In the past week, Lance & Co. Jewelers in Wesleyan Park Plaza has sold more than $40,000 worth of jewelry from the estate of the late Jack Wells, the Owensboro entrepreneur who died on Aug. 2.

That’s roughly half of the items from Wells’ estate that are available for sale there.

Mike Simpson, co-executor of the estate, said the items include fine jewelry, diamonds, gems, Rolexes and sunglasses.

“There’s everything from $50 to $15,000,” he said. “We wanted to let the community have an opportunity to buy a memento from Jack, to own a piece of Jack Wells.”

Wells left his estate to the Jack T. Wells Charitable Trust to continue to provide help for the community.

Simpson said earlier that eventually the money from the estate will be used to make grants to local nonprofits.

Lance Embry, the owner of Lance & Co. Jewelers, said the sale started with about 100 pieces.

About half have been sold, he said.

“Some of it is pretty expensive,” Embry said. “But some of it isn’t. The money goes back into the trust fund. People can come in and look at it or go to our website or our Facebook page.”

The Facebook page shows a $1,100 watch, a $4,250 necklace and a $4,350 set of earrings and a lot more.

Embry said he’s talking with the trustees about handling some of Wells’ collections as well.

Simpson said Wells was a collector of many things.

“He probably had 100 pairs of sunglasses,” he said of Wells. “Some were inexpensive but one pair probably cost $700.”

Wells’ collection included such things as a James Bond poster that was signed by every man who has played 007 in the movies and an album cover signed by all four of the Beatles.

Simpson said earlier, “Jack never forgot where he came from.”

He said Wells wanted to continue to take care of the community after he was gone.

Wells started his career working in the laundry room at The Hermitage long-term care facility for $1.25 an hour when he was 15.

He later bought The Hermitage and built a chain of health care facilities that was at one time the largest long-term health care company in Kentucky with more than 3,500 employees.

A decade ago, Wells teamed with developer Matt Hayden and the two began redeveloping downtown and other parts of the city.

They built the new Boardwalk Pipeline Partners Building, the Holiday Inn Riverfront, Alorica Building and Enclave at Riverfront Living downtown, bought Towne Square Mall and the old Texas Gas property at 3800 Frederica St. and began redeveloping them.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301 klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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