2021 update (13/01/21)
With the continuing uncertainty in the tourism industry caused by travel restrictions and health regulations, we find it impossible to plan for opening the shop as normal in 2021. We will remain closed this year. We will, however, take the opportunity to carry out a much-needed restoration of the roof of the Old School and a refurbishment of the interior. This will enable us to open again in 2022. In the meantime, Skye Silver will carry on as an online-only business and continue to supply the same quality of service as we have done in the past.
The Case of the Terrified Tourist - a Fable of the Future? (13/01/21)
"The new normal" is the catchy phrase currently in use. Well, what's normal about having the visitors to your shop announce their presence by ringing some leper bell at the door just in case there might be another unprotected human in the shop, being then admitted to your shop and having their temperature taken, asked to wash their hands and fill out a health report?
Meanwhile, the shop assistants, in masks and protective aprons, welcome them from behind a plexiglass screen across the counter. "Mumble, mumble, mumble," says one assistant through their mask. The startled tourist acknowledges the mumble and turns to look at the jewellery, which is all nailed up safely behind glass panels with "Don't touch" written on them.
"I would like to try on that necklace, please," says the lady bravely after a few minutes, indicating a piece behind the glass. The assistants move swiftly into action, asking the visitor to sit which they wheel in the Multi-Frequency Steri-shield Zappomatic Jewellery Steriliser, which looks like a 1950s salon hairdrier. This is placed over the head of the now alarmed tourist by one assistant while the other produces a stock necklace from a sterile tube and places it around the lady's neck.
The Zappomatic sparkles and crackles ominously as it irradiates the petrified lady and her proposed purchase. "Do, do you have a longer chain?" she asks bravely. "Mumble, mumble," says the assistant with a reassuring nod of her head, going off to get a replacement.
Halfway through a repetition of this process, the door bursts open and a large figure wearing a full HazMat suit enters. "I am the local People's Commissar for Self-Isolation, Self Endangerment and Poking Into Other People's Affairs," booms the official, attempting to shove a clinical probe up the nose of the poor lady under the hairdrier. At this stage, she loses her nerve, extricates herself from the contraption, grabs her husband's hand and flees in terror from the shop, quite forgetting to wash her hands three times before leaving. Yes, gentle reader; "the new normal?" We'd rather not, thank you so much.
EU customers now don't pay UK VAT (06/01/21)
Now that the UK is no longer part of the EU, we don't charge EU orders 20% VAT any more! Although the website shows VAT-inclusive prices, you will only be charged the VAT-exclusive price at checkout. For example, the Three Little Penguins piece is shown at the VAT-inclusive price of £68.00. However, if you're from the EU, you will only be charged the VAT-exclusive price of £56.67 at checkout. This puts EU citizens in the same bracket as the rest of the world. Notice, you don't have to do anything - the site software does all this for you. So, the upshot is that only the Brits pay 20% VAT on their purchases (all of which we are compelled to give to HM Government - it doesn't benefit us one penny). Everyone else in the world gets 20% off all of our prices. Seems fair, doesn't it??? And, of course, postage is still free worldwide!