Jeweller vs. Retailer
There are a couple of important occasions in our lives that we want to celebrate and mark with a memorable gift: engagements, marriages, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and so on. Many will seek out a special piece of jewellery to mark the occasion, something beautiful, a gift that will last, and some would even hope for something as unique as their loved one.
So where would one begin to look? The Internet, the retail store or perhaps a jeweller? Those who want to be assured of personal service are unlikely to consider buying online, many expect a jeweller to be too expensive, so most will go straight to the jewellery retail store. But is this really the best and most affordable option?
I have been making jewellery for more than 20 years, and I would like to share my view on this matter.
Retail advertising can be overwhelming and confusing.
You have probably noticed that wherever you go today there will be always BIG SALE. Almost throughout the entire year we see big sales advertised in the windows of big jewellery retail shops. When you enter the shop you will be almost immediately approached by sales person.
With all due respect to all sales people I want to point out to you that the sales person you talk to will not have the knowledge and expertise of a jeweller. The other important thing for you to understand is that if you are looking for something special and different . . . well you are definitely not going to find that in a retail store.
Most shops have almost the same products, same styles, same designs…and you want to be different right?
To be able to offer these great discounts the retailer buys mass produced items from manufacturers whose primary goal is to keep labour and material costs to the minimum.
How about the quality of these products? Isn’t all gold created equal?
Most people are unaware that there is a big difference between gold which has been cast or handmade.
The casting process has been used in the jewellery industry for hundreds of years and even now with advanced technology, cast jewellery will wear faster, be of a poorer quality and less durable. That means your ring will start to lose that beautiful shine and gleam within a few months, the setting will wear quickly and you are more likely to lose stones. These are the most common problems with cast jewellery.
You may wonder why then people still buy jewellery like that and why the shops are still making a profit selling these products?
Most people don’t know any better. The product looks good to them and it sounds like a bargain and that’s all they need to sway their decision. Most people don’t even consider that jewellery suffers wear and tear like any other material.
Most of us don’t stop to question how the stores are able to offer such big discounts.
Have you seen these adverts in shops windows…..50% 60% or 80% off …well we’ve all seen it.
Now if you think that most of the people buy the jewellery from these shops because they are cheap . . . well, you might be right. However, as I will try to explain to you, going to see a real jeweller doesn’t mean you will be paying more for your jewellery, in most of the cases you will be paying less!
When customers come to see me for a consultation they frequently bring a picture, sketch or photo of the jewellery they seen in another shop or magazine. I have never yet been unable to offer my customers a better price than the retail shop where they saw the ring.
Furthermore they can rest assured that the end product will be of better quality and durability, and the stones of a higher grade. Good jewellery requires a minimum standard e.g. the thickness of the shank, the claws and the method of assembly. All this will ensure that your jewellery piece will remain in good condition for longer, and the stones will be secure.
I challenge you to visit a jewellery retail shop and check the thickness of the shank on the bottom of the ring. You are very unlikely to find many a rings with a thickness 1.5mm. The majority of rings will have a 1mm shank, or even less. Thin, easily bent out of shape and even broken. I could give you many more examples, but I will not labour the point. The reality is that when you deal directly with a jeweller, you will get a better product: better quality, better stones and custom made to your specifications and budget – unique, like you and your loved one.
Remember also that some jewellers will accept any old jewellery that you may have as trade in for part payment, and that diamonds can be reused in the new design.
The biggest advantage you have when dealing with a jeweller is that you will be speaking with the craftsman himself and he will be able to answer any questions you may have, give you the best advice, and present you with something uniquely made for you.
I hope that this article has been useful to you and that you will be able to make an informed decision next time you want to purchase a piece of jewellery.
If you have any jewellery enquiries I will be glad to assist you.
Until then …