From left: Vickie Wong

Jewelry store in Qualicum Beach has one-of-a-kind pieces

Some of the pieces of jewelry come with interesting back stories and/or history

Regal Estate Jewellery in Qualicum Beach isn’t your usual jewelry store.

Not only does Regal Estate Jewellery staff have more than 100 years of combined experience in the jewelry business, but almost all of the pieces in the store are different.

Working within the store is owner Lance Marsh, manager Vickie Wong, Carol Spencer and Rob Liddicoat, who has his own goldsmith business within Regal Estate Jewellry.

Spencer, who has a diploma in jewelry methods and design and is a Canadian Jewellers Association graduate jeweller, said her focus is on gemstones.

“I try to focus on some natural gemstones. I have a thing right now for pearl, sterling silver, clean designs. That’s what I like,” Spencer said. “I’ve always loved jewelry and I have a huge passion for estate and antique jewelry.”

Spencer said their store is the place to go if you’re looking for a unique piece of jewelry or a unique gift.

One of the pieces is a cameo (a carving in the stone), depicting Greek mythology, on consignment from a woman on Lasqueti Island. Spencer said the piece is is from the early 1900s or “even earlier just because of how finely it’s been carved.”

 

Carol Spencer showing off the cameo piece depicting Greek mythology.   — Lauren Collins photo

Wong said they try to get the history behind each unique piece.

“We try to get as much as we can, but sometimes we can’t get a hold of the information directly from the consigner,” Wong said.

One of the first pieces Spencer sold since working at Regal Estate Jewellery, she said, was an engagement ring to a woman in her early 20s. Spencer said the ring was from the 1920s with old-cut diamonds.

“She didn’t want her cookie-cutter from jewelry chain stores, she wanted something unique and she found it here,” Spencer said.

Spencer said there are only two of the exact same rings in the store, but they were brought in by two different people.

“There’s only one ring that we have two of, everything else is one-of-a-kind,” she said of the duplicate rings. “It was just a fluke. I don’t know how that happened.”

Regal Estate Jewellery which opened in April, has a selection of hundreds of pieces including jewelry, watches jewelry boxes and more, according to owner Lance Marsh.

Marsh is one of two partners for Regal Estate Jewellery and he said the store, located at 145 Second Ave. in Qualicum Beach, specializes in estate and pre-owned jewelry.

“Our philosophy is that everything we sell is almost like new,” Marsh said of their jewelry which they take in on consignment. “We try to only show stuff that another jewelry store does not carry.”

Marsh, who has been working in the jewelry business since 1978, also said that most chain jewelry stores only carry mass-manufactured goods made in China and India, but they will buy from other jewelry stores on consignment.

Some pieces, Marsh said have only been worn once. However, Marsh said that if certain pieces need quite a bit of work, they will refuse.

Along with the jewelry, Marsh said they carry sterling silver serving spoons, tea pots and some jewelry boxes from Birks.

“Birks doesn’t sell those anymore. They used to give them away with stones over $2,500 or $5,000, they don’t do that anymore. Everything is silver plate now, but we have some of the original sterling silver from Birks,” said Marsh who is a graduate gemologist which is the highest designation a jeweller can receive.

Because a lot of the pieces are unique, Marsh said, people coming into buy will never know what they’re going to find.

Wong, who has been working in the jewelry business since 1978 in Hong Kong, said some of the pieces of jewelry they carry may have only been worn once.

“Then they put it in the safety deposit box and now it’s a second chance for people to own it again,” said Wong, who has expertise with diamonds.

Within Regal Estate Jewellery in Liddicoat with his goldsmithing business. Liddicoat, who does onsite repairs, said he has been in this business for 35 years after working with his father-in-law at Parksville Jewellers.

“My father-in-law used to own Parksville Jewellers 35 years ago and I got into business as a partner with him and I’ve been here ever since,” Liddicoat said.

Liddicoat said Parksville Jewellers closed about five years ago, and then he opened a goldsmith shop before moving into Regal Estate Jewellery. He said he fixes just about everything including jewelry and watches and other custom work.

When he learned goldsmithing, Liddicoat said the course was fairly short.

“They give you the basics, like here’s a torch and this is a hammer. This is how you do it and you kind of learn over the years,” he said.

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