Belfast Telegraph

Massive sale of £3m stock as jeweller to royalty closing Lisburn store

£3m worth of stock set to be sold in massive sale

By Michelle Weir

A Northern Ireland jewellers that supplied a wedding ring to the royals is shutting after more than 40 years in business.

Midas Jewellers, of Bow Street in Lisburn, starts a closing down sale today with £3m worth of jewellery at half price.

The outlet has been a familiar sight in the city centre since it opened at Chapel Hill four decades ago.

The decision by owners Jim and Lynne Conlon to close the store has come as a shock to the community.

It was Midas Jewellers that Princess Anne's son Peter Phillips chose to supply his wedding ring ahead of his marriage to Autumn Kelly at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in May 2008.

Jim recalled that Peter selected a platinum band for himself, after having already purchased Autumn's engagement and wedding rings in America.

He also purchased pearl bracelets and pearl earrings for the bridesmaids.

Jim said that he met Peter Phillips and his Canadian fiancee in London three times after being introduced by a mutual friend of his and Autumn's.

"It was very surprising, but they were just two happy people in their 20s. They appreciated that I went to meet with them in London," he said.

Jim went on to say that platinum became popular during the recession. For the first time, it was cheaper than gold, which helped the trend.

"When I first started here, yellow gold Albert chains with fobs were popular. Now, white gold, platinum and silver are popular," he added.

Jim said one item that will never go out of fashion is a diamond solitaire ring.

"A classic solitaire never dates. It will still be in fashion in 50 years' time," he added.

"Men's traditional watches are starting to make a comeback. We have 30% off all watches."

Jim said that it has been a privilege to share the happiest occasions in people's lives.

"A man would come in when he was going to propose to his girlfriend, we knew when a couple had set a date for their wedding before their families and we knew when someone was pregnant before anyone else," he said.

Jim said the decision to shut Midas Jewellery, which had been owned by his mother and stepfather, had been difficult to reach, but prompted by the business approaching the end of its lease.

"When we announced we were closing, people came in floods of tears," he added.

"People have not always come in to buy something. Sometimes they have come in for a blether and a bit of craic. We would like to thank our customers for all their support.

"Lynne and I have not had a holiday for years, so we are really looking forward to that."

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