Ellison Fine Jewelry Merges with Brinker’s Jewelers
After 24 years of traveling the world in pursuit of the world’s most perfect diamonds and building an esteemed clientele, Scott Ellison of Ellison Fine Jewelry has merged with Brinker’s Jewelers.
A merger that saw its inception at the beginning of 2018 brings together two industry experts, Dean Brinker and Scott Ellison, who have a longstanding mutual respect for one another. Dean says he saw the acquisition as a great opportunity because Scott’s core values mirror his own and those of Brinker’s Jewelers, which are to take care of your customers above all else and have integrity.
Here’s your chance to get to know Scott Ellison and why we couldn’t be more excited about this merger.
Q: Dean got his start in the industry at a very young age. You did as well, isn’t that right?
A: It is. I began working with jewelry for the first time when I was 15 years old, polishing rings, sweeping floors, and taking out the trash. Fifteen years later, I had attained my Graduate Gemologist credentials from the Gemological Institute of America and was performing as the top salesperson at that store I worked at then.
Q: How did you end up starting your own jewelry business?
A: I realized I had a passion for this and could be successful. I wanted to create my own standards for taking care of customers, so I made the frightening (and exciting) career decision to quit the only life I had ever known and started Ellison Fine Jewelry.
Q: Which piece of jewelry would you never leave home without?
A: I always wear a certain ring that has my father’s diamond in it. He passed away when I was younger, and I put it in this band that I wear every day.
Q: What are you most excited about in the merger with Brinker’s?
A: The support system here, as well as the state-of-the-art equipment and resources. It’s invaluable. I didn’t have that before. Everything is at your fingertips. You have some of the best individuals in the world doing watch repair and jewelry repair in-house. I used to refer people to Brinker’s for watch repair. I’m now confident taking a $10,000 watch or a family heirloom piece of jewelry into our in-house facilities, knowing it will be taken care of like no one else can.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about this industry?
A: I love diamonds. My favorite thing about the jewelry industry is that there is never a dull moment and the industry is constantly changing. To be an expert you have to continually educate yourself on the new technologies, how things are manufactured, advancements in diamonds, colored gemstones, and high-end timepieces. Being a part of the Brinker’s Jewelers team, and being able to utilize their resources, will help me further my knowledge and remain an expert in the industry.
Q: What’s the most challenging?
A: My favorite part of the jewelry industry, diamonds, also offers the most challenges. Educating people on the quality and authenticity of natural diamonds versus synthetic diamonds is very challenging. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to know the difference.
Man-made diamonds are going to become more common. Consumers will have to decide if they desire them as much as they have desired natural diamonds, and there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty about their long-term value. We cannot predict the future, however. If the synthetic diamond industry follows the CZ (cubic zirconia) industry then people may want to continue to buy natural diamonds over synthetic diamonds because people just give CZ’s away for free.
Our belief is that greed and overproduction will eventually drive synthetic diamond prices so low that there will be no demand. When that happens, suppliers will need to sell their synthetic inventory. So, you better buy from someone you know and trust because many people will end up buying synthetic diamonds thinking they are buying a natural diamond. An authentic diamond has the ability to increase in value over time, but a synthetic stone only depreciates. How much it depreciates – only time will tell. I sold a specific diamond 25 years ago for $24,000, and today it’s worth $65,000 due to its rarity! Isn’t that amazing? That will never happen with a synthetic diamond.
Q: So tell us your expert tips; how do you tell the difference?
A: The easiest way we can tell the difference is from specialized equipment that only we have. Normally, there are certain imperfections that can only be seen under microscopic vision or by our highly trained eye. Man-made stones also cast different color hues and light reflections, depending on the chemical composition and properties used during the growing process.
Q: Are there natural stones that do not have any imperfections?
A: Yes, there are natural stones that have no imperfections and that’s what I love about an ever-changing industry. We have the chance to educate our customers over the next couple of years about natural versus synthetic diamonds because this is going to be a huge topic.
Q: Workday mantra?
A: When you walk in the door, leave your ego outside. Try to learn something new and improve every day.
Q: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
A: The moment you stop worrying about your business is the moment you need to get out. You should try to learn every day, even if you’re thriving. Once you get lax, that’s when you’ll get passed. You’ve got to keep on your game.
Q: Was there anything unexpected that happened in the merger?
A: When I was in the process of closing my doors, at least 15 of my customers cried. Three of them were men – and that was pretty special. They were long-time customers of 20 to 30 years. I was reminded that Ellison’s has been a very special part of so many lives, as it has mine. I’ve sold these families their wedding rings and sold their children their wedding rings, too. To have customers show that kind of emotion validates I did it the right way.
Q: Tell us any future goals.
A: Keeping the public educated on the value of natural stones over synthetics tops the list. Long term, my goal is to sell and make beautiful and meaningful jewelry. That’s forever passion of mine! That’s the first thing Dean asked me before we agreed to this merger.
He said, “Do you still have the passion?” I told him, “Yes, without a doubt!”
He replied, “Then we’re good!”
Dean says Scott’s down-to-earth demeanor, his focus on authentic customer relationships, and his wealth of knowledge make him an excellent addition to the Brinker’s Jewelers family. We are confident that our guests will enjoy working with him, and we’re pleased to welcome his loyal Ellison Fine Jewelry customers into the Brinker Jewelers family as well!