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Shane Decker

Shane Decker: Rare Earth II

Shane Decker offers more ammunition to prove diamonds are underpriced, in the last of a series.




DIAMONDS ARE A BARGAINat today’s prices. It’s a fact that you need to communicate to your customers — especially those who are wringing their hands over the idea of spending several thousand dollars on a shiny little rock. Instead of apologizing for the prices, you should try a different approach: making them feel lucky to even have the opportunity to purchase one of these astounding gemstones. But before your salespeople can help your customers understand this concept, they must understand it —and believe it — themselves.

Last month, I gave you three reasons why diamonds are one of the world’s great bargains: 1.) their incredible rarity; 2.) the difficulty and expense of mining them; and 3.) the high level of skill necessary to even cut a diamond, much less cut it well. Now, I will give you the final three reasons. As in last month’s column, the information I’m sharing with you is compiled from sources including the GIA, the AGS, and De Beers, as well as my own research. In other words, you can trust it.


Diamond is approximately 140% harder than the next hardest substance known to man. Everything else you’ll ever use wears out — your tools, your cars, even your house. Diamond is time’s only enemy. It’s the only substance whose beauty is unaffected by age. Nothing else compares to it or lasts like it. People say diamonds “cost a lot of money”… well, compared to what? A one-carat diamond weighs one-fifth of one gram, yet your customer can wear it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for decades upon decades before passing it down in the very same condition in which they bought it. They may pay several thousand dollars for it. Then they’ll walk down the street, buy $30,000 automobile, drive it one hour a day for five years and it’s trashed. What’s the better deal?

Antiquity Value

When the Titanic set sail in 1912, its plates cost five or ten cents each. Today, a submarine picks them up off the bottom of the ocean floor and they’re worth $5,000. The Mona Lisa, painted 500 years ago, is said to be worth $160 million, yet she’s uglier than if she’d been hit by a steamroller. Meanwhile, diamonds are carbon-dated at 3.4 billion years old. They’re so old, scientists are now using them to tell us how and when the oldest parts of our planet were formed. Yet they look brand new. There’s nothing for sale that is older. Dinosaurs weren’t even in their swaddling clothes when your customer’s diamond was formed. Why, then, do antiques go for hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars, while a one-carat diamond is exponentially less?

Investment Value

Since 1940, diamonds have doubled in value every ten years, at minimum. However, their greatest value lies not in their monetary worth, but in the emotions invested within them. Most women would never sell their grandmother’s diamond ring, which still shines as brightly as the day she first wore it. A diamond is an investment in life, in someone you love. A diamond means security — telling the world that somebody loves you and you’re taken. It even speaks for you, saying “I love you” like nothing else can. In fact, nothing can do what a diamond does. A diamond’s not just a good investment … it’s priceless!

Any one of these attributes should add $25,000 to a diamond’s selling price, which means your one-carat diamond should go for $150,000. And yet, jewelers sell it for $5,000. This is Nature’s Flamethrower we’re talking about here! Why would you — ever! — feel the need to apologize for its price?


So the next time your customer starts hemming and hawing over the cost of a diamond, ask yourself the following questions: Have you made your customer understand the extraordinary mining costs and skill of cut that went into his diamond? Have you made him see its unparalleled rarity and durability? Have you given him a clue as to the age and unfathomable value his diamond represents? If you haven’t accomplished these things, you’re not just letting yourself and your store down, you’re letting your customer down. Diamonds are the bargain of the ages! Now get out there and sell some of these “wonders from down under”!

This story is from the May 2005 edition of INSTORE.

Shane Decker has provided sales training to more than 3,000 jewelry stores. Shane cut his teeth in jewelry sales in Garden City, KS, and sold over 100 1-carat diamonds four years in a row. Contact him at [email protected].



Time to Do What You've Always Wanted? Time to Call Wilkerson.

It was time. Teri Allen and her brother, Nick Pavlich, Jr., had been at the helm of Dearborn Jewelers of Plymouth in Plymouth, Mich., for decades. Their father, Nick Pavlich, Sr., had founded the store in 1950, but after so many wonderful years helping families around Michigan celebrate their most important moments, it was time to get some “moments” of their own. Teri says Wilkerson was the logical choice to run their retirement sale. “They’re the only company that specializes in closing jewelry stores,” she says. During the sale, Teri says a highlight was seeing so many generations of customers who wanted to buy “that one last piece of jewelry from us.” Would she recommend Wilkerson? Absolutely. “There is no way that I would have been able to do this by myself.”

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