Scoring Great Jewelry With Confidence

“Most things that consumers acquire are bought, not sold. We decide we’re interested in something, and we go shopping to get it…. Selling is a special sort of marketing. It’s interactive, generous, and personal. Selling brings individual attention, connection, and tension to each customer. And selling takes time, effort, and money….
We shouldn’t disrespect selling by pretending we don’t need it.”  Adapted from Seth Goden, 6/7/2023


Since I create and sell fine jewelry, this blog is personal. 

I suspect I share a few characteristics with my lovely customers and probably with most creatives.  We are curious and comfortable with ambiguity, and most of us are passionate.  To wit, I’m passionate about White Orchid Studio, its history, and the values it embodies.[1] I’m equally passionate about you experiencing the thrill of great jewelry.  Why?  Jewelry gives everyone a way of expressing our emotions.  Every time we wear a piece of jewelry, we express something important, while also projecting how we want to be seen by others.  As an example, years before we were married, my husband bought me a simple, unusual pair of gold earrings.  The gift was totally unexpected and it said “I love you.”  I wear that love almost every day.

Customer service is another passion.  I want you to have great experiences when buying jewelry.  So, let me offer a few suggestions.

1.  Buying jewelry can be an impulse transaction where you never know the seller, but buying fine jewelry probably shouldn’t be on impulse.

Thank you if you are curating a personal, permanent collection, a collection you treasure, wear for years, and even pass down.  Permanent jewelry collections or any type of fashion are the anthesis of the first-world’s throwaway culture.  Throw away fashion is hard on our environment, and it contributes to poverty in third-world countries.  A better approach is “slow fashion” where you and I buy for lasting value.


    • Build relationships with jewelers. Online shops like White Orchid Studio as well as neighborhood shops provide customers a selection of products, customer service, and a variety of price points.  But, jewelry sellers serve you best when they know you.  Relationships build mutual trust in ways that clarify communication. Good communication = better service. 
    • Have you ever heard: "There are no dumb questions?"  The saying certainly applies to jewelry transactions. When you trust someone, you feel safer asking questions.  What might feel risky to you, might also warm a jeweler’s heart.  Questions tell jewelers “I’m interested.  I’m not just passing through.”  

    “Sometimes our first and greatest dare is asking for support."

    Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

    • When a customer asked me to create a design in silver rather than white gold, no problem.  I’ve changed the length of necklaces and swapped out one size pearl for another.  Changes take time and your patience.  Changes also alter the price of a piece, often to your benefit.  Start a conversation.  Just ask.  "There are NO dumb questions." 
    • Any relationship with a jeweler is a relationship of shared power. The jeweler has knowledge and inventory.  You have the power of your purse. 
    • Become a repeat customer = even better service.

     2.  Look for logos that indicate how a jeweler supports the industry. Web footers, whether for an online store or a brick-and-mortar store that has a website, display industry logos.  If a shop has no website, ask shop owners which national organizations the shop supports yearly.  Jewelers should not display logos if they are not a dues-paying member.  Here are my 3 favorites:

    -     The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) was the first organization I joined. Yes, I’m a woman who supports women owned businesses.

    -     The Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT). JBT monitors its members’ business practices, specifically their financial solvency and ethical business transactions.  If a jeweler doesn’t shortchange people in their supply chain, they probably won’t lie to you.  And,

    -     The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is dedicated to research and education in the field of gemology and jewelry arts. I reference their expertise in almost every blog "The Enthusiast” I publish.

    • Back to being courageous, ask about any ad or statement that says a gem, including pearls, has been graded (e.g. pearls advertised online as AAA).  Ask shops and online sellers who and how a gem received an advertised grade. If you are unsure, ask to see the certificate.  If the grading does not result from a GIA inspection or a certificate from another respected source, and the merchant insists on the grade they attach to a gem, consider exploring other options.   
    • Life has a way of giving us what we need.  While skimming through a site of one of my supply chain shops, I saw this: "...our members (can) request an audit on any product, which is completed by an independent Gemologist who assesses the accuracy of the item description and pictures."  If I can ask for the credentials of a gem, you can too.  Ask the retailer.  Good ones are happy to research for you.  Be not afraid.

      I hope this blog supports your confidence to explore as you buy great jewelry. 

       Best, Peggy

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      [1] Read my “about” page to experience a wonderful journey ( 


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