PAWTUCKET — New England Gold & Silver has centered its business around offering customers cash for their unwanted gold and silver. Now, just one year later, the success of that model has allowed for an expansion into the retail jewelry trade.
Located at 1571 Newport Ave., next to Calabro's hair salon, New England Gold & Silver is still buying gold and silver jewelry, diamonds, gemstones, estate jewelry, watches and other items and offering some of the best prices around. Brian Hill, who owns and manages the store, has 27 years of experience in the jewelry business—and that equals success. When a customer brings an item in, he says, “We are not just buying gold, we also pay for diamonds, watches, sterling silver, silver plate, gold plate and coins.”
Hill said that at New England Gold & Silver, the estimates are always free. He also believes that “the informed customer is the best customer,” so when he gives a price on an item, he invites the customer to shop around. That customer, he said, typically comes back and tells him that his price was the best, by far, of any other gold and gemstone buyer in the area. “We hear that time and time again,” he said.
Hill said that sales associate Renee Ferrick, who he brought on board last year, has also quickly learned about gold buying and has developed her own keen eye. “She is very good at assisting customers,” he stated.
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Hill noted that Ferrick was hired after visiting the store herself as a customer wanting to sell a diamond. She mentioned that she was out of work, and having difficulty finding a new job. Ferrick said her professional manner and bubbly personality appealed to him, so he hired her, and he now considers her a key part of his business.
The successful gold buying allowed for Hill to invest in new fine jewelry merchandise, and he has turned the front part of the store into an elegant retail showroom. He now offers engagement rings and wedding bands, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and fashion rings from leading brands and designers.
The selection includes Barkev's and Artisan Bridal wedding and engagement rings, the Bella Ryan collection of expandable charm bracelets, the Nomination line of gold and silver necklaces and bracelets, the Silver Stars collection of story beads, and a line of earrings by Candela, which offer a lifetime warranty for replacement.
Other specialty jewelry items come from Colore, the largest supplier of colored gemstones in the world. Their Lorenzo Collection includes personalized bangles, crafted from sterling silver and 18-kt. gold, that feature removable gemstone tips that can be interchanged with different gems for a whole new look. There are also pendants, bracelets and rings from Saraswati Stones, which are billed as “earth energy” jewelery items that embrace the beauty of nature, and a full line of Expressions beads designed to fit European-style bracelets.
New England Gold & Silver is also a source for the popular You-Cool line of braided copper bracelets. Available in a rainbow of colors, the tube-style bracelets feature a stainless steel clasp and are adjustable. They are favored by both men and women for their purported healing properties, said Hill (who sports one himself).
The store also has a display case devoted to estate jewelry, where customers can find some unique vintage necklaces, bracelets, earrings and watches.