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Editor's Note

Mined and Laboratory-Grown Diamonds Compete in Retail Showcases Nationwide

Billion-year-old diamonds are competing with newborn diamonds in retail showcases.

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Diamonds are a girl’s best friend … regardless of whether they come from a mine or a lab.

That’s the message we’re hearing from many North American jewelry retailers. The only question seems to be whether laboratory-created diamonds are suited for special occasions, like engagements and anniversaries, or whether they should be relegated to lower-cost fashion jewelry. Laboratory-created diamond manufacturers are banking on the former — with one exception, De Beers, whose Lightbox imprint of laboratory-grown diamond jewelry targets younger, self-purchasing consumers.

With the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently weighing in with new terminology guidelines for diamonds (and gold, but that’s another story), it’s been an eventful summer for anyone involved in the sale of diamond jewelry. In fact, we had to delay layout of our special feature, “Lab Test,” in order to cover the most recent developments. Managing Editor Eileen McClelland did a fantastic job of talking to parties on all sides of the issue, including retailers who are doing big-time business in the category.

It’s a cornerstone of this special bridal-focused edition of INSTORE, along with a super-sized “New Arrivals” (with tons of hot-off-the-presses bridal rings) and our “What I’ve Learned” story, which interviews retailers, designers and industry consultants on their bridal lessons learned over the years. In fact, just about every feature in this issue is devoted to bridal, the most important sales category for most jewelry retailers.

So, do you think it’s time to take the plunge and commit already to this issue? I do!

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Five Smart Tips You’ll Find Inside This Edition

  • 1. Tell clients the price of the item early on so that they can hear everything else you’re telling them. (The Big Story, page 46)
  • 2. Talk to your insurer about what would be involved in letting VIP customers borrow nice jewelry for their special days. (Manager’s To-Do, page 28)
  • 3. When you lose a big sale, call a “sales inquest” to figure out what, if anything, you could have done differently. (Ask Instore, page 75)
  • 4. Pull a ring out of the case, ask the client to hold out her hand and put it on her (instead of asking if she’d like to see it). (David Geller, page 82)
  • 5. Remove calculators from your countertops; they kill the romance of jewelry buying. (Shane Decker, page 86)

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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