Neil Geddes is the owner and managing director of NJ Geddes Fine Jewellery – an exclusive jewellery concierge and private couture diamond buying company based between Leeds, Manchester and London.
Working with some of the UK’s wealthiest and time poor individuals, Neil established his exclusive jewellery concierge service in 2008, in order to create a truly personalised, bespokeand luxurious jewellery buying and investment experience that stands for exquisite quality and attention to detail.
One of Neil’s important areas of specialism lies in helping couples source or create the perfect wedding jewellery for their big day, including engagement rings and wedding bands.
How did your business come about?
I started my business after a shopping trip to buy an engagement ring for my fiancée sparked the idea. I was excited and apprehensive as I set out on my trip, and expected to have one of the most exciting (and expensive!) days of my life as I decided what ring to purchase. However, unfortunately the reality was quite different, and what I experienced was a distinct lack of knowledge and personalised service from many of the stores and jewellers I visited.
This frustrated me; after all, I was about to make one of the biggest purchases of my life and wanted to ensure that I was 100% happy with what I chose, as well as making sure that it was perfect for my fiancée.
This frustration then got me thinking – what if I could make a business out of this so that nobody had to have the same experience? From there, I was spurred on to learn more about jewellery and to create a personal service akin to Savile Row but for jewellery. My business idea was born.
What is your career background?
I began my career working as an account manager for a large UK training company, so something quite different to what I’m doing now.
However, I quickly became quite disengaged with this and the experience of shopping for my fiancée’s ring spurred me on to study and find out more about fine jewellery.
Eventually, after achieving my qualifications I set up NJ Geddes Fine Jewellery Concierge in 2008 and have been running the business ever since.
What does the role of a private jewellery concierge involve?
My role is very varied and means I get to meet many different people from all walks of life.
offering a very personalised service that can include me sourcing rings and bringing them directly to the client for them to look at and try.
I also work with a lot of couples who want to commission their own unique piece of jewellery. This is becoming a more and more popular choice as it is exclusive and the creation of their dream. Our highly renowned jewellery designers work with our clients taking them through a journey of initial inspirations sketched into designs, through to detailed high jewellery design ‘gouache’ techniques for clients and bring their visions to life.
We then have the jewellery made exclusively for them – so it’s a great way to create wedding jewellery to remember, all the while knowing that you are in safe hands and sticking to a set budget.
What qualifications do you need to do the job you do?
The phrase “I don’t know you so you can’t come in” is very prominent in the world of jewellery, so I’ve had to work hard to establish the quality relationships that I now have.
In addition, I hold a number of professional certifications from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), including GIA Accredited Jewellery Professional, GIA Diamond Grading Lab and GIA Coloured Stones Lab.
However key to it are traits of integrity and passion.
What one piece of advice would you give to anyone shopping for wedding jewellery?
Set yourself a budget and stick to it. There is no point buying a ring that you love but being in debt for the next five years. If you have a budget in mind and want to get the best for your money, work with a jewellery professional who can source the best and show you what you should be looking for.