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Big Survey

Jewelers Reveal the Strangest Questions They’ve Been Asked by Customers

“Can you make a ring from my kidney stone?”

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WE ASKED HUNDREDS of jewelers who responded to INSTORE’s 2021 Big Survey, “What’s the oddest question a customer has ever asked?” Responses from the front lines of jewelry retail were even quirkier than might be expected.

The most common odd questions jewelers get involve making small diamonds into one big diamond or making one big diamond into enough smaller diamonds to outfit the whole family. i.e. “Can I melt this diamond and make a bunch of smaller ones?”

Here are some other examples:

Custom jewelry brainstorms:

  • “Can you make a ring with my kidney stone?”
  • “Can you make a charm for my wife from my gallstone?”
  • “Can you make my grandfather’s glass eye into a necklace?”
  • “A 5-star U.S. Army General once asked if we could put his surgical staples inside a locket for his wife…to which we replied “Yes, Sir”!”
  • “Can you create a cross from the stainless-steel wires from my husband’s emergency heart surgery? Yes, yes we can!”
  • “Can you make earrings out of the feet of the turkey I shot?” No.
  • “Can you make a snow globe engagement ring?”
  • “If I bring you a belt buckle; can you turn it into a ring?”
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Special requests for the repair department:

  • “Do you repair lawnmowers?”
  • “Could you adjust the clasp on my breast ornament?”
  • “Why is something growing in my diamond?”
  • “Can you fix my toaster oven? The guy at the appliance repair store wants too much money.”
  • “Can you clean my toilet bolts in your ultrasonic?”
  • “Can you help me to insert this belly button ring?”
  • “Will you help me deliver my chihuahua’s pups? You’re good with small things.”
  • “These earrings are stuck in my ear. My surgeon asked me to have you remove them.”
  • “Do you charge to size a ring?”
  • “Can I bring in my mini-fridge and plug it in while I go over my projects?”
  • “Can you fix my wedding ring while I’m wearing it?”
  • Questions only the owner can answer:
  • “A woman asked her recently passed husband if she should buy a $5,000 sapphire bracelet. He said yes!”
  • “At what elevation do the deer turn into elk?”
  • “Can I bring in my service goat?
  • Customer: “Do you believe in the planets?” Me: “Like, the solar system?” Customer: “Yes.” Me: “I do.”
  • “Can I wear this ring hog hunting?”
  • “Can I speak to the guy who wears the Cole-Hahn shoes?”
  • “Are your customer reviews real or made up?”
  • “Do you really earn a living?”
  • “If I buy something on the Internet and show it to you, will you warranty it for free for life?”
  • “How much is a diamond without the carats?”
  • “Can I take it now and pay you over the next two years?”
  • “Why are your prices higher now than when you opened in 2004?”

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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