So, you’ve decided that you want to buy a piece of fine jewelry. But how do you decide where to purchase it? Should you search online for a jeweler, head to the nearest shopping mall, or try looking for independent jewelry stores?
The phrase “shop local” is everywhere these days, and independent jewelry stores are a big part of this movement. The shift away from big-box retailers and national chains and toward independent retailers is bringing local jewelers into the spotlight—and for good reason! See below for the top eight reasons why you should shop with an exceptional independent jeweler, one you can trust:
Having access to an independent jewelry store in your local area is a huge benefit. Of course, shopping online for jewelry isn’t always a bad thing—as long as the images are high-quality, you trust the jeweler, and you can easily access customer service (which isn’t always easy).
We’re proud of our online shopping experience, but we always encourage our local customers to come into the store and look at pieces that they find online. Sometimes you need to see your piece in person to feel its weight, see how the gem sparkles in natural light, and try it on for size. Jewelry is all about the experience—and before you can start the lifelong joy of wearing it, you should be able to try it on!
There’s another advantage. Seeing it on may delight you, or you may decide that you want something a little different. Standing there with a kind and patient jeweler will give you the opportunity to explore your options. You can handle, try on, and compare actual pieces side by side, right in the palm of your hand. With a jeweler to guide you, you can get more ideas and advice about what to try.
Fine jewelry is a significant purchase and will last for generations to come. Why not take full advantage of an in-store discovery experience?
Developing a relationship with an independent jeweler who takes the time to get to know your style, tastes, and needs can be a wonderful thing. When you become a regular at an independent business, you form a relationship with them (and sometimes with one salesperson in particular).
Once they have the opportunity to get to know what you like and what you don’t like, they can make recommendations accordingly. Set up a Wish List, and they can notify you when something goes on sale, or when a piece comes into the store that you might be interested in.
Once you get to know a jeweler or a salesperson, they will be able to help you find the best pieces, just right for you. They will know your lifestyle and preferences: how you like to wear your jewelry, the colors you love, the styles you prefer. They can recommend what might be best for you—especially when you are torn between several options. And because they already understand the style of jewelry that you are looking for, you can get notified ahead of time for advertised sales and special events.
Developing that relationship is what keeps independent jewelers coming back to the store every day with a smile. They’re in the business because they love that feeling when a customer is truly delighted. They live for that special moment when a customer finds the perfect piece.
Going to an independent jewelry store is a fun, engaging, and much more personable shopping experience than what you might find at a large chain—and we know, because that’s exactly why our customers love coming to us!
Buying fine jewelry often comes with a certain level of required maintenance: gold, silver, diamond, and gem-adorned pieces are not “set it and forget it.” Over time, metal may tarnish, the gems may need to be cleaned, or you may decide you want something adjusted to be smaller or looser.
Most independent jewelry stores will clean and inspect your jewelry for free to ensure that your fine jewelry piece lasts for decades to come. Often, small adjustments and repairs are done for regular customers at no charge, or done while you wait instead of having to leave the item for a small job.
Even better, you can eliminate the anxiety that comes with planning a special gift for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, or special occasions. Your salesperson becomes the ultimate personal shopper, helping your significant other select the type of gifts you will truly love. Who wouldn’t want a professional shopper to guide them in the right direction?
Your personal taste in fine jewelry might fluctuate over time. Maybe you once loved wearing bright blue gemstones to match your wardrobe, but now you tend to wear more red and purple. Perhaps you want to upgrade your wedding rings to honor your anniversary, update the cut of your diamond, or replace it with a larger stone.
Whether you want to upgrade an old gemstone for a new one or change the setting on a ring, starting with an independent jeweler is the best way to ensure that your finished product will be exactly what you want. And shopping with the same jeweler over time means that you can benefit not only from their knowledge of your personal style, but also their store policies.
Many independent jewelers have an upgrade policy, which allows you to trade in diamonds that were originally purchased from their store. Instead of purchasing a new ring altogether, you can work directly with your independent jeweler to upgrade your jewelry. Even better, independent jewelers can often make upgrades and repairs on-site, meaning you won’t have the stress or time delays that come with shipping your jewelry.
No matter what you are looking for—whether it’s a bracelet, engagement ring, brooch, or a new pair of earrings—you want to make sure that you are purchasing a high-quality piece of fine jewelry. Choosing an independent jeweler is a great place to look for fine jewelry that combines expert craftsmanship with long-lasting quality.
An independent jeweler is always going to stand behind every product they sell—after all, their name is right there on the door! They care about making sure you are completely satisfied, and about sending you home with something that you will enjoy for years to come.
This is especially true for pieces that are made directly in the shop, as well as pieces that come from nationally recognized brands. When you buy from their store, you are buying a piece that they have personally inspected and approved for quality.
Staff members at an exceptional independent jeweler are much more knowledgeable than store clerks who have not been trained. Wouldn’t you rather take advice from someone who has firsthand, in-depth knowledge of metals and gems—and how to care for them—instead of someone who has been trained on how to run a register and sell financing applications?
Many independent businesses have decades of expertise that simply cannot be matched by other stores. Take advantage by going to the experts! Their experience enables them to find and solve unique problems, such as: Why does my pendant keep flipping over? Or, how can I make my ring fit better and more comfortably?
When staff are experts in the field of fine jewelry, they go above and beyond the simple problem and make sure that every little detail is taken care of. If you bring in a crushed ring that needs to be rounded out, an experienced jeweler will round it, tighten any gems that are loosened, and polish it like new. You can have confidence that everything will be done to address an issue, with no stone left unturned.
Even better, you’ll be in a jewelry store that goes the extra mile to make you feel welcome. Choosing a trustworthy, independent jeweler means choosing an environment that is designed to make each customer feel comfortable, valued, and heard.
After all, jewelry is often very personal—you may be bringing in a piece that holds deep sentimental value, such as a treasured family heirloom. If you are looking for inspiration or help in repurposing your grandmother’s ring into a pendant, the last thing that you want is to interact with a salesperson who makes you feel pressured, ignored, or even worse, not heard.
Choosing to shop with independent jewelry stores has a direct impact on the health of your local community. Consider this: for every $100 spent at a local store, $68 stays in the local economy. But for every $100 spent at a national chain store, only $43 stays in the local economy. That’s a big difference—and that impact has a ripple effect throughout your entire area!
Supporting local entrepreneurs ensures that businesses can continue to grow. The jobs created as a result contribute to your city’s character: independent businesses make each city truly unique. By supporting independent jewelers, you are contributing to your local area’s charm, helping all residents and businesses thrive.
Large retail chains are catering to an incredibly wide audience, which means that their fine jewelry pieces are meant to match an equally wide range of tastes and styles. They may even be restricted by certain brand guidelines as to the types of styles, metals, gemstones, and settings that they can carry. And once you’ve been to one location, you’ve probably been to all of them—you won’t find a drastically different collection from one location to the next.
If you’re looking for a unique, eclectic, or customized piece, all of these factors can make it challenging (and even impossible) to find what you are looking for from a national chain. Conversely, independent jewelers have the flexibility and freedom to choose which designs and collections to stock. Small designer lines and local makers are represented, giving you a more interesting mix to choose from.
Of course, independent jewelers will still carry national brands—but they also carry beautiful, fine-quality jewelry from independent jewelry designers, smaller companies, and/or jewelry that they make themselves. This can be a huge value, not only for the uniqueness of each piece, but also for the overall cost. Purchasing from a smaller designer or from an independent jeweler that makes their pieces in-house often means bypassing all of the hidden costs, such as national or international advertising and marketing.
Plante Jewelers is proud to be a local, independent jewelry store that takes the time to truly get to know each customer and their needs. Visit our store in Swansea to take a look at our collections, try on a few pieces, or to partner with our designer to create your own special piece of fine jewelry. We’ll help you find the perfect piece!
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