Having a retail jewelry store gives me opportunity to observe human
behavior. Certain phrases have meaning that are relative to the
perspective of the person who uses the phrase.
I have customers that will ask the price of a piece of jewelry, and
upon hearing the price will exclaim something to the effect that the
piece they like, because of the price, is an indication that they
have good taste.
I have $4000 to $7000 gold and diamond pieces, and the piece
commented about might be a sterling piece is the $200-300 range. The
person making the statement is not making a purchase. They seem to
get something out of the self acknowledgement, usually to a friend
with them. " Oh, wouldn’t you know it, I have such good taste!"
Apparently self acknowledgement of what good taste you have without
being able to acquire what you admire is enough mental satisfaction.
I am surprised that some customers do not take cell phone pictures
and go around showing their friends what they admired. Perhaps they
might have a scrapbook of things they admire that shows what good
taste they have. Something to leave to the kids.
None of my customers who spend big bucks ever comment on their good
taste in the process of selecting an item for purchase, or after
making the purchase. I can understand making a statement “That is a
fine piece” when a piece is of high quality.
In 21 years I have never had a customer use the term, fine jewelry,
and I have not as I think it is a useless term.
There are three jewelry companies that advertize on the radio that
they have the largest selection, the best diamonds, designs that you
can only get from them…
What I am saying is that who is using the term is usually trying to
impress with what they got. If what is most important to you is some
combination of design skill and/or craftsmanship, that is what you
If you think your audience will respond to “fine jewelry”, usually
it ain’t, like J.C. Penny “Fine Jewelry” for $99.
As far as why this gets discussed, from the responses, the term has
so many different meanings to different people that it is
meaningless. What is the difference between fine jewelry and fine
art? If you go to any art gallery, they display fine art as defined
by the criteria that serves the gallery for the audience they
perceive as the customer base they hope to sell to. I do not think
there are many fine art galleries that advertize their fine art as
$300 pieces of art marked down to $99.
Fine dining has a meaning, fine art has a meaning, fine jewelry, not
Richard Hart G.G.