Once in awhile, we run into a very valid question from our potential clients, “Can I trust you?”
One obvious reason they are asking the “trust” question is because they’ve been burned before by a jeweler who promised them the “best quality” product and handed them a lemon. Or they had a family jeweler for many years but now the jeweler has closed shop or they’ve moved thousands of miles away from their trusted partner and need to begin all over again.
So when we are asked whether we can be trusted, we delve into our usual set of responses, “We are a California corporation and when we give you an invoice, it needs to state the true quality attributes of the jewelry piece to keep us out of trouble”, “Our family has been making jewelry pieces since 1977, we get a lot of repeat business because our customers trust us”, so and on so forth.
What we’ve realized the the answer to the trust question is far deeper. The key attributes that make a jeweler trustworthy are as follows:
Is the jeweler reliable? In the internet age, there are many simple ways to measure reliability. One obvious way is to check reviews on websites such as Yelp and Google Reviews. Other ways to know if the jeweler is reliable is to look at testimonials from previous clients on their website. If the testimonials are with photos of real people, even better. We also encourage you to check social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram to see dedicated the jeweler is to his/her craft. If you notice daily posts on social media, every years for over 1-2 years, it’s a great sign of reliability.
This can be hard to understand and measure, especially if you’ve never worked with the jeweler in the past. However accountability doesn’t have to be just to you, the client. A jeweler is accountable to society as a whole.
One way to understand a jeweler’s accountability is to ask questions such as “where is your jewelry made and can you elaborate on the working conditions of your jewelry artists?”, “where are the diamond sourced from?” and “are your diamonds GIA certified?”.
Retail jewelers may be purchasing jewelry from wholesalers or may be buying cut diamonds making it difficult to know the source of the raw diamond. For these reasons, they have not be able to elaborate the working conditions of the people making the jewelry or where the diamonds are sourced from. Also smaller diamonds (less than 0.5 carat) are usually not certified. Even if the jeweler does not know the answers to these questions, the way the jeweler tackles these questions will give you an idea of their intentions and ability to be held accountable to the highest standards.
Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. In the case of the jeweler, is she willing to provide in writing the quality of the jewelry pieces. For example, is the jeweler willing and able to specify the gold Karat and weight on the invoice or state the quality of diamond (carat, cut, clarity and color) used. This will allow you to know if the jeweler is honest and transparent.
Try purchasing a very inexpensive (<$300) piece of jewelry. Ask questions about the jewelry piece as you would for a higher priced item. How does the jeweler respond? Are they giving you less time and attention or is the service impeccable? A jeweler needs to be nonjudgemental to all her clients to establish a longstanding trust and relationship. A nonjudgemental jeweler will be happy to serve you irrespective of the final value of the jewelry piece or the complexity of your questions. Don’t forget, customers come first!
A quick and easy indicator of generosity is the jeweler’s return policy. How easy is it for you to return a piece of jewelry that you just purchased last weekend but you no longer like? Is the jeweler making it easy for you to return the pieces and provide a full refund in your original form of payment? We think return policies, terms and conditions and privacy policies need to be simple and easy to understand. No complex and confusing legal language. A generous jeweler will earn your trust and respect for life.
In summary, when it comes to the question of trust, evaluate your jeweler on the above attributes and see how they measure against your own moral and ethical standards. If you decide to get an opinion from a family member or a friend, don’t just solicit one opinion but instead ask a lot of people. Once you have everyone’s input, take some quiet time to decide whether you are ready to trust the jeweler. The beauty of any relationship is founded on trust.