JONATHAN WILSON, VICE PRESIDENT OF WILSON DIAMOND BROKERS, TELLS US ABOUT THE PRECIOUS GEMSTONES AND WDB’S UNIQUE BUSINESS MODEL
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JORDAN WEILAND
The Lakelander: Please tell us the history of Wilson Diamond Brokers.
Jonathan Wilson: Established in 1977, Wilson Diamond Brokers is a third-generation, family-owned diamond and jewelry company. Our grandfather, Alvin Walter Wilson, started by becoming a certified watchmaker in 1951. With humble beginnings in rural Louisiana, Alvin and his brother Frank opened their first retail store. The stores grew in both size and locations as the Wilson family pioneered catalog showroom retail in the United States. In the mid-Seventies, we moved the headquarters to Central Florida, opening six stores along the I-4 corridor. As the catalog showroom evolved, Clay Wilson went back to his roots in diamond and jewelry by officially opening Wilson Diamond Brokers.
TL: You’ve replaced the typical diamond shopping experience with an interesting business model. How does that work?
JW: We have attempted to change the way typical diamond and engagement ring shopping is perceived. We feel that engagement ring, anniversary, and wedding band purchases can be very personal and emotional by nature. For this reason, we meet with customers by appointment to ensure that they can take their time in a private, one-on-one setting. Also, we create all of our engagement ring and wedding bands to fit each unique customer (unlike most jewelry stores that try to sell items that they carry in stock). This allows the customer to customize any ring to fit their tastes and preferences, instead of being limited to what we have in our store. Lastly, due to our long-standing connections and relationships overseas in the diamond market, we are able to buy diamonds at a much lower price than a retail jewelry store. In turn, we can provide customers with a much better price than is typically offered in a jewelry store.
WILSON DIAMOND BROKERS CREATES ENGAGEMENT RINGS AND WEDDING BANDS TO FIT EACH UNIQUE CUSTOMER.
TL: A diamond’s quality is determined by what are called the 4Cs. What are the 4Cs?
JW: Color: The grading scale for diamonds begins with the letter D, representing colorless, and continues in increasing presence of color to the letter Z. Diamonds are color-graded by comparing them to stones of known color under controlled viewing conditions. Each color grade represents a different range in color. Cut: Refers to how the proportions and finish of a diamond affect its overall appearance and quality. The Cut grade incorporates the diamond’s brightness, fire, scintillation, proportions, polish, and symmetry. Clarity: Refers to internal features (inclusions) and surface characteristics (blemishes) within or on a diamond when viewed with 10x magnification under standard viewing conditions. The Clarity scale includes 11 different grades ranging from flawless to I3. Carat Weight: Refers to the standard unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones. Carat weight is measured by a highly precise electronic scale, rounded to nearest hundredth of a carat.
TL: To what do you attribute the longevity of Wilson Diamond Brokers?
JW: A few things: 1. Customer Service. We go out of our way to make sure that our customers are more than satisfied with their purchases and interaction. 2. Our unique approach to the overall experience of buying an engagement ring, wedding band, and jewelry. 3. Quality of Product. We only produce pieces of jewelry that are of the highest quality. 4. Fair Pricing. Most times, jewelry stores have exceptionally high markups. We feel that if we provide a great product at a great price, we will not only make a sale, but create a lifetime customer.
TL: What are the advantages of doing business in Lakeland?
JW: Lakeland is a great small town. It feels like everyone is connected in some way, shape, or form. We believe that if you take care of customers with great pricing, products, and customer service, word spreads quickly.
WILSON DIAMOND BROKERS
210 SOUTH FLORIDA AVENUE, SUITE #150
LAKELAND, FL 33801 863.686.6060