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Reader Letters on Jewelry Daredevils, Lab-Grown Diamonds, Appraisals/Trade-Ins and More

Plus one longtime reader announces his retirement after 45 years.




  • There were some great stories about daredevils out there. Steve, if you get another racing boat, I’d like to be co-pilot. — Marc M., Midland, TX
  • Loved to see other jewelers living life, having fun, and bringing their unique personalities to the industry! — Kyle B., Roswell, NM
  • In your latest issue, you posed a question about lab diamond prices. There seems to be concern about trade-in value and future appraisal value. WHAT? Do people in this business discuss trade-in value on natural diamonds? If so, please tell me what you tell your customers. Now please tell me what you tell your customers that is not a line of nonsensical doublespeak. “Yes, your diamond ring will increase in value. Move along now, pay no attention whatsoever to this case full of estate jewelry in which you will find lots of diamond jewelry someone bought in the past which is now priced at a fraction of new pieces. Rest assured that your 0.75-ct mined engagement ring will go up in value.”
    No guarantee of future appraisal value? Trying very hard to remember when I have ever broached the topic of a guarantee of future appraisal value while selling a diamond ring over my 25 years in the business. Oh yeah — never. The best comment made, and one which I wholeheartedly agree with, was by Ragnar Bertelsen: “Jewelers are the only ones worried about it.” — Cliff Y., Lowell, MI
  • INSTORE is a great resource for any owner or manager of a jewelry business. Love the publication and the service it offers to retailers. — Kenneth J., Los Angeles, CA
  • INSTORE Magazine provides useful insight and information to our beloved jewelry business. From the simplest of ideas to the more complex, I find something in each issue that can be used immediately. — Kirk G., Gonzales, TX
  • I have loved your magazine for many years, but after 45 years at the bench, I have decided to retire. I will still look forward to your magazine but will have time to really read it. Thanks INSTORE. — Tommy T., Perry Hall, MD

Tommy, thank you for being one of INSTORE’s biggest fans for so many years! Congratulations on your retirement, and I’m glad you’ll continue to enjoy the magazine. — Trace

  • As of this writing, the EU has just announced hard sanctions on Alrosa (and the people involved in Alrosa).This will no doubt make it harder to make the case for natural diamonds, and I think (but I could be wrong) that lab-grown diamonds will further be a viable option and lab-grown prices will rise (or firm) while natural will continue to drop in volume (and maybe also prices). Either way, this move by the EU is saying no one wants to be seen as funding a war. Certainly not the good people of the jewelry industry. — Alex W., Torrance, CA
  • I think the jewelry industry will need to be very fluid in 2024. Election years are always weird, plus trying to predict the economic forecast is impossible. The only think I know and trust in is that Love Will Continue and we’ll be there to celebrate! — Trevor W., Myerstown, PA
  • We’re just continuing to watch, mouths agape, at the upheavals in the diamond market and the rising price of gold. It’s going to be a weird year … — Gretchen S., Sherman Oaks, CA
  • I’d love to know if independent retailers are going to continue to offer lab-grown diamonds? The prices have come down so much as well as margins. Does it make sense to spend the same time and effort on a $1K sale versus a natural $10K sale? What’s your exit strategy? What’s working in the world of marketing/advertising? How are you using social media, review sites, email marketing? Would you pay for a company to do all this for you? If so, how much? What metrics would you be looking for? Sales, engagement, website clicks, in-store leads, etc.? Do you network with other wedding professionals? Catering, hotels, florists, bands and DJs, wedding planners, etc.? — Jeremy A., Los Angeles, CA
  • Thought we were going to lose to last year’s record numbers coming in way behind in December. But, my wife and I worked triple hard, bounced from customer to customer and magically came within a smidge of last year. Well, time to start over, again. Year 34 of my journey to retirement. — Rick N., Fernandina Beach, FL

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