It occurs too often these days; a retail experience where you feel like the salesperson wants your money or to do whatever it takes to make a deal. It is rare where you find a salesperson who truly cares about the customer experience and takes the time to educate consumers.
One very important aspect of our business is buying diamonds, gold and silver from the public. We have a very discrete office setting in Chevy Chase, MD where you can sell your jewelry. Regardless of whether or not you decide to sell your items to us we believe strongly in education, as it is one of the most powerful tools for any consumer. Recently, we received this thank you from a client that visited us in Chevy Chase.
I had the opportunity to meet Paul this afternoon and sell two 14k gold pieces. It was a wonderful experience and he was extremely courteous and knowledgeable. He explained many facts about metals and diamonds that I never knew about. The entire appointment was very pleasant and I will now highly recommend Samuelson’s to all my friends!
We love hearing when our customers are having such positive experiences. However, the reason we are sharing this experience with you is to highlight how our family owned and operated business has survived for 90 years. We take a lot of pride in educating our customers. To be honest, we want to close the sale as much as anyone else but we want you to leave with an education as well. Whether you are buying jewelry or selling jewelry in either of our locations, this is the type of service our customers can expect.
When was the last time you can remember volatility like
this in the metals markets? Unfortunately, we are seeing big daily swings becoming more common. With these swings we are seeing numerous stories about gold and silver prices. In case you haven’t noticed, gold is almost the same price platinum (gold is approx. $1850/oz ; platinum is 1841/oz. ; Silver – 42.50/oz and they will be different when you read this). Now the real question is whether or not it is time to sell your gold and silver jewelry?
When people visit Samuelson’s, they are often surprised at how much they receive for their gold, silver and diamond jewelry. In fact, we had one Washington, D.C. client visit us numerous times as they were cleaning out their father’s house of inherited diamonds, gold and silver. That particular client received over $25,000 by selling broken gold chains, diamonds and silverware. All of these items were of little use to her and she used the money to pay for a year of her son’s college tuition. She did not expect that her diamond jewelry, gold and silver would amount to anything significant, but they did. Needless to say, she was pleasantly surprised.
Ron Samuelson, owner of Samuelson’s Diamonds in Baltimore, said shoppers are maxed out after Christmas shopping already, and doesn’t expect to gain a lot of Valentine’s Day business. Samuelson recalled the weekend in December before Christmas Day, when snow hurt retailers looking to gain from the last-minute shopper.
“Now it’s a double whammy, and downtown is pretty bad,” Samuelson said. His West Baltimore Street store was closed Wednesday.
Last Saturday was the first day Samuelson had ever closed the store, he said.
If you are not familiar with INSTORE magazine (if you don’t work in retail you might not be) it’s the fastest growing jewelry trade magazine, and the Smart Jewelry Show is its super-sized progeny. Featuring some of the biggest names in the biz such as Matt Stuller, the show ranges from topics that interest retailers, owners and vendors, to those focused on people who make jewelry by hand.
All of this is to let you know that our own Ron Samuelson will be speaking at the Monday Pre-Show Conference in an exciting session called “Social Media – Myth or Miracle?“. Smart Jewelry Show is scheduled for four days from the 23rd of April to the 26th, and Ron will be speaking the morning of the 26th.
According to JCK Magazine, the world’s most popular jewelry trade publication, our very own Ron Samuelson could be the most unromantic jeweler in America. Here’s what they had to say:
Ron Samuelson may be the most unromantic jeweler in America.
“We don’t sell strictly on romance,” he says. “[Samuelson's Diamonds] gives you good values. We’re real guys and we talk and educate people about diamonds.”
For Samuelson, buying a rock is a sensible decision. “Diamonds are a commodity, and that’s what [consumers] should be taught. Getting engaged is a special time in someone’s life, but diamonds are also a product and have value in the marketplace, and that’s what we should be telling people. Consumers are getting over fancy-schmancy brands; people are over the blue box and want to get a good deal. I think that most guys who are buying a diamond engagement ring are not as concerned with romance as they are with getting an honest deal.”
Check out these unromantic videos if you want some ideas…
Even the French don’t buy into that romance stuff!
If you have done these things with your wife or girlfriend, give us a call – you’ll need to get her some diamonds to get you out of the doghouse!
Michael Phelps, Baltimore’s famed swimmer extraordinaire, recently signed a deal to be Mazda’s spokesperson in China. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons (my apologies to Mazda drivers)! After several huge endorsement deals in the US with companies such as AT&T, Visa, and Kellogg’s Cereal, Phelps is pursuing “a unique opportunity that is in line with (his) overall strategy of developing a relevant marketplace for (him) in China.”
I think we can all take a lesson from the one of Baltimore’s most storied and gifted athletes. Not that he needs the money, but with a huge opportunity in front of him, he has chosen to “ride the wave” of his fame where it makes the most sense. With the US sending so much of its business to China in the last 10 years, the Peoples Republic has seen economic growth beyond imagination. They have the resources to continue consuming at an increased rate. Mazda knows that and so does Michael. So, for those of us trying to either make ends meet or capitalize on business opportunities, be like Mike. Look outside your narrow world and find places where spending is still growing, or at least not drying up. For us, that means capitalizing on the availability of diamonds and fine jewelry from suppliers that are eager to move inventory, and then passing those great deals on to our customers. And remember, Michael Phelps didn’t win 8 Gold Medals by himself. It took teamwork. So use the networks and friends you have to find help and support in your business endeavors. Get on Facebook (if you aren’t already), send emails, whatever it takes to stay in touch and stay relevant. I wish you all the best of luck in these challenging times!
I’m Ron Samuelson, third generation here at Samuelson’s Diamonds. This is my first post on our company blog. Please check out my personal blog, RambleOnRon, for well, more personal stuff. Anyway, I want to talk about what I look for in a diamond when I’m buying in order to help you when it’s your turn to look at some stones. I was reading a great article about Francois Curiel, head of Christie’s international jewelry division. He talks about how the financial crisis impacts diamonds, large diamonds in particular. What really struck me the most is what he says here:
Question: What makes a stone great?
Answer: “Its ideal proportions, its life and whether it talks to you or not. We had a group of young gemological students come to our New York viewing in October. We sat them behind the showcases, like real professionals, so that they could examine the diamonds. What struck me was that the first thing they did when they picked up a stone was to loupe it. I smiled because this is what I did when I started in the business and this is what all gemological schools teach you to do. When one gets a bit older, the loupe comes second and one first looks at the diamond in one’s hand. Do I like it? Even though the proportions might not be perfect by GIA [Gemological Institute of America] standards, do I want to own this stone? Ten people look at a gem, 11 opinions. So, what makes a stone great? Your eye and appreciation of it.”
This really hits home to me because we have so many customers who are very concerned about what the stone looks like on paper- the depth, table, girdle, culet, since they read so much about these factors online. Well, guess what? They don’t mean anything. You’re buying a diamond, not a piece of laminated paper. Look at the beauty of the stone, how it reflects light, what it says to you. Here at Samuelson’s, we buy diamonds, not paper.
Take a look at this video of Francois Curiel auctioning a massive 100-carat diamond at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong that sold for a whopping $6 million.