Sorry about the picture, but very difficult for an amateur like me to get a good quality shot of this Belfast institution. Isn’t it a striking shop-front, though? Or maybe I just can’t resist a beautiful clock. Apparently its Edwardian and listed – and well-deservedly so.
Fred J Malcolm is slap bang in the city centre at 18 Chichester Street. And what is really striking about this shop is the sheer numbers of people who stop to look at the window display. There is no such thing as a quiet moment here.
Inside the shop fizzes with energy. And what do customers come for? Short answer: pearls. I was almost overwhelmed by the selection here. From beautiful white Akoya to yellow and grey South Sea, from double strands to ropes, I’m not sure where else I have seen such a wide selection on offer. Admittedly, some of the pearls are not of the best quality, do inspect them close up before you buy. But the overall effect of each piece of stunning.
There’s also a wide selection of gemstone rings, with an emphasis on dramatic coloured stones. Wisely, Fred J Malcolm stays away from too many global brands. A notable exception is Marco Bicego, but I can forgive them that.
There are no prices in the window. I wouldn’t expect any bargains here. But its undeniably Belfast’s flagship traditional jewellery destination. If you’re feeling flush, this is the place to buy.