Aside from choosing the style or design, in the process of selecting your engagement or wedding ring you’re also deciding who to buy your jewelry from. Today’s jewelry market includes a mix of both mass market and small independent jewelers; each of which will have their own specific methods of making and selling jewelry, and their own level of customer care. Whereas a mass market retailer may have more stores on an average main street, sourcing an independent jeweler can be much more beneficial, for your shopping experience, budget, and quality.
Of course, one essential factor to consider when buying an engagement or wedding ring is the overall cost. How much will the craftsmanship cost? The price of the stones? And how long will it take to make? The primary benefit of choosing to buy from a family owned jeweler is the transparency with pricing and expected time frames. Whereas a major retailer will offer many off-the-shelf products and perhaps some limited customization, many of the products sold are bought with high margins to support the stores and a hefty marketing budget, rather than being an exact cost of the materials used, and craftsmanship involved. You can expect that an item of jewelry bought from a major retailer to have a mark up of anywhere from 300%-500%; meaning most of what you’re paying for is probably magazine advertising, shop overheads, and staffing, and not the jewelry itself. Independent family-owned jewelers don’t have massive marketing budgets to support, and so ultimately the margins are much fairer to you; the customer. There are still small business overheads to manage – shop spaces and staff aren’t free – however, you can be sure that buying from a family owned store means getting much more jewelry for your buck.
A significant advantage of choosing a family owned jeweler means a much higher level of craftsmanship and quality. Whereas a big retailer will be focusing on turnover and large sales, smaller boutiques tend to champion quality over quantity, taking care and attention over every order. By focusing on the details, jewelry made by an independent store will always be of a higher standard than any alternative you could find in a major main street store. This may mean having to wait slightly longer for your finished jewelry, but we can assure you that it will be worth the wait for the superior quality and finish.
The best thing about dealing with an independent business is that they are run by real people, and not board directors or algorithms. As a result, when you visit your local jeweler, you can expect to speak to the people who founded or run the company, possibly even the owner themselves. Whoever you talk to, chances are they have been working at the company for a long time, and are invested in the company at a fundamental level. This level of personalism gives authenticity and trust, and a very open level of customer interaction that big chains just can’t match.
It’s important to know that if anything goes wrong, that you have someone to talk face to face with. Large commercial businesses often include a customer services helpline on their website; however, you can often find yourself waiting for a long time before you eventually get to speak to someone, and even after this point it can be a while until your problem gets resolved. With a smaller family-owned jeweler you can either pick up the phone or drop into a shop to directly speak to someone within the business. Either over the phone or in person, you can guarantee you’ll be able to talk to someone who will be able to efficiently and expertly resolve your problem.
You can be confident that the level of knowledge you’ll receive in a small store will be much higher than that of a mass retailer. Large stores train their staff with a basic level of product knowledge to pass on to customers, but predominantly training will always center around hitting sales targets and conversion goals – not expertise. Contrarily, family-owned jewelers work hard to understand their products, often owning the design and following a piece of jewelry from an initial concept to a finished product, and so can offer informative, honest knowledge around their designs and diamonds. If you have questions about how your ring is made, the types of diamonds used, or the variants of styles and settings, your jeweler will be able to answer them concisely.
At Chrysella we champion expertise, with in-house gemological graduates available to answer any queries regarding your diamonds or jewelry. GIA Certified, we are proud to say that we possess extensive education and industry experience to provide detailed and accurate information about your jewelry. Click the links to read more about our story and expertise, or learn more about our diamonds.