The nice sparkly people at Rox, a boutique jeweller located on the cornerstone of Northumberland street, Newcastle invited me for a personal shopping experience. I was both excited and sceptical in equal measure. Excited, because it is shopping, jewellery, diamonds and champagne, this part is blatantly obvious. Sceptical, because I wondered if this would be my thing, lots of shiny surfaces, beautifully groomed staff with swishy skirts as well as the underlying fear I was going to fall in love and pull out the emergency credit card for a £20K bracelet. I’m a sucker for pretty things, I just couldn’t be sure. Willpower and shopping are things that I never put in the same sentence. So how did I get on?
Originating in Glasgow in 2002, Rox has established itself as a leader in luxury British jewellery with five stores across Scotland and Northern England, it is a national brand with a local feel. Rox markets itself with the slogan ‘Diamonds and Thrills’, the diamonds part I got, what on earth would I be thrilled by?
On arrival a burly security guard opened the door for me which was pleasant and not scary, as he greeted me with a smile a warm hello, then I was approached by Lora who I had my appointment with. She gave me a tour of the ground floor, where yes, there were a lot of shiny reflective services. Lora was very knowledgeable on the different collections from contemporary affordable designs in silver and gold, an extensive collection of luxury watches including Hublot and Tag Heuer to the diamonds, and when I say diamonds I mean everything from the most petite gem to the Elizabeth Taylor rocks. Lora escorted me to the first floor otherwise known as the ‘thrill room’, the penny had dropped on the thrill bit! The marbled floors, plush grey velvet sofas and the wafting smell of Rox signature scents greeted me, I felt a million dollars and wanted to spend it, willpower already through the floor at this point. Lora explained that as jewellery is often associated with a special occasion then every experience in Rox should be just as special, as she elegantly poured me a glass of Moet in a bespoke hand embellished Swarovski crystal glass, I was in the zone, also, I am sure made it taste even more exquisite, I could get used to this. I was already loving the experience and then I remembered that the best part was to come, the diamonds.
Rox is best known for engagement rings, whether this is from the wide range in-store or if you would prefer to have a bespoke ring, yes they do this too. I had the chance to try the love, honour and adore collection. I initially started to try on the rings individually but then was so excited I tried them all on at once, that’s right because I am the grown-up version of Veruca Salt (google it millennials), I wanted them all! I was quickly drawn to one ring, in particular, I cannot stop thinking about it even as I write this, I would love the ring for any occasion, a Christmas gift, a birthday or even a Tuesday, basically, I just need it in my life. It was the Yellow Oval Cut Diamond Halo 1.14 carats of beauty, stunning. The warmth of the yellow was perfect and the diamonds were of a brilliance that I had never seen. Lora proceeded to tell me all about the cut, clarity, carat, colour as a result of her GIA training that all of the staff have but it just faded away as I admired the ring. Sorry, it is unprofessional, I should have jotted down all of the specifications but I could only hear pan pipes playing in my head at this point as my eyes glazed over.
Next was the Baguette and Brilliance collection, I tried on the bracelet (and was blinded by the way) 7.78cts and coming in at £14,500 I was weighing up in my head how essential it was to have a car, surely I could just get the bus every wear and look at this instead? Added with the ring 1.26cts, £2,695 I was in diamond heaven, I didn’t dare have a second glass of Moet, I didn’t trust myself at this point I was gone. All traces of rationale were blindsided by the diamonds, I sunk further into the sofa and just had a moment, literally zoned out. Then it came, the time to take them off, I genuinely felt I had to go into mourning for a short period.
I decided that I couldn’t leave the store without a little piece of Rox heaven (I told you I couldn’t be trusted with shopping and being sensible), I did consider purchasing the bracelet but decided to go for something more contemporary which was the very on-trend gold signet ring in the new Lox collection. It is chunky yet elegant and has a little diamond that glints perfectly in the light. I spent some time deciding between the heart and the round but opted for the round as Ellie suggested it was a little more unique for a girl, love these subtle nuances of the staff knowing how to help without feeling overbearing. I haven’t taken it off yet, I love it.
In terms of the important stuff, Rox offers interest-free credit and you need to pay a really small deposit on the item in order to secure your jewellery or watch based on the value. With regards to rings whether it be an engagement or otherwise, there is a range of customizable options, in the sense that you can switch to a different diamond depending on your preference as well as the bespoke design service that I mentioned earlier. For this service you just need to take in as much information as you can for the design process, then you pop the question or buy the gift and it doesn’t fit? Not an issue, resizing is complimentary along with three deep cleans to keep the ring in tip-top condition. What really makes it for me is the staff, nothing like what I thought, Lora, Ellie and Samantha were all in-store when I visited and despite these women being gorgeous, they are not at all intimidating, accommodating, friendly and most of all experts in their field about the brand and the stones. Lora recommends booking in advance for an appointment on a weekend, especially if there is a member of staff in particular that you feel most comfortable with, this will also ensure that you have the full experience and there is no interruption.
I really didn’t know what to expect, but I have to say it exceeded my expectations, and the vibe in the thrill room from clients suggested that this was the norm. Without hesitation I will be visiting for my next special piece and unless I have a full lobotomy that yellow diamond ring has my name on it, which will be for my next big birthday, which is obviously when I turn 30 before you ask, happy birthday to me.
The Rox store I visited is located at Monument Mall, 1 Northumberland Street, Newcastle upon Tyne. Appointments can be made by contacting the store directly on: 0191 300 9470.