Do you ever feel like you’re being bombarded by advertising? If you cruise around in your car listening to local radio you’ll hear advertisements about a lot of things, I bet you’ll even hear one about a jewelry store at least once or twice an hour on certain stations. There’s obviously a ton of money to be made in the retail diamond and jewelry store business, otherwise there wouldn’t be so much room for competition in the marketplace. I’m not sure how often jewelry stores fail, but I haven’t seen a specific trend of that happening in my neck of the woods. So, assuming there’s not an unreasonably high amount of turnover that occurs within the retail jewelry store business, I’d have to think that it’s grown considerably over the years. Just like sandwich shop, fast food and pizza chains all over the place, as more people enter into the marketplace, the marketplace must expand. I don’t see why that wouldn’t apply to the jewelry store business, so generally speaking, I bet it’s just grown like everything else as the marketplace has allowed. Much of the advertising that you might hear about jewelry stores might include specific mention of GIA, GLE or HRD certified diamonds. These are all well-known diamond graders that base their judgments off the Four C’s; Cut, Carat, Color and Clarity. The Gemology Institute of America was founded in 1953 and made the Four C’s an official guide to grading a diamond’s overall quality. Every diamond-grading authority that has come since uses the same criteria to judge diamonds by.
There’s an annual jewelry show called the JCK Las Vegas, it obviously occurs in Las Vegas and is the largest in the nation. Jewelers from London, Antwerp, Tel Aviv and other popular diamond centers come together to showcase their new designs and most impressive and expensive jewelry in the world. The custom jewelry business is one of many that’s grown in the last decade, probably because hip hop culture has been quite influential. You guys rapping on TV about their gold chains and then you see the shining monstrosity hanging from their neck, bouncing off their posturing chests and you ask yourself: How much did that thing cost? The answer is a whole lot and there’s no telling when the trend is going to stop. It almost seems like it’s become a young, successful person’s right of passage to get a custom chain made or something. I’d like to ask some of those guys if they knew anything about diamonds, I wonder if any of them even knew what the Four C’s are. With a chain worth tens of thousands of dollars, I’d like to think that they’d know something about it. I wonder what kind of look I’d get if I asked them if the little shiny things on their gold-plated chains where GIA certified diamonds? Maybe I’d get a straight look and a straight answer to match, people do tend to know a lot about things that they spend a lot of money on, why would jewelry necessarily be different?