Retail gems set to shut their store

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Ciprian Showcase Jewellers’ Marijke and Harry de Jonge.
Camera IconCiprian Showcase Jewellers’ Marijke and Harry de Jonge. Credit: Shannon Smith

It has been a teary farewell to Albany’s oldest jewellery store after York Street’s Ciprian Showcase Jewellers announced it was closing its doors last week.

The store first opened in 1949 and has since become an Albany institution, but owners Harry and Marijke de Jonge say high rent costs have pushed them into an early retirement.

The couple have run the store for 37 years and earned a good reputation for handcrafted custom-made pieces, making a new item almost every day.

Last week’s announcement triggered a customer onslaught, with people lining up along York Street to get cut-price pieces.

“It is quite an emotional ride,” Mr de Jong said.

“This is the end of Ciprians as it is. It has been a difficult decision; a lot of energy has gone into this place. “We didn’t really want to close, but the cost of rent here is ridiculous and we seriously considered relocating.

“We had another premises stitched up but at the last minute, we decided to pull out.”

Mr de Jonge said going through another shop fit-out and locking themselves in for another five years was too much of a commitment.

He was moved to tears when discussing the store’s closure.

“There is going to be a huge hole here and we are aware of that,” he said.

“The timing is just right to pull the pin.

“We were probably heading for a hard 12 months ahead with winter.

“It is not just my wife and I — we have had a great team and we have worked so well as a team.

“People are coming in, aged in their 60s and saying that when they were in their 20s, we made something for them.”

The couple will take a well-deserved break after April.

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