Diamond Brokers Eliminate Middleman Costs At New Jewelry Store

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He's been working behind the counter of a jewelry store since he was 8 years old.

She's been the manager at a jewelry store for years.

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Chad Overman, owner of Overman Designs with his wife, Melissa, helps Cierra Mouraux try on a diamond bracelet as Susan Dunn looks on.

They met while working at Bailey Banks and Biddle jewelry company and now they work together behind the counter of their own jewelry store in Payson.

Chad and Melissa Overman opened Overman Designs at 207 E. Highway 260 in early July.

The store carries jewelry at all price points, ranging from a couple hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

Pieces are sold at wholesale, well below the average, because the couple are diamond brokers and are able to buy the diamonds directly from a Canadian mine without the overhead of a middleman.

"So prices are a third of what they are in a traditional jewelry store," Chad said.

A two-karat ring with 100 stones retails for $6,300, but Overman sells it for $2,400. Chad said they would never make another piece like it because they usually only make one of everything.

"Jewelry is meant to be special, about the moment," Melissa said. "Jewelry is not meant to be expensive, because it is a celebration of a moment."

Meeting customers and sharing in their happy times is Melissa's favorite part of being in jewelry sales.

The couple designs their own pieces and creates custom pieces based on what a customer wants.

If a customer wants a ring for example, Chad, who graduated from the Gemological Institute of America as a gemologist, will design the piece on a computer as the customer describes it to him. The completed ring can be viewed from every angle using the rendering software, 3Design.

The Overmans are one of only five licensees to the $40,000 software. They also use an $80,000 printer to make wax molds of the designs. This allows customers the chance to see a piece before it is made.

After the ring is designed, it is manufactured in California. The company has five master craftsmen creating the one-of-a-kind piece.

"It is a forgotten art form," Chad said.

The ring is then shipped back, ending a three-week process.

Melissa said their attention to detail and customer service is unmatched.

The couple married in 2004 and decided to move to Payson to start a family and open their own jewelry store. Asked why they did not open in Phoenix where there is a larger jewelry market, Melissa said they want to keep the money in town and reinvest in the community.

"We are working on establishing two scholarships for the high school," Melissa said.

Being diamond brokers, the couple buys between 800 to 1200 karats of diamonds a month from the mine.

Most of the pieces they manufacture are sold to art galleries and private sellers.

Melissa said business has been good since opening and every type of customer is coming in, from the rich to the modest buyer.

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