Philadelphia-based GN Diamond has kept its focus on an exclusive clientele – independent retail jewelers – for over 35 years. The company understands its success is tied to the success of its customers.
Early on, GN recognized the retail landscape was changing, and changing fast. So they went to work to create tools and resources to help independents overcome their pain points, identify points of distinction to compete with internet sellers and big box stores, and sell more diamonds in the ever-evolving retail environment.
We recently talked with GN CEO Asaf Herskovitz to get his take on the state of the industry, what the future holds and how GN can help independents succeed.
1. What are you hearing from retailers across the country about the overall climate?
A. Quite surprising and happy to say retailers are learning to adapt to this new selling environment. Some stores have a private section to show diamonds with glass partitions, others utilize masks on the sales floor, but overall sales have been encouraging for loose diamonds as well as diamond jewelry. What I am really excited about is that customers are using our diamond journey so that they can easily text and email the links to loved ones for help with their diamond buying decision making. In addition, there is a lot more opportunity in the luxury market for jewelry sales as people are not spending money on travel and large items like furniture where they must go into a large showroom.
2. What does GN Diamond offer independent jewelers that is unique and why do they like to continue to do business with you?
A. Our 100% guarantee has grown in popularity since its inception in 2019. On most diamonds and diamond jewelry, exclusive of close outs, we do offer a full exchange of your purchase with any upgraded purchase. GIA diamonds are exchanged for GIA, EGL USA for EGL USA and finished jewelry for finished jewelry. This gives retailers greater confidence with upgrades, stock purchases, and unfortunate divorces.
3. What services does GN Diamond offer for independent jewelers to facilitate sales to their clients?
A. GN speaks with over 2500 retailers on a daily basis. During this pandemic the biggest obstacle is having loved ones not feel comfortable to accompany a relative who may come into a store when shopping for diamonds. This extra advice and nod of approval may be very comforting especially for this special lifelong diamond purchase.
GN Diamond has created a link that may be texted, emailed or QR scanned to share with consumers that easily shows a 360 degree of the diamond, the diamond certification, the light brilliancy and how bright the diamond is, and an extra security feature called gemprint. These are all easily viewed on a cell phone, iPad, or laptop and may assist in the decision making process. We have also learned from retailers that this shortens the instore sales process, helps close more sales and gives the jeweler a major point of distinction against local competition and on-line competition. It has also increased the amount of referrals retailers are receiving.
4. Can a jeweler have their own inventory with your diamonds on their website?
A. Yes. In addition, you can have mark-ups of your choice also added for all loose diamonds.
5. I have heard through many webinars about your 4 Cs presentation, can you tell us more about this feature?
A. GN Diamond has created an easy to use, simplified way for retailers to show their clients the 4Cs of diamond buying. It is an interactive tool that simply shows why every color and clarity may seem brighter or duller or may appear cleaner or more included than another. It stresses how important it is to purchase diamonds from the brick and mortar store instead of online. The presentation also explains the rarity and the uniqueness of diamonds that are over a billion years old.
GN likes to use the analogy of choosing a unique loved one with a unique diamond. Your loved one has unique characteristics, possibly brown hair and brown eyes, both unique characteristics that you fell in love with, just like diamonds are unique even if they have the same color and clarity.
6. You offer Gemprint registration, what is this and how does it benefit the end consumer?
A. Gemprint is the world’s most sophisticated, noninvasive, positive identification technology that records the unique optical ‘thumbprint’ of each diamond. Consumers love it because they will receive up to a 10% discount off of their annual insurance premium when insuring their diamond with participating companies. This helps close the gap when end consumers are trying to negotiate.
7. What have you seen to be hot sellers in the industry since the reopening of stores across the country?
A. Diamond studs have come back strongly. We’ve seen all sizes, but many stores have reported that customers are using their stimulus money to purchase 1 carat, 2 carat and even larger diamond studs.
With regards to loose diamonds, we are seeing an uptick in 2 – 3 carats G-J color and SI2s in round brilliants. Additionally, fancy shaped ovals, pears and now emeralds are selling!
8. What kind of training, if any, do you offer retailers and their staff?
A. Every day at least one of our experienced sales associates is conducting a training session with stores. We do anywhere from 4 to 40 trainings per day. We offer one on one training via Facetime, Zoom, or GoToMeeting sessions. We also can provide group training for newer sales associates or the well-seasoned associate who just wants a little refresher or new tips on how to sell diamonds with the latest GN Diamond technology. GN has found that our new technology and unique diamond links are so easy to use that retailers of all ages are using these tools. We are happy to see clients of all ages, 25 to 70+, become adept and easily embrace the new way which diamonds are presented and sold. In addition, we are constantly listening to any obstacles or challenges our retailers face and adapt our technology to overcome any possible issues faced by our loyal retail customers.
9. You utilize light performance reports assist diamond sales,what is that?
A. GN Diamond sends all of our diamonds out to a 3rd party company that evaluates how much light a diamond emits. The brightness and light performance of the diamond is extremely important. With this report card, it helps retailers show why one diamond of the same color and clarity may look completely different than another simply by having one diamond outshine another with similar characteristics. The light performance is shown in our 4Cs presentation and, once again, proves to be an excellent tool for retailers to explain to their customers how difficult it is to simply buy a diamond off of the internet based upon size, color, clarity and price. We are seeing wonderful results even against local competition, not just the internet.