The Very Highest Quality Advice...

Quality versus Quantity in JewelleryClick here to return to FAQ IndexChard 24 Carat Home Page

Quantity v. Quality in Jewellery and Diamonds
We have an admission to make. This is a frequently answered question rather than a frequently asked question. It just ought to be asked more frequently.
We always feel that we would prefer to sell one or two high quality pieces of jewellery rather than a whole heap of cheaper, lower quality goods. Even when our customers don't ask advice about the wisdom of buying quantity rather quality, it's something which we think they should ask, and probably would ask if they had got round to thinking about it.

Although I've stated that we prefer to sell a few high quality pieces, we realise that we are not in business to dictate to our customers what they should buy. However, we have acquired a lot of knowledge and experience, and we feel we would be failing our customers if we failed to bring this experience to bear in helping them to make an informed choice about their jewellery purchases. We wouldn't like to stand idly by while our customer made a purchase which we believed would be wrong for them. The reason we try to sway our customers away from quantity and towards quality is that, in our experience, this is what gives greater long term customer satisfaction, and that's because it provides better long term value.

Let's give a few examples:-

Most of us have seen people wearing 6 different neckchains at the same time. While this can create quite a good, "fun" look, using chains of a good quality and weight, if all the chains are thin, cheap chains, it can give a cheap and not very cheerful impression. Also, it's our experience that thin lightweight chains tend to break quite easily, and do not repair very successfully, even though it costs the same to repair a light chain as it does a heavy chain. A person wearing 10 chains costing on average £20 each might have to fork out for several repairs every year, whereas the same £200 spent on one, heavier, good quality chain will provide something which looks much better, and certainly costs less in repairs.

We have seen customers with so many rings, that they have run out of fingers, and struggle to wear them all at once. Usually, our customers have already been converted to the quality concept instead of the quantity concept, and they are looking to reduce the number of rings, and acquire one or two much bigger or better pieces.

Insurance claims are another area where we find customers "trading up". Typically, we might be consulted by someone who has suffered a burglary, and has lost perhaps 20 various pieces of jewellery, perhaps totalling £2000 in value, with the best piece having cost perhaps £400, or twice the average value. Usually, when it comes to replacement, they prefer to buy two or three bigger, better pieces, with the best piece possibly worth over £1000.
So often customers have been very upset at first because of the loss of pieces bearing a sentimental value, and usually, by their last visit, they volunteer the thought that they have actually gained in the process, often because half their old jewellery was not worn regularly, or had perhaps gone out of fashion, and that they had been contemplating trading some of it in for better pieces, when they could. At this point, they are quite likely to agree with us that a few better pieces are more desirable, and give more pleasure, and therefore better value, than a whole collection of average quality pieces.

Most people only make a diamond purchase perhaps twice in a lifetime. Whether you are wearing the ring or giving it, wouldn't it be better to make these infrequent purchases count for something in life?

Naturally, our caring approach requires a little more thought and effort than average. We try to exercise individual judgment about how much or little help each customer will appreciate.

You may ask yourself why other jewellers don't give advice similar to ours. Think about it carefully. By buying high quality less frequently, you get better value, and probably spend less over a long term. This of course is not good for the business of the average jeweller. Over a long period, he's better off with a customer who buys a piece of junk for £20 each week, therefore spending £1000 per annum, rather than a customer who makes a £5000 purchase every 10 years. He also gets all the repair business fixing all their junk every time it breaks! That's why you won't get advice like ours everywhere.

As usual, we welcome all comments and feedback:-

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