With so much going on in our lives right now, the election results, an uncertain economy, record unemployment and a pandemic cherry on top! Whether you believe it is reality, or you don’t, it’s affecting your life! While writing this, Eta was hitting South Florida… unbelievable!
Also, in case you haven’t noticed, the holiday season is more than just around the corner. Only it’s hit me smack dab in the face, and I have no choice but to prepare for it—or whatever IT is? December is the busiest month of the year for all jewelers, period! I have experienced close to fifty holiday gift–giving seasons in my lifetime as a goldsmith/jewelry store owner, and this upcoming one is gearing up to be the most unpredictable experience ever. Why you ask?
Besides the before mentioned reasons, precious metals are still at an all-time high, and we in this industry are suffering from factory delays or complete shutdowns; especially from large city companies who only a month ago were operating at skeleton crew levels. In other words, not a whole lot of jewelry manufacturing is going on. The supply chain is near comical. A special order that took weeks can now take a month; disruption of services is a reality in almost every industry right now. The Argyle mine in Australia closed down last week and that was the main source of “Champagne and so-called Chocolate diamonds.” I’m being told by my diamond supply sources that mine raw traditional diamonds are down, and so is cutting and diamond supply for the most popular sizes is currently pretty dicey from my point of view. I have my finger on the diamond pipeline pulse every day.
So now to make matters worse, a lot of American jewelry manufacturers have a great deal of the production done overseas. Every country has its own issues and restrictions right now, so things can get hung up timewise, and then there is the matter of getting through customs.
My point of this whole article is… if fine jewelry is on your gift–giving list, I suggest you shop early to avoid disappointment, especially if it’s a custom-made thing, order now!
Now don’t misunderstand me. It may not be as severe as finding hand sanitizers or toilet paper like it was a few months back, it’s just that my gut feelings are telling me that the shortages I am experiencing right now will only become more apparent and more difficult to acquire stock to satisfy the demand to the masses in the coming weeks.
“No pressure, no diamonds.” ~ Thomas Carlyle
Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of The Harbor Goldsmith Marco’s Island Jeweler since 1994. He welcomes your questions and comments about All That Glitters at www.harborgoldsmith.com.