The Museum of Named Diamonds, a nonprofit registry for famous diamonds, has opened up its online space to all diamonds, no matter their size or level of fame.

ABOVE: Newly-engaged clients are encouraged to name their diamond to represent their personal story.

The Idea: Every Diamond Has a Story

When retailer Stephen Burstein of Stephen’s Fine Jewelry in Leawood, KS, heard about the program from Jacques Vorhees, vice chairman of the museum, he was intrigued, because, he believes, a name and a love story are just the kind of personalization that millennial shoppers are searching for. “A little piece of romance has been leaking away from engagement ring sales,” Burstein says. “This is a more romantic way to present the gift.”

Stephen Burstein of Stephen’s Fine Jewelry, Leawood, KS.

Every diamond has a story, and engaged couples are eager to share theirs. “A consumer’s engagement ring diamond will probably never be as famous as — for example — the 270-carat Centenary,” Burstein says. “But to the owner, the engagement ring diamond is the most important one in the world.”

The Execution: Offer Added Value

The first week he participated, Burstein, who operates an appointment-only business out of an office space, gave out a dozen cards at a bridal fair. He’s also given the cards to all of his recent engaged customers. The diamonds and the stories are easy to share on social media.

The cards cost him $15 each in bulk but represent an added value of $100 for customers, who are invited to register their diamonds with the museum, name them, and include special memories of the love that the diamond represents. “When a diamond is registered, it’s given a name, which is officially recorded,” explains Krista Olson, the museum’s executive director.

“We recommend that the name somehow connects the diamond to the relationship it represents, to the diamond’s story. For example, a couple whose first date was a picnic by a river, might name their diamond ‘River Song.’” One of Burstein’s customers named their diamond Madeline for the bride’s great-grandmother.

The Rewards: Remember What Makes It Special

“I haven’t had anyone say no, they weren’t interested,” Burstein says. “They all seem kind of happy and think it’s a pretty cool deal.”

Wholesaler Serge Fischler of Fischler Diamonds offers museum gift cards to retailers with the sale of diamonds larger than 0.70 carats.

“We can’t put the genie back in the bottle when it comes to competitive pricing and the trend toward diamond commoditization,” he says. “What we can do is remind the consumer — and ourselves for that matter — what makes a diamond special.”

Do It Yourself: Move Beyond the Four C's

Add value to an engagement ring or anniversary gift by helping the customer name the diamond and upload photos and stories to the Named Diamond website.

Upgrading a diamond to a registered, named diamond makes a wonderful gift for a special occasion, such as Mother’s Day. Burstein provides free gift cards for this purpose as well.

The cards provide a tool to help retail jewelers move the point of sale conversation beyond the four Cs and price comparisons.

To read stories about personal and famous named diamonds, visit museumofdiamonds.org.

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