When we launched Katannuta Diamonds in 2007, we knew that we were entering a luxury goods market with significant competition. We also knew that we would never compromise on quality to offer the lowest prices; cheap diamonds are never top quality.
So, we made a business decision that we weren’t going to compete on price alone. We decided that we weren’t going to sell cheap diamonds or cheap jewellery. There is no shortage of both online and brick & mortar retailers selling mass-produced jewellery of inferior quality.
We wanted to focus on bespoke jewellery of the best possible quality, set with diamonds and gemstones that meet the strictest criteria, backed by exceptional customer service. After 12 years, we’ve built an enviable track record based on the foundations listed above.
When you run a business that competes only on price, there is always somebody that is willing to make a loss, to under-cut you, to win a client. This is often a one-time client though. The client who shops based purely on price has no loyalty as far as customer service or quality is concerned. When another company offers diamonds at a cheaper price, they will shop there, leaving you in the lurch.
Given this, we’ve never advertised ourselves as a cheap diamonds or jewellery company. We’ve never competed purely on price alone. What we do offer is exceptional value for money compared to other high-end retail jewellery stores. We’re not an instant gratification jewellery manufacturer. Working with us takes some time and commitment, but the bespoke jewellery we create for you is worth the wait.
Often, clients fail to distinguish between price and cost when they are shopping around and comparing prices. Price is a one-time thing; cost is a life-time thing.
An expensive exercise in cost
An experience with a customer of ours a few years ago clearly defines the difference between the cost and price. Reggie* contacted us via our website looking for costs on a unique engagement ring and a men’s wedding ring. We quoted him on the (significant) size diamond he was looking for, together with smaller coloured gemstones and ring manufacture prices.
He then told us that he’d received an “excellent” quote on a diamond from a jeweller in Durban and if he bought the stone there, could we manufacture the ring in his chosen design, with us supplying the coloured side stones. We assured him that this was not a problem.
A few weeks later Reggie phoned us to say that the Durban jeweller had offered him a great price on the diamond based on the proviso that they also manufactured the ring. He apologetically asked us to invoice him only for the coloured stones, saying that the cost of the cheap diamond in Durban was too good to refuse.
And, that was the end of Reggie, or so we thought. We closed his client file and didn’t think of him again…until a year later, when he phoned us. 12 months after he’d ordered his rings from the jeweller in Durban, he still didn’t have them.
When he visited the Durban jeweller to look at the diamond, he discovered that although the diamond was certified as a particular colour and clarity, the jeweller hadn’t disclosed that the stone was milky and actually appeared white to the naked eye. The stone was a poor quality cut and that, combined with the milky appearance, made it a cheap (and nasty) diamond. Not only was the diamond a disaster, but the manufacturing of the rings had also gone badly and the designs had not turned out as Reggie had envisaged.
Reggie had requested a full refund and a return of the coloured gems from this jeweller, and the jeweller was demanding that Reggie pay for the labour incurred in the manufacture of the rings. They went so far as to threaten legal action should Reggie not settle his outstanding account with them.
When Reggie returned to us with the coloured gems (that had been set in his ring, then removed from the ring), we found that many of the gems were chipped or broken, rendering them useless for setting in the new ring that we were now going to make. In addition, we tested the side-stone diamonds that had been returned to Reggie, to find out that some of them weren’t diamonds at all.
As a result, Reggie had to buy additional stones to replace the ones broken by the Durban jeweller during removal from their setting.
Now, consider Reggie’s cheap diamond experience in the context of price vs cost.
Our price for the main diamond was more expensive than the Durban jeweller, but it was an excellent quality diamond, not a milky white one. Our coloured stone prices and manufacturing prices were more competitive, but Reggie valued the cheaper price on the main diamond above these other parts of the rings.
Had Reggie purchased from us, the overall price of the ring would have been slightly more than the Durban jeweller but working with the Durban jeweller came with hidden costs. It took Reggie a year of his time, together with substantial deposits, incorrect designs, broken gems and the possible threat of legal action against him. Those are additional, life-time costs that you don’t take into account when you look at the price quoted to you.
With us, there would have no wasted time, no broken stones, no disappointing poor quality diamonds and definitely no legal costs. Overall, the cost of working with us would have been far less than the cost of working with the Durban jeweller.
We hear countless stories of retail jewellery stores where stones have fallen out, resizings have gone wrong, quality control has been slack, and so much more. Some of these retail stores may be cheaper than us at face value, but in the long-term, the cost of shopping with them will add up.
Other jewellery companies may beat us on price, but nobody can beat us on cost.
So, if you are looking for a special and unique piece of bespoke jewellery and quality, workmanship and service levels are important to you, why not give Katannuta Diamonds a try? We’re not here to sell you cheap diamonds and inferior quality jewellery. We’re here to help you receive outstanding value for money with the best quality diamonds and gemstones available in South Africa. Give us a call and let us know how we can help you.
*Not his real name