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Niki Hunn: Serving Generations

Continuing a Legacy of Excellence

When Thomas Hunn opened his jewelry store in 1985 he was already serving the Grand Junction community through involvement with causes like Rotary Club and contributions to organizations like Hope West, Boy Scouts and CMU (Mesa State College) to name just a few.

Today that legacy of contribution and a reputation of superior service to customers, through excellence in the field of jewelry, lapidary craft and gemology continues through his daughter Niki. Her son Nicklas W. Beightel has been working with her in the profession since 2014, right after his graduation from GJHS (Go Tigers!). Nick rounds out a third generation in the family business.

Niki is also a GJHS alumnus and began working with her father in 1991. At age 16, on her way to school with a friend driving, they were in a car accident at 15th Street and Elm Ave. that left her friend with a traumatic brain injury and a lifetime of limitations. The other driver ran a stop sign. Niki’s injuries included multiple fractures to her head, face and teeth, both femurs and pelvis. 35 years later, she is finally having the last restorative dental work needed to restore the original shape of her smile.

She’s been an advocate for learning and continuous improvement through Rotary and Scouting with her sons. She is currently President-Elect for the Rotary Club of Grand Junction and takes office July 3, 2024. A position also held by her father during his many years of Rotary service. She also serves as a member of the Hope West Achievement Board and has been in that role for nearly a decade. 

Philanthropy and community involvement through service on boards and committees is also being represented three generations deep as Nick serves alongside other business members in his involvement with service clubs and their efforts to give back, community wide.

Among Niki’s professional certifications is the status of Graduate Gemologist through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the standard for professionals in the gem and jewelry field. She is also a multiple-time attendee at Jewelers Summit which is an exclusive, invitational event limited to 50 of the top gemologist-jewelers in America and she is the ONLY Colorado jeweler to ever be invited!

She also recently returned from a jeweler's conference in Singapore where new techniques, traditional skills and new technologies come together to help jewelers and gem experts keep their business operations at peak performance and skill level. Even new fabrication techniques have advanced to the point that some manufactured stones can no longer be distinguished from natural stones in a lab.

Nick is also working toward GIA graduate certification and is currently Diamond-Level certified. When he completes his Graduate exam, he’ll be the third generation in the family business to do so.

One of their favorite custom jewelry projects created together, came in the summer of 2021 when approached by Brian Kelly, formerly of the band Florida-Georgia Line. He wanted to get a pendant made depicting the Florida Tarpon but wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. The team at Thomas Hunn Jewelers went to work to bring that vision to life. This story was shared earlier in a Grand Junction Lifestyle article, February of 2022, titled “Wearable Art”, which can be found at: https://citylifestyle.com/grandjunction/issues/2022-02

Continuing the legacy Thomas Hunn established, of service and giving back, Niki sponsors Hope West’s annual Gala, CMU Rodeo’s Maverick Stampede, numerous other fund-raiser and community improvement events every year and has no plans to slow down efforts to serve throughout the community when opportunities arise that align with the family legacy.

Each year, Rotary Clubs throughout the Grand Valley provide books to SD-51 first graders that the individual children get to own and take home for summer learning. As a Paul Harris Fellow, MD level 10+ Niki participates in the mission of promoting peace globally, eradicating polio - a core mission of Rotary - and providing other vital life-giving and life-saving resources around the world. She’s pleased that her son Nick has also attained Paul Harris Fellowship with Rotary International.

Recently she also attended the final historic walk-through at the old GJHS campus in preparation for the closure and removal of those buildings from campus as final construction activities draw near in the completion of a brand new GJHS school and complete reformatting of the “Tiger Pride” campus.

Family, philanthropy, community, professional excellence and great friendships are forces that propel this great lady to continue forward at the heart of a legacy that may yet endure for many more generations.

  • Niki at work
  • Niki, Brian Kelly, NIcklas
  • Presenting the tarpon pendant
  • “I wear it nearly every day.”
  • Tarpon closeup
  • Mt Garfield under starry skies
  • Wedding sets
  • Theme Jewelery
  • Serpentine bracelet

Businesses featured in this article