How to Choose Your Jeweler – The Eight Types of Jewelers


Tell Your Jeweler What You Like

Personal Jeweler Calla Gold, Showing Her Jewelry at a Women's Festival

How to Choose Your Jeweler: You Have a Choice! At some point in your life jewelry becomes a cherished part of it. For me it was the horse pin my grandmother gave me when I was ten. I really wanted a real horse, but that pin let me know that she understood me and supported my crazy horse love.

I cherished that pin and years later in my first English Equitation (how you look on a horse in an English saddle,) class at Earl Warren Show Grounds, I wore that pin with pride. Yes, I was on a borrowed horse, because my horse wasn’t good enough to compete, but I was in a big horsehow! I had my own horse and I was living my dream. That pin symbolized my dream.

Your Dreams, Your Personality, Your Style, Say it With Jewelry!

Once jewelry enters your life, it marks milestones, relationships and happy times. It needs to be maintained, changed and added to. You need your very own Personal Jeweler. Finding a Jeweler you are comfortable with is so worth doing. Your future jewelry collection depends on the relationship you develop with your chosen Jeweler.

What is a Personal Jeweler?

Old ring mounting and newly designed ring

A Personal Jeweler Helps You Re-Purpose That Diamond From Mom's Ring in Your Taste and Style

Being a Personal Jeweler among other things, means being on your side, as opposed to just trying to sell you something that is conveniently there in the display. A Personal Jeweler really gets to know you.

He or she is interested in you and what you have to say. A Personal Jeweler is not an order taker, but a Jeweler striving to find out what you really want, even if it takes a while and you didn’t really know at first either.

A Personal Jeweler will search for what you want or custom make it. A Personal Jeweler rarely says “no,” they might say “I can’t do that, but I know who can.” They won’t say “no” just because they cannot do it for you and don't want you going elsewhere.

You Deserve a Jeweler That is Right for You

In your search for the Jeweler that is a good fit, it may help you to know some basic types of Jewelers you may meet in your search for your Personal Jeweler. As a Santa Barbara Personal Jeweler, these are the types of Jewelers as I see it. If I've left out a category let know and I'll add it.

The Eight Types of Jewelers

The Plain & Basic:

These stores carry a moderate selection of jewelry. They don’t design jewelry or make their own things.
They may do simple repairs, though maybe not. Their selection is limited and not distinctive. They market themselves as great on price.

The Main Street Jewelry Store:

A Main Street Type Store

A Main Street Type Store - Wiki Images

In this type of store, the jewelry is fancier or more artistic. They may carry more unique pieces. Likewise the jewelry may be more costly.

They tend to do more complicated repair work. They may be family owned. Possibly the father does the work himself in the back room.

The Boutique Style Jewelry Store:

These types of stores often carry jewelry “lines.” A line is a number of stylistically related design pieces made by the same, often well-known designer.

Jewelry of this type is usually more artistic and better made. Often the store is the exclusive representative for the designer or designers within a particular geographic area. Frequently, Boutique stores look more like art galleries than jewelry stores.

The Chain Jewelry Store:

Mall Jewelry Store

Mall Chain Style Jewelry Store - Wiki Images

Often these types of jewelry stores are located in malls. The sales staff may be knowledgeable or they might have been hired last week out of high school. It’s unlikely that they offer custom design services. They don’t do repair work on the site, but send things out to another location. Often they emphasize cheaper prices and much of their jewelry may reflect this. It depends on the chain.

The Estate Dealer:

Renee Lalique Necklace. A Very Estate Jeweler Type of Jewelry. WikiCommons Image

Renee Lalique Necklace. A Very Estate Jeweler Type of Jewelry.
Wiki Images

Estate jewelry is basically used jewelry. It may be very old or could have been manufactured in the last few years. Estate jewelry can be of museum quality and be fabulously expensive or not.

Many pieces may be unique and one of a kind. Others may be run of the mill. Estate jewelry runs the whole gamut.

It often takes a trained eye to know if a piece is valuable or not. One Estate Dealer can carry completely different jewelry than another. One high end, one low-end.

The Tourist Shop:

A Tourist Store Doesn't Depend on Local Repeat Customers. Image Wikimages

A Tourist Store Doesn't Depend on Local Repeat Customers. Image Wiki Images

Or should I say tourist trap? There are many fantastic and reputable jewelers throughout the world.

Unfortunately, there are too many that prey on gullible tourists and the reality that they’ll never have to see these customers again. Often these touristy shops carry knockoff jewelry that’s of poor quality, but with price tags unreflective of their substandard product. Be aware. Carry a loupe. Look at their offerings very carefully.

The Jewelry Web Site:

Jewelry on line is all over the map in terms of quality. There are great deals to be had - and there’s junk. Service can be good; service can be horrendous. How do you know whether a ring is as good as it looks by just staring at a picture on a computer screen? You can’t.

You have to look at the whole web site. Read the copy. Click on the links. Read the testimonials. Can you communicate with them? When you call them do you reach a call center? Or the owner of the website? Do a web search on the company. What do others have to say?

The Personal Jeweler or Jeweler Without Walls:

Two Women Talking about a Ring

Personal Jeweler, or Jeweler Without Walls Calla Gold

Jewelers of this sort visit their clients at their homes, places of work, and other convenient locations. They don’t have a store.

They are flexible. Their clients value personalized service and rely on such a jeweler for custom designs and repair work that some jewelry stores don’t provide. Calla Gold Jewelry follows this model.

Some fine jewelry stores also offer this service.

What You’re Looking For in a Jeweler

Among other things, the following are what I consider very important factors in your choice: Jewelry selection, knowledgeable-ness, helpfulness, fun factor, willingness to find or make what you want and for that matter the skill necessary to help you figure out what you really want.

Before you interview jewelers, prepare yourself with 12 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Jeweler.

If you don’t connect with your mother’s Jeweler, pick one who gets your taste and style. Choosing your Personal Jeweler will help you find happiness in  your jewelry collection!

Personal Jeweler,,
Calla Gold

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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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Mark M.
13 years ago

excellent job calla, you hint all the points right on

13 years ago

Great blog Calla. Works on so many levels

Renee Manseau
Renee Manseau
13 years ago

Great information on the different types of jewelers and jewelry stores out there. There is a lot to consider when choosing your personal jeweler, and for those that just want a one time quick buy, I can see the benefits of some of these places. But for those that love jewelry and need more than a ready made one time thing, a personal jeweler is definitely the way to go! Great blog, Calla! Keep the info flowing!

10 years ago

Correct your text… If you don’t like you mother’s Jeweler, pick another. It should be your mother.

Tomas Killington
Tomas Killington
7 years ago

My girlfriend and I are getting pretty serious. I’ve definitely considered proposing to her, but I’m not sure where to go look for a ring. I didn’t realize how important it is to find a jewelry store that is willing to find or make a specific style you are looking for to ensure you get exactly what you envision. I’ll be sure to remember this consideration moving forward.

Marcus Coons
Marcus Coons
6 years ago

Thank you for talking about how it is worth it to find a jeweler that you feel comfortable with. It makes sense that doing this can help you make sure you find someone that truly cares about you and wants to help you find the best diamond for your special someone. As I see it, taking the time to do a proper research can help you make sure you find a jeweler that has the best deals on the best quality pieces that your partner will love.

Max Sayer
Max Sayer
5 years ago

I am always on the lookout for good gifts for my family. This article was very helpful especially the part about how a personal jeweler will search for what you want or custom make it. This is something that is really important so that I can get the right gifts for my family.

Katie Wilson
Katie Wilson
5 years ago

Thanks for explaining the different types of jewelers. I’m looking for someone to perform some minor repairs on my wedding ring after the band got scratched. When I start my search, I’ll have to consider which of these eight types would be best for me.

Daphne Gilpin
Daphne Gilpin
4 years ago

Thanks for explaining that we should consider the knowledge of the jeweler we choose, but should also use other considerations such as the “fun factor.” I have an old necklace that recently had the clasp break, so I want to find a good jewelry service to repair it soon. I’m glad I read your article because now I know what to consider as I start talking to local jewelers.