Top 10 Things to Avoid when Interviewing your Jeweler
Top 10 Things to Avoid When Looking for a Jeweler
When looking to buy a gold ring or a diamond necklace, most of the time, that is going to be a major purchase. So of course, you would want to make sure that you are getting the jewelry from a legitimate source or store, ensuring that the jeweler you are working with is a trained, tenured professional who knows what he or she is doing. This is much easier to do now in the age of information. In the past, the jewelry industry was dominated largely by a smoke and mirrors modus operandi. This treatment of clients “on a need to know basis” kept unknowing clients in the dark regarding jewelry education and the real way the diamond world operates. This in turn, led to outrageous profit margins and a general lack of transparency in the retail jewelry world. Clients paid too much without even knowing it. Well, it is my aim, no my moral obligation to you as the client, as fellow decent human beings, to offer these tips when looking for a jeweler. What exact things to avoid when you begin your search for an honest family jeweler that you can work with and trust 100%.
Finding the Right Jeweler
So how would you go about getting that assurance, the peace of mind of knowing you are I good hands and that you will not be taken? Well, there are really hundreds. But I’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 red flags to look out for when searching for your family jeweler for you to tell whether your jeweler is trustworthy or not. I truly hope this assists you in your journey for the perfect ring and your forever family jeweler.
Top 10 things to Avoid When Interviewing a Jeweler.
1.Rude and standoffish attitude/behavior.
Most times, an educated jeweler will be calm, kind, and helpful. Educated business people know that, to make sure the client trusts them, they need to be inviting, approachable, and easy to talk to. In fact, even when the client is not in the best of moods when looking for something to buy, the jeweler must keep calm and be understanding of the client, practicing empathy at all time. The number one driving force in the salesman’s mind should be truly helping the client-contribution, not sales and profits. If the salesperson is not in a mindset of contribution, they become frustrated their judgment becomes cloudy. This lack of empathy and true intention for the client’s well-being will make the salesman appear standoffish and unapproachable. In short, when looking for a jeweler, try to look out for this factor and by all means, do not work with someone like this. If your gut instinct tells you the salesperson is not practicing the Golden Rule (treat others as you would like to be treated) walk away. No, RUN AWAY!
2.Limited information given during the sales presentation.
It is normal for a jewelry salesperson to speak with the client to suggest some ideas as to which piece they should purchase, and why. When your jeweler does this, pay close attention to what they are saying, and how much information they are giving you about the product that they are pitching to you. A true professional jeweler will be happy to give you all the information you need about any piece that they are trying to sell you, even some information that you did not know you needed. They’ll tell you where the raw materials for the piece came from, how it was processed and made, where it was made, why it has that price tag on it, and many more small yet vital pieces of information that you would need to know about the product you are about to buy. In most cases, they will even hand you that kind of information without you having to ask for it. That’s professional client care. The jewelry professional has plenty of product knowledge to share and will share their knowledge, empowering the client to make the right decision based on the right information, not half-truths and misinformation. I have witnessed this first hand and I am appalled at the general void of product knowledge and training in the retail jewelry world. You have to go to medical school to become a doctor or a teacher. But the person that helps you with one of the most important milestones of your life (the purchase of your engagement ring) is not required to have any formal training whatsoever. Crazy time…
2. No/limited product knowledge.
If someone claims to be a trained jeweler, it is imperative that they have full knowledge of the products they are selling. One of the things to look out for when dealing with a jeweler is their knowledge of what they are selling. You’ll know if someone is trained by the way they answer your questions. Let’s say you’re looking to buy a diamond engagement ring. You ask the jeweler what kind of cut the diamond has, or what its color grading is, and they don’t know what it is or they say something but sound rather unsure of their answer to you. Walk away. A jeweler with a limited knowledge of jewelry is not someone to be trusted with your money.
4. No Gemological Education.
Pro-tip: always ask every question that pops into your head when talking to a jeweler. Curious people; those who ask questions, tend to learn more about things than those who just try to keep quiet when they don’t know something. Do not worry about anything at all. Don’t worry that they might think you don’t what you’re talking about, or that they might laugh at you, or that they might say you’re asking too many questions or that you’re insulting them by questioning their knowledge and education on their business. If they do, that just shows how unprofessional they are, and you’ll know that you need to walk away from that store.
Start the conversation about Diamonds 101: the 4Cs. A jeweler who is educated and trained in their field of business will answer those questions with confidence and ease. On the other hand, a jeweler who doesn’t have any formal training will try to avoid those questions and avert your attention elsewhere. Even buying a piece of jewelry can turn into a learning opportunity, which makes the whole experience enjoyable and fun! Always remember that. Moreover, one of the things you can learn by asking questions is how much the jeweler you are talking to knows about his business, and how much education and formal training he/she has in order to have a certain level of competence and sense of authority.
5. Not being super clear about the specifics of the jewelry that they’re selling.
If you’ve watched our 4C’s video from GIA or read our blog about the 4C’s of diamond value, then you know that each of the 4C’s of diamonds has a very specific grading system. However, some sketchy jewelry merchants, when doing their sales pitch to you, just hoping to get your money, will say that a certain diamond’s color grading is good because it’s near-colorless, within the range of G-H color grades, or that its clarity is somewhere between VS1 to VS2. It might sound like it makes sense, but it’s a lie. For every single one of the 4C’s of diamonds, the grade has to be SPECIFIC, not “within a range”. Walk away from anyone who says otherwise.
6. Unfair premiums for different metals.
A good example of this is when jewelers sell white gold for 90% more than yellow gold, or selling platinum for 300% more than gold. That is not a fair premium at all, and is considered overpricing. Jewelers oftentimes rely on the idea of perception of value rather than cold, hard facts. Even though platinum is heavier than gold, the current international spot price of gold is higher than platinum. Granted, platinum is almost double the weight of gold. However, that still does not justify the price gauging. To be updated on the latest prices of different precious metals, you can visit goldprice.org or kitco.com. Jewelers are famous for their practice of “hidden fees.” This is the real killer. These fees quickly add up and most of the time they are not needed and made up to increase profit margin. I call BS on this 1000%
7. Lack of transparency and full disclosure in their sales presentation.
When a jeweler employs the smoke-and-mirrors tactic on their sales presentation to you to keep from you as much information about the product as possible, that’s how you know that you need to walk away from them. When a jeweler isn’t transparent towards you in their presentation, it is probable they just want your money, and they want to get as much of it from you as possible, even more than what’s fair. Just walk away from those people.
8. Highly aggressive sales tactics.
When someone tells you “The price I’m giving you on this diamond ring is only good for today”, DO NOT trust them. This tactic is unethical and wrong, used not only by jewelers, but by countless merchants, traders, and business owners all over the world. If someone tells you this, you should run away. Diamonds are not running out any time soon and you should purchase a diamond when the time is right for you, not the salesperson…
9. Does not have a crystal-clear policy about conflict-free diamonds.
Ask your jeweler if they sell lab-created diamonds. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. There are a lot of conflict diamonds out there (even with the advent of the Kimberly Process, etc.) The fact of the matter is, people are becoming more and more aware of the harmful effects on the Earth that any type of mining has. There is absolutely no certain way of ascertaining whether a mined diamond, no matter from what mine, is not a blood diamond. At Angelucci Jewelry, we only sell lab-created diamonds and we provide paperwork as proof. Ask them how they can guarantee that the diamonds they’re selling are not blood diamonds.
10. Interview your jeweler.
Like I mentioned a few times above, always ask questions. Never be afraid of asking questions. It’s how you’ll know if the person you’re dealing with is a legitimate jeweler or not. If with your gut or instinct you feel that, without a shadow of a doubt, the jeweler does not have YOUR best interest in mind, simply don’t do business with them. Because in the end, it is you, the client, who has the last say. Always you.
JEWELRY EDUCATION AND ANGELUCCI JEWELRY
Education is empowerment, and knowledge is power. It is our solemn vow at Angelucci Jewelry to arm and empower all our clients about true jewelry education, because we care. And if you want to build your very own ring fashioned from your own design, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can also book a friendly and informative virtual diamond consultation over zoom at: calendly.com/angeluccijewelry. We will assist you and guide you to the perfect ring every step of the way!
Our motto is simple: Love your clients, treat them well and you will have a client for life! Anima e Luce. Soul and light. This is the Heart and Soul of Angelucci Jewelry. What we do is tell the truth and guide our clients to the sensible choice for them not for us. This is what all sales transactions should be, a meeting point where both parties get what they want and feel great about the deal!!! Do some homework. Educate yourself. If it feels wrong, it probably it. Conversely, if it feels right, it is right!