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The Big Survey 2018: Manmade Diamonds

67% of jewelers say they would at least consider stocking them.

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24. Would you consider stocking laboratory-grown diamonds?

 201620172018
Yes21%16%18%
Maybe36%37%37%
Already do10%15%16%
Never33%32%29%

 

25. What is your strongest feeling about laboratory-grown diamonds?

 20162018
Afraid12%10%
Intrigued18%14%
Excited10%11%
Disdainful19%21%
Neutral41%43%

 

26. If you stock laboratory-grown diamonds, what’s your approach to marketing them?

I aggressively let everyone know I have them.
10%
I market them in much the same way as any other product
42%
I quietly let customers know they are an option
48%

 

27. In what order would you recommend these alternatives to a customer who was reluctant to buy a freshly mined diamond?

2016
1. Previously owned
2. Colored gemstone
3. Lab-grown diamond
4. Moissanite
5. CZ

2018
1. Previously owned
2. Colored gemstone
3. Lab-grown diamond
4. Moissanite
5. CZ

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NOT SO FAST: Though the ranking remained static, more jewelers (20%) said laboratory-grown diamonds would be the first alternative they recommended to such customers compared to just 13% in 2016.

 

28. Legal Quiz
Check the terms you’re allowed to use to describe laboratory-grown diamonds, according to the FTC:

Laboratory-grown
94%
Manmade
56%
Laboratory-created
47%
Synthetic
35%
(Manufacturer-name)-created
34%
Cultured
20%
Simulant
7%
Imitation
6%

Comment: Overall, you did pretty well. The top six terms can all be used, although with some qualifications, while the bottom two — “simulant” and “imitation” — are verboten, according to the FTC. Now, those qualifications: “cultured” can be used, but only if in addition to one of the FTC’s three pre-approved terms: laboratory-grown, laboratory-created, or manufacturer-name created, says Tiffany Stevens, CEO and president of the JVC. “‘Synthetic’ can still be used, but it shouldn’t be used to imply that the lab-grown is a simulant,” she says, or to disparage competitors. “Lastly, please also keep in mind that ‘real, natural, genuine, precious and semi-precious’ can only be used to describe diamonds and colored gemstones from the earth,” she says.

 

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Big Survey

Here’s How Jewelers Knew They Had ‘Made It’

Jewelers share their most meaningful measures of success.

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RETAIL JEWELERS SAY they knew they had “made it” when they drove home a new Porsche or an Escalade. But they REALLY knew they had a success story when they could take a day off once a week, take a vacation, or their stress level “dropped to zero.”

  • My daughter wanted to work here.
  • I sold a $10,000 sapphire sight unseen over the phone to an established customer.
  • The mayor dedicated a day of the year in our name.
  • My customer base exceeded 5,000.
  • I got my store name printed on our plastic bags, our ribbon and our tissue paper.
  • My accountant said I have net worth and should make a will.
  • I could retire.
  • My stress level dropped to zero.
  • I hit my first million-dollar store.
  • Dad said he was proud of me.
  • I see my work around someone’s neck or on their finger and I see them show off their jewelry and point to me and tell the other people, “She is the one that created this for me.”
  • A four-day work week.
  • I consistently started selling 2-carat diamonds and larger.
  • I drove home my brand-new Porsche.
  • I bought my Escalade.
  • I bought my building.
  • When I heard the sleigh bells on the rooftop.
  • I stopped getting a tax refund.
  • I can take a vacation.
  • I was at a local restaurant and ran into a client. She began to sing the store’s jingle from our radio ads.
  • I reached my goal of a million dollars cost in inventory with no debt ever.
  • I pay my parents more than they have ever made in their lives not to come to work.
  • I was no longer concerned with December’s numbers. It’s not that I don’t care. I just don’t worry about it. Pay for your inventory during the year and you will have a relaxed December!
  • An engagement ring client said our store had been around his entire life and of course he was coming here to buy!
  • My customers and people I don’t know tell me how good of a jeweler I am.
  • I was sitting across the boardroom table from Nicholas Oppenheimer at the CSO in London.
  • I wake up smiling because I get to come to work. I’m unemployable anywhere else and I love (mostly all of) it!
  • Everyone wanted my job.
  • I heard the hammer fall on an empty chamber.
  • I don’t need to be in the store and sales happen and customers are happy.
  • I quit advertising and sales continued to go up.
  • We made it past our first 10 years in business.
  • I no longer did more wholesale than retail.
  • Customers were coming in from three states away.
  • I finished this survey.
  • My competitors came to visit our new store.
  • I didn’t have to worry about the rent.
  • The first year I had to pay taxes on the store profits!
  • I could afford to blow 100 bucks on dinner.
  • I saw the logo stamp.
  • New England Patriots come in my store for jewelry.
  • Big-name brands I couldn’t get to take my calls suddenly started calling me.
  • A local charity expected us to make a 6-figure donation.
  • People started handing me their jewelry in the grocery store to bring in for repair.
  • At a recent chi-chi charity fundraising event, four of the high-profile attendees are clients in the middle of big projects.
  • She put her hands on her hip and said to him, well.
  • When people introduce me as Rosanne from the jewelry store.
  • Gold prices went to $1,800 per ounce.
  • I survived 2010.
  • They were actually sad at my funeral.
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Big Survey

Here’s How Jewelers Are Driving Sales Today (Hint: Things Are Changing Rapidly)

‘Online, online and online,’ said one jeweler.

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IN THIS YEAR’S Big Survey, jewelers report increasing their digital footprint and throwing more time, money and thought into social media, especially Facebook, as well as their websites and dipping a toe at least into e-commerce. They also say they are recognizing the extreme importance of customer reviews, and contacting customers by email and text.

While even as recently as five years ago, some may have considered social media a passing fad, it seems clear that in 2018, retailers now recognize its importance and make it a priority.

Here are some comments:

  • “Online, online and online.”
  • “More internet.”
  • “We started putting together community events with local non-profits that have not only generated great publicity but also helped raise over $40,000 for local efforts.”
  • “Instituting interest free five-year financing and building the bridal line to be the largest in the county.”
  • “Online storefront via our website.”
  • “Paying close attention to what I buy.”
  • Financing (longer terms).

What are they doing less of? Traditional advertising, specifically traditional print advertising, and more specifically, newspapers.

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Big Survey

Big Survey: Here’s What Jewelers Are Doing To Prepare for the Next Economic Downturn

‘Making hay while the sun shines,’ said one jeweler.

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WHILE SOME JEWELERS are just “rolling with it,” and others are doing their best to manage inventory, stay debt free and market consistently, others (you know who you are!) are holding your breath, praying or bingeing on comfort food to banish those negative thoughts.

Here are a range of additional comments on that topic:

    • We have chosen to ignore it, just like Wall Street has.
    • Just riding the wave until it crashes into the shore.
    • Investing in equipment.
    • Making hay while the sun shines.
    • Still trying to get to the upturn.
    • We are shrinking our stock with faster moving and better selling items.
    • By doing more for the client than they ask for.
    • Banking it will last 10 more years.
    • Ride this pony for all she has left.
    • Making new inventory from gems I own.
    • Purchasing more real estate and more diamonds.
    • Keeping on top of trends.
    • Pushing the fashion category because bridal will come on its own.
    • Downsizing.
    • Trying to create meaningful relationships with our customers so they remember us later.
    • Renovating, training and hiring more experienced people to maintain an edge.
    • Plan to own the building by then so our monthly expenses are minimum. And there’s an apartment upstairs so we have a place to live — just in case.
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