How to Choose the Right Jeweler For You

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.

Dreams Do Come True

I cherished that pin and years later in my first Western Horsemanship (your skill as a rider on a horse using a Western saddle,) class at Earl Warren Show Grounds, I wore that pin with pride. Yes it was on a borrowed horse, because my horse wasn’t good enough to compete, but I had a horse! And I was living my dream. That pin symbolized my dream.

Jewelry Marks the Moments and the People in Our Lives

A man proposing to a woman at the Santa Barbara Harbor with a ring from the right jeweler

Her Custom Made Engagement Ring Holds a Priceless Memory

Carol and I went through a big organize in her jewelry box during a post operative convalescence. After the discoveries, the singles of ‘lost’ earrings found, stories shared and tears shed, she told me that her jewelry meant much more to her.  Betta told me her jewelry reminded her of the stories that are wrapped around each special piece.  Juanita told me that  her jewelry collection is like tiny pieces of art that have the impact of a beloved scrapbook, reminding her of the giver, the occasion and the love. We love our jewelry, but we also love how it makes us feel.

For thousands of years jewelry has been worn as amulets, symbols of membership in a group, romantic love, and to cure ailments. That something so tiny can mean so much is a wonderful thing.

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

Happiness is a Custom Designed Rose Cut Salt and Pepper Diamond for Jasmine

Once jewelry enters your life, it marks milestones, relationships and happy times. It needs to be maintained, changed and added to. You need the right jeweler to help you have a happy life with your jewelry. 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.

Two women smiling over jewelry. The right jeweler.

The Right Jeweler Gets 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.  They rarely says “no.” You might hear them say “I can’t do that, but I know who can.” But they won’t say “no” just because they can’t do it for you and don’t want you going elsewhere.

You Deserve a Jeweler That is Right for You

Tattoo of molten gold being poured.

Maybe the Right Jeweler is a Passionately Tattooed Jeweler Like Jeweler Paul Salvor with his Molten Gold Tat

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 the right 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 Jeweler Without Walls or Personal Jeweler:

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.

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?

What You’re Looking For in  the Right Jeweler

The right jeweler understands that you're worried

Jeweler Skye Leonardi Sent This to an Anxious Client Who Missed Her Rings

The following are qualities that I consider very important factors in your search for the right jeweler for you: jewelry selection, respect for your special old or gifted jewelry, knowledgeable-ness, helpfulness, trustworthiness, 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.

Your Jeweler Should Work to be Your Hero. Photo: Jason Druxman

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

If you don’t like your mother’s Jeweler, pick another. Choosing the right jeweler will help you find happiness in your jewelry collection!

Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla Gold

0 0 votes
Article Rating

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.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

Love this jewelry guide! Thanks Calla for writing this 🙂