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Readers Share Their Thoughts on Lab-Grown Diamonds, The Economic Outlook and More

And, of course, they talk about their holiday sales so far as well.




  • I was recently shocked when sourcing a natural diamond for a client. Prices have skyrocketed for natural diamonds, making the case even better for lab-made diamonds. I think lab will continue to gain market share, especially if diamonds become unaffordable. Not to mention the younger generation’s affinity towards environmental friendliness, blood diamond stigma, price sensitivity, the battle between experiences and “things,” the growing fear of increased crime, the fact that the younger generation would rather invest than spend, etc. The case for lab-made is only growing stronger. — Jeremy Auslander, Roxbury Jewelry, Los Angeles, CA
  • I’m curious how many jewelers applied and received EIDL funding. We are still (21 months later) trying to receive what we qualified for. I’ve had to complete one form nine times since August 2020. In addition to our forced closure by our state, I’ve also been out for months in 2021 due to COVID-19 pneumonia, having to quarantine at different times, and sadly, caring for and losing my mom due to COVID-19. My physical and financial means are exhausted. I so want this behind me so we can focus again on our growth and stability. — Jill Keith, Enchanted Jewelry, Danielson, CT
  • It’s always the time of year when a client says, “I’ve had this in my jewelry box for so many years and I’d like it repaired for …” (you guessed it…) “Christmas … but I need it in two days as I’m leaving town and want to take it with me.” Ahhh, retail at Christmas. Vulture central comes to mind, as one of our dear stone cutters used to say. There is a price for everything, and it increases every day leading up to Christmas. Merry selling Christmas, everyone. — Karen Fitzpatrick, Harris Jewelers, Rio Rancho, NM
  • What a unique year with the JCK Show being so late and merchandise arriving on back order. Christmas just happened so fast! Less time to think and more pressure to make inventory and advertising decisions! — Susan Eisen, Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches, El Paso, TX
  • This holiday has been wonderful. We had a record November. I have to constantly balance watch repair, jewelry repair and custom work versus selling and stocking the store. It’s a lot of work with just two people, but the rewards are much more profitable. — Rick Nichols, Nassau Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • I love participating in INSTORE magazine and receiving emails. It helps me to feel like part of the “jewelry industry family” and gauge our store’s success based on industry trends. My entire staff looks forward to the publication! — Daniela Balzano, Water Street Jewelers, Guilford, CT
  • The conditions in our country are not favorable with rising inflation and loss of consumer confidence, which is irritating following two years of restrictions! Customers are afraid of shopping in big areas, which is pushing to online shopping, and that is also a concern! Just hope our small-city shoppers will come and support local businesses and produce a favorable holiday season. We could all use a merry Christmas! — Annette Kinzie, Leonard Jewelry, Stillwater, OK
  • Keep it up! You are the small businessman’s best friend! — J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmakers Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA

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This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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