Saturday, April 20, 2024

Community Business: Penny and a Sixpence

Penny and a Sixpence is located in Merchant Square. (Penny and a Sixpence)

WILLIAMSBURG– Penny and a Sixpence is not your average jewelry store.

Laurie Walker, owner, opened the shop on Duke of Gloucester Street two years ago. The store offers silver jewelry, gold vermeil, gemstones, freshwater pearls, and more. She even makes some of the jewelry herself onsite.

“As a frequent visitor to Williamsburg for over 20 years, I knew I not only wanted to live here someday, I also wanted to be a contributing member of the business community and culture, adding my creativity through a one-of-a-kind, ‘unique to Williamsburg’ shopping experience,” Walker said.

One of the most important things for Walker was making sure her pieces were accessible for everyone. Prices in the store range from $3 to $300.

“We are a jewelry store, yet every price tag is turned for customers to see, not to hide it, even in my store windows. How can you even think about buying something if you have no idea how much it costs?” Walker explains.

With her location in a prime spot for tourists, Walker also loves the frequent visitors to her shop.

Penny and a Sixpence offers affordable jewelry for everyone. (Penny and a Sixpence)

“My store appeals to the three distinct customer groups who shop in Merchants Square — local people who appreciate and enjoy having a locally-owned small business to support; visitors, including first-time visitors as well as those who return to Williamsburg several times a year; and William & Mary students who find my jewelry and my prices appeal to a college student aesthetic and budget,” Walker said.

Many wander into her store, and Walker takes being an unofficial ambassador to the area as a serious job.

“I answer dozens of questions every week, everything from suggestions on things to do to restaurant recommendations. Honestly, I’ve had visitors in the store who come to Merchants Square to walk around thinking that’s all there is to see, they have no idea that historic Colonial Williamsburg is just up the street, or that historic Jamestown and Yorktown are just short drives from my store. It makes me smile to send a customer out the door with a map and directions because I know they are going to be blown away by what they are about to see and learn,” Walker said.

The store celebrated its second anniversary in November 2023. The jewelry in the store is all real, something that was very important to Walker when opening the shop.

“We are still pretty new in the world of Colonial Williamsburg, but for the customers who do know us, they come back again and again for the quality and value I offer. Everything is sterling silver, nothing is silver plated, nothing is ‘silver look,’ nothing is stainless steel. I think we’re also known to be a very friendly store. My customers come in just to say hello, even if they’re not shopping. I’ve given out a lot of dog treats in the past two years,” Walker said.

Some of the jewelry options at Penny and a Sixpence. (Penny and a Sixpence)

While jewelry is her primary focus, Walker also prides herself on selling actual sixpence.

“We do sell sixpences (the British coin that they stopped producing in the 1970s) and every bride should have one. The traditional Victorian wedding poem is, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a sixpence for her shoe!'” Walker explained.

Walker takes pride in being part of the Williamsburg community and making sure her customers are satisfied is always number one on her priority list.

“I want everyone to feel welcome, my space has a very friendly vibe. And if I don’t have what they’re looking for, I will always take their name and number and try to find it or make it for them,” Walker said.

Penny and a Sixpence is open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store is located at 438 W. Duke of Gloucester St., between Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill and the Colonial Williamsburg Bookstore. For more information, visit

Community Business is a feature series that showcases locally-owned business establishments in the Historic Triangle. If you would like to submit a business to be featured, please send an email to

Related Articles