Groom's Wedding Blog from TheManRegistry.com

Lies My Jeweler Told Me

shady jewelery business

By early adulthood everyone should realize the realities of retail. According to Wikipedia: “Retail consists of the sale of goods or merchandise from a fixed location,…for direct consumption by the purchaser.” Retail stores are “for-profit” businesses that purchase products at one price, then, sell them to the consumer at a higher price that yields them a profit. This involves adding a markup amount (or percentage) to the retailer’s cost.”  By the nature of retail, each store carries an inventory of products that is in their best interest to sell to consumers in order to make profit and remain in business. This became resoundingly clear to me on a recent shopping trip when I attempted to buy jewelry as a gift for my sister.

Left – Simon G: Platinum and diamond band by Simon G. Jewelry, $1,870, Right – Whiteflash: Platinum and diamond heart pendant by Whiteflash.com, $710

When marking a special occasion with jewelry, it’s only natural to want to buy “the best”. Nobody approaches this quest wishing to buy “what’s adequate”. I wanted a quality piece to reflect the importance of our relationship, something that could be worn for a lifetime and something precious that provided long-term value.  I did homework on sites like PreciousPlatinum.com and decided on platinum and diamond stud earrings. It was only when I went to my local jewelry store to purchase them that I learned when shopping for platinum there are many myths and misconceptions.

First, I found that if the jewelry store didn’t carry platinum in his inventory he was very anxious that I didn’t go elsewhere to get it. The sales associate made a number of claims to justify platinum’s absence, such as, “Platinum is too expensive” and “it’s too soft”.  Having done research, I was able to reply that I had already seen platinum pieces from approximately $1,000. I asked the sales associate why most of the world’s most important gems were set into platinum. Gems like that wouldn’t be put into soft settings that didn’t hold them securely forever. The associate told me that because white gold was plated with rhodium that the diamond would sparkle just the same as platinum. Again, I knew that white gold was in fact, yellow gold, made to look white my mixing the natural yellow metal with whiter ones to disguise the color. It is then plated with rhodium in order to make it look whiter. So he was partially right, except for the fact that he wasn’t telling me that over time and regular wear, the rhodium would wear off, exposing the less white color underneath. I told him that I knew that platinum was a naturally white metal that didn’t need to be plated – ever- in order to enhance its whiteness. It was then that the associate tried to reason with me. He asked, “Why get platinum when you can get the same look with gold?” My answer was simple and direct. “Because I want this gift to be worn and cherished for a lifetime, something she can wear everyday and only the best is good enough.” The question really is, why wouldn’t I want platinum?

Stuller: Platinum and diamond stud earrings by Stuller, $810

Stuller: Platinum and diamond stud earrings by Stuller, $810

Have you been given any words of warning about dealing with jewelers? If so, share some in the comment section below.

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