Come and Join the Jubilation!

Unless you have been living in a cave for the last 12 months, most of you will be aware of the two major events set to hit the UK during the following summer months; The Olympic Games and our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. With the Diamond Jubilee less than a fortnight away and fast approaching, we at Argent are eagerly anticipating the chance to indulge in all things British as the beloved Union Jack makes a big comeback.

Here is just a small selection of the ranges we have in store that could assist you in flying the flag during this festive summer period.

Trollbeads

Last Spring in time for the Royal wedding Trollbeads released their whimsical and charming collection of Trollbeads UK World Tour beads featuring 4 Beads. The ‘English Tea Party’ bead, reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and a archetypal English summer is one of three silver beads which also includes ‘Love Spoons’ and ‘Celtic kilt’, indicative of Welsh and Scottish heritage; and finally the glass UK Colours bead representing our unification.

This year they have done it again and perfectly timed the release of a new selection of special edition starter bracelets with the Diamond Jubilee. Each bracelet comes in its own presentation box and comprises of a silver bracelet ranging from 18cm – 23 cms in, a classic flower lock and the choice of either a red, blue, or white ‘diamond bead’’.  A perfect way for Trollbead fans old and new to commemorate the occasion in a special way.

 

Sphere of Life

A classic and long running Argent favourite, this sterling silver, gold plate and enamel ‘National Treasure’ flag pendant and chain, perfect for anyone looking for a jubilee gift with an impact, with its deluxe packaging that plays on the spherical theme of eternal continuity.


Candy Bling

Candy Bling

If you’re looking to add a touch of glitz and glamour to your Jubilee celebrations, then look no further than Argent’s best selling range, Candy Bling.

The signature collection of Shamballa earrings and bracelets combines tradition with current trend through their luxurious crystal encrusted Union Jack beaded bracelets and with prices starting at under £20 there is something available for any budget.

 

Simon Carter

And last but by no means least, something for the gentleman.
Back in March we briefly touched on the arrival of the new Flash Jordan ‘Jack the Lad’ cufflinks which gave a contemporary twist on the linear Union flag design. But if it’s a classic aesthetic that you are after for such an affair as this, then nothing could be more elegant or befitting than Simon Carter’s range of ‘West End’ cufflinks.
The collection features a variety of quintessential British designs of both past and present that reference periods of ultimate style such as mod culture and the swinging sixties and these Union Jack button cufflinks are offered in a choice of either cloth or enamel; which only leaves the question of which pair to choose?!

The ever-changing habits of a jewellery customer

As a small independent jeweller, we really get to know our customers and we are known for being able to recognise faces and names of people who visit the shop.

There is one thing in particular we notice from our customers, and that’s the habits and tastes of what they like. We pride ourselves on the range of jewellery collections and designers we stock, as we hope to offer something that will appeal to everyone.

Changing trends
We’ve noticed a definite change in the habits of jewellery customers, who are moving to the more well-known and recognised branded pieces. As I mentioned in my last post, the Shamballa trend is becoming increasingly popular, as well as the significant move into charm ranges such as Lovelinks, Trollbeads and Thomas Sabo. The attraction of these sorts of pieces is that they provide easy and affordable gifts for family and friends to buy for their loved ones. It’s a great idea to get a charm bracelet for someone as a gift as not only can they add to it themselves to create an individual piece, but it means there is a gift for every occasion.

To stay ahead of this trend we’ve bought in the Italian charm bracelet by the Italian brand, Nomination, where you can put together an individual and personal charm bracelet in a completely new and innovative way to those which are so popular now. Argent is the only stockist in Leeds to hold Nomination bracelets.

Shaun Leanne’s collection has also become far more popular since appearing in fashion magazines, on the catwalk and being worn by a range of current celebrities.

The changing consumer
When the shop first started out as a stall at the Granary Wharf, it was more craft orientated and tourist based. Weekends were incredibly busy as the market would offer new themes and events to keep people coming. It was described as the Camden of Leeds.

When the shop made a move to the city centre there was a shift to more ‘designer’ ranges as well as giftware. More branded ranges were introduced and then we took on the bead and charm trends to keep up with the trend and to extend our customer base.

Because we’ve been here for so long (24 years) we’ve noticed that in times of recession the public seem to be drawn to glitz and glamour, which helps to create a feel good factor during a more bleak time. In times like these it’s ranges such as those with Swarovski crystals that appear to sell well. However in more affluent times, people appear to downplay their jewellery with matt finishes and pieces which are more demure. I can see charm bracelets and the layering of jewellery – especially on the arms and around the neck – being here to stay for a while as popular looks among customers.
I find that customers are very brand away and are more driven by reality TV shows and celebrities when it comes to choosing jewellery now, as celebrities often help them to feel more confident and assured when it comes to picking jewellery.

Price point
There’s been a definite reduction in what customers will spend now. We have always been renowned as a silver shop first and foremost but we do sell a lot of platinum/ 18ct gold jewellery. There has been a noticeable correlation between the amount of money spent on pieces going down and the prices of metal continuing to go up. Jewellery has made a move to the forefront of fashion which has been helped massively by the celebrity culture.

What’s next?
As the price of metal is constantly on the rise I see silver as very much becoming the new gold. The new Rebecca range (which we now have in the shop) makes the silver statement piece more affordable in the designing of silver plated bronze jewellery. The Branch range which we already have in store has also made a change of this sort, using plated base metal as opposed to sterling silver to make their jewellery more affordable.

In the not too distant future I can see many designers looking for alternatives to keep the prices of their jewellery more accessible and affordable to a greater number of customers.