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FL Retailer Writes Of Every Jeweler’s Frustration In Newspaper Essay June 14, 2021 (0 comments)


Marco Island, FL—Jeweler Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and the owner of Harbor Goldsmith, a jewelry store on Marco Island. He’s also the author of the “All That Glitters” column in Coastal Breeze News. His columns take on everything from common-sense jewelry repair to his thoughts on the Internet and more. Image, Richard Alan submitted to Coastal Breeze News

His column of course is consumer-facing but any jeweler—indeed every jeweler—probably can relate to his writing. From his "Internet-Nonsense" column:

“I get inquiries on the phone or better yet in person from folks who surf the internet for days and even weeks gathering information about precious gemstones, diamonds, jewelry or the type or brand of watch they are interested in buying. They just want to pick my brain (aka…waste my valuable time) and ask my advice on which website store has the best deal. The ones who physically come in the store have a stack of papers with information that compares different companies and pricing on expensive diamonds. They ask me why is this one and that one-and-a-half carat diamond that is G color and near flawless color so much cheaper or more expensive than another company or different from the price that I’m asking for that matter?”

Raise your hand if you’ve also gotten calls from those not-quite-customers.

Recently, in a column titled “Precious and Few,” Alan tells of a call he got from a customer seeking a six-carat diamond with very specific color and clarity parameters. Of course, that’s not easy to find, but if he could, it would potentially be the biggest sale of his lifetime, probably between $900,000 and $1 million. 

After tapping his diamond network, he found a stone that matched the request, in Israel. The dealer sent digital video that proved it was, indeed, exquisite, writes Alan. He notified the customer that he could have it within a week—delivered by private courier, at Alan’s expense—and best of all, it wouldn’t cost quite as much as he’d thought.

Alas, the customer replied that she had found one from “another source” at "considerably less," and if he could either meet the price or also find a cheaper stone, she’d buy it from him.

Alan didn’t bite. He thanked her politely and wished her well.

What would you do?

He went on in the column to explain that most people don’t really understand diamond value, even if they have researched it. Two-caraters are the most often requested size in his shop, he wrote, but fewer than 20% of customers realize that it’s a price commitment between $12,000 and the high $20,000s. He also explained that rubies, emeralds, and sapphires also can be even more expensive than diamonds.

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