2013 AGS Conclave Provides Retail Blueprint

If there was a single moment that underscored the prominence of the modern independent jeweler at the 2013 Conclave—the American Gem Society’s educational and networking conference (held April 24–27 at the Phoenix Arizona Biltmore Hotel)—it arguably happened in a session called “Today’s Engagement Ring Shopping Experience.”Addressing a standing-room-only crowd, Laura Cave, director of trade marketing for The Knot, reported that the largest segment of engagement ring buyers, 42 percent, purchased from independent jewelers in 2012. Only 9 percent bought online—a stat that’s remained unchanged from 2010.“One thing is clear,” she said. “People want to buy diamonds in person, under a light, from a trusted salesperson. And that’s probably not going to change.”Of course, feel-good vibes typically abound at the annual Conclave. “I couldn’t do what I do without thi

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