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Readers Share Their Thoughts on the Las Vegas Shows, Lab-Grown Diamonds and More

Plus one reader is putting an INSTORE tip into action.




  • I love the INSTORE Design Awards. The pieces are not for our area in general, but I find inspiration for new projects on a smaller scale! Always getting better! — Trevor W., Myerstown, PA
  • I love the Manager’s To-Do section. During the slower months, it’s given me ideas and projects to delegate to my sales team, and the June issue specifically inspired us to partner with the local ice cream store around the corner. They’ll be giving away free ice cream cones, and we’ll be giving away free crystal bracelets to customers who spend $30 or more on National Ice Cream Day. It seems like a small thing to do, but after calculating the ROI, our investment is only about $300, with the potential of making an extra $29,000 in July. I’ll take it! — Beth G., Binghamton, NY
  • It was wonderful attending the Vegas shows for the first time since prior to the pandemic … and we saw Bruno Mars! — Jon W., Virginia Beach, VA
  • Pleasantly surprised about JCK. Better attended than I thought it would be. Seemed more upbeat. Saw an amazing collection from Miosogno by Jewelex at the show. — Jim C., Modesto, CA
  • Tripped over tumbleweeds in the lab diamond section at JCK, but in general, sellers seemed more upbeat than we would have expected after all the doom-and-gloom diamond news. Or maybe sellers just never admit when they’re having a crappy show. — Gretchen S., Sherman Oaks, CA
  • Vegas was good, especially since it was the first time that I have attended since 2019. I did not do much purchasing, as many vendors seem to have been making it to my door and I am part of other buying groups. I don’t think I will be attending next year, so I am glad that I went. — Amber G., Katy, TX
  • I used to love going to the Vegas show. Every year religiously. Now everyone shows up at my door. There’s just not a need. I do miss it though (Vegas, that is). — Rick N., Fernandina Beach, FL
  • In May, I visited the Chantaburi market in Thailand. So I didn’t make it to Vegas. I had an amazing experience in the color stone market, learning how to negotiate and buy color stones. — Niki N., Lyndhurst, OH
  • No go for Vegas. We did a GOB sale March, April and May with Wilkerson’s, a bases-loaded home run. Closed on May 31, open by appointment for pickups of repairs and custom. — Jim S., Kapaa, HI
  • Recently, we had bridal customers who were given the stories and options on mined diamonds or lab-grown diamonds. Actually, a couple of them said the same thing. They said, “You know what, I’m going with mined for the engagement ring and lab-grown on everything else.” Interesting choice from our perspective. — Alex W., Torrance, CA
  • It’s amazing to me how unaware, disrespectful and stupid today’s consumers are. Not all, but a lot. The things I want to say to the people that come in wanting to get their finger sized and look at the different millimeter sizes in wedding bands only to tell you they are going to order it online. Or to the people that buy cheap jewelry somewhere else but bring it to you to appraise it to see if they got a good deal or not. To these people, I just want to tell them how scummy they are and that they should go jump into a piranha pond full of meatballs. — Marc M., Midland, TX
  • I’d love to know more facts, figures and statistics about the industry. How many retail stores are there, what are average sales numbers, profit margins on certain items, are there any companies that are buying up smaller chains? How are the big guys doing? How much do people charge for repairs and appraisals? What tools are people using to send emails, direct mail, CRM? — Jeremy A., Los Angeles, CA

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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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