You only have to walk down some of the upper class shopping areas to see jewellery stores. These are not your ‘run of the mill’ stores. They have marble exteriors, polished to perfection, sumptuous plush carpets, subdued lighting, the guardian on the door, the hushed church like interior. Although the selection of stock may not be vast, pieces will often be displayed singularly – spot lit and handled with care, usually with immaculate white gloves. None of this is meant to deceive the client – it’s what the client wants.
The client who can afford to spend at these stores are intelligent, they know about the prices of metals and stones, overheads of the store. They know about buying and selling. If they didn’t know any of this, they wouldn’t have the money to pay for this type jewellery.
So does this plush store offer the client a better guarantee, is the jewellery manufactured to a higher standard, does the store offer a better ‘value for money’?
These standards of stores exist because the public’s preference has encouraged the retailer to be in these locations. It is easier for a rich person to find this type of establishment rather than hunt out a small jewellery workshop that produces jewellery with the same style, taste and quality. But if he did take the trouble to hunt out this type of jewellery workshop, they will find that they could buy the same quality jewellery at half the cost.
However this is rarely the case. You will always find expensive jewellery purchased in plush jewellery stores and the public will pay for all the presentation too. Are people too busy to wait? Would they rather a selection of jewellery presented before them so they can make an immediate purchase? Is it the name on the box or is it belief that if you want the best then you must visit the most expensive stores?
Perhaps the reason that these stores still exist is because the rich associates plush carpets, velvet lined trays, clean manicured fingernails, with luxury, substance and power. The sales person recreates the mystery of the gemstones and draws the clients attention to the detail and superb craftsmanship. Most of this is artificial spiel, because the craftsman who made the piece had dirty fingernails and has no thought about where final finished piece will end up.
If the rich want to be educated and possess pieces of jewellery that are as unique as they are, they will benefit from the smaller jewellery workshops that can give these rich people the undivided attention and jewels that they deserve. The craftsman will have a greater affection for the jewellery – same quality – same guarantee and with a little more money left over, “would sir like a matching pair of ear rings to go with madam’s ring?”