Selling Gemstones and Coloured Diamonds, Final Thoughts
In the last section of the gemstone guide, we took a look at Certificates and Gem Reports. If you've had a chance to read all the previous sections of the gemstone guide, well done! We conclude this series of posts with my final thoughts on getting down to the nitty gritty of selling coloured gemstones and fancy coloured diamonds.
All of the information on gemstones and information on coloured diamonds is worthless without sales. To sell coloured gemstones and diamonds, it is important to be mindful of the customer’s needs, the value points of the stone, and the overall relationship. Below are a few points to consider as you sell jewellery with colour.
How to Fit a Stone to a Budget
The first thing I would try to ascertain in any sale is a gemstone budget and a preference to any colour or size when working out how to sell gemstones in your jewellery. Once this has been established you can find a stone for your customer.
Unlike ‘white’ diamonds, coloured gemstones have a wide variety of price points for every size from small stones to larger gems. There are also more possibilities for substituting different parameters, such as origin, treatment, colour and even stone type. Thus, fitting a coloured stone to a budget can be an easier prospect than it may seem. This could be a top selling point from you the seller to the consumer.1. Adjust the colour saturation
A Fancy Vivid is much more expensive than a Fancy, but the difference to a consumer’s eyes may not be worth the difference in price. Colour variations may mean much more to a gemologist than to the final recipient of the stone. Colour enhanced by the setting can boost a weak stone by several colour shades, making it much more affordable.
2. Monitor secondary tones
The undertones can make the stone more attractive to the buyer for reasons completely unrelated to value. Indifference to undertones can also help one move a reluctant client to a more affordable range with no loss of honour. Here a very pretty brownish pink diamond can shave thousands off the price of a piece of jewellery.
3. Offer different stones of the same hue.
A champagne diamond is much more expensive than a champagne tourmaline, while preserving the look of the piece for the client. When colour is more important than the trade name of the stone in question, it can be quite simple to make a match between budget and stone. Tell the customer it’s up to them if they want to let anyone in on the secret of using a slightly cheaper type of stone as the naked eye would never be able to discern the difference.
4. Same stone, slightly different size.
While the customer may not appreciate the difference between a 6 or 7mm stone the price difference between a stone below and over one carat is huge. Check with your customer what they value and where they are prepared to compromise. A clever setting of the stone can also make the stone look slightly bigger too. Other landmark sizes for coloured stones are as follows: 1ct, 3cts, 5cts, 7cts, 9cts, 10ct, 15cts, 20cts and over 25cts.
Are your customer's expectations realistic?
Sometimes your customer might have an idea of something that doesn't exist. Maybe they got the idea that 5ct pink diamonds grow on trees, or that Kashmir Sapphires are as cheap and available as Ceylon Sapphires. They might think a stone worth thousands actually should cost hundreds. Always keep your customer's expectation firmly on the ground when selling jewellery with gemstones and coloured diamonds.
Why Selling Coloured Stones Helps Profitability
Including coloured stones when selling jewellery is an excellent way to preserve and improve profitability.
There are four main ways coloured gemstones boost one’s bottom line:
1. Buying Opportunities
Colourless stones, for all their prevalence, are considered rare occasion items by the general market. Engagements, weddings, and anniversaries are the dominant themes. Even jewellery lovers regard them as limited items, and they are worn more predominantly by women than men.
Coloured stones, on the other hand, are popular with both genders. Furthermore, they are not bound by romantic connotations to be limited occasion items. Jewellery can be dressed up or down depending on the mood of the person wearing it. As all occasion items that can be freely exchanged between genders and age groups, coloured stones provide consumers with more buying opportunities giving you more ideas on how to sell jewellery.
As we have mentioned above, many coloured stones have cultural annotations. As birthstones, symbols of friendship and health enhancers, they provide a broader market for sales. Experienced marketers will find many reasons to show potential clients trays of coloured stones where a traditional diamond piece simply wouldn’t do. The more you find out about your customer the easier it will be to pick and suggest a certain meaning or tradition that surrounds a particular coloured stone.
Coloured stones provide infinite variety for the consumer. They can be matched to outfits, serve as accent pieces, or simply be sold in multiple shade of the same favoured pattern.
Unfortunately for this industry, there is no ‘De Beers’ pumping in millions of dollars into marketing coloured stones, although Gemfields is attempting to take this slot. There are pluses and minuses to this situation that create opportunities on the one hand and difficulties on the other.
The principle opportunities are that coloured stones cannot be priced (specifically) and therefore are not easily comparable. This gives you an opportunity to make selling coloured stones a more profitable element of your business and a more unique experience for the customer. The downside is that because no one is spending millions of pounds marketing them, you have to become educated and motivated into selling them yourself.
3. Done well, it is very worthwhile.
The variations in colour also provide opportunities for sales, especially for those clients who like to have “all” of a given style. The stones can become collectors’ items or conversation pieces. Creative types will rise to the occasion.
4. High Value Pieces
Carat by carat, rare coloured stones command exceptional prices. Moving only a few pieces each year can provide good income as a primary revenue stream or as a supplemental income stream. At the higher end of the market, the upper limits remain undefined and margins are quite healthy for those who can match the perfect stone to an eager client.
5. Investment Opportunity
As more people seek to diversify their investment portfolios, gemstones as an investment, has become a reason for people to buy. Whist we do not say that all gestones will make their buyers money, there is a category of rare stones that will increase in value over time. Do not offer your customer 'investment diamonds' as this will probably make them run a mile.
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. I hope it has helped you better understand the world of precious coloured gemstones and fancy coloured diamonds and given you more a better of how to sell jewellery with colour and confidence.
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This guide is one of a series of guides designed to jewellery designers, jewellery retailers, sales assistants and anyone working in the jewellery trade, to gain confidence in selling coloured gems. Go to www.thegembank.com/guides to see a full list.
Armed with a little more knowledge, the next engagement ring you sell might be a coloured gemstone or diamond ring.