When a client asks for something, they are (ultimately) looking for
your best advice.
Those clients eager to spend dearly in order to have the item they
desire are seldom thinking about the long term, but will love you
when they realize just how far their pieces might go.
It is our responsibility as tradespeople to inform them of the risks
in daily wear, and to provide alternatives when possible, and when
and if necessary.
I call it “the caveats”. A well informed client will be at peace
with the producer if all of the risks of possible failure have been
To be motivated to make the asked-for piece solely by the money
involved. all wrong. Ultimately, you will lose that client. Negative
referrals won’t grow your business.
Pearls do not belong in rings unless the purchaser is fully apprised
that there must be great care exercised during daily wear. This will
not likely happen…
Of course, the resulting wear is going to make pearls rarer. the
ones you supply will be destroyed over time and will need to be
replaced. You, unfortunately, didn’t make the pearl. When the pearl
is destroyed, you will be forgotten unless you were the one who gave
the dire warnings. You wont need to be forgiven, and, surely, you
won’t be forgotten. You may be able to supply another.
Same thing with tanzanite, or any other relatively soft or
scuff-able material. The client needs to know the risks. If the
piece holding the pearl is well-made, another pearl can be supplied
and all will be good for another 6 months!
The cash 4 gold guys have done very well, with people trashing
jewellery they were not satisfied with, and the producer trade has
suffered because the “temporary satisfaction” clients have received
terrible service from companies working under the direction of
accountants and MBAs, who are fully behind “disposable” jewellery.
If someone receives a gift of jewellery during a significant
milestone in their lives, it is disturbing to think that they would
cash4gold it a few years later because of an immanent failure that
they were not properly apprised of.
“Flash for Cash” is the worst business model, ever. Cash4gold is
appalling in how they attract people away from the trade and toward
disposal of the handworks of a good number of North American
goldsmiths. Who wants to see their work trashed for 20 cents on the
dollar? It can’t be a good thing.
Let’s go back to longevity.
There is an expectation among electronics buyers that their
purchases will be obsolete within 3 years. We all get that.
Not so for first time jewellery buyers. Their expectations are more
linked with longevity. If you are going to chase higher-end clients,
or first timers that are on their way to becoming high-end, both you
and they need to know that great works from the human hands will
survive millennia if cared for. or even not cared for… dug out of
the ground 6000 years later and still bearing the marks of the
maker… can you imagine?
I recently made a second visit to The Schmuckmuseum" in Pforzheim,
Germany, where an exhibition of both ancient and modern items of
adornment are displayed, and I must tell you that longevity trumps
all the possibility of the mountains of instant cash we might
fantasize about in our approach to marketing. Chase the possibility