When on a diet, you might not keep to the diet 100%, but every salad you have is a step in the right direction. It’s the same with ethically sourced gold and gems! Your whole store might not be “green”, but why not one showcase? I think the problem is that the mining and sourcing problems seem so big that jewelers are too paralyzed to do anything. You don’t need to save the planet, but each responsible gem you buy is one step closer to a healthier world.
Baby Step #1 – You personally need to believe in all the good gold, diamonds and gems do for the world. Too often we hear the negative claims of blood diamonds. What we need to do to combat this is tell the world all the good that gems and diamonds do. If you don‘t believe, your customers never will. The truth is, no industry is perfect, but jewelry helps a lot of people, so learn, read, see and convince your heart all the good jewelry does and you will sell more of it.
Baby Step #2 – Meet the people already dealing in ethically sourced gold and gems. You are not convinced that gold and diamonds are really great for the world? You are scared to claim diamonds or jewelry as responsible or conflict free because in your heart you are not really sure. Well you can be sure! How? By talking to and meeting the suppliers on the front lines. Call the gold, diamond, and gem suppliers who are out there every day making a real difference. They can share with you all the good that is being done in our industry. E-mail email@example.com to be put in contact with these heros.
Baby Step #3 – Pick one ethically sourced supplier and buy one piece of jewelry, one gem or some fairtrade gold. #GoldtoBeProudof, #RealGemsRealPeople, #ResponsibleJewelry. Wouldn‘t it be cool to use these hashtags in your media? You can. It’s not hard. Baby step #3 is pick one responsible source and connect. This is how humans learn and grow. Through connections with other people. Connect with a supplier doing the right thing and then you can show your customers where your jewelry comes from. Your customers will feel more connected as well.
Your customers want this! People care what they put on their bodies. They want to connect with the jewelry they are buying and they are willing to pay more for it. A study by The NPD Group (www.npd.com) found that 76% of consumers would pay more for a product they know is socially responsible. 50% of the large polled group would pay 20% more for such a product. Young customers today buy with their hearts. They care where gems come from. Take one baby step to care too and you will reach the hearts of more customers.
Baby Step #4 – Give. The best thing is to buy from suppliers doing the right thing, but at the very least, if you just want to do something, give a donation to one of these great organizations. This can help you big time as well. By giving, you can tell customers you “support” responsibly sourced gold and gems. Here are some links of places you can support: www.Ethicalmetalsmiths.org, www.jewelryindustrysummit.com, www.hooverandstrong.com, www.pactworld.org.
Baby Step #5 – This one is a secret trick. Shhhh. The secret? Handouts! You say your customers don’t care about the earth or where gems come from. Well then at least you should have a hand out ready for those who do. Signet (Kay & Zales) has a hand out they give customers showing they support responsibly sourced gold and gems. If Zales has this on hand, shouldn’t you?
So why do all this? Because it could be a good source of new, younger customers. Most young people care where products come from. They don’t always act on those feelings because it‘s hard for them to tell what is a responsible source. If you make it easy for them to feel good about your jewelry, it will help your sales.
Jewelry is 100% emotion. If you can make your customers feel good, you will sell more jewelry. I think the most compelling reason to try to be more responsible is personal. Don’t you want to feel good about what you sell? You can save the world, and it starts by just taking one baby step.
Aleah Arundale is a 3rd generation GIA Graduate Gemologist, a 5th generation jeweler turned loose diamond wholesaler and the founder of the immensely popular Jewelers Helping Jewelers Facebook page. Selling diamonds on the road lets her share great ideas from hundreds of different jewelers from all over the country. Sign up for her Jewelry Sales Tips Newsletter by e-mailing her at Aleah@olympiandiamonds.com or calling 800-882-8900. “We are all in this jewelry business together, lets help each other!”