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On Estate Jewelry, Lab-Grown Diamonds, the Vegas Shows and More of Your Letters

Plus one reader’s take on artificial intelligence.




On Estate Jewelry

  • Estate Jewelry is wonderful because you can combine a 1980s watch with an art deco pin. A nugget bracelet with an Old European engagement ring. The variety gets people excited. — Rick Nichols, Nassau Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Estate jewelry is all about the DETAILS. — Eileen Eichhorn, Eichhorn Jewelry, Decatur, IN
  • I love to post estate jewelry on my social media. I have done really well selling it online! — Stephenie Bjorkman, Sami Fine Jewelry, Fountain Hills, AZ
  • We are moving to collecting more and more estate jewelry, so it really hit home. — Trevor Williams, Leitzel’s Jewelry, Myerstown, PA
  • Estate jewelry is doing well for us. Big turnaround came in 2019 when we consulted with David Geller. He helped me see the wisdom in changing my focus from making a certain percentage to living with smaller margin and making the items turn. I am becoming way more confident in telling people if you want this to sell, we need to price it attractively and handing pieces back that I do not think will sell in my store instead of taking in everything people want to sell. All common sense stuff, I suppose. — Cliff Yankovich, Chimera Design, Lowell, MI


  • INSTORE has been an exciting way for me to stay connected to the jewelry industry and other store owners in a very busy season of life. As a mother of four under 4, I have hardly been able to travel to shows, and INSTORE has kept me feeling excited and in-the-know. — Emily Eggebrecht, Consider the Wldflwers, Nashville, TN
  • Just keep doing what you do the best: Keep us informed and guide us to our new business concept in the jewelry business. — Edward Guerboian, Edward Co. Premier Jeweler, Santa Monica, CA

On Artificial Intelligence

  • Looking forward to AI writing all of our eBay listings, then sitting back and waiting for AI to convert planet Earth to a gigantic server farm tended by the human race, now reduced to mere carbon slaves … — Gretchen Schaffner, Eytan’s Designs, Sherman Oaks, CA

On Security

  • Although I do not feel at risk, I am concerned with the increase in violent crimes against jewelry stores. This can only injure the confidence of business, employees, customers, and suppliers. Why is compliance and submission being encouraged? We are in the security business. If you will think like a crook, it is obvious that jewelry stores provide tremendous opportunities. Successful crime is increasing and our industry seems to allow it instead of discouraging it. I would have no problem insisting a guest remove a hat, mask, and sunglasses and smile for a portrait. — J. Mason Cutchin, J Mason Custom Jeweler, Chapel Hill, NC

On Lab-Grown Diamonds

  • I know a lot of people in the industry aren’t happy about lab diamonds, but they are here and certain customers want them. I’m not here to judge a customer on why they want a lab-grown versus a natural, I just make sure I’m giving customers all the facts, and if a lab is still right for them, then I’ve been finding I’ve still been able to make a great sale by upgrading them to a custom designed mounting, which hasn’t been difficult to do! I also think it’s a trend right now: As labs continue to decrease in value and lose their excitement, customers are going to seek out unique natural gemstones, estate, and even natural diamonds again, and I’ve definitely seen that start to happen as well. — Becky Bettencourt, Blue River Diamonds, Peabody, MA
  • I’m curious to see how much more the lab-grown diamond industry is going to flatten out during market week and moving forward. The pricing is so low on loose lab-grown. It’s about a quarter of what it cost two years ago and still creeping lower. — Andrea Riso, Talisman Collection, El Dorado Hills, CA

On the Vegas Shows

  • I’m not inspired! I feel like Vegas has been the same since 2019 and I’m looking to be energized! I want to be wowed! So much is feeling the same lately — I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but I want to see something different!! — Laura Kitsos, Gem Jewelry Boutique, Oak Park, IL
  • I have a love/hate relationship with Vegas and the trade shows. I think this year I’ll focus on loving it more and having a positive outlook. Maybe I’ll enjoy my time there more by doing that. — Marcus Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • I’m looking forward to seeing what is new and innovative in Las Vegas. It’s not only a time to connect with our jewelry family, but to witness innovations and adaptations that the industry has made. More workshops and educational events would be wonderful at upcoming shows. — Daniela Balzano, Water Street Jewelers, Guilford, CT

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She Wanted to Spend More Time with Her Kids. She Called Wilkerson.

Your children are precious. More precious than gold? Absolutely! Just ask Lesley Ann Davis, owner of Lesley Ann Jewels, an independent jewelry store that — until the end of 2023 — had quite a following in Houston, Texas. To spend more time with her four sons, all in high school, she decided to close her store. Luckily, she was familiar with Wilkerson and called them as soon as she knew she wanted to move on to bigger, better and more family-focused things. Was she happy with her decision? Yes, she was. Says Davis, “Any owner looking to make that life change, looking to retire, looking to close, looking for a pause in their career, I would recommend Wilkerson. Hands down!”

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