C. Kirk Root, an Austin, Texas, jeweler and accomplished appraiser, died Jan. 8 of cancer. He was 52.
A 1981 graduate of the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology, he opened C. Kirk Root Designs in 1989. In 2000, his designs were chosen in a statewide contest to become the official pins and rings of the Texas Legislature, according to the store’s website.
Root was the former chair of the Gems & Jewelry board of the American Society of Appraisers, an ASA-certified Master Gemologist Appraiser, as well as GIA Graduate Gemologist. He also once claimed the world’s largest collection of diamond jewelry worn by film icon Mae West.
In November, his store held an event to raise money for his cancer treatment, which insurance would not pay for.
“The world lost a great man last night,” the store announced on its Facebook page. “While our patriarch has made his way home, his legacy and pioneer spirit live on.”
He is survived by his wife, Lori; sons Chris, Cub, and Casey; his mother, Rosanne; brother Larry; and sister Leanne.