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[Article] An ex-jeweler reveals the art of the swindle


#1

In the June 2010 issue of Harper’s magazine, p 57ff., is an article
on the Jeweler’s Circular Keystone Trade Show in Las Vegas, “All
That Glitters (An ex-jeweler reveals the art of the swindle),” by
Clancy Martin. Even though it’s about the high-end jewelry trade in
which I have no personal or professional interest, it was somewhat
interesting to read about another world. Anyone else have an opinion
on the article’s content?

Judy Bjorkman


#2
In the June 2010 issue of Harper's magazine, p 57ff., is an
article on the Jeweler's Circular Keystone Trade Show in Las Vegas,
"All That Glitters (An ex-jeweler reveals the art of the swindle)," 

How about an explanation of what the author’s point about what the
"art of the swindle" is for those of us who do not read Harper’s. The
JCK show is one of the most prestigious shows where there are some of
the most sophisticated members of the jewelry trade, both jewelry,
gemstone, and jewelry equipment suppliers, and the customers of those
businesses. There also are educational opportunities. Unlike gem and
jewelry shows where I see my customer in the wholesale section when I
know they are not in the jewelry business, at the JCK show the
requirements are extremely strict and without meeting these strict
requirements you cannot get in. Last time I went, many years ago, if
you walked the whole show, it would add up to 17 miles of aisles.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.


#3

We don’t need articles that portray Jewellers as swindlers, at best
it’s an implication that makes people think Jewellers are ripping
them off.

Regards Charles A.


#4
"All That Glitters (An ex-jeweler reveals the art of the
swindle)," by Clancy Martin.... Anyone else have an opinion on the
article's content? 

It’s quite cynical, so it’s right up my alley. Although I think the
part about getting ripped off by the hookers in Vegas might be a tad
"embellished" ( I mean really, is anyone that stupid, stoned, or
both?). I’m also suspicious that the “hip-pocketer” from Poland he
inroduces us to is some sort of composite figure. The part about the
"swindle" concerns all these supposed little tricks that gold buyers
use to take advantage of customers. I’m sure there are plenty of
people out there doing exactly that, but I would not expect it to be
as common as he implies. But he does capture a bit of the character
of at least one profile of the jewelry business. But he’s seeing
things through the filter of a semi-high end merchandiser and, of
course, our world is a lot broader and more complex. But I have seen
some of what he’s talking about. The old trade veterans will have
their stories about the “undertakers”, the “guidos”, the
"yeshiva-bookers" and the other colorful characters in the trade. The
cynicism he’s adapted isn’t just specific to the jewelry trade, it’s
an occupational hazard of the retail world in general.

David L. Huffman


#5

Yes, read the Harpers article yesterday. I found it fascinating,
totally believable, and it reminded me a lot of all the little scams
we used to pull or hear about as a teenager around Chicago. It’s not
a game I’d ever consider playing.

Dennis


#6

Where was this article? Newspaper, Magazine or online… If I can
blog or post comments in defense of those of us who are reputable
and trustworthy perhaps we can dilute the message with our positive
input.

Margie Mersky
http://www.mmwaxmodels.com/
http://www.deepdetail.com/


#7
I'm sure there are plenty of people out there doing exactly that,
but I would not expect it to be as common as he implies. 

David’s true words. This also applies to “store has stripped my
branding” and “diamond jewelry collection for jewelry chains” and
yes, even “the p= rice of gold”.

Welcome to the real world… I don’t read Harper’s either, but I
found some excerpts by searching the title - nothing earthshaking,
really. Those are salesmen - I’d put them in the pawnbroker
category, myself. There’s certainly an element of art in jewelry,
even (or maybe especially) at the higher levels, but jewelry is also
about the buying and selling of precious things. It’s not any
different than Walmart, Exxon or Coca Cola.

Trying to separate consumers from their money, and the bigger the
scale the bigger the noise. And when you open your store, you can
say who gets what and when, too. And when you open your 100th store
you’ll find that the world is a different place, and a 50 cent rise
or fall in the price of gold actually means something. Corporate is
corporate, to a large degree. There are chains of supply, COGS,
profits all along the way, fleecing the flock, as it were. Did you
really think a Coke has $2.00 worth of stuff in it?


#8
How about an explanation of what the author's point about what the
"art of the swindle" is for those of us who do not read Harper's. 

Clancy Martin put out a piece of crap novel early this year, “How To
Sell,” that I foolishly spent $25 on to see what the fuss was about
(NYT Book review, etc.) Turns out to be one of the worst books I’ve
ever read: unlikeable characters, drugs and sex in a high-end Fort
Worth jewelry store, offensive stereotyping of Mexicans, Jews,
Poles, and just about every character in the book, and ridiculously
unbelievable schemes (to me) about how they ripped off customer
after customer.

There’s even a scene that takes place at the JCK in Vegas in which
they lose almost a half million in (uncertified, conveniently
enough) diamonds to “three black hookers.”

You gotta hand it to this guy’s agent, though. Obviously he/she
succeeded in swindling the publishers, and got the client a cushy
writing gig with a prestitious magazine to get the dead-in-the-water
book some additional publicity. Ugh.


#9
Where was this article? Newspaper, Magazine or online..... If I
can blog or post comments in defense of those of us who are
reputable and trustworthy perhaps we can dilute the message with
our positive input. 

Frankly, “journalism” like this do not even deserve a response. It
has to be a lean advertising budget, if a publication stooped down
so low as to put up a piece of trash like this. Anybody who has been
in this business for sometime knows that a reputation is something
that jeweler takes very seriously. However, if someone who is failed
at publishing, decides to become a jeweler, that is quite another
matter.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#10

here is a link i found to the article in harpers magazine online

as far as comments go when people are unemployed & need money they
have tosell thier stuff be it jewelry or anything else.

in theory quite alot of things are worth more than sum of their
parts take jewelry for instance.

i took an aqua marine ring in on consignment a couple of months ago
that is probably 65 years old. The gemstone at first glance looked
like a treated blue topaz until the gem tested Beryl.

The quality of the craftsman ship of the construction of the piece
would require the skill of james miller to accomplish.

i found not one person educated enough to understand or appreciate
its b= eauty to give the owner an opportunity at recieving the
theoretical best case scenario value for his ring.

i told my customer straight up yes the piece is value is much higher
than the offer i am making because i do not have limitless funds to
tie up or energy to shlep this ring from palm beach to london to try
to get the theoretical value in dollars.

at the sum of the argument who is to blame ? the consumer for paying
to much ! or the jeweler trying to stay in business so they can pay
the wall street real estate speculator for rent and mortgage. - goo


#11

The other part of this that I haven’t heard mentioned is the
difference between wholesale and retail. Even if what you were
selling was brand new, highly in-demand stock, you wouldn’t expect
to walk in and get retail for it. Would you?

Michael
www.radharcknives.com