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On Uninvited Sales Reps, Lab-Grown Diamonds, Vendor Betrayal and More of Your Letters from October

See what our readers had to say this month.




Hating Drop-Ins

Sales reps showing up at your store without a phone call or email sent announcing their plans to stop by is unacceptable. I have all respect for traveling salesmen, but this method of just dropping in will do nothing but get you sent right out. What would happen if I showed up at one of my customer’s offices unannounced with a briefcase full of merchandise and expected them to stop what they were doing? They would tell me to get out and not come back. There’s no difference. If traveling sales reps want retailers to respect them, then they need to respect retailers. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX

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Podcast: New Jewelry Store Owner Wilson Lin on Why He’s Opening This Year, of All Years

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Podcast: Larry Rickert on Working From Home and His Last Big Project

Podcast: Larry Rickert on Working From Home and His Last Big Project

Deep Value Naturally

After recently reading a blog from a well-known lab-grown diamond producer about diamond formation, I would agree about one thing. Given the right conditions and sufficient flux of nutrient carbon, natural occurring diamonds can grow to gemological size in hours or days, faster than the lab processes. They are incorrect to say that natural diamonds grow in hours based on the rates of in-lab growth, because both rely on a sufficient flux of carbon. In the earth’s mantle, carbon is present at part per million levels, and it may take eons for sufficient carbon to diffuse to a site of crystallization to form a natural occurring gemological diamond. — Randy Stricklin, GIA GG, Oklahoma City, OK

Time To Go Solo

After 45 years in the ever-changing jewelry business and after spending the last 25 years running and owning my own store, it’s time to go solo and open a design studio. Thank you for the article in a past issue about others going solo — the timing could not have been better! Looking forward to the next chapter, or should I say, next jewel in my crown! — Frank Salinardi, Linardi’s Jewelers, Plantation, FL

Fuzzy Math

As things have slowed down in a lot of stores, wholesalers are tempted to go direct in the hunt for a retail sale. What they don’t seem to take into consideration is that when a store does business with them, that store represents approximately 30 people who have an interest in their product. So when a vendor bypasses that connection, they might pick up a couple of sales, but in reality they lose that 30 (or more) from the store. — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA

Things Change

I’ve had the great fortune of owning my store for 35 years. Things have constantly changed, but the rate of change accelerated since the advent of the Internet and social media. Thanks for supplying the necessary information to consider ways we can all adapt. Keep encouraging us to excel in all phases of our industry. — Ernie Cummings, Kizer Cummings Jewelers, Lawrence, KS

Be Honest

Synthetic diamonds will surely find their place in the market, as have manmade rubies, emeralds and others. Allowing consumers to have choices is what retailing is about, but the bad actors are going to seize the day and will use this opportunity to cheat honest, hard-working people in all aspects of our industry. — Robert Borneman, Diamond Jewelers, Centereach, NY

Reach Out!

We always love to hear from you. Send your Inbox letters to us at [email protected].



Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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