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How to create different lighting environments in a B&M store?

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by Athena10X, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. Athena10X
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Athena10X » Jul 18, 2019
    The other day, my fiancé and I walked into a local B&M chain in search of wedding bands. Needless to say, a sales person was trying to convince a naive customer that a well-cut diamond is just as beautiful as the more expensive excellent cut grade. I was tempted to scream to the gentleman to run as quick and far as he could before he’d get swindled, but I elected to hold my tongue seeing as how I didn’t want to damage my relationship with the store.

    Out of curiosity, I walked by to see for myself how the well-cut stone fared against the one beside it that was graded excellent. I can’t speak to any of the other Cs because I didn’t want to be intrusive. To my amazement, both stones did perform nicely under the bright store lighting, which made me furious. I’m glad the customer never turned around to look at me because I have a horrible poker face!

    This experience got me thinking...could I simulate other lighting environments in a portable contraption so as to properly view a diamond at a B&M? If so, how could I simulate daylight, diffuse light (cloudy sky/shade), incandescent light, candlelight, etc. in a portable box that I could stick my head into and block all sources of store lighting. Besides crawling under a table, which not only look odd, but definitely get the attention of security.
     
    


    


  2. Karl_K
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Karl_K » Jul 18, 2019
    notebook paper creates a nice diffuser.
    printer paper reduses light even more
     
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  3. the_mother_thing
    Ideal_Rock

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    by the_mother_thing » Jul 18, 2019
    I suppose it would be a fun experiment, but my practical side asks “why bother?” You likely won’t get pricing in a B&M comparable to online, and you have online dealers who take these games and guesswork out for you with transparency and imaging, all for better prices, IMO.
     
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  4. Athena10X
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Athena10X » Jul 18, 2019
    As much as I agree with you about the benefits of online shopping, there’s still a subset of consumers who do not feel as comfortable going this route and would much rather trust their local jeweler, and there are others who prefer supporting local stores in general, so I think that providing tools that can benefit a broader array of consumers can bring forth better understanding.

    In fact, I and most of my engaged/married friends started the diamond hunt not online, but by going to B&Ms to see and hold diamonds in person and to get an idea of where to start. And even after some online education, we’d go back to validate or try and reproduce what we’ve learned, which is difficult when sales reps offer contradictory opinions. Which is why a more scientific approach is warranted and reason I bought my own viewers, scopes, and loupes.

    But none of these convey how a diamond will look under different lighting sources. The ASET and Ideal scopes merely indicate a diamond’s potential light performance, but what does that actually look like? If I compare two super-ideal diamonds, they’ll each still present a unique flavor under different lighting simply because they are not absolutely identical. And I think it would be nice to see these nuances in person without having to commit to buy multiple diamonds first. But, more importantly, the educational or aha factor when comparing different cut grades because seeing is believing.
     
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  5. Bron357
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bron357 » Jul 18, 2019
    Jewellery stores invariably spend ALOT of money on their lighting because it shows off their wares to their very best.
    I was browsing at a counter once when a man and woman came in with what I presume was the new engagement ring.
    He was complaining that something was wrong with the diamond. It was looking milky in bright sunlight and it wasn’t showing lots of sparkle like it did when he bought it. The sales assistant mumbled something and said it must need a proper clean and took it off for cleaning.
    I turned to the couple and said “Does the GIA certificate say strong fluorescence?” “The what?” They showed me the purchase paperwork and I saw the “CE” notation.
    I just felt so sorry for them and MAD. They had been sold a clarity enhanced diamond, probably with strong fluorescence too and had no idea what that meant. The diamond was never going to look great in ordinary lighting.
    I wanted to say “you’ve been sold a total crap diamond and it’s never going to look great unless it under lighting, like in this store, that costs tens of thousands of dollars”.
    Instead I said “Perhaps you can ask for a refund” and beat a hasty retreat.
     
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  6. the_mother_thing
    Ideal_Rock

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    by the_mother_thing » Jul 18, 2019
    I get supporting local businesses, the in-person experience, etc., but if this is the case and I was getting contradicting info from those local salespeople or had to create tools to support me actually buying from them (and likely paying more to do so!), I would question if they really knew their business and if I needed to give them my money. They should be offering you their services, provide you the tools or ability to view the diamond in different light, know their product (factually), and you should feel good about the experience; not have to work to get them to let you buy their product. Just my $0.02.

    If WF or CBI were local to me, I would support the bejeezus out of them! :lol:
     
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  7. the_mother_thing
    Ideal_Rock

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  8. diamondseeker2006
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by diamondseeker2006 » Jul 18, 2019
    When I first came to PS and was looking for a new diamond, I sincerely hoped to give my business to a relatively local jeweler. I went to several fine jewelers in my town and the nearby larger city. None, not one single one, had any stones that would have fallen into the ideal cut range! I had to go to a Hearts on Fire dealer to see what an ideal cut stone looked like, and those were priced maybe 30+% higher than the superideal vendors here. Needless to say, I have never once shopped for a diamond in a jewelry store again (although there are certainly a handful of jewelry stores in the US that do carry ideal cut stones). I really feel for those who either don't have the diamond education or don't know who to trust. Fine jewelers tried to sell me diamonds that were not great including some graded by EGL. I did have the pleasure of returning to one with my ideal cut diamond to buy a setting. They couldn't say a word because they knew I had bought a better diamond.
     
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  9. Athena10X
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Athena10X » Jul 19, 2019
    Not all local stores deliberately try to scam their customers. There are also family owned jewelry shops that want to do right by their clients for repeat business. But unfortunately, I’ve witnessed firsthand their own ignorance of the ASET, etc. They’re “old-fashioned” and believe that how a person perceives a diamond’s or piece’s beauty in person should be the ultimate deciding factor and that there is no cookie-cutter method to selecting a diamond because people have unique preferences. Granted, I’d use this as an opportunity to showcase the various scopes, but it becomes too technical for them and I don’t want to be too pedantic. Obviously, if they’re still in business, at least in one of the most expensive places in the US, the SF Bay Area, they’re approach, although frowned upon by PS standards still brings in clientele.

    And I’ve also witnessed similar reactions from my “non-technical” friends to the various tools. They understand hearts and arrows because they know what hearts should look like. But with an ideal or ASET, they’re at a complete loss even with a comparison chart in front of them. My friends are not stupid. Rather, I think it’s information overload and they’re interested in the “kiss” approach, thus the 4 Cs (brilliant marketing).

    That’s why I think a simple “lightbox” that simulates other lighting sources would be welcomed because they could see fire, brilliance, and scintillation (without having to know or understand the terminology), and let the diamond speak to them. Though I’m still waiting for a jewelry store that has an enclosed outdoor patio to view their jewelry in daylight.
     
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  10. PreRaphaelite
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by PreRaphaelite » Jul 19, 2019
    I don’t know how a consumer would be able to create alternate lighting without upsetting sales people & managers, but I carry a blue light mini-flashlight with me and have found that (in pawn shops at least) I don’t get much push-back while using it. I wonder if there is a ‘daylight’ producing pocket-sized flashlight?
     
    


    


  11. PearCraze
    Rough_Rock

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    by PearCraze » Jul 19, 2019
    If you go to a B&M store that is a stand alone location - i.e the front door leads outside....most times they will allow you to take the diamond outside to get a better look.
     
  12. LLJsmom
    Ideal_Rock

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    by LLJsmom » Jul 19, 2019
    @Bron357 you have me laughing out loud!!!
     
  13. LLJsmom
    Ideal_Rock

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    by LLJsmom » Jul 19, 2019
    I unabashedly crawl under the counter or I go hide in a corner. And I tell the sales people why I’m doing it too. I have asked sales people to accompany me outside to see it in daylight.
     
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  14. Wink
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

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    by Wink » Jul 20, 2019
    When I am in a store, I like to hold my hand over the diamonds, creating a shadow. A poorly cut diamond will immediately go dead, while a top cut will still be sparking away, although less so than it was in direct lighting. When I am showing ideal cut diamonds, I will often invite my clients to hold the tray under the edge of the display case so they can observe how the top cut diamonds seek out light.

    Wink
     
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