Careless mistakes - How to lose money

a nylon over the end of a vacuum cleaner wand - will grab stuff
but not suck it in the canister :) 

Make sure it’s a NEW nylon with a reinforced toe! Don’t use cheap
product for this - I bought a bunch of ‘knee high’ nylons for such
use, and the first one that went on the vacuum got torn by the
suction of the vacuum. It abraded right where it met the edge of the
vacuum wand.

I worked for a guy who had lost a customer’s earring to the deadly
’drop and bounce’. That was four years before I started working
there. When I left this year, he STILL hadn’t found it…given the
layout of the shop and where the trashcans were, I wonder if he’ll
ever find it.

Kelley Dragon

It’s ok Gary, I thought as much. I just had a picture of someone
waving a flaming torch around their lemel tray and other areas while
watching for the flash of light from a stone…

Mike DeBurgh, GJG

One of our sales people (who was wearing a loose fitting baggy long
sleeve sweater) was showing rings in that showcase. 

Yes. My cases are ten inches high with an open back. My retail sales
attire must include close-fitting sleeves, or I knock displays over
inside the cases.


Exactly what I do–watch and listen before taking a dive down to the
studio floor. Sometimes I find what dropped right away–and
sometimes it seems to disappear for a long time–but always turns up.


a nylon over the end of a vacuum cleaner wand - will grab stuff but
not suck it in the canister :) 

Or just get a computer vacuum–cheap and good to have around in
general. They usually have a cloth filter rather than bag/cylinder,
will come with little nozzles and brushes, and are gentle so less
likely to damage even softer stones. Only downside is you’ll have to
empty frequently but I’m assuming you’ll already have swept at this

Just saw the post about sneaker tread–along those lines I try to
remember to snick the “child safety” covers over on unused power
strip outlets. But what works best of all is a need for periodic OCD
level cleaning like I have from my hatred of metal shavings ;-). When
I go full bore, I can strip my workspace to the bare bench and
reassemble in under an hour, because it’s all rolling carts, stacking
drawers, Gerstner and other organizers. I can get to vinyl in
localized areas where I think I heard a “ping” much more quickly.

You guys dropping diamonds are making me thankful I’m fumbling cheap

Ann Ray

If you wear pants with cuffs, check them. I found a customer’s
diamond there after a two day search of logical places.

Also in a class room at Miami-Dade we often found lost/ bounced gems
and bezels by getting down on all fours and peering left and right,
with head held against the TERRAZZO floor- the angle made the gem
visable even tho the terrazzo pattern camouflaged all that fell.


The worst careless mistake I made was to sell a pair of earrings for
AUD$1000 less than the ticket price of $1750

We were flat out busy and the very small price tag was poorly
written so that I mistook the 1 for the / through the $ sign.

Taught me a very valuable lesson about how to hand write a price tag
and how to attach it to the piece.

Jane Walker

Cathe’s mentioning looking parallel to the floor brought to mind a
techniqueI’ve used. Rest a flashlight on the floor and hold it so
the light beam shines parallel to the floor. This helps bring
anything sitting on the floor into higher relief with a longer
shadow. It’s also a good way to check to see if your floor, walls,
ceiling, etc., are flat. I learned it from a house inspector.

Mike DeBurgh, GJG

Back to the lost diamond. I don’t think your a jeweler if you never
have been caught scrambling around on the floor looking for a stone
or piece of so mething at some point in your life.

I used to turn out the lights and use a uv light to find a diamond.
Most of them fluoresce in color and will show up if you get near. I
also have a black hole in our shop where if something falls there it
can never be found.We actually moved a bench to see where everything
was going and found nothing.

One time when I was working on a die when I dropped the tip of a
punch, about 4 mm wide and found it a couple of weeks later. It had
hit the floor and bounced 4 ft one way then must of hit a table leg
and bounce 6ft from there to a wall and bounced back at a 30 degree
angle to rest behind a oven.

I can believe I even found it. We now hold jewelers physics classes
on propulsion of jewelry materials in the shop. Chuckle!

Daniel Wade
Indian Jewelers Supply Co.