The MGS Precious Metals Blog

Manhattan Gold & Silver is an industry leader in precious metal pricing and refining with more than 30 years of experience. During our time in the business, we’ve found the topic of precious metals to be a vast and interesting one. Here on our precious metals blog, we write in-depth posts about the science of precious metal refining, historical and modern uses for precious metals, market news, and much more. Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay current, and discuss the latest posts on our Facebook page.

Crafting a Marketable Return Policy

May 2, 2017 03:00

If you work in a fine jewelry store, it can be disappointing for a customer to return something you spent a lot of time helping them pick out. However, product returns are not something you should actively discourage in your store. For many customers, even a small jewelry purchase can feel risky. A tedious or punitive returns policy can scare off potential new customers, or create problems for loyal customers who need to return something. Conversely, a hassle-free returns policy can be used to increase sales, build customer trust, and improve your store's reputation. When reexamining your jewelry store's returns policy, make sure you do the following.

Use customer-friendly language

If your business requires a returns policy with lots of exclusions or fine print, that's perfectly fine. However, you'll want to avoid spelling out those exclusions in a punitive tone. Instead, use positive language that considers the customer's point of view and makes them feel like their purchase is appreciated and protected, rather than threatened.

Give enough time

Shorter return periods can create a counterproductive sense of urgency. If you give customers a longer period of time to return something, they're less likely to experience this pressure.

Cover replacement costs where you can

If your margins are enough to allow for it, or if the return meets certain requirements, keep your customers from paying additional return costs - like restocking or shipping fees. Showing that you are willing to cover those expenses can improve a customer's confidence in their purchase decision.

The running theme here is: don’t penalize the customer who needs to return something. Most people check the return policy before committing to an expensive purchase, like jewelry. If it looks like they could be “punished” by the hassle created by your returns policy, there’s a greater chance they'll look elsewhere.



The Benefits of Pop-Up Shops

January 24, 2017 02:00

More and more brands are experimenting with temporary retail outlets, better known as pop-up shops. While any type of business can open pop-up shops, this versatile concept is particularly well suited for members of the fashion and jewelry industries - like a trunk show with bigger impact. Consider how a pop-up shop could enhance your:


Pop-up shops are temporary and modular - so you can present your products to a new audience without going through the expensive process of opening a permanent store. For example, consumers visit the Diamond District to shop for jewelry. If you can't afford a Manhattan lease long-term, a pop-up shop in the Diamond District can be a great way to introduce your jewelry brand to an audience that's interested. Similarly, you can open a pop-up shop to coincide with an area's busy season or a large event to maximize your exposure with limited financial risk.


A well-executed pop-up shop helps you market your products while making sales at the same time. The temporary nature of a pop-up creates a sense of urgency among consumers to “buy now” while they can. You can also influence future sales by testing new styles, designs, or other offerings to gauge future demand.

Unfortunately, a pop-up shop is not without challenges. Location and creativity are important. You need to select area that has enough foot traffic from your target customers, and you need to grab their attention by creating an engaging or exclusive experience. If you can pull it off, a pop-up shop has great potential to reenergize your business.



How to Display your Jewelry in the Best Light

January 10, 2017 02:00

When selling jewelry, you want to present your wares in the best light – literally. Depending on the type, cut, and quality, gemstones can look differently in particular types of lighting. Alloys behave similarly (in fact, the exact way specific metals reflect light is what we measure in an X-RF assay). To convey the true beauty of your products, it helps to understand the basics of selecting a light source: brightness, color temperature, and color rendering index (CRI)
Most common lightbulbs and lamps have a brightness equivalent to either 40-watts or 60-watts. Sixty-watt lights are bright enough for open spaces and entire rooms, but can cause undesirable glare or reflections in displays. For these more intimate areas, lights closer to 40-watts of brightness provide adequate, but not overpowering, illumination.
Color temperature is measured on the Kelvin (K) scale. Lower Kelvin numbers mean that the light appears more yellow; higher Kelvin numbers mean the light is whiter or bluer. Most light sources are grouped into one of three ranges on the Kelvin scale:

  • 2200K-3000K – yellow range (usually advertised as “soft white” or “warm white”)
  • 3500K-4100K – bright white range (usually advertised as “white” or “cool white”)
  • 5000K-6500K – blue-white range (usually advertised as “daylight”)


The “best” color temperature really depends on what is being illuminated. Lower color temperatures look “warmer” and can be used to make an area feel more relaxing or inviting for shoppers – or to accentuate the tones of yellow or orange gems and gold jewelry. Since medium color temperatures are more in the neutral/white range, they’re a good choice for general-purpose lighting. The blueish-white temperature range is great for drawing attention to intricate details or imparting a dynamic energy to special displays.

Color rendering index is an indicator of how accurate colors will look under the light, as well as how well subtle variations in color shades are represented. A CRI of 100 represents the maximum value and the most faithful representation of colors. Most fluorescent lights have a CRI between 50 and 70, so they are not well suited for displays. Most LED light bulbs (and some CFL bulbs) fall in the 80-90 range, which appears as perfectly accurate to all but the most eagle-eyed individuals.


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