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Commentary: The Business

One Jeweler Tells the Truth About Jewelry’s Investment Value

Michigan retailer Cliff Yankovich says it’s a myth.

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I WOULD LIKE TO poke a bear: The alleged “investment value” of jewelry and/or diamonds. Over 27 years in this business, I have always told customers that with the exception of Rolex watches, vintage designer pieces or something with provenance linked to someone famous, the jewelry regular people purchase is just like anything else that is used: The value decreases. I am convinced that we as an industry have done a disservice to people if we even imply that some piece of jewelry we sell will hold or increase in value.

To all of the jewelers out there planting the idea that mined diamonds “hold their value” compared to lab-grown: Suppose someone buys a $7,000 engagement ring from you today with a mined diamond. After the divorce 11 months later, how much are you going to give them for their mined diamond investment? And I do not mean allowing them full value on a trade-in if they are doubling their investment; I mean how much are you willing to pay them for their $7,000 ring?

What is the amount of return they can expect?

I sell both lab-grown and mined. I do not get anywhere near even hinting that either “holds value,” and I firmly believe that anyone who does that is misleading the customer and contributing to the overall perception that jewelry salespeople are less than truthful. I tell people jewelry is something to express love and/or celebrate some kind of milestone; it is not an investment.

We need to tell people the truth as an industry. With few exceptions, used jewelry is like any product that is used: You might re-sell it for half price or slightly more. Further proof of my point is shown in our cases of estate jewelry. Are you selling pieces there for more than their purchase price new? If so, please tell me how you do it. For anyone expounding on the investment value of jewelry, may I ask how the customer might track the value of their birthstone ring, diamond earrings or pendant? What index do you recommend the customer follow to track the value of their investment jewelry?

As far as being afraid that the price might go down on lab-grown diamonds, have any of you people really gotten mad that your favorite electronic device is actually cheaper than it used to be? Do you hold the salesperson responsible because you can now get a bigger TV with better definition or a more powerful computer for less money?

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My customers thank me for being honest with them and yours will do the same.

Now, can I interest any of you in some crypto currency or NFTs?

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When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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