Monday, August 9, 2010

The difference between GIA and EGL (US)

GIA or EGL what is the difference?

I am only giving you my personal opinion and this is not based on any factual data of any sort. Both the GIA and EGL are premier labs of the jewelry industry and therefore have a great reputation. Unfortunately, the EGL logo is used by not only the US office but by many labs overseas. As a jeweler, I would only recommend purchasing a diamond that is certified by the EGL based in the US and not one from a foreign labs and this is because the overseas EGL labs do not come close to meeting the standards of the local US labs. As far as the GIA, it does not matter if the certificate comes from the US or overseas, they are all considered equal.

Now, how does the US EGL compare to the GIA? It is my opinion that if you are looking to purchase a high quality diamond, say D to I color and Flawless to SI1 clarity than you should consider a GIA certificate. The information that the GIA provides on their full certificates make the diamond slightly more valuable and because the GIA has a slightly more conservative grading standard you will pay more for a GIA certified diamond.

Therefore in conclusion, if two diamonds have the exact same color and clarity grading and are both certified, one by the GIA and the other by the EGL US, you need to be prepared to pay slightly more for the GIA diamond because in most cases it has been graded more strictly. And when it is time to trade up or sell your diamond, the GIA hold a lot more credibility all day long.

Hope this is helpful, please let me know what you think of this article............Sol Dunst

Labels: GIA or EGL, how do I pick?

Suviving these challenging times

Who will survive these challenging times?

The news does not seem to get any better, in fact it seems to get worse as my day goes by. The more people I speak to during my day the worse the news gets. So, the big question is, "who will survive these challenging times?"

It is my opinion that customer service has become the number one factor in surviving these difficult times. If you are willing to bend over backwards and provide excellent service to your customers, they will remember you and be there for you when times improve. This is a no brainer, and therefore I am trying to do whatever it takes to put a smile on every customer and make sure they are absolutely satisfied with their purchase.

Now I know that downsizing is today's strategy, but at what price to the consumer? Everywhere I call, the holding time gets longer and longer. Everywhere I go, there seems to be less people willing to help.

So the answer is simply, keep a positive attitude, keep smiling and hopefully my customers will appreciate what I am trying to do by referring their friends and family for their jewelry needs.

This has been my pledge from the first day of opening Sol Jewelry Designs and it is more true today than ever before.

If you have a comment on this subject I would love to hear back ....................Sol Dunst

Sacrifice quality over price

Should you sacrifice quality over price in these challenging times?

Being a business owner, I find these times challenging regarding the quality of jewelry that I want to carry and sell to my customers. I know that "price" is very important today because of our slowing economy, but should you sacrifice quality or should you buy based on budget. It is my belief that quality is always king. If you want to spend your hard earned money, you should know that you are buying something that you can be proud to own and wear for many year to come. I can't understand customers who are willing to buy low quality jewelry just because it looks good, but in their heart they know they can never be proud of that items even though they got a good deal. I always encourage customers to stay in their budget, but get the best quality they can so that they have a sense of pride in what they are giving or purchasing depending on their particular circumstance.

I have seen so many customers who come in with items that were purchased somewhere else and they feel embarrassed when they ask me to clean their jewelry, they always say that they know it's not the best quality but that is all they were able to afford at the time. Would it not have been better is they bought a slightly smaller item but knew that they were buying something nice?

So my answer to buying quality over price is simple, you should always buy quality even if you have to sacrifice the size of the purchase. You will feel proud to wear that piece of jewelry and you will certainly get many more compliments along the way.

I hope this short article will be helpful when you are ready to make that next purchase. And remember that if you have any questions regarding this article or any of my early ones, please do not hesitate to contact me at or visit us on the web at

The new age of the internet

How has the internet changing the way we shop for jewelry

There was a time, a long time ago, when you needed to know someone in the jewelry district in order to get in and get what was considered "wholesale" pricing. Fast forward to the '80's and '90's, everyone seemed to know someone in the business and most downtown vendors started selling to anyone who would ring their door bell and be ready to make a purchase. Fast forward again to 2009, the game has changed completely, the internet has become your best friend and it's as easy as a click on the mouse and every possible item at all price points seem to be available to the public. Of course the greatest disadvantage to buying on-line is that you really have no idea what the item looks like and you need to pay in advance in order to just hold the item in your hand and decide if this is what you want to spend your hard earned money on. Yes, it's easy and convenient but I feel that buying a piece of jewelry requires a level of emotional involvement, a passion for what you are about to give a loved that will be charished for many years to come.

Anotherwords, if you put out no effort in your purchase than the gift giving becomes less important to both you and your loved one. If you are purchasing electronics, clothing, or anything else other than jewelry I can understand that convenience is important. But if you are making a major purchase for a loved one, make that extra effort and head to your local jeweler who you hopefully had previous contact with, and experience the thrill of picking out something special.

I know there is a whole new culture out there of young people who are very comfortable shopping on the internet. It is unfortunate that they are missing out on a life experience that is very rewarding and might therefore set the trend for all their future purchases. I see no way to change this trent, in fact, more and more people of all ages are getting comfortable with this new shopping trend.

So what I need to do as a vendor is adapt to the internet or else suffer continuing loss of business. What that means is I need to spend more money on technology and internet advertizing and less money on store improvements and high rent payments. This is a new age that we all need to get comfortable with it whether we like it or not.

I will still encourtage customers to come in and visit our showroom, but I am ready, willing and able to approach the new age of technology head on. I hope as a small vendor I will be able to compete with those otherwise know as the "big boys".

In the meanwhile, take a look at my web page and give me your comments as to what I can do to improve the look and function of my site if any.

Thanks for your time,

Sol Dunst

How to pick your jeweler

Deciding where to make your next jewelry purchase

So now that you are ready to purchase that beautiful gift, how do you decide where to make that purchase?

You can go to the Internet and start shopping on-line. The only problem with that is that you have to pay for the item in full up-front and hope you like what you see when that Fed Ex or UPS truck pulls up to your house. If you are unhappy with your purchase, now you have to return the item and wait for that credit to appear on your statement, good luck.

You can try going to your local mall and choose from one of those chain stores, hopefully the quality and price satisfies your needs. Most of those stores will offer you a store credit if you are unhappy with your purchase, but you need to ask.

You can go to your local jewelry store, usually offering a limited selection and most likely charge you 2-3 times what you might pay at a downtown jewelry district store.

So my advice would be to find a store that in located in a jewelry district in your home town that offers a large selection, money back guarantee, been in business for many years, hopefully has a web page you can preview their inventory before making the trip down, and most important has a good reputation.

Now how do you find this perfect combination of quality, good value, money back guarantee, web page and a large selection to choose from?

If you happen to live in Southern California and are willing to make the drive into Downtown Los Angeles, than I would recommend that you visit our beautiful showroom located at 550 South Hill Street at Suite #1020. You can preview our inventory at and call us to make sure the item you want is in stock. You can also view our videos at and

If you live in other parts of the country that have a jewelry district, try to talk to friends who have had good experience with a particular vendor and start your shopping there. You will most likely save lots of money by making the trip, but make sure you know who you are dealing with. Most vendors are not very reliable, so get a good referral to be safe.

I hope I have been helpful in making that important decision.

If you like this article than please let me know, and if you have any comments they are appreciated as well............................Sol Dunst

Fighting inflaction with diamonds or gold

Should you invest in diamonds or gold to hedge against inflation?

It seems like any time you listen to the radio or your television today all you hear is that gold is predicted to reach $2,000/oz in the next 12-months and that gold has increased over 40% since last year, therefore its time to buy now. And of course the best prediction of them all is that gold will never be worth zero as some of your other investments might. Well, it's true that gold will never be worth zero and yes, gold has moved in the last 12-months from $860/oz to $1,100/oz, that's a 28% increase in one year. But will gold hit $2,000/oz by the end of next year is just a hopeful thought, but possible, all depending on how the US dollar does against the Euro. So it is safe to say that gold is a hedge against inflation and if you believe that the dollar will continue to decline than gold is what you should be buying. Of course the big question is, in what form should you buy gold; coins, bars, or commodity stocks? It is my belief that your best choice would be to buy gold coins, either US Gold Eagles,Krugerrand or Maple Leaf. You can buy these coins at any coin store or over the internet, but make sure you take possession of these coins and not let some company hold them for you. This way if you decide to sell any portion of your investment you can do so easily by going back to the place you originally bought them or go any coin store around. Make sure to shop around before you buy to get the best possible price as well as when you are selling.

Now diamonds are a whole different breed of investment, not even sure I can call them an investment. Remember, one thing that is different about diamonds, you can wear and enjoyed a diamonds for many years as compared to gold that just sits in a safe deposit box and accumilates dust. I know that many sellers of diamonds will pitch you the concept that diamonds are easy to sell when you need money and that is absolutely not the case at all in my opinion. Even if you manage to purchase diamonds at a fair wholesale price, but when you are ready to sell, that same dealer will offer you less money than what you originally paid because he needs to make a profit when he resells it. Now of course if diamonds have appreciated by say 30-50% over the life of your purchase than you might get back what you paid or slightly more. The problem is that if you need to try to sell that diamond somewhere else because the dealer is no longer is business, than you will find out that you will not get anywhere close to what you originally paid for the diamond. A diamond is "not" like an ounce of gold that has a world market price, it is dictated by supply and demand as well as what someone is willing to pay for it on that particular day.

So if I were looking to "strictly" invest some money against inflation, than gold is my recommendation. It is easly to buy and easy to sell with very little commission involved coming or going. Make sure you buy only gold coins that are either US Gold Eagle, Krugerrand or Maple Leaf. The most popular size is one ounce denominations

Hopefully this was informative and useful information that you can use in planning you future investments.

Drop me a line and let me know what your thoughts are.

Sol Dunst