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Diamonds Go Back to Basics
Buyer's Choice

Eric Weisenforth
James Free Jewelers, Dayton, Ohio

What Moves: “Single diamond pendants and studs sell very well. We have our own house brand, so we’re careful about the diamonds we select and mount. We like Precision Set for their good quality. Round cuts are king, and for a long time the most popular behind them were princess. But they’ve slowed down and we’re seeing that cushions, even radiant cuts, are starting to have an impact. We keep some color in stock, including a handful of yellows, and maybe a blue, green, or pink. While young brides in the 25 to 35 year bracket opt for very traditional designs, older married couples looking to note an anniversary often will ask for color.”

How We Sell It: “We are very powerful in direct marketing, and do our share of radio, cable TV, and billboards. We’ve doubled our marketing budget on the assumption that whatever we can do now to maintain or increase market share will make it a lot easier and less expensive for us when times get better. We build on great word of mouth. Not a day goes by that we do not get three or four new customers because somebody they trust said we are good to work with.”

Micro-prong platinum semi-mount for a 1 carat square cushion cut, suggested retail $3,390, with matching full round band, suggested retail $1,500, by PRECISION SET, (800) 442-5693,

Nancy Vega
Sand & Stone Fine Jewelers, Yuma, Arizona

What Moves: “Diamonds are our number one seller. We sell a lot of loose single and large stones. We had a huge influx of winter visitors from Canada who came to take advantage of lower diamond prices. They bought the stones, we set them and they took them back as both jewelry and an investment. Rounds, followed by princess cuts, are by far the most popular. The younger group of first-time brides, ages 20 to 35, like the princesses.”

How We Sell It: “Cable TV is our best outlet, both because jewelry is so visual and the cost is $30 or $35 for a primetime spot ad, which just can’t be beat. Each stone has a personality. It certainly has a past, and telling a buyer when it was cut and where it was mined keeps the story personal and emotional. I use the W.R. Cobb program, which kicks up my center display case by showing 350 to 400 bridal pieces. A buyer can try on a style and see what she likes. We can tailor the style to fit her budget. Since she has a say in the price, quality, diamond, and metal, she feels she is in control.”

The “Promesa” collection is available in a 48 or 96 piece display with samples in alloy and CZ for $1,210 or $2,220 from W.R. COBB, (800) 428-0040,

Rose cut diamond engagement rings
necklace and ring in 18k gold with diamond pavé
1 carat square cushion cut diamond
48 or 96 piece display with samples in alloy and CZ
Black diamond necklaces with white diamond clasps
necklace in 18k white gold with diamonds
Ring in 18k yellow gold and platinum with an oval fancy yellow diamond
Black and white diamond and 18k gold pendant
earrings and ring in 18k gold with soft leaves contrasted with lines of diamonds
Diamond earrings in 18k gold
Engagement ring with matching band