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Road Trip Part 1: Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers

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Last weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans to visit some of the top jewelry stores in the area. My first stop was to see the first jeweler I ever met: Robert Ramsey of Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers.


Ramsey’s Diamond Jewelers

I was interviewing for a job with Williams Marketing back in 1998 (owned by Roy Williams, whose client list at that time numbered about 60-70 jewelry retailers), and I met Robert, who was visiting for his annual marketing strategy planning retreat. He struck me as a good-natured, easygoing guy who was also driven to take his store to the next level – and he was a lot “cooler” than my 24-year-old self ever imagined a jeweler would be. Today, Robert is still a cool dude, and he and his family and staff have turned that store into a bustling one-stop shop for diamonds.

The store sells nothing but diamond jewelry – no watches, no brands. When I visited on a Friday morning, the place was packed with customers. Ramsey’s is known for quality, primarily because the store is willing to stand behind its products. Customers receive a number of guarantees, including a grading guarantee, lifetime diamond protection, guaranteed trade-in value, a lifetime mounting warranty, free appraisal, satisfaction guarantee, and a best price guarantee. I asked Robert about the best price guarantee and where it came from. He said that people in the mid-90’s were shopping by weight and not understanding why the same weight diamond might cost more at Ramsey’s than at a lower-end jeweler. So, in order to provide an entry point to discuss diamond quality, Ramsey’s developed the best price guarantee.





placard urging customers to check in on Facebook to take home a free gift

Another cool thing I noticed in the store was the placard urging customers to check in on Facebook to take home a free gift. This is a fabulous idea. Even a jar of jewelry cleaner is a nice freebie for customers who do nothing more than say they were shopping at Ramsey’s today. What a great idea for generating word of mouth!

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the store’s dog bride metal statue complete with bridal gown, veil and engagement ring on her left paw

Ramsey’s also had a beautiful metal dog statue in front of the store: a dog bride complete with bridal gown, veil and engagement ring on her left paw. Robert said that it was a public art project sponsored by the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). For $7,000, a business could design and keep the dog statue. The project raised over $180,000 for SPCA in New Orleans, and for Ramsey’s it was a fun project that several staff members pitched in on to create the design (including Robert’s sister Lori, pictured with Robert and the statue, dubbed “Diamond Grrrrrl”).

Finally, Robert said something in regards to selling jewelry that stuck with me: “I’d rather not make the sale if the product isn’t something she’d be happy to take her current favorite piece off to wear.” For that reason, the store has very few returns.

In my next blog installment, I’ll write about a couple of other really interesting stores I had the pleasure to visit in New Orleans.





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