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6 things to consider before buying jewelry for your Valentine

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[Read original post via SheKnows.com] It’s estimated that Americans will spend almost $20 Billion on Valentine’s Day gifts this year. Diamond jewelry is a traditional choice and it therefore makes sense to know what to look for if you should decide to invest in a diamond piece.

Our family has been buying and selling diamonds for four generations and we recognize the Gemological Institute of America’s expertise in the field as the gold standard. More than any other source, they offer training for professionals like us in the 4Cs — cut, clarity, color and carat.

Recently, we spoke with an expert from GIA on this topic. “Familiarity with the 4Cs of diamond quality is a crucial element in speaking the language of diamonds,” says Brenda Harwick, GIA Instructor. “Every diamond can be described by these attributes, which when taken together, help determine the diamond’s overall quality and value.”

When buying diamonds for a Valentine’s Day gift, consider how it will be worn by the recipient. You may be in the market for a statement piece that will be worn only on special occasions or a cornerstone piece like an engagement ring that will be worn daily. Jewelry is rarely an investment that pays high financial dividends. Rather, diamond jewelry is a beautiful expression of love that should fit your Valentine’s personal style. A good rule of thumb for buying diamond jewelry is to buy what you love, so long as you understand why you love it.

Harwick and the GIA offer six tips for helping consumers find their ideal piece of diamond jewelry.

1. Do the research

Familiarity with the 4Cs of diamond quality is a crucial element in speaking the language of diamonds. Every diamond can be described by these attributes, which when taken together, help to determine the diamond’s overall quality and value.

2. Choose a qualified jeweler

Consumers should select a jeweler as carefully as they would a doctor, lawyer or any other trained professional. Find someone who is credentialed, such as a GIA graduate gemologist. Take note of their affiliations with jewelry industry groups and professional associations.

3. Ask for an independent diamond grading report

A diamond grading report details the gemological quality of the diamond. It tells whether the stone is natural or synthetic, if it has been treated — and how — and its quality rankings in each of the 4Cs. Verification of information contained in any GIA diamond grading report can be attained by going to Report Check, GIA’s secure online database, or by accessing it directly through the GIA 4Cs app.

4. Keep the purchase secure

Have the diamond appraised and insured. A diamond grading report is the independent assessment of quality, while an appraisal gives a monetary value. A personal message or the report number can be laser-inscribed on the diamond’s outer edge, called the girdle, to help identify it if it’s ever lost or stolen.

5. Purchase the stone loose and have the ring set later

If someone is unsure what their future fiancé prefers in a ring, one option is to purchase a loose diamond and decide on the mounting together later. Make sure to have the loose stone graded.

6. Consider the alternatives

Colored gemstones and pearls make unique and memorable alternatives for celebrating special occasions. Consumers should look for independent reports for colored gemstones and pearls, also available through GIA.

See original post: http://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/1112331/tips-for-buying-jewelry

Looking back on 2017: Celebrating our Successes

By | from Staff, Uncategorized

2017 was a remarkable year for American Jewelry and Loan! Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • The Detroit Regional Chamber hosted ‘Inside the CEO Mind‘ at American Jewelry and Loan, welcoming over 100 business leaders to their iconic store to hear their remarkable success story.
  • We are always happy to welcome visitors to our store (including Naked Magicians) and were honored when the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau named our store to their list of ‘How to Spend a Day in Detroit’.
  • Les and Seth Gold love spending time with their fellow pawnbrokers. They delivered the keynote speech and a breakout session at Midwest Pawnbrokers Convention in Nashville as well as the Dixie Pawnbrokers Educational Conference.  Seth attended the NPA Legislative Conference in Washington DC. In July, they attended Pawn Expo in Las Vegas.
  • Seth Gold was named to DBusiness Magazine’s 2017 Class of Thirty in their 30s.
  • We created a Facebook Insider’s Group to connect with local customers who shop at our THREE Metro Detroit locations. Our VIP Insiders can take advantage of exclusive offers and see unique items as they’re added to our showroom floor. We also created an email address where customers can connect directly with our sales professionals for concierge service.  
  • American Jewelry and Loan Pontiac partnered with some of the most successful business leaders in the area to host a 3-week Entrepreneurship Master Class. Also in Pontiac, we repeated our popular Financial Literacy for Alternative Lending Customers Course in Pontiac.
  • Seth Gold served as a panelist for Crain’s Detroit’s business webinar How to Grow Your Business Through Networking.
  • Les and Seth Gold remained committed to supporting their community in 2017, beginning with attending the 2017 NAIAS Charity event. Les served as the celebrity auctioneer at The Big Auction, helping raise $125,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Detroit. They served as Honorary Chairs of the Wigs 4 Kids Gala. Winning Futures raised over $275,000 at their 2017 Corks and Forks event, where Les Gold served as the Celebrity Auctioneer.
  • The 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference 2016 To-Do List Report, presented by Dennis Archer, Jr., included a feature summarizing the Financial Literacy Workshops that were hosted by American Jewelry and Loan in partnership with Junior Achievement, Greenpath Financial Wellness, and Operation HOPE.

As we look to 2018, we’ll celebrate the 40th Year of American Jewelry and Loan with gratitude and appreciation for those who have supported our business for four generations.

Upcycle the Items That Your Holiday Gifts Replaced!

By | Business, from Staff, Uncategorized

“For environmentally-conscious consumers, the pawnshop offers a unique opportunity. Donating or selling unused items is one of the best types of recycling because there are no resources required to process or replace the item. Instead, it finds a new home rather than depreciating in a drawer, on a shelf or worse, taking up landfill space.”

 

Despite widespread gloom and doom reports leading up to the holiday season, the news from retailers for Christmas 2017 sales is good–USA Today reports that U.S. year-end holiday retail sales rose 4.9% compared to the same period last year, a welcome gift to U.S. retailers amid new signs of consumer confidence.

Online retail shopping similarly increased 18.1%, while overall consumer buying during the holiday period set a record for dollars spent, according to the sales report issued by Mastercard SpendingPulse.

Some of the biggest jumps, both online and in-store, were seen in electronics and appliances (7.5%), jewelry (5.9%), and home furnishings and home improvement (5.1%).

These results are consistent with what American Jewelry and Loan reports for their 2017 holiday season. In addition to engagement rings, which are always a staple of the season, owner Les Gold shared that “we’ve seen many customers this year who are looking for an upgrade to their existing bridal sets.”

In addition to fine jewelry, other luxury items are commonly upgraded during the holidays. Beth Anundi of Capital Pawn in Salem, Oregon, has seen so many customers bring their luxury handbags to her store that she recently launched a dedicated Instagram channel to highlight the couture.

Upgrades were even more popular in electronics and technology. “By now, most households have at least one personal computer, so today’s customer is often looking to upgrade with newer models of laptops, tablets, or other personal technology” added Seth Gold, who works alongside Les at their family’s fourth-generation pawnshop.

Martin Strasser of Premier Jewellery and Loans in Kelowna, British Columbia adds “Re-cycled retail is here to stay. Not all gifts are the perfect fit, so we encourage our customers to ‘recash’ instead of ‘regift’.” 

Taylor Packwood of Top Cash Pawn in Plano, Texas notes that timing is key when considering the value of electronics “for previous years electronics and tech, values will be dropping drastically, so cashing in quick is key”.

This leads to the question–what becomes of the items that these gifts replaced? For environmentally-conscious consumers, the pawnshop offers a unique opportunity. Donating or selling unused items is one of the best types of recycling because there are no resources required to process or replace the item. Instead, it finds a new home rather than depreciating in a drawer, on a shelf or worse, taking up landfill space.

For customers who mark a milestone by upgrading a sentimental piece of jewelry, for instance, the pawnshop offers a unique way to recoup a portion of the investment of the upgrade when they sell the original.

Similarly, while hardcore geeks may want the latest technology and the fastest processors, their existing gear may work sufficiently for a student or someone whose needs are less sophisticated. Increasing an item’s lifespan by selling it to a pawnshop is great for the environment because it generates less waste and uses fewer resources. According to the EPA, more than 4.6 million tons of e-waste ended up in US landfills in 2000.

“We’re accustomed to seeing lots of people come to the shop on the first few days after Christmas with items that they either don’t want or no longer need because they’ve been given a replacement as a gift,” Seth said. “It makes a lot of sense because the customer gets cash in their hand fast whereas selling online can be a hassle, consignment can take weeks, and returns can be a nightmare.”

# # #

Individuals who are interested in converting their gold, jewelry, watches, luxury items, game systems, or other technology into cash are invited to stop by one of American Jewelry and Loan’s three Metro Detroit locations and find out why they’re known as being ‘Where Detroit Cashes In‘ for 40 years. For questions about the pawning process or available inventory, email [email protected].

 

American Jewelry & Loan offers personalized shopping services.

Connect with One of Our Sales Professionals

By | from Staff, Uncategorized

American Jewelry and Loan offers the widest selection of affordable luxury items in the area — all at a fraction of the price that you’ll find at the mall. Buy with our easy financing and protect your purchase with our warranty program. Our inventory changes daily — email one of our sales professionals for personalized service!

 

Grow Your Business Through Networking with Crain's Detroit & Seth Gold!

Crain’s Detroit: (Webinar) How to grow your business through networking

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From Facebook to face-to-face meetings, a robust network of connections can be the most practical strategy for growth. Learn from master networkers and small business experts about how they use LinkedIn and the rest of their social media web, as well as those pre-event “networking” hours to help them succeed. Click HERE to register now: http://www.crainsdetroit.com/custom/webinar/3472035/how-to-grow-your-business-through-networking
Panelists:

Seth Gold
Reality TV Star and Vice President
American Jewelry and Loan
Seth Gold is a fourth-generation pawnbroker who was named the 2013 Pawnbroker of the Year. The television show “Hardcore Pawn,” which was based at his family’s Detroit business, American Jewelry and Loan, is now syndicated in more than 50 countries.
Jill Ford
Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
City of Detroit
As Mayor Mike Duggan’s Special Advisor, Jill Ford heads the City of Detroit’s innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives. Ford chose to come to Detroit from the San Francisco Bay Area, where as an angel Investor and advisor she transformed emerging businesses using strategies forged in mobile gaming.
Maxcel Hardy
Chef
River Bistro Detroit
After two decades in Miami and New York, Chef Max Hardy recently returned home to open three restaurants in his native Detroit, including River Bistro, a Caribbean-Soul restaurant, Coop, opening in November, and Honey, his flagship restaurant scheduled to open next summer.
Kris Marshall
President & CEO
Winning Futures
Kris Marshall is President & CEO of Winning Futures, a school-based mentoring program. In 1994, Marshall was in the first student group to participate in Winning Futures in the Warren Consolidated School District; Sam Cupp, the program’s founder, was her personal mentor.

 

Inside the CEO Mind at American Jewelry and Loan

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When making his first sale at 7 years old in his grandfather’s pawnshop, Les Gold could’ve never predicted that, alongside his son Seth with whom he operates American Jewelry and Loan, he would someday be one of the most widely-recognized family business owners in the world thanks to a television show, Hardcore Pawn, now shown in over 52 countries around the globe.
Attendees will hear stories of their amazing journey–told from the floor of their now-iconic Detroit store. The Detroit Regional Chamber invites you to come and take a trip inside the minds of this father-and-son team and how facing their fears has led to hardcore success.

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