Guy Ballard of Ballard and Ballard Jewelers. I am a fourth generation personal jeweler. We have a beautiful showroom out in Fountain Valley. 18400 Brookers St. Across from Mimi’s Café. We have a beautiful showroom set up that we built about 15 years ago. We custom-made it to where it is a real nice environment for you to come on into. We are a jeweler. Glenn and I combined have about 45 years jewel experience. This experience is hands-on work, actually repairing it, designing it, and actually working on it. 25 years ago I started on the jewelling bench (sizing it, repairing it) and that’s how you learn the business. We are a jeweler to where we do not just sell the stuff. We design it, repair it, appraise it and consult you with any kinds of repairs.
We have a repair space right in the shop. We have three benches; one for myself, one for Glenn, and one for another jeweler that comes in three days a week and does some work. When you bring in a repair, if you have any doubts, rest-assured the jewelry is safe with us. We take photographs of the jewelry with you there when you take it on in. It helps protect us and yourselves and your referrals. It even helps in the shop (we can track the repair by photos.) We have the latest technology in the shop in jewelry repairs. About 6 years ago I purchased a Laser beam, I’m actually repairing the jewelry with a Laser whereas 25 years ago, when I was repairing on the bench, it was just using a jeweler’s flame.
We do appraise jewelry for insurance purposes. We do not appraise it so you can go on Craigslist or eBay and sell it. We appraise it for insurance purposes so that if you have a loss you are sure you are well covered because you have full documentation on it. Dave Campbell, who we work with, is a Graduate G.I.A. gemologist. It is a dual signature appraisal (my signature and his) to where he basically takes down the raw data and I will check the market to make sure you are valued for appraisal.
Designing jewelry: We love designing! You can go to the corporate jewelers, the big boys, the non-personal jewelers and get “clerked” by the clerks at the counter. Really, all they care about it selling the product, getting it out of the showcase and out the door and never seeing you again. They just want to see how much commission they can get on the pieces in the jewelry cabinets.
In our beautiful showroom we do have a lot of wonderful pieces that we design. We also go to all of the jewelry shows to seek out the best quality, value, and craftsmanship in the jewelry. If you do have a particular design in mind, that is where Glenn comes into play. He will sit down with you and have a consultation to help you come up with a very unique and beautiful design for your loved one. Even if that means taking a piece that is already in the showcase and modifying it to your specifications. We go as far as Cad-Cam modeling now. Glenn can then work with the computer program and send you an email with the renderings to make sure that it’s exactly what you want.
The Jewelry industry has really grown in the last ten years leaps and bounds, technology-wise. In the shop also, about three years ago we also acquired a computerized engraving machine. We can actually engrave on the inside of rings, silver platters, lockets, baby cups, vases; pretty much anything we can engrave on. We’d be more than happy to personalize your special gift or piece of jewelry with engraving! Quite honestly, no one around will do that. They will send it out to be done elsewhere. The nice thing about our shop is that we handle everything in-house. That’s the beauty of coming to our store.
If you have pearls that need to be re-strung we have someone come in and string those all up for you. We have vast experience and contacts in the industry. The techniques, in the things that we do, really outshine other places. You can go to the big places, big bucks, where it is really self-serve or no service at all. We emphasize customer service. Also, we’re Jewelers! It’s what we do! It’s not just a financial game and it’s not to beat the system. It’s been in our blood for four generations! It’s our passion and that’s what we love to do. We invite any of you to come into the showroom and check us out.
If you bought a diamond in the past 25 years, has the value increased and if so how much?
Yes, the value has increased dramatically. Just in the past five years the value has sky-rocketed along with gold. If you do have jewelry on your insurance, definitely get an updated appraisal. A lot of the time, the insurance companies are going to pay out what an older document says. They want to pay out as little as possible so get current documentation, yes. If I sold a one-carat diamond 25 years ago and it sold for $3000 and I had the same diamond, same size of equal quality today, it would sell for about $8000.