Defend the value of diamond jewelry
Not bad, I thought. I asked what the purchase was for. Wedding anniversary or other important event? Or maybe because he travels so much and leaves his wife at home with two children under the age of 10, he wanted to “compensate” for this, as it turned out. To please her with a special gift.
I was impressed that he found time in a busy schedule to find a jewelry store. I wondered how he had decided where to buy, given that he had free time for just half a day before going to the airport and flying back.
Here begins not the best part of the story. He saw a jewelry store, whose windows were hung with ads for a 75 percent discount. He thought that this was the best opportunity to buy a piece of jewelry. He was pleased with the price, and his wife was delighted with the gift.
All this is not new, of course. We have all seen stores offering such discounts. I remember that a few years ago on a business trip in Antwerp, I saw a whole range of jewelry stores, they all offered significant discounts, and each of them wanted to surpass his neighbor in a crazy discount race.
The industry spends significant resources and time, telling consumers that diamonds are special, that they signify important events in life, that they symbolize love and lasting relationships.
A romantic story about diamonds: they were created billions of years ago deep underground, and only about one carat of diamond is in each huge dump truck filled with ore, lifted to the surface. Then the diamond is carefully checked, sorted, sold, cut and polished and carefully inserted into the jewel so that you, the consumer, can buy it at a 75 percent discount.
The message to consumers is pretty clear: diamonds are just another product. More expensive than coal, tea or oil, but, nevertheless, just a commodity. Just as you would expect a sale at a clothing store, when many products are discarded at a reduced price, jewelers tell buyers that they can also expect to get a piece of jewelry at a reduced price.
It makes sense for a jeweler: he can get rid of old stocks, and he can buy new lines of goods with the money he received. And when a new product arrives, the announcement of a 75 percent discount will disappear. But will shoppers come to the store?
If they are used to a 75 percent discount, then why should they pay the full price now? Of course, this is a new product line and a new design, but listen, a diamond is just a diamond. If I last paid $ 1,000, why now I have to pay $ 4,000 for something that looks pretty similar?
Retailers do not just punish themselves, but also harm the whole diamond pipeline. Either a diamond jewel is exceptional and has eternal value, or it’s just a beautiful knick-knack that the buyer was glad to take at a discount.