In January 2022, Day’s Jewelers’ management team met to discuss strategic goals for the year. The decision was made to find a company-wide diamond training program to advance the diamond education of the team’s employees.
Nine months later, with the help of Vanessa Phipps, store manager of the Day’s Jewelers Auburn location, and Stacy Nordlund, director of education for De Beers North America, the Introduction to the 4Cs course was brought to Day’s employees during the last week of October.
“I attended the De Beers Forum this past April and reconnected with Stacy Nordlund, the director of education for De Beers North America,” Phipps said. “From there, Stacy, Liz Mahoney, vice president of store operations, Bobbi Avery, vice president of human resources, and I began several months of discussions to determine if the Introduction to the 4Cs course from De Beers Institute of Diamonds, the education arm of De Beers, would suit the needs of each one of our employees.”
Day’s Jewelers encourages and supports the ongoing education of their employees, supplying training programs through the Gemological Institute of America, Diamond Council of America, and De beers Institute of Diamonds. This ongoing education helps employees to feel comfortable with and excited for the material and information they are presenting to customers and encourages lifelong learning in their chosen career path.
“Everyone I have spoken with has told me that the most beneficial aspect of the training was how hands-on it was,” Phipps said. “We each had gemological microscopes, loupes, tweezers, polishing cloths, day-light lamps, and master color grading stones which were used to grade a wide assortment of natural diamonds. Many of us have gone through hundreds of hours learning about diamonds through bookwork and online modules, but haven’t had the opportunity to apply that knowledge through independent lab work. By putting it into practice, we were able to truly solidify our understanding of diamonds and what makes them truly precious.”
This particular training reignited the love and appreciation Day’s employees feel for the beauty and individuality that diamonds hold. Phipps was quick to note the seminar was a great reminder that factors determining the value and beauty of a diamond go so much deeper than the surface of the 4Cs.
“Diamonds with seemingly identical grading reports are not necessarily equal in actual price or appearance,” Phipps said. “This is something diamond consumers should be aware of when comparing diamonds between a jewelry professional, or shopping online. When it comes to diamonds, seeing truly is believing.”
Phipps went on to say, “the value we take away from interactive training seminars such as this is so enriching to our teams. The impact it has on our development in terms of professionalism, expertise, and confidence is insurmountable. As an employee-owned company, I think my colleagues can agree that the return on investment leading up to our peak holiday season puts us in an optimal position that sets us apart from our competitors.”
Day’s and De Beers employees alike look forward to bringing further partnership opportunities from De Beers Institute of Diamonds to Day’s.