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Disclosure - Tucson 2002


#1

All, Tucson, AZ Gemshows are a wonderful experience to listen and
learn from all the different players in the gem and jewelry field. I
probably had the expert advice of over 500 different dealers in my
two weeks behind the counter. Dealers from many countries and
everywhere from independent jewelers with general jewelry stores, to
independent jewelers with exclusive galleries, to one person jewelers
operating out of their closet. I talked to almost all of them about
disclosure of gemstone treatments and how disclosure effects sales.
Here are a few of the common comments I heard from this mixed group.

  1. Full disclosure of all possible treatments a gemstone could have
    been subject too and the fragility of the gemstone results in loss of
    sales. They specifically noted tanzanite and apatite.

  2. Nobody really knows what treatments a gemstone has been subject
    too.

  3. They almost all wished that the court case would have been
    settled out of court and the issue were handled internally within
    the jewelry industry.

  4. They did not trust gemology reports, from any lab. Especially
    when it came to treatments of corundum and emerald.

  5. They did not trust appraisals, from any appraiser. Especially
    when it came to appraisal of finished jewelry they were accepting
    responsibility for the repair.

Gerry Galarneau —


#2
 Full disclosure of all possible treatments a gemstone could have
been subject too and the fragility of the gemstone results in loss
of sales. They specifically noted tanzanite and apatite. 

I have said this before but it obviously needs restating. Full
disclosure of gemstone treatments does NOT result in the loss of
sales. We have been disclosing gemstone treatments for more than 15
years and, if anything, it has increased our sales because it makes
customers aware of the ethical standards of our business. I would
venture to say that most people might think that it would cost sales
but only because they haven’t actually gone about doing it. When
approached in an educated, straightforward manner it is actually an
effective sales technique.

As for the fragile nature of this is a real problem, but
not an insurmountable one. We have found that when consumers are
properly informed of the risks, and the options, that they will
either opt for an alternative (we find purple sapphire to be a
reasonable alternative to tanzanite and I know that some people
suggest iolite) or will redirect their thinking (maybe I should get a
tanzanite pendant instead of a ring) in an effective manner.

If you are losing sales because of these issues then it has to do
with the way you are approaching it, not the customer’s unwillingness
to buy.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-491-6000
@spirersomes
www.spirersomes.com