘If you don’t know jewelry, know your jeweler’: T.A. Gould Jeweler eyes sparkling sunset

“I’m 69 and he’s 71,” said Kathy Gould, who co-owns T.A. Gould Jeweler in Perham with her husband Tom. “We’re ready to sell the business and the building, or just the building.”

Tom and Kathy Gould own TA Gould Jeweler, in Perham.
Barbie Porter / for Perham Progress

Editor's Note: The following originally appeared in the 2023 Perham Progress magazine, which was included as a free insert in a February 2023 issue of the Focus. Read the magazine in its entirety  HERE online.

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The front door to T.A. Gould Jeweler opened continuously on an average weekday in late January. A customer steps forward in the line that has formed at the Main Street store in Perham.

Tom Gould, owner of T.A. Gould Jeweler, looks at a few items a customer brought in to help determine its value.
Barbie Porter / for Perham Progress

Tom Gould, who owns the business with his wife Kathy, recognizes the man, noting he “was the one” who brought in a ring that reminded him of a Cheshire cat, as there “wasn’t much left but a smile.” But, the ring was a family heirloom, so Gould agreed to do what he could to preserve it.

The customer looked at the ring and Tom asked him if he was happy with it.

“No, I’m not happy,” the man said. “I’m beyond happy. Amazing job; I'm shocked! Thank you so much.”


The next customer steps forward and Kathy notes business is good, as the shop is often busy, but the two are looking toward retirement.

Kathy Gould helps a customer that stopped in their shop T.A. Gould Jeweler, which is located at 125 W. Main Street, Perham.
Barbie Porter / for Perham Progress

“I’m 69 and he’s 71,” she said. “We’re ready to sell the business and the building, or just the building.”

When the Goulds sell the family business that has sustained generations, it may leave a growing hole in the jewelry industry in lakes country. Tom said when the store in Wadena closed he quickly saw an increase in business from the town down the road. He has also built a steady clientele that spans from the Red River Valley to the Twin Cities.

“People come to the area to vacation every year, and bring their jewelry with them,” he said, adding years of quality service and an honest reputation make a difference in the industry. “My wife coined the phrase, ‘If you don’t know jewelry, know your jeweler.’ It’s true to this day.”

T.A. Gould Jeweler’s reputation is more than 40 years in the making

Tom’s father (who was named Tomas), was in the jewelry industry, making and repairing watches in Minneapolis and later working with jewelry at a store in Moorhead. But, the younger Tom had other career plans as a young adult. He attended Moorhead State (which is now Minnesota State University of Moorhead) and earned a teaching degree in industrial arts. After graduating he worked in the industry until an economic downturn led to unemployment.

T. A. Gould Jeweler in Perham offers jewelry repair and sales.

“My father and I decided to open a family business that can’t be downturned if we were successful,” he said, adding the year was 1976. “And, we have been successful; not rich, but successful – never gone bankrupt, always paid our bills and still in business.”

Because they shared the first name, the store opened as Tom Gould Jeweler in the Moorhead Center Mall. Tom is an experienced jeweler now, but in the early days, he learned through studying, “a few short classes” and many hours of dedication.

When his brother John joined the family trade, the business name became Tom Gould and Sons. When the patriarch of the family retired, John took ownership of the established store and Tom opened a new location along the riverfront of the Red River. When redevelopment happened, Tom moved the store to Moorhead’s busy Eighth Street before picking up stakes once more and relocating to Perham’s Main Street around 2008.


Tom said the move to Perham came about because it brought them closer to family. He and Kathy have five kids in a blended family (and four grandkids).

“Kathy is a nurse and figured out there were openings at the hospital,” Tom said. “I spoke to the owner of Perham Jewelry. We didn’t buy Perham Jeweler, per se, we bought the building."

Renovations to the store were made and in time T.A. Gould Jeweler in Perham became known for quality work and exemplary customer service.

Kathy noted her husband’s meticulous work has become so impressive she flat out tells people that if he can’t fix it, there is not anyone who can.

“Some say, ‘Oh, that’s just because you're biased,’” She said. “And, I say, ‘No, it’s because I can see.’”

“That’s my wife,” Tom said with a smile. “We’ve been married almost 31 years.”

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