A Fresh Way To Sell Gemstone Jewelry

Cover Feature

What do millennial consumers want?

Modern technology. Cutting edge design. Environmentally friendly products. Vibrant color. That’s why many jewelers today are taking a fresh look at Chatham: its jewelry featuring lab-grown gems is as innovative as it is beautiful.

Just like Apple, Chatham got its start in a California garage. Seventy-five years ago, Carroll Chatham invented the process for growing emerald in the laboratory. Today, Chatham is the world’s top created gemstone jewelry brand.

The brand’s distinctive fashion-forward styling highlights 12 different lab-grown gemstone varieties, including sapphire, padparadscha, alexandrite, morganite, and diamonds. The company’s colorful modern designs also feature unusual gem shapes like flame cuts and onion cuts that add interest to classic styles.
“Chatham does really well with my clientele. They are by far the best turning color in my store,” says Christopher Cervini of Christopher’s Fine Jewelry in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. “They fit right in with the rest of the brands I carry. In fact, I’ve placed them in close proximity to my Rolex case.”

Distinctive Design

Design is the reason why the Chatham collection sells so well, retailers say. It attracts women who are looking for something unique.
“I find that my customers are drawn to the unique designs and the beautifully cut gems,” says Karl Sachs of Sachs Jewelers, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. “Since our Chatham line has been doing so well, we took a chance on a $14,900 necklace and it didn’t take long to sell.”
“We aren’t a substitute for traditional mined gems, we’re the modern alternative,” explains Harry Stubbert, Chatham president. “We use our expertise in growing and cutting gem crystals to create jewelry designs that wouldn’t be possible with mined gemstones.” Chatham cuts away 80% of the gem crystal to make sure that every shape has maximum brilliance.

The company’s new Sticks & Stones Collection, which is debuting at the JCK show in Las Vegas, is case in point. The designs feature long baguettes that would be almost impossible to source from a mine. The effect is stunning in a pendant or earring: the combination of a long baguette and a faceted round brilliant or pear shape makes a classic silhouette truly fresh.

Every piece is designed to sell. “Chatham is the best-turning color in our store!  I was pleasantly surprised I got a 93% sell-thru on my Chatham product and I’m looking to improve that this year into a 1.25 turn,” says Bob Smith of E. M. Smith Jewelers, Chillicothe, Ohio.

Color creates opportunities for jewelers, Stubbert says. Women who buy colored gemstones buy jewelry more often: they become collectors. “Sell a woman diamonds, she’ll wear them everyday,” he explains. “Sell her color and she’ll create a wardrobe.”

A Brand Partnership
No matter how beautiful the product, it’s the brand partnership that really drives sales and profits. Chatham supports retailers with helpful services and marketing materials that help them focus on making customers happy.
Every Chatham piece is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and a lifetime warranty so customers can wear their gems every day without worry.
Chatham brand support materials include attractive displays and counter pad, training materials, co-op ads, and a free iPad to access the online catalog.
One of the more innovative Chatham brand programs is a dedicated sales analyst who will crunch the numbers to determine what styles will work best in your store. Designs that don’t sell are swapped out for new ones that will in an automatic stock-balancing program.
“We had a sales contest recently where we told the staff to pick anything from the store to sell and 8 out of 10 selected a Chatham piece. That demonstrated to me how confident my sales team is at selling Chatham,” said Bradley Gough of Bradley Gough Diamonds, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Another reason why the sales associates love to sell Chatham: the company’s generous sales incentive program. Sales staff can earn iPads, vacations, and other bonuses with the points they earn on each sale.
“We started out with Chatham at the basic level and we have since tripled our inventory,” says Cherie Schroeder, of Kelvin Schroeder Jewelers, Waukesha, Wisconsin. “We just love how Chatham truly partners up with us and supports us along the way. They are constantly introducing new products and the rewards points we earn for every sale aren’t so bad either!”
Once Chatham jewelry starts selling in your store, you’ll also want to add loose Chatham created gems as an option for all your semi-mounts and custom designs. A 30% discount for Chatham brand retailers makes that even easier to do.
And Chatham also supports independents by not selling to majors or discounters. The company’s online sales policy benefits retail partners too: if Chatham sells online to a customer in your area (at triple key), the company sends you a check for 70% of the profits.
Innovation, unique design, top quality, and a strong brand partnership are a potent combination that’s persuading many independents to take a fresh look at Chatham.



Author:Jewelry Business Advisor