How to Choose Your Jeweler – The Eight Types of Jewelers
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?
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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!
excellent job calla, you hint all the points right on
Thank you so much for your feedback Mark!
Great blog Calla. Works on so many levels
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!
I love that you are loving the personal jeweler choice. Thanks for taking the time to weigh in with your response!
Correct your text… If you don’t like you mother’s Jeweler, pick another. It should be your mother.
Thank you so much for catching my spelling mistake. It is now fixed!
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.
I’m so glad you read this as you are moving toward proposing to your girlfriend. Enjoy looking at her jewelry and clothing to really notice her personal style and taste.
It’ll serve you well when you are deciding to design her engagement ring. Or if she is in on the design, finding the right jeweler is super important as well so you both
love your experience and her ring.
Your Personal Jeweler,
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.
Thank you for your input here. Research on the jeweler you’ll use for your project is key to a happy project for sure.
Your Personal Jeweler,
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.
Getting good jewelry gifts is a fantastic idea. I can’t tell you how many times people share with me that the piece of jewelry I just admired was a gift from their dad, or their husband. Those pieces mean the most.
Your Personal Jeweler,
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.
I’m glad you read this and hope it helps you choose the right jeweler.
I’ve heard my share of horror stories and upon reflection I think a lot of them were caused by customers finding a convenient jeweler and expecting that they would be able to do what the customer wanted. That didn’t turn out to be the case, giving them a bad experience.
Know what you want and find the jeweler that does it well, and you and your jewelry will sparkle.
Your Personal Jeweler,
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.
I like your idea of checking out the fun factor of your jeweler to be. If someone is stodgy and hidebound in their thinking, although skilled as a jeweler they may not ‘get’ you and therefore not be able to design with a fun vibe for you. Do for sure consider that in making your jeweler choice.
Good luck in choosing your new favorite jeweler to care for your treasures.
Your Personal Jeweler,