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Price of color-enhanced stones


#1

Was: “Lets Get Yurman”

Ed,

I wasn’t thinking of diffusion-but I was thinking of stones like
topaz, sapphires, chalcedony, quartz, etc that get enhanced
routinely. Would a clear or yellow/brown topaz sell as readily as a
blue topaz? My guess is a flat “no”. In topaz’s case, the coloration
makes the value of the stone.

If a stone really and truly is a stunning color, such a rare orange
diamond, or a true padparasha, then by all means the value of that
stone should be higher.

However, given that stones have been treated for coloration for
centuries, my contention is that the seller (whether of the stone
before it’s used in jewelery, or the retailer selling the jewelry)
should be honest and educate the buyer as to what they are buying. If
the buyer is willing to pay the price after being educated, then
logic states the demand determines the market value, doesn’t it?

This leads to the question of other treatments that affect "deeper"
qualities of a stone, and those I don’t agree with in hiking up
pricing, such as lasering a diamond, or the “Yehuda” diamonds.

In the case of David Yurman-his strength is his marketing. Through
his marketing practices, he has turned his name into an icon of
desirable jewelry among the semi-wealthy (and apparently
semi-uneducated when it comes to jewelry, in my opinion). I don’t
know that his high prices are as related to hiking up prices on
colored stones as much as it is hiking up prices because he’s
slapping his name on a piece of jewelry.

Regards,
Miachelle


#2
However, given that stones have been treated for coloration for
centuries, my contention is that the seller (whether of the stone
before it's used in jewelery, or the retailer selling the jewelry)
should be honest and educate the buyer as to what they are buying.
If the buyer is willing to pay the price after being educated, then
logic states the demand determines the market value, doesn't it? 

I would be surprised if any of the people who sell David Yurman’s
jewelry at department stores know what the concept of disclosure is.
I doubt if they know what a diffusion sapphire is.

Richard Hart


#3
I would be surprised if any of the people who sell David Yurman's
jewelry at department stores know what the concept of disclosure
is. I doubt if they know what a diffusion sapphire is.

Now, Richard there is no reason to be so doubtful! In my tenure with
Nordstrom we sold a ton of Yurman, and it never hurt my sales of
custom work.

But it was part of my job to do the sales associate training. Many of
the sales associates had completed GIA certificate programs. The same
was true when I worked as a consultant to the Neiman Marcus Precious
Jewelry division. The sales associates at high-end retailers take
their product knowledge very seriously and work hard to keep their
companies in compliance with federal regulations concerning gemstone
treatment disclosure. I even know several employees of Costco who had
to complete their G.G. to keep their jobs in the jewelry department.
So many big retailers are aware of disclosure.

I can’t speak on the product knowledge of the staff at Wal-Mart but
anyone shopping for fine jewelry there deserves whatever they get.

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228


#4
there is no reason to be so doubtful! In my tenure with Nordstrom
we sold a ton of Yurman, and it never hurt my sales of custom work. 

It was my personal experience, a sales person mis-identified a
gemstone in a piece that my wife was looking at in the fine jewelry
boutique at Nordstrom’s.

We knew it was a tourmaline. Sales person called it a ruby. It was
not a Yurman piece.

Perhaps I am cynical, but I was not surprised that the sales person
did not know the difference.

Richard Hart


#5

Well, the product knowledge of one manager at Wal-Mart was nil. She
tried to tell me that a crystal and a cz are one in the same. When I
explained to her that I am a GG and would like to tell her the
difference. She said she could care less and did not have to listen,
turned, and walked away. It took me 5 minutes to initially get her
attention on a silver piece that would have been nice for an
inexpensive gift. This was the worst treatment I have every had in a
store. The only way Wal-Mart can survive with that coveted number 1
slot is by shear price. They get an F- in customer service and
staff. I know, I am a professor of Management.

Eva


#6

This company is going to be the ruin of our economy. There 'best’
prices helps to perpetuate low wages for their staff, who get no
health care, not even 40 hours a week. Why would you espect the poor
person who has to work there to give you polite service? They are
wage slaves, I know, I know, it is a job. But have you ever been a
wage slave? I have, it is hell. Life isn’t worth much if you have to
chase every dime and nickel to pay the bills. Thank goodness I can
afford to shop elsewhere and I don’t mind paying a few cents or
dollars more for something that I probably don’t really need, so
that some one can get a better wage for their toil. It is like going
to a resturant and seeing someone leave a dollor for a meal for 4 or
5 people that cost maybe that servers entire weeks wages without
tips. It is cruel. I hope that you will think about shopping
somewhere else, that doesn’t under mine your local community. Sorry
to preach, it isn’t meant meanly or with any judgement on you.
Everyone has bills to pay, I understand.

dennis


#7

Well, the product knowledge of one manager at Wal-Mart was nil.

OK, I’ve held off long enough. I’ve got to ask:

1 - Why, on a forum populated by INDEPENDENT jewelers, craftspeople,
and jewelry store owners, would you post about going to Wal-Mart for
jewelry for a gift? Especially in light of all the silversmithing
talk that takes place here!

2 - Why, as a GG, would you go to Wal-Mart for jewelry?

3 - Why would you think that an employee, who was probably stocking
underwear the hour before, knows anything about jewelry at all?

Of course your experience was terrible. Did you really expect
anything else?

Matthew Crawford
www.MatthewDesigns.com