Notes from Newcastle: Newcastle Jewelers treats you like family

February 6, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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Newcastle Jewelers employee Sylvia Mauerman has one heck of a job.

“How much fun is it to lift diamonds all day?” she asked, when I visited the store for a story last month.

That sounds pretty fun, if you ask me, but not as much fun as getting to do it under the tutelage of Wayne and Joan Underwood, the store’s owners.

I had never been to the store before I visited to write a story about its 20th anniversary, but for the first time since Sweet Decadence left the city, I had the soothing feeling that I was sitting in a cozy living room.

Newcastle Jewelers doesn’t have chairs and seats set up for its patrons, and it’s not meant to be a place where people gather and lounge, but after meeting the welcoming, kind staff, all I want to do is hang out there.

The shelves and display cases filled with beautiful jewelry may or may not have had a hand in my longing sense to linger at the store, too.

At any rate, Wayne, Joan and Sylvia made me feel at home. Whether it was the kind welcome I received from Sylvia as I walked in the door, Wayne’s quiet, self-deprecating humor or Joan’s pride in the community, they were just so comforting.

It seems that their breed is a dying kind, you know, the type of business owners that treat their customers like family.

They’re the kind of owners who will shake their heads at you when you try to pay after a quick repair of your watch, refusing to let you pay for something that took two minutes but was a world of help.

They’re the kind of jewelers who when you say you’re looking for a specific token to add to your charm bracelet, they’ll say, “No, problem,” and will hand craft it in their store. If you don’t see it on their shelves, they’ll find it, or make it for you.

They’re the kind of people who saw a city come into existence 20 years ago, and did everything in their power to support it, even changing their business’ name to do so.

Newcastle is lucky to have the Newcastle Jewelers team in its community, but if you ask their owners, they’ll quickly say, “No, we’re lucky to be in Newcastle.”

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