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In 1918 John A. Nash opened his first store at 206 Dundas Street. As business grew over the next two years it was time to build! The beautiful ormolu storefront was built at 182 Dundas Street which served as the backdrop for the next century.
The Gallery was added in 1930, which housed art, antiques, furniture, silver, and estate jewellery. To demonstrate the spirit of his company, John A. Nash developed a trade-in policy to allow customers to "grow their diamonds". This policy is still in use today. Also in the same year, the business continued to expand as a Windsor store was launched.
In 1934 John B. (Jack) Nash joined the company. As an outstanding athlete, his constant sports headlines provided much needed advertising for the store, as he competed nationally in golf, badminton and curling. Towards the end of WWII, W.C. Bill Perkins (brother-in-law) joined while Jack was overseas.
John C. Nash joined the firm in 1975, after a decade of teaching. Nash's first sale of Estate and Antique Jewellery was held that spring. In 1976 it was time to grow again. A new store was opened in Oakridge Mall, and the Gallery was resurrected with Roy Austin as lead artist. The store remained open for six years.
Under the leadership of John C. Nash, the professional development of the team grew. He became the firm's first AGS Certified Gemologist, and established London's first and only AGS Gem Lab. He developed a new staff policy, requiring all sales personnel to take gemological training. Nash's won London 'Retailer of the Year' Award in 1978.
As the years passed, the younger generations came in, and the team that laid the groundwork for success retired. Among such long time staff was Charlie Foster. After 60 years as store manager he retired at age 90, and was replaced by Norm Watterton (with the firm since 1949). Florence Paradine was appointed the new staff manager. Also in that year, Nash's was awarded LACAC award for storefront restoration. Continuing his belief, professional development, and leadership in the industry, John C. joined the Board of the Canadian Jewellers Association.
The 1980s highlighted a few particular events which include converting the Gallery to a mini museum which specialized in period jewellery, and owning Ted Dilts Jewellers from 1983 to 1988. The decade was rounded off with John being elected President of the Canadian Jewellers Association, invited to join DeBeers Carat Club and serving as Master of Ceremonies for the Toronto-based AGS Conclave.
The 1990s began with John C.'s election to the AGS Board of Directors. He was also invited to join DeBeers Carat Club.
Nash's 75th anniversary was celebrated with style in 1993. Also that year, Norm Watterton retired after 43 years and was replaced by Jill Chapman, GG. Expansion continued with the opening of Margi's next door for jewellery and fashion accessories. Through the nineties, John C. served many appointments including Chairman on the Board of Trusties for the American Gem Society in 1999.
A new store, Nash’s North at Masonville Corner, was built on the old Knotty Pine Inn site, and run by our new General Manager Ron Scammell. Ron managed that store until 2005, after which he moved downtown to administer the entire company. Meanwhile, Jill Chapman retired after 30 years with Nash’s, and 4th generation Colin Nash assumed Jill's responsibilities downtown.
A Certified Gemologist, Colin also studied goldsmithing at The New Approach School for Jewellers in Virginia Beach. Additionally, a pair of outstanding designers were added to the team – goldsmiths Shannon Dobbs and Rosalie McGowan.
2011 saw the addition of another Nash family member to the staff. Bryan Nash, John and Margi's 4th son, moved back to London from Victoria, B.C where he was working for a small custom jewellery shop. He is in the final process of achieving his Gemology Degree from GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and has assumed a sales professional role at Nash’s North location.
In 2013 we celebrated our 95th Anniversary and look forward to our 100th!
After 98 years in Downtown London and 16 years on Masonville corner, a new Nash's has been created. Located at 655 Wonderland Road North (Corner of Oxford & Wonderland) is the New Nash's. One building, One staff, One place to call home. Amalgomating everything from the 2 locations into one was a huge undertaking. But well worth it. We look forward to our next 100 years in our new location.
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