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Press Release

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Lawrence Chard
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For Release 9:00 AM
December 11, 1998

It's not easy to notice things which aren't happening!

Yes it's easy to notice when something does happen, but much more difficult to notice an event that has failed to happen. Remember Sherlock Holmes solving the crime in "The Hound of the Baskerville's", precisely because the dog didn't bark.

There's a lot in the news, for example, about cars and computers costing more in Britain than elsewhere, but nothing about jewellery prices coming down by 1/3 or 1/2. So what?, I can almost hear you ask! So gold, the raw material for most jewellery, has dropped in price by 1/3 since 1996. Wouldn't you expect the jewellery industry to be shouting very loudly about new lower prices and better value. Of course you would, so why isn't it happening?

At this point you're expecting me to tell you. Unfortunately, I don't know either! What I do have is a theory. Imagine you're a jeweller, and you own £100,000 worth of gold jewellery, maybe more. The price of gold drops, so you've made a loss, but it's a lot of work to re-price each item of stock, and if your customers are still happily buying at the old price, why bother? Also, when you get new stock, if the customers will still buy it at the old prices, why drop your price? What about the customer who bought the identical article last week. If she paid £60 and sees it in the window this week at only £50, she won't be happy, might even want the £10 difference back. It makes life simpler to keep quiet, not to mention what might happen if the bank manager realises that the value of your security has gone down. There are also some people who might take the view that it's not good to buy something which is going down in value. I can see the headline now "Gold loses it's sparkle!". All very negative.

That, more or less, is my personal theory to explain why the dogs are failing to bark. We take a completely different view. As you may guess we are jewellers. Jewellers with a difference! We don't sell watches for example. We specialise in two main areas, designing and creating diamond rings, and selling a range of high quality gold jewellery. What's more, instead of taking the usual approach of "How much can we get for it?", we ask ourselves, what's the least we can afford to sell this for? Again, my personal theory is that customers will be so delighted, that they will keep coming back to buy from us time after time, and also tell all their friends. This works, but only with limited success. Most people don't have a clue about jewellery prices, so don't even realise when we are offering a product at half the high street price, others just think we're stupid for selling beautiful jewellery too cheaply. Yet others don't tell their friends because they don't want to let their friends into the secret of buying quality jewellery at sensible prices. Others prefer the luxury of shopping at a very exclusive prestige shop, it's the British fixation with designer labels, "never mind the quality, feel the label!". Sometimes I feel we just can't win.

Now the price of gold is down by 1/3 in three years, and by more than half during the twenty-five years since 1974. I'm not an economics expert, but I'm sure that the prices of most other goods have doubled, trebled, or more over the same period of time. This means that we are now selling gold jewellery at a tiny fraction of its real-terms-1974-cost. We sell all our gold jewellery based on its most recent cost price. We also work from our own showroom premises (been here for 30 years!) in a prominent location but well away from the high rent high street. Most gold jewellery is now better value than for a generation, ours is even better value than most. That's why we are happy to shout about low gold prices, and why I am writing to you about it, apart from the fact that Christmas is upon us. If you have the best interests of your readers at heart, you owe it to them to inform them:

  1. Gold jewellery is excellent value.

  2. Gold jewellery from Chard is even better value.

  3. It's now possible to buy the vastly superior 18 carat gold for less than you might previously have been asked for ordinary 9 carat gold.

By the way, we also supply by mail order as we have been doing since 1964, (we are also coin dealers), although it is getting late for mail order Christmas presents, we would always try our very best to fill postal orders in good time.

Now we've alerted you to the jewellers who have not barked, we hope you will do the same for your readers, and put in a good word for us at the same time.

Wishing you a happy Christmas and prosperous new year.

Lawrence Chard

P.S. We have no objection to supplying journalists. You're very welcome to try us out!

Update June 2011
We were absolutely right. Gold fixed on that day's morning London fix at the ridiculously cheap price of $294.300 = 176.418 per troy ounce. We were right, but this price seemed unremarkable at the time. We were one of the few around making positive comments about gold. We should have been shouting louder! the Lowest Possible Price

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