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Diamonds Go Back to Basics
Buyer's Choice

Ron Yates
J.R. Yates Jewelers, Modesto, California

What Moves: “Earrings are our best sellers, but a close second is estate jewelry, especially as the economy has gone down and the price of gold has gone up, and people have started selling their jewelry. Rounds, diamond hoops, and drops are the most popular. We’ve worked with Parade Design and have done well with its ‘Lyria’ collection. We’re stocking a small amount of yellow diamonds. A few even ask about chocolate diamonds. We’re also seeing a design trend to sinking diamonds further into the setting, using less metal and relying on more pavé or smaller stones. The diamonds stand out better because there’s less metal to block the view.”

How We Sell It: “We’re doing aggressive marketing now because conditions favor ad buyers. Billboards are now much cheaper than before, and radio and newspaper ad prices have dropped, so we’re taking advantage.”

“Lyria” collection earrings and ring in 18k gold with soft leaves contrasted with lines of diamonds by PARADE DESIGN, suggested retail $2,235 and $2,580, (213) 627-4019,

John Mays
John Mays Jewelers, Fort Smith, Arkansas

What Moves: “We sell nothing but Hearts On Fire, including a lot of fashion pieces. Earrings are a staple; solitaire diamond earrings are very popular. We’re impressed with the cuts, which allow us to make exact matches and show that the diamonds on, say, one earring are visually the same as those on the other. White gold makes up about 90 percent, with platinum in second place. Platinum is the pinnacle metal for diamonds, especially with micro settings.”

How We Sell It: “We’re in our fourth generation so we’re very much in this for the long run. Our media outreach includes cable TV and radio, but we rely a lot on our reputation for in-depth knowledge and thoroughness when it comes to explaining diamonds. We think that telling people about the technical side, as well as appealing to the emotions involved in a purchase, is very important. I recently sold a $150,000 piece. You can be very sure that we took a lot of time explaining and going over just what it was he was buying and what made that piece worth so much.”

Diamond earrings in 18k gold by HEARTS ON FIRE, suggested retail from $8,500, (800) 343-1224,

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