Obviously When Northern Goldsmiths found out I was on the hunt for my wedding ring they generously put on a lavish champagne reception and kindly refurbished the amazing building as well, just for me.
Anyway moving out of my dream world, Northern Goldsmiths did kindly invite me to the reopening of their iconic Newcastle store and the work they have done in the last few months is amazing.
The one thing I love about this store and company, in general, is the history.
Goldsmiths opened their very first store in Newcastle 1778. To put how long ago that was into context: that year the $ sign was invented, we were at war with France, and Hawaii had not even been discovered yet (I had to google these facts). 230 years later it is still there and still selling fantastic items to the people of the North East and they were even the first store to stock Rolex watches.
I have always wanted to travel back in time, granted not a goal I will actually achieve but the feeling that people 100s of years ago were in their buying their wedding rings just like I am going to be is crazy.
This specific store holds a special place in my heart as it is where Thom bought my engagement ring, he walked in wide-eyed not having a clue and they really took care of him. My ring is a Canadian Ice Diamond and is so different to what I thought I wanted, but I love it more than anything and he made the perfect choice.
The ring didn’t fit and after a weekend of still wearing it with a tightly clenched fist we went back to Goldsmiths to get it resized. This is actually a picture of me nearly 3 years ago sipping champagne while we worked out the best size.
With the wedding now less than a year away, we decided to start looking for our rings, the only place I would go was the Blackett street branch however when I was in town a few months ago I saw that it was closed. Thom suggested just going to the Metrocentre one, but there was no way as I think the Newcastle branch is so romantic and grand and it is the only place I am going to buy my rings from.
So I was really happy to hear that is was reopening after a huge £1m renovation and being able to go to the grand opening was even better.
It was an extremely classy event with a red carpet outside, walking in I felt slightly worried that I was not going to fit in but seeing some friendly blogger faces made me feel at ease. We were there in time for the speeches in which we were informed by Northern Goldsmiths general manager Jason West about more of the history of the building and stories of ladies that used to work there that are now 100 years old coming in and giving their seal of approval on the renovation.
Goldsmiths executive brand director Craig Bolton told a great analogy, likening the building to the very expensive watch brand Piaget in which “You never truly own it you are just looking after it for the next generation” which is so true about the location of this Northen Goldsmiths as the building truly belongs to the people of Newcastle and future generations.
You can tell inside and out that the money has been put to good use. The iconic clock, which I only found out that night is referred to as the kissing clock as couples over the centuries have met under it, kissed and went inside to pick their engagement rings, has had a fresh coat of gold and is looking stunning. Inside everything is brighter and cleaner with the main colours being creams and golds instead of greens and browns and it has all been done without losing that 1900’s feeling. I took my sister Lisa to the event and she kept saying she felt like she was in an episode of Mr. Selfridge.
They have renovated upstairs so that it is now a consultation area, on the night there was a live watch repair demonstration which I was mesmerised by. The intricacy of what they do is unbelievable I can’t even get a piece of thread through a needle! They also had one of their bespoke designers there that I chatted with about getting the perfect wedding ring to match my engagement ring as there is no set ring for it.
They had a great brass band playing and the entertainment was Chris Cross the magician, I will always be honest on this blog and I have to say I hate magicians I don’t know why but they are just not my cup of tea, however that being said when I would usually run in the opposite direction I actually stopped and watched Chris and I was pleasantly surprised that I really liked him and his Russel Brand-esque mannerisms. He is a great entertainer and a brilliant magician.
The champagne and cocktails were flowing, so we started having a look around at all the amazing pieces. They had a silent auction on for an unbelievable diamond necklace, I really wanted to make a bid, but I was too scared I would do a ‘Joey-from-friends’ and put a joke bid down and end up winning, my bank balance would not have forgiven me.
They have showcased the history of the store all around, with newspaper articles to original Oyster watches, it’s like a mini museum. I got talking to a lovely lady that works at Northen Goldsmiths called Helen and she helped me to look at some wedding rings and also cleaned my engagement ring there and then for me. When you start trying on shiny new wedding rings you realise how disgusting your engagement ring has become so that was a lovely thing for her to do. I think I found the one I want but Thom and I are going to go in soon and pick them together (maybe get another cheeky glass of champagne!).
Meeting the lovely singer Faye Tozer and her husband was a highlight as well, she is so down to earth and so easy to chat to.
Overall I was blown away with the newly revamped Northern Goldsmiths and I would recommend anyone looking for that special piece to go in and have a look, you will be very much taken care of.
Do you have a story about Northern Goldsmiths? Have you ever kissed under the kissing clock? let me know in the comments below.