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How Has The Bridal Jewelry Business Changed Most? Our Readers Sound Off

Lab-grown diamonds, custom design and millennial buying habits lead the responses.




Question: What’s changed most about the bridal business recently?

  • We are selling more from consignment. The pandemic left us struggling to reorder stock like we normally would, so we have been working with vendors that are willing to work with us! — Alison Sophy, Sophy Jewelers, St. Clair, PA
  • Everyone comes in with a picture on their phone of the ring style they need. — Frank Salinardi, Linardi’s Jewelers, Plantation, FL
  • People are ready to make a decision, not taking as much time, one visit instead of two or three. — Connie Stagner, Acori Diamonds & Design, Friendswood, TX
  • We continue to sell more lab-created centers, which allows our customer to spend more on the engagement ring. — Michael Rumanoff, Rumanoff’s Fine Jewelry & Design, Hamden, CT
  • Clients are buying bigger and better natural diamonds. We used to sell more loose and semi-mounts; now we sell an equal amount of already set solitaires. — Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL
  • I would say the uniqueness of the rings — we continue to do new and different designs each day. — Allison Leitzel-Williams, Leitzel’s Jewelry, Myerstown, PA
  • People asking about lab-grown. Ick! — Stacey Horcher, J. Reiss, Lincolnwood, IL
  • Many couples are looking for non-traditional color engagement rings. We have loved tapping into our vast collection of sapphire, tourmaline, even moonstone! — Linda McEathron, Design House, Waco, TX
  • We are seeing many more clients than usual for engagement rings and wedding bands. — Eric Stevens, Stevens Diamond Jewelers, West Springfield, MA
  • More custom and different diamond shapes. — James Gattas, James Gattas Jewelers, Memphis, TN
  • Lab-grown centers, rose and yellow gold. — Tom R. Nelson, Nelson Jewelry, Spencer, IA
  • Princess cuts?!? We are selling them like crazy! — Christopher Sarich, Noah Gabriel & Co. Jewelers, Wexford, PA
  • Finally seeing halo trend fade a bit! Yellow gold making a strong comeback and lab diamonds! — Julie Terwilliger, Wexford Jewelers, Cadillac, MI
  • The mothers come in with their sons! A lot! — Cathy Calhoun, Calhoun Jewelers, Royersford, PA
  • I have well-informed clients with a savings account, especially for this milestone. That has changed from recent years where often credit arrangements were requested without a fleshed-out plan for the total expense. Not so today, many younger buyers are well equipped both intellectually and financially to execute the “I do” decision! — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • The “alternatives” to traditional in showcase diamond engagement rings, whether it’s customization, lab-created diamonds or colored gemstones in a funky asymmetrical setting. Whatever, you need to embrace your client’s wishes. — Mark Clodius, Clodius & Co. Jewelers, Rockford, IL
  • I am seeing many more gay and lesbian couples than ever before. — Jim Doggett, Doggett Jewelry, Kingston, NH
  • I think it’s just an overall movement towards custom. We don’t see customers asking for brand name bridal and we don’t sell a lot of pre-set bridal. Instead, they really want to be part of personalizing their ring down to the details. It’s such a big purchase and customers are really educated and they don’t want to get something that’s cookie-cutter or mass-produced. If they are going to spend the money, they want to feel like they are contributing to every step. — Becky Bettencourt, Blue River Diamonds, Peabody, MA
  • Those who do come to the store are very serious and want to make a fast decision. If they wanted to spend time and think about it, they would still be shopping online. — Steven B. Goldfarb, Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler, Bellevue, WA
  • More new clients who find us via Google based upon positive reviews. — Jillian Hornik, Jae’s Jewelers, Coral Gables, FL
  • Lab diamonds have changed the business big time. You can now sell something to everyone. It opened doors that were once closed for us. — Michael Kanoff, Michael’s Jewelers, Yardley, PA
  • No one wants what is in the case. They bring pictures and want some part from 50 different rings incorporated into their design, for under $2,000. — Rosanne Kroen, Rosanne’s Diamonds & Gold, South Bend, IN
  • It’s not a given that the couple is looking for a DIAMOND! We have been selling so, so many other stones in the engagement ring. — Patty Gallun Hansen, Dorothy Gallun Jewelry, Cedarburg, WI
  • It may be our reputation for excellence and trust, but we have done hundreds of restorations of family wedding rings, just oomphed up and made sparkly for the 21st century. There are so many diamonds in the family pipelines around here, that we rarely have to make a diamond sale (which is okay with me). — Jo Goralski, The Jewelry Mechanic, Oconomowoc, WI
  • Young people are serving their student loan, housing and health care. This makes moissanite and $90 titanium wedding bands look good. Thank goodness for retirees. — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • Almost every ring we do is made to order — sometimes custom, but sometimes simply changing material, stone shape, or size. — Trevor Williams, Leitzel’s Jewelry, Myerstown, PA

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Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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