From Prism Volume II 2023: Member Opinion Letter from Erica Courtney

Hello, friends!

I started my career in fine jewelry in Hollywood, which gave me the opportunity to style the most famous people in the world. It wasn’t my mission, it just happened like that. Back then, I mainly used Diamonds and Pearls until I discovered Mandarin Garnet and Pakistani Peridot from AGTA dealers. For some reason those gems hypnotized me and expanded my world. Even though friends discouraged me from purchasing them, I bought them anyway—tons of them—thus, launching my journey into exotic color. I had an insatiable thirst to learn, and that rubbed off on my clients. From that point on, I decided I wanted collectors, not just buyers.

How do you turn your clients into collectors? Tell them they are, and they will be. It’s just that simple!

Introducing your clients to color is not only fun but also gives you something new to talk about with them as well as being extremely profitable. When there is a new gemstone find, it’s a huge opportunity to call your clients to be the “first to know.” When you make them feel invested and treat them like collectors, they will definitely buy. Talking to them about the origin and rarity of beautiful gemstones is a conversation they can only have with you.

Member Opinion Letter from Erica Courtney

I was never into the “big three.” I thought my clients already had Rubies, Emeralds, and Sapphires, and they did. When I saw their old gems, I realized they were small, poorly cut, with lackluster color, and what they could afford at the time. What a great opportunity for me to sell them a new, more fabulous piece of jewelry to match their elevated status. Now I take the “big three” very seriously!

I remember before social media everyone said advertising was so expensive. Now everyone is on Instagram, and I mean everyone! Instagram is so important for two reasons: First, your clients like to see what is in your store. Second, they want to see what else is out there!

Your clients want exotic gems, and thanks to Instagram they can find them. Consumers are online doing their own research and traveling everywhere to buy what you’re not offering them. Your clients now know about more designers and jewelry than they ever knew existed. Social media has closed the gap on what your clients “can’t get.” Are you going to let them go elsewhere to buy color?

My best customer came from an Instagram post last year. A small retailer from the Midwest called me to say his client liked a certain pair of my earrings she saw on my page. He said, “She loves color.” When I heard those words, I asked him if he would like me to come in person and show her my whole collection. He agreed. The next week I went and sold her 18 pieces of jewelry in two hours. Now every time I visit, his client buys 15–20 pieces—she’s shopping like she’s headed to the electric chair.

And just a month ago, I posted a $100,000 Padparadscha Sapphire ring on Instagram and sold it within five minutes. (By the way I do my own posts, you don’t have to pay someone, just do it yourself.)

So, friends, when I tell you I’m selling exotic colored gemstone jewelry, know that I do it because it makes money, lots of money. Exotic color is the new conversation, and I hope you will join in!

Some of your clients have way more interest and money than you think they do to spend on “Drop Dead Gorgeous” jewels.

Love, Erica

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This article first ran in Prism Volume II 2023. See the flipbook by clicking here.