Last updateTue, 22 May 2018 10pm

The Story Behind the Stone: Keeping it personal


Consumers are more savvy than ever. They value shop today, and the jewelry items they self-purchase or give as gifts must be meaningful. When jewelry was first made centuries ago, all adornment was highly individual with the owner in mind. Because that one item was made with just one person in mind.

Pendants from Sarah Graham’s Fingerprint Collection.
We’ve come full circle now after years of high volume manufacture. Collectors at every price point want their jewelry to mean something - make a statement about themselves.

The Signature Piece - that’s the item with the most sentiment attached to it, and your consumers will pick it up time and again like calling an old friend.

Find What Is Meaningful to Your Customers

As a retailer, the individual and one-offs are how your clientele separate your store from the rest. It’s why they are loyal. How can you deliver that individualized item to your customer that will have more meaning as years go by?

Rare & Exotic

Today’s consumers are looking for gemstones that are out of the ordinary. Exotic and rare are bandied around, and gems can be both. Or not. Exotic usually means a gem that has yet to reach the mainstream. It can be a new find, or an obscure stone that has not been utilized as adornment until now. Rare is just that - not much of it available. Maybe there are few deposits around the world that produce the stone.

Not all rare and exotic gemstones are costly. So you can add unusual stones to your inventory and entice your customers who want something ‘else.’ Exotics usually have a story-telling opportunity for you; making you all the more valuable to your clients by sharing your expertise.

Author and gemologist, Renee Newman’s just released book, “Rare Gemstones” is a great place to start looking for the out of the ordinary stones that might be great for your customers.

Bead it Up

Consumers can actually make their own jewelry items by the choices they select from charm beads at your store. Most collectors add one or two at a time to a bracelet or necklace, resulting in a one-off, since no two people will ever end up with the same combination, unless they assembled them on purpose together.

Jewelry artist Sarah Graham is on to something with her highly individualized jewelry. All of her designs take a fresh twist, and have special appeal to those with an artistic taste. But now she’s created a collection called “Fingerprint Collection.” Jewelry fans place a fingerprint of a loved one - a baby or child’s finger print is especially treasured - which gets cast in metal and becomes an integral part of the necklace or other item.

This type of thoughtful jewelry will become more treasured as time goes by - rather than relegated to the back of the jewelry case.

Whatever items you select to make your jewelry more tantalizing to your clientele, make sure you think of them as an individual. Display an interesting array for them to choose from - something that can be personalized just for them.

Award winning trade journalist and gemologist Diana Jarrett is also a Registered Master Valuer Appraiser and a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA). She’s a popular speaker at conferences and trade shows. Jarrett writes for trade and consumer publications, various online outlets, and for sightholders and other industry leaders.. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit her website, www.dianajarrett.com, and/or follow her on FaceBook and Twitter (Loupey).