Jewelry: Luxury or Necessity?

During the past few months, TV financial commentators and business press writers have said the jewelry retail industry would be negatively affected because of the luxury nature of the products. It's funny, isn't it, how we seem to accept as gospel whatever we hear on television or read in a respected journal? A 60-second sound bite can make or break a political campaign, an image, or a perception—even our perception of an entire industry. The notion of jewelry as a luxury product is well founded. Stories of kings and queens giving and receiving jewelry, the lore of gemstones connected to luck, and the attention paid to celebrities arriving at the Academy Awards decked in diamonds—all these enhance the image of jewelry as a luxurious purchase. In a sense, we all identify with the lifestyles of the rich and famous when we purchase jewelry. We tend to generalize about the nature of

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