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Selling Design: Jean-Noel Soni

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Selling Designs
October 2012

BY THE INDESIGN TEAM
Published in the September-October 2012 issue

As a gem faceter, my love for gems and jewelry is a life passion. Not a day goes by that my focus isn’t on a gemstone. Yet, I notice that many jewelry designers hardly state any information about the cut stones they are using. What happened to the story about the stone? What is the general and specific history behind the gemstone? Were the people who mined it paid fairly? Who cut it? How many dealers’ hands and countries did it pass through on the way to the customer?

“Start using gemstones that can be traced back to the actual hole in the ground from which they were pulled.”

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It’s become common for jewelers and manufacturers to buy stones simply for their color, shape and size, sometimes ignoring important aspects that make that shiny rock a “jewel.” But with the emergence of ethically minded consumers, it is critical to have the answers to these questions.

For me, the best sales happen when the client is educated and leaves with a modest insight about what they just bought. Not only should you tell the customer where the gem came from and the journey it’s made, but you should also bring the client’s attention to the cutter that took a full day to facet it. Remember, the idea of adding facets to a rough stone is to bend the light that passes through the material in the most desirable way. It’s not an easy task, and the craft is way under-appreciated. More important, you can use this information to add value to the purchase.

How do you develop your story? Start using gemstones that can be traced back to the actual hole in the ground from which they were pulled … gems that have been cut by one of the many artisan faceters who love what they do. Your clients will appreciate the extra effort it took to offer them something more than a commercially cut piece of rough.

THIS MONTH’S EXPERT: Jean-Noel Soni, Director, Green Gem Foundation

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