by Don Kellett
This past May marked my 22nd year in the jewelry industry. I clearly recall that first day, and my first sale. I was green behind the ears and so excited to help people with some of the most important gifts of their lifetimes: engagements, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations and so many more special moments.
The jewelry industry has changed since then. Yellow gold was king, marquise diamonds were the center stone to wear, and an S-link tennis bracelet would have been the gift to give a loved one. Twenty-two years later, white gold is king, an ideal-cut round diamond is the center stone to wear, and an Alex and Ani or SoHo bracelet is now the gift to give.
As the tastes of our clients have changed, so have the selections we offer. We evolved, we listened, and we learned. The client is the only reason we are here, so evolving with the client was a necessary (and easy) choice for us.
But while the jewelry industry was evolving, the world itself was also changing by leaps and bounds. Society moved from hopping in the car and driving to shop at the mall, to hopping on the couch and sitting at home in our pajamas at 3am, looking to the Internet for information on that next item we want. Notice I said “looking for information on that next item we want.” The perception is that online shopping is the end of brick-and-mortar shopping.
According to U.S. government information, only 7% of all retail was purchased online in the U.S. in 2014. As humans, we have a desire for instant gratification. Right now, your local brick-and-mortar is still the only way to satisfy that desire. And when it comes to jewelry, there’s more at stake.
Buying a diamond is unlike any other purchase you will ever make. When giving jewelry as a gift, you are expressing your love for that person, not just in the moment you give it, but for as long as that person wears it. Jewelry is a lifetime investment. You can spend $100 on a piece of jewelry today and that item is still being worn 25 or 30 years later.
Homes are bought and sold, cars come and go, and anything else you buy just wears out. But a diamond will be as bright as the day you picked it out, throughout your lifetime and beyond. The longevity of a diamond warrants choosing your diamond by hand, not from a list on a website with a photo. Each diamond is unique and the only way to experience the brilliance is to see it in person.
I have bought and sold diamonds for 22 years and not once have I purchased or sold a diamond picked from a list or photo off the Internet. There is zero percent chance of knowing what the product will look like. Diamonds are just impossible to pick compared to just about anything else you could shop for online.
The lesson here is: do your research online, if you want, but then find a local jeweler like Jack Lewis when you’re ready to make your purchase. We’ve been doing this a long time, and we’re happy to pool your online research with our decades of experience and expertise to find the perfect piece of jewelry. So sure, educate yourself first online, but then enjoy the fun of picking out something wonderful, one of a kind, and from your hand to theirs.