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Editor's Note

That Buzz You Hear? It’s Lab-Grown Diamonds

Regardless of your stance on them, they’re changing the bridal conversation.



SINCE THE PANDEMIC began, many jewelry retailers have seen an engagement boom, with a greater-than-usual amount of young people buying engagement rings. A growing number of those are purchasing lab-grown center stones.

We asked our Brain Squad how the bridal jewelry business has changed in recent times, and one of the most common answers was how much lab-grown diamonds have affected sales, in both good ways and bad. I thought Michael Kanoff’s answer was particularly revealing (he owns Michael’s Jewelers in Yardley, PA). He wrote, “Lab-grown diamonds have changed the business big time. You can now sell something to everyone. It opened doors that were once closed for us.”

Anything that opens up new business for jewelry retailers has to be considered a good thing, at least in the short term. As a pure commodity, lab-grown diamonds provide a critical benefit that’s at the heart of most engagement ring purchases: a bigger diamond for the money. That said, some jewelers are rightly concerned about lab-grown diamonds holding their value in the future. And the so-called ethical benefits touted by lab-grown diamond manufacturers are debatable.


Regardless of where you land on the issue, one thing is certain: lab-grown diamonds have changed the conversation for a significant number of engagement ring shoppers. If you don’t offer them as an option, you need to be able to present a strong reason why not.

As the Pandemic Slows, Jewelers See Opportunity in Specialization

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

  • Use the slower months to build a video vault for your YouTube channel and short videos you can use on social media. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 28)
  • Make sure there’s a well-lit area with an appealing background, a selfie studio or a wall for Gen Z to photograph any of the jewelry they try on. (The Big Story, p. 36)
  • Create a brochure to give engagement ring purchasers with a special offer for wedding bands. (Megan Crabtree, p. 50)
  • Offer millennial clients a glass of wine during the presentation; they will stay longer, and the closing ratio will rise. (Shane Decker, p. 52)
  • Set a limit on follow-up texts or calls so you don’t cross the irritation line and irk your customer. (Angie Ash, p. 51)



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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