Lowell Hays was a longtime friend and personal jeweler to Elvis Aaron Presley — the King of Rock and Roll. On Thursday Hays and his jewelry will be the centerpiece of a program at Ann’s on Shiloh Road.
For Hays, jewelry is a family tradition. His father opened a jewelry store in his native Memphis in 1937. After his father’s death in 1971, Hays was the proprietor of Lowell Hays Jewelers until he decided to retire five years ago.
Since then Hays has started a lucrative second business based on the work he did for his most famous client. Hays met Elvis in 1969. From then on, throughout the Vegas years and until the King’s death in 1977, Hays was Presley’s personal jeweler. By traveling extensively and spending a great deal of time with Tupelo’s most famous native son, Hays came to know a different Elvis than the one most fans know from his album’s and live performances.
“When it was just with his friends, he was just a normal guy,” Hays said. “He joked, liked to play tricks. He was a real trickster! But a typical young man — and a great friend.”
During those years, Hays crafted many custom pieces of jewelry for the King. Following his retirement, he dusted off the original molds used to make Elvis’ jewelry and began his new venture, based on his website, elvisjeweler.com.
On the site, Hays offers a wide range of replicas of the Presley’s jewelry. He creates the only jewelry that is licensed by Graceland. It is also available in the gift shops at Graceland and Presley’s Tupelo birthplace.
The response to his Elvis Jeweler project has been amazing, said Hays. He has sold items all over the road. As more and more years pass since Elvis’ death, the interest in Elvis — and demand for items with a connection to his his life — have only increased.
From 5 until 7 p.m. on Thursday, Hays will display his line of jewelry at Ann’s boutique on Shiloh Road. He will bring his line of Elvis jewelry as well as some of his backup inventory. Sterling, 14 karat gold and costume jewelry will be available for purchase.
During the event there will also be refreshments, including hors d’oeuvres and the Elvis’ favorite snack: the fried peanut-butter and banana sandwich.
(For more information about this Elvis-themed night of jewelry and refreshments email Lowell Hays at email@example.com. For more information about Hays’ Elvis Jeweler creations visit www.elvisjeweler.com. For more information about Ann’s visit www.annsofcorinth.com or call 287-3606.)