By Kimberly Houghton
NASHUA — Valentine’s Day will be extra special this year for Day’s Jewelers as the company celebrates the opening of its first freestanding jewelry store and some high-tech touches.
The nearly 6,000-square-foot store, now open at 567 Amherst St., includes holographic technology that allows patrons to virtually explore every detail of a diamond.
“Jewelry is such a mystery to most people. There is a lot of magic behind gemstones and precious metals and jewelry design,” said Jeff Corey, Day’s Jewelers president and co-owner. “We wanted to share some of that magic with jewelry and how it connects with people’s lives.”
The Nashua store is focused on beauty, comfort, interaction and education, according to Corey.
“It was our goal to be the coolest jewelry store in America. We set out with that in mind,” he said.
The jewelry store partnered with the De Beers Group to design an area of the new store that educates shoppers on how diamonds are mined, sorted, cut, designed and marketed. The holographic diamond library allows patrons to select any diamond on a computer screen and view what it looked like after it was mined — at about 2,000 times its actual size. It can then be manipulated to different angles and sizes so that customers can place their hand underneath a piece of glass and see exactly how that diamond would look on their finger without having an actual ring to touch.
According to a news release, this type of technology is found in about 20 stores throughout the country. Corey said a computerized metal and glass engraving system and laser welding machine is also stationed in the store’s goldsmithing area.
Fulcrum Associates of Amherst constructed the store, which includes a lounge area, fireplace, coffee bar and play space for children. The construction company broke ground on the project in June of 2018, using LED lighting that is optimal for projecting the true color of diamonds and other gemstones.
The feedback since the store opened late last year has been overwhelming, said Corey, adding there are 3D geometric designs on select walls and soffits on the ceiling that match the shape of the jewelry cases below.
“We are honored to have worked with Day’s, one of the top bridal and artisan jewelers in the region, as a valued partner on this project,” Jeff Luter, president of Fulcrum, said in a statement.
The freestanding store represents a bold move for Day’s Jewelers, which traditionally has set up shop in retail strip centers, Corey said. The company now has eight stores throughout New Hampshire and Maine, and employs about 160 workers. There are about 10 employees at the new Gate City location.
Looking ahead, Corey said he anticipates a strong turnout for Valentine’s Day next month, as the store is offering a promotional giveaway trip for two people for one week in Cancun with all expenses paid.