Raz Asulin is the Partner and General Manager of Diamond Treasures Inc.. He specializes in custom luxury goods and jewelry with insider knowledge of the diamond industry. Here is the 101 on why you should pick a designer store instead of a chain store.
When it comes to the purchase of a diamond ring, you may be tempted to turn to the chain stores. After all, many of them advertise low prices; while the big name brands have, well, big names. But it might surprise you to learn that jewelry designers offer all the benefits of the chains, plus five other surprising advantages.
Let’s define a chain store vs an independent designer. A chain store, like Zales, Kay Jewelers and Jared, is the retail front of the jewelry industry. The chain retail store is the last link in the chain before the consumer, the first link being the sight holder, companies who buy rough diamonds from the mine. After the sight holder, then it’s the manufacturer, diamond dealers, diamond wholesalers, and then the retailer. Each link adds a profit margin, increasing the price of the final piece of jewelry.
Independent designers are sight holders and many times the manufacturer. These entities then sell directly to the consumer. When you work with an independent designer you can:
1 – Control the quality of your ring
When working with a low-end chain you will get a very attractive sticker price. Unfortunately, you’ll also get a very poor quality product. Upon further examination, you will find that the store’s “sexy” price is actually very high in relation to the quality of product, as they tend to use bottom-of-the-barrel materials while charging full price. When you build your own ring, you can control and inspect each part. You can choose your center stone (the most important and often priciest element), the type of metal you’d like to use, and the quality of stones that you want.
2 – Avoid paying unnecessary premiums
The only reason to pay a premium while buying a diamond is to move up in clarity or carat weight. When you buy from a high-end chain (like Tiffany), you’re not paying a premium for your product. You’re paying it for their brand name. You will often pay three to four times more than the actual market value of your product. You’re helping the chain rather than yourself.
3 – Stick to your budget
By choosing a jewelry designer, you’ll not only stay away from unnecessary premiums, you can keep your costs down. You (not the store) can set a budget that you’d like to work with, and go from there.
4 – Enjoy a wealth of choices
It’s not just the big chains that get their choice of gems. Designers have connections, too. For example, our company, Diamond Treasures, works with the Israeli Diamond Exchange, which is not only one of the largest diamond trade centers in the world (along with India and South Africa), but also houses the world’s largest diamond-cutting companies. If you’re looking for a diamond and can’t find it there, it simply does not exist. As a member of this institute (and holder of an active trade office there), we can supply our clients with any kind of diamond they want, and at close to the source pricing.
5 – Design a ring as individual as your love
Perhaps the most import reason to choose a designer: There’s no need to compromise. You can create exactly what your beloved wants, with almost no limitations.
If you want to control the quality and budget of your ring and design a custom piece of jewelry, skip the chain stores. Choose a jewelry designer, and create a beautiful, personal statement of love.