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These Are the Best-Performing Jewelry Brands of 2017




Last year’s winner claims the No. 1 spot again.

For the second straight year, Gabriel & Co. took the top spot in our Big Survey (with 14 percent of the vote), garnering the most votes when readers were asked to name the three best-performing brand-name jewelry lines that they carry.

Pandora was the top pick from 2009-2015, but fell to No. 3.

Below is this year’s full list. Look out for all the results of the 2017 Big Survey in the upcoming October edition of INSTORE.

1. Gabriel & Co.

2. Stuller


3. Pandora

4. Allison-Kaufman

5. Vahan

6. Hearts on Fire

7. Lafonn

8. Simon G.


9. (tie) John Hardy, Royal Chain

11. (tie) Benchmark, Lashbrook

13. (tie) Frederic Duclos, Roberto Coin

15. (tie) Alex & Ani, Ostbye

17. ELLE

18. (tie) CrownRing, David Yurman, Gemsone




Les Georgettes

It’s All About Choices

With beautiful jewelry from Les Georgettes, choice is everything. Choose a design. Change colors. With 30 styles, 3 finishes and 48 stunning leather colors, you’ll never be at a loss for a unique piece of jewelry. Create, mix, stack and collect Les Georgettes by Altesse. Made in France.

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Possible ‘Diamond in a Diamond’ Is the Strangest Thing Ever

This bizarre specimen was found in Yakutsk, Russia.




RUSSIA’S ALROSA DIAMOND mining company may have discovered a diamond in a diamond.

Alrosa’s Instagram page features a video of a 0.62-carat rough diamond with a curious void in its center. Rattling around in that cavity seems to be another rough diamond.

In a caption accompanying the video, Alrosa wrote, “A diamond in a diamond? We couldn’t help but share this very special find with you.”

Alrosa goes on to describe how the smaller crystal seems to move freely within the larger one. The curious gem was discovered in Yakutsk, Russia.

“We are not sure if the smaller one is a diamond,” wrote Alrosa. “Our scientists are looking forward to studying the crystal. It will be researched with non-destructive methods.”

Please check out Alrosa’s video below:


View this post on Instagram


A diamond in a diamond? We couldn’t help but share this very special find with you. Watch: the smaller crystal moves in a cavity inside the larger rough diamond. The larger diamond weighs 0.62 carats. We are not sure if the smaller one is a diamond. Our scientists are looking forward to studying the crystal. It will be researched with non-destructive methods #diamondscientistsbestfriend #ALROSA #diamondsALROSA #realisrare Алмаз внутри алмаза? Не можем не поделиться с вами своей находкой: внутри этого алмаза в 0,62 карата передвигается в полости другой кристалл. Наши учёные пока не уверены, что внутри находится именно алмаз. Они с нетерпением ждут, когда интересная находка попадёт к ним в лабораторию. Изучать будут не разрушающими методами #алмазылучшиедрузьяученых #АЛРОСА #алмазыАЛРОСА #

A post shared by ALROSA® (@alrosadiamonds) on

In an unrelated Instagram post, Alrosa honored the 115th anniversary of Russia’s TASS news agency with what the mining company is calling “the world’s most expensive diamond hashtag.”

Alrosa created a mural with the hashtag “TASS115” rendered in natural white diamonds. The precious stones weigh 4,000 carats and are valued at $350,000.

The mural is being displayed at Alrosa’s diamond sorting center in the Siberian town of Mirny.

In its congratulatory message, Alrosa wrote, “On [the] occasion of the 115th anniversary of the legendary TASS, we [are] giving our friends the most expensive hashtag in history as a present.”

Alrosa unveiled the mural on its Facebook and Instagram pages.

The TASS news agency was founded on September 1, 1904, as the St. Petersburg Telegraph Agency (SPTA). It was renamed the Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA) in 1918. Seven years later, the agency would become TASS (the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union). Today, it boasts 63 bureaus in 60 countries.

Alrosa is the world’s leading diamond producer in terms of volume, accounting for nearly a third of global rough diamond production. The company manages mines in Russia’s Yakutia and Arkhangelsk regions, as well as Africa.

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Do You Or Don't You?

Try To Sell Wedding Bands With the Engagement Ring? Our Brain Squad Is Almost Split

Slightly more jewelers say ‘don’t do it.’




THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: Do you try to broach the wedding band sale immediately after closing the engagement ring sale?

Yes: 45%

  • We offer a credit based on the amount of the engagement ring purchased towards wedding bands. We mainly let the customers know that, and if they want to look, we do. — Rick Sanders, Sanders Jewelers, Gainesville, FL
  • Actually I mention it before we close the engagement sale: “What band will we be making to match?” — Russell Criswell, Vulcan’s Forge, Kansas City, MO
  • We offer a coupon for money off both their wedding bands when an engagement ring is sold. It does well for us, too. — Beth Cevasco, Scott’s Custom Jewelers, Fairlawn, OH
  • Many years ago, I read that statistically, people don’t even buy their bands from the same store as they buy their engagement ring. From that time on, I’ve always at least planted the seed and often offer an incentive to have the clients come back. After all, you’ve already done the heavy lifting. Why not finish the job? — Jon Walp, Long Jewelers, Virginia Beach, VA
  • I like to show all the options available when the engagement ring is here and the customer is excited. Also, many guys don’t necessarily think about rings for themselves, and they start to have fun looking. It’s finally their turn! — Robin Lies, Burnells Creative Gold, Wichita, KS
  • They are in a happy, excited mood and still in the buying mood. — Paul Reiniger, Reiniger Jewelers, Swansea, IL
  • Why … to educate, to create satisfaction with our product quality/care/maintenance plans, to create additional ring sales and to create lifelong customers/friends and referrals. I always tell people that they want to consider the type of band that will be worn with the ring (integrated, contour, stacked … ), that guys tend to get a few alternative bands for fashion, and that we offer a Tough Love silicone band to each of them complimentary as we’re describing best care for fine jewelry. — Jill Keith, Enchanted Jewelry, Danielson, CT
  • Always looking for the add-on sale because if you don’t ask, you will not always get it. — Rick Nichols, Nassau Jewelry, Fernandina Beach, FL
  • If they decide on a ring that does not have a matching wedding band, then they need to start thinking about having one made right now if they are going to consider more than one ring. I have had customers come in a week before the wedding and want a band that will have to be custom-made. We can’t usually help them at that late date. Even if they don’t purchase now, they need to be thinking about a band for the guy and the girl. — Murphy McMahon, Murphy McMahon & Co., Kalispell, MT

No: 55%

  • I don’t ever pressure my customers to buy anything. I don’t like it and would never do such a thing to them. — Craig C. Curtis, Belfast Jewelry, Belfast, ME
  • Only if we are custom-making an engagement ring do we approach the band sale at that time. We have found in our area that an engagement might take a year or few, and we do not want to push the issue and lose the engagement sale. — Tim Wright, Simply Unique Jewelry Designs, Yorktown, VA
  • They are usually exhausted from the decision-making, if they were selecting as a couple. If he’s making the decision alone, HIS band is the last thing on his mind! The exception is for same-sex couples. We look for both together — it’s cool! — Debbie Fox, Fox Fine Jewelry, Ventura, CA
  • Still in shock from selling the engagement ring. — Bill Elliott, Ross Elliott Jewelers, Terre Haute, IN
  • Why ruin the moment? If it needs to be resized or they bring it in for cleaning, then we will bring the wedding bands up. — Donald Killelea, Killelea Jewelers, Midlothian, IL
  • Too pushy. If you’ve done a good job, the chances are high you’ll get an opportunity down the road. — Bob Goodman, Robert Goodman Jewelers, Zionsville, IN
  • We always let the buyer know that they will receive a discount on their bands as a reward for buying the engagement from us. When we meet the bride-to-be is when we really drive that point home. The guy has forgotten every detail as soon as his feet hit the curb. We feel it’s better to let him get out of the store feeling excited about what he’s about to do and follow up with the bride-to-be a few weeks later. We have over 90 percent conversion on wedding band sales to clients who bought their engagement from us. — Mark Snyder, Snyder Jewelers, Weymouth, MA
  • I should. I get lazy. — Steven B. Goldfarb, Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler, Bellevue, WA
  • Relationships take time to form and evolve. Things should happen in gradual steps. First maybe the engagement ring, next would be a birthday or holiday gift. I should also see her a few times for a cleaning where we can talk about the wedding planning process and than bring up wedding bands, wedding gifts and something borrowed. — Christopher Sarraf, Nuha Jewelers, Plainview, NY

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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David Geller

Here Are a Few Tips You Haven’t Seen to Make the Most of Your Bridal Custom Designs

They’re simple yet brilliant.




IT’S 2019, AND it’s not your daddy’s jewelry store anymore. No more high margins on diamonds. Where’s the money now? The mounting.

Keystone is the goal, and many get it on the mounting, but comparison shopping can make it difficult. That said, the really big problem with selling from the showcase is the amount of inventory you must carry.

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On the other hand, custom designing an engagement ring has many advantages:

  • Higher profit margins
  • You pay for the item after you’ve collected money from the customer.
  • The customer feels like they are directing the process rather than being “sold.”
  • If you share the process of designing their ring with the customer, they will likely share with their friends and family. It’ll be on social media, texts and emails.
  • You can adjust which components go into the ring to more fit their budget.
  • Selling from the showcase has a closing ratio of 30 percent in most stores, but custom design has a closing ratio of 70-80 percent.

The downside? Someone must know how to design the ring, how it comes together and pricing. Training is essential, or having someone specific to sell the ring and lead the customer through the process. Figuring out how to price the item requires particular skills.

Here are some additional tips to make the most of your custom design process:

  • While designing the ring, if you use CAD/CAM, take a snapshot of the model on the screen and send it to the customer, saying something like, “Well, Jim has gotten started on your beautiful design.” If you hand-carve the wax or mill it, take a picture and send by text or email. Same goes for the casting process and another of the jeweler finishing up the ring.
  • When appropriate, send out a handwritten thank-you note.
  • Go to Office Depot and buy a pack of 100 sheets of do-it-yourself business cards. Make yourself a master blank company business card with no logo, just everything else about your store. Take a good picture of their new ring and paste it on the card, then print a sheet of 10 and have it in the envelope when you deliver the ring.

After they “ooh and aah” over the ring, tell them, “I’m glad you love it. You know, we have more customers come in from referrals than anything else and would love for you to refer family and friends. Here are some of our cards.”

Then plop them down on the showcase face up.

They will be so excited that they will not only place one on their refrigerator door, they’ll give them out to friends and show everyone how their ring is on “my jeweler’s business card.”

Isn’t this a fun business?

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