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Do You — or Don’t You: Do You or Don’t You Sell Medical Jewelry, Such as Bracelets or Dog Tags That Can Convey Personal Health Care Information?



Do You — or Don’t You:  Do You or Don’t You Sell Medical Jewelry, Such as Bracelets or Dog Tags That Can Convey Personal Health Care Information?


Published in the May 2013 issue

YES, I DO (75%)

Because I wear one I always advertise that if they buy their medical alert jewelry from me, I will engrave it for free. I sell gold, silver and even stainless medical alerts, always with the red enamel. — Brenda Reichel, Carats & Karats Fine Jewelry, Honolulu, HI

We design custom-made jewelry that incorporates the symbols and info discreetly. — Eve J. Alfillé, Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio, Evanston, IL

It’s not growing, it’s pretty steady (we’re in a retirement community), and bracelets are the most common, although dog tags are not rare. — Ben Woerner, Cranstoun Court Jewellers, Sun City West, AZ


There is demand for “nice” pill pendants but very limited supply. The online sources offer cheap things. — Gary Richmond, Van Horne & Co., Granger, IN

For the next 19 year this will be a growing category as baby boomers turn 65 (10,000 each day) and have health issues. — Eileen Eichhorn, Eichhorn Jewelry, Decatur, IN

What we really do well is design custom medical ID jewelry that is beautiful, can’t be bought anywhere and has to be made. We made a gents diamond and sapphire pavé initial bracelet with the medical symbol in small rubies (this was about an $8,000 project) — way cool! — Mark & Monika Clodius, Clodius & Co., Rockford, IL

Pharmacies and supermarkets sell a lot of these items but they are not a good quality. Purchasers bring them in for adjustment, and we often make a sale for a better quality. — Pat Gilmore, Dunbar Jewelers, Yakima, WA

This is a constant category for us. Sterling silver pendants and 14K white gold bracelets are our best items. Bracelets do well because of the amount of information they can display. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL

I live in a retirement community where the average age is about 77. I sell a lot of medical jewelry. Women prefer karat gold or silver jewelry, with men choosing more alternative metals like titanium. — Elizabeth Breon, Coast Jewelers, Florence, OR


NO, I DO NOT (25%)

There’s no monetary return on this investment. — Terry Parresol, Parresol Jewelers, Lakeland, FL

We don’t sell them, but we engrave lots of them from the pharmacy a few doors down. The higher end versions have not sold well for us. — Mark Snyder, Snyder Jewelers, Weymouth, MA

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After 42 years, it was time for Gina McHugh to hang up her bench tools and plan on doing something completely different. She and her husband, Mick, had a beautiful Binghamton, NY store — The Goldsmith — but in late 2019, the time felt right for retirement. They called Wilkerson. “They’d always been a part of our bridal jewelry selection,” says Gina, “and I felt really good about their quality and service. So, when we were looking for someone to work with us, Wilkerson was a natural.” With the kind of service and support Wilkerson is known for, Gina says their sales consultants made their retirement sale, “successful and quite easy.”

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