I’m going to let you in on a little secret – many moons ago, I worked as a jeweller. Ok, so it’s not really a secret per se but I do love a dramatic opening every now and again so there you go. I gained my JET qualifications and found myself particularly drawn to the part where we learned to grade diamonds by clarity, size, colour etc.
Despite a complete career change as the years passed, my fascination with all things jewellery-related is something that never really left me. I made a point of visiting the Diamond Museum in Amsterdam a few years ago, spending hours fawning over the historic pieces on display and absorbing as much information as I could. I take pride in the fact that I can tell you the approximate carat of a diamond by sight.
So why am I telling you this now? Because last Wednesday evening, Megan and I made the dash over to Preston, Lancashire after work for Peter Jackson the Jewellers very first blogger event.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Peter Jackson the Jewellers, they currently have four branches located in Bury, Blackburn, Preston and Carlisle. Trading as an independent family jeweller, they were established way back in 1982 and are still going strong more than 30 years later.
While I’ve made many a trip to the Bury branch myself, I had never visited any of the other stores before so it was nice to have a nosey at the flagship Preston one and get to know the brand a bit better. I was kindly offered the option of bringing a plus one with me so Megan tagged along for the evening. She’d never been to a blogger event before so was rather intrigued about what it would entail.
When it comes down to jewellery preferences, Megan and I are the polar opposite. I like classic, simple pieces – think solitaire diamonds rings and pearl stud earrings – whereas Meg is very much all about designer costume jewellery. I actually bought her a gorgeous Thomas Sabo necklace and pendant for her 18th birthday, as a little sentimental token to treasure – so of course, she managed to snap the chain the very same day!
Anyhow, let’s get back to the event, shall we? Upon arrival, Megan and I were greeted with a glass of bubbly and ended up chatting to a lovely gentleman. It took a good 15 minutes before I realised that it was only flipping Peter Jackson. You know, the man with an MBE and his name above the door…
In fact, everyone that we spoke to from the Peter Jackson team echoed a similar warmth and sincere passion for their respective roles, not to mention an absolute wealth of knowledge. If that doesn’t give you an idea of how friendly and down-to-earth the company ethos is, then I really don’t know what will.
Meg had wandered off as I was
boring the socks off discussing precious gems with a fellow blogger and I later found her loitering by the Gucci collection. Her eyes lit up as she pointed out numerous items that she’d added to her ‘Lottery Win Wish List’, including these earrings (which, to be fair, would even make a welcome addition to my own collection. Are you listening Santa?).
We then headed over to the cleaning station and I had my engagement ring polished for the first time since I’ve owned it. I’ve had it for almost three years now, however, it was originally made circa 1920 and has been well-loved prior to our engagement.
We also managed to have a quick chat with a few bloggers that I’ve been talking to online for a while now – the brilliant Lydia from What Lyd Did (her Instagram stories are great – you must go and follow her immediately) and Steffany from Oh So Steffany.
During the evening, we were given free range of the entire store and had permission to try on any items that we fancied. You’d think that I’d be straight on it, like a kid in a candy shop, right? Wrong. I’d misplaced my car parking token on the way in (found it later on in my car, obvs) so really didn’t want to try on the £28k ring that I had my eye on. It’d take me about, oh I don’t know, 54 years to pay back if I did lose/damage it…
We didn’t leave empty-handed though. The generous Peter Jackson team had gifted us a Thomas Sabo bracelet and charm so I decided to give mine to Megan. That’s definitely grounds for getting her to do the housework and cooking for at least a month I reckon (I’d have more chance of casually stumbling across a 4ct diamond in the street than that happening but a parent can dream, eh?).
As a small thank you, she chose to have both of our initials and two interlocking hearts engraved on the Thomas Sabo charm as a nod to our close relationship – I’m not crying, you’re crying.
When I’d read about the engraving station, I had visions of it being hand-etched, a la dog tags. It turns out that things have moved on quite a bit since my days as a jeweller and, with the press of a button or two, the personalisation was complete thanks to a fancy machine. Meg has now asked for additional charms for Christmas so it looks like it’s also the start of a lovely bespoke collection for her.
On that note, if you fancy doing a touch of shopping yourself, Peter Jackson has kindly given me a code so that readers can enjoy 15%* off items on their website: TTBETTY18. Alongside the designer items, there are a plethora of budget-friendly pieces too so there really is something for everyone. Happy shopping!
*on most items, some exclusions apply.
A big shout out to Bite Club for the delicious food on the night, Jenny Higgins photography for making us look good and of course, the Peter Jackson team for inviting us along and gifting us the Thomas Sabo jewellery.