Below is a list of the different market types, as per the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, that are taken into consideration when appraising jewelry.
1. ULTRA-FINE GUILD OR PROVENANCE RETAIL STORES
These retail jewelers maintain the highest standards of quality in diamonds (Color, Clarity, and GIA Cut Classes), colored stones, pearls, and watches.
The execution of design, construction, and finish on the jewelry is of the very best quality.
Long-established retailers in this category include such firms as Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Harry Winston, and Van Cleef & Arpels.
2. WELL-ESTABLISHED, GOOD PUBLIC IMAGE RETAIL JEWELERS
Although not as prestigious as the first category, these quality jewelers maintain a good public image and reputation in their communities and generally carry a wider range of merchandise, not limited exclusively to the highest quality.
These stores often represent major jewelry manufacturers.
The execution of design, construction, and finish is usually good to very good.
Examples of this type are Jared and Mervis.
3. COMPETITIVE, INDEPENDENTLY OWNED RETAIL STORES
This category is comprised of independent, highly competitive, non-chain retailers, maintaining a full range of inexpensive to high quality merchandise, frequently selling as licensed distributors of both major and lesser-known manufacturers.
These medium to high quality jewelers are usually located in shopping malls, strip malls, and commercial neighborhoods.
4. HIGHLY COMPETITIVE, DISCOUNT RETAIL MARKET
Jewelers of this nature are frequently located in jewelry exchanges or other types of common marketing buildings, and are often characterized-though not exclusively-by medium to lesser quality merchandise, sometimes involving off-color diamonds with lower clarity grades.
5. RETAIL CREDIT JEWELERS
This stratified market segment is generally located in high traffic areas, and concentrates on low to medium quality merchandise sold to consumers who are largely dependent upon credit.
This type of jeweler may realize as much income from extending credit and providing layaway services as from sales.
Examples include Kay and Zales.
6. SPECIALTY AND DEPARTMENT STORES / CHAIN STORES WITH LEASED DEPARTMENTS
This broad range of jewelers depends largely on mass marketing of popular, trendy jewelry, ranging in quality from ultra-fine to inexpensive fashion jewelry.
They create demand through intensive advertising and promotion.
Examples of major specialty or department stores include:
a. Neiman Marcus and Sak's Fifth Avenue b. Bloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor c. Sears Roebuck and J.C. Penney d. K Mart and WalMart
7. ANTIQUE DEALERS / GEM AND MINERAL DEALERS
These traveling, public show-oriented retailers sell primarily at gem and mineral show expositions or at antique and other collectible-oriented, regularly scheduled events.
This established circuit is repeated quarterly to annually.
They deal in a full range of merchandise, and encourage after-market sales.
The Palm Beach Show Group, Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, and International Gem and Jewelry Show are prominent examples of this type of market.
8. REPUTABLE AUCTION HOUSES
These retailers range from the highly respected international houses of Sotheby's and Christie's, to well-known regional houses such as Skinner, Phillips, and Doyle.
These auction houses obtain merchandise from individuals or estates, as opposed to manufacturers.
They sell under strict auction rules to a highly select and well-informed group of consumers who may well bring their own advisors or appraisers to the pre-sale viewing.
This market strictly involves the resale of previously-owned goods.
9. MISCELLANEOUS RETAIL MARKETS
Although not part of a defined category or market segment, as in examples 1 through 8, there are many other types of retail markets, such as pawnshops, mail order catalogs, semi-retired jewelers, and "jobbers".
10. CASH LIQUIDATION MARKET
This market consists of those merchants who are significant buyers of secondary market gems and jewelry, where cash conversion is required within one to two business days.
This market includes pawnshops, used gold dealers, estate jewelry dealers, wholesalers, and significant individual buyers.
It should be noted that many retailers may deal in several of the above stratified markets simultaneously.
11. INTERNET RETAILERS
This category encompasses virtually all of the above-listed market types.
Every major retailer now has an online presence, as do all of the auction houses and most independently-owned stores.
There are also many retailers whose existence is solely internet-based-e.g., Blue Nile-and who are able to offer sometimes substantial discounts over brick and mortar stores due to lower overhead and smaller margins.