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Christmas Sizings

Don’t forget to give some advertising if you have a shop and are
open between Christmas & New Years to offering to your customers and
others “Repairs done while you wait-Wear that new ring for New Years

We have always offer while you wait repairs MORE between Christmas &
New Years at 50% higher prices and do them while they wait or in one
day. People are excited about their gifts and want to wear them. Many
retailers won’t take in repairs for same week delivery that week and
many trade shops take the week off.

So give it a try it will pay off big time. And of course if they
don’t want to wait, use your normal service.

David Geller

As an addendum to this post I would like to point out that while it
is tempting for a lot of jewelers to close the week between Christmas
and New Years we have always found this to be a profitable and busy
week. People often get money for Christmas or they want to exchange
for more expensive items.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Daniel, I certainly agree with you about the week following Christmas
being busy and profitable. Many people get money for Christmas and
they are still in a spending mood. In a related vein, I’ll have to
disagree with the advice of some others about pre-Christmas
services. We ALWAYS shut down our services in the ten days prior to
Christmas because the petty sizings, etc. interfere with our custom
orders. Furthermore, and perhaps more to the point, is the growing
tendency of people to shop via catalog, T.V. and department stores
and then come to us with their discount junk and expect to get
prompt and cheerful service even when we both know that they will
never buy quality goods from us. Certainly you can raise your
service prices, but at what point in the game do you become
predominantly a service provider and, are you going to make the same
amount of money doing gobs of ten or twenty dollar sizings as
opposed to cultivating a clientele wanting quality, high profit
goods.? After all, just how much can you get by with for petty
services…not to mention the fact that when you are working with
the discount junk you are still incurring risks because the damned
stuff often just doesn’t hold together. You may argue with the logic
that these people might be wooed away from their discount junk by
pointing out how superior your merchandise is and how you will
always be there to take care of them. Phooey…most of these
people are not interested in investing in quality jewelry…they
are, in many cases, just getting their jollies by whiling away an
otherwise unfulfilling evening before a boob tube while listening to
a sacharine pitch from a slick talking salesperson who is all the
while making that lonely listener believe that they are close
friends and that they are practically gicving away the goods. Food
for thought…Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA

Dear Ron, Wow, I know it’s tough, but perhaps when the rush is over
you can let a little Chirstmas spirit in?

I understand your position on doing small jobs right before
Christmas on merchandise bought from other venues. If you don’t have
the resources to handle all the stuff that comes at you this week –
and who does? – I think you’re absolutely right in giving priority
to the customers who came to you for your goods and your custom
designs. They’re your best customers, and they’re giving you loyalty
in return. Fair enough.

But perhaps a little mercy on those who buy from discount stores is
in order? My sister has a sapphire ring purchased several years from
a large discounter who shall remain nameless. Ron, you are right, the
thing is a piece of crap. The sapphires are inky dark, and the shank
crumbled into several pieces earlier this year. I am sure you would
advise her to toss it in the trash and buy some “real” jewelry.

The thing is, this ring was purchased by her husband at a time when
they had very little money. He wanted to buy her fine jewelry, not
costume jewelry, which for good or ill has the rep of being “fake” –
not something you give to your true love to express how much you
cherish her. He wanted a ring, he wanted stones, and he wanted it for
$100, because that’s all the money he had to spend.

Perhaps some of you on this list would have had a better suggestion
for him than what he did. But should by brother-in-law really be
condemned because he didn’t find anything in his price range in the
better stores? Should he have bought her a sweater instead? Perhaps
given her a kiss on the cheek and said “I couldn’t find the quality I
wanted in my price range, so I’ll save up for a couple of years and
give you a Christmas gift then”? Should she throw the bum out because
instead he purchased a lower quality piece of jewelry that he could

DeBeers may have most of us convinced that it’s how much you spend
that proves how much you love her, but in my experience, it’s the
thought that counts. My brother-in-law gave my sister this poor ring
with all his love and the hope in his heart that she would wear it
and enjoy it – and she has. She knows it’s not heirloom quality, and
she accepts that. And praise be, she also found a kind jeweler
willing to repair it when it crumbled. Bless him for recognizing
that memory and love is sometimes more important than the gold and
stones – or even what the world calls quality.

Happy Holidays to all of you, and may the spirit of the season fill
each of you with joy and wonder.

Suzanne Wade
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (520) 563-8255

Concerning “no petty sizings 10 days before xmas”

I forgot to mention. We charge 50% more and will do any work while
you wait, we promote that between xmas and new years.

During December the 50% more doesn’t get it down while you wait. It
just gets it to you FOR CHRISTMAS delivery.

David Geller


As a custom jeweler I thoroughly enjoyed your post. I think we are in
the business of love. You can’t eat jewelry, as far as I know,
which has led me to believe that these = ornaments are primarily
symbolic. It’s nice when the buyer can spend lots of money, but the
thought is just as nice when they have little to spend. We must all
remember that all the pieces that are brought to us represent an act
of caring or a self-gift. There is huma= n emotion attached to it.
Certainly the engagement ring with a .20 carat dark blue sapphire
carries as much love as the = carat E/VS-1. And we should all
remember this. If the client trusts us with these objects we should
be grateful and respectful. Our store motto is “We Make Dreams Come
True”, and we do, big and small. Perhaps in the case of the ring you
spoke of it might be well to suggest rteplacing a half-shank, or
even using the metal= to make a new piece. But it’s NOT junk…ever.

Wayne Emery


Nice post!

  She knows it's not heirloom quality, and she accepts that. And
praise be, she also found a kind jeweler willing to repair it when
it crumbled. Bless him for recognizing that memory and love is
sometimes more important than the gold and stones -- or even what
the world calls quality.

Love and Sentiment doesn’t have a price tag. If it wasn’t for those
two graces, not only would we be without jobs, we’d be without this
industry! I’ve always believed that there is something out there for
everyone, regardless of personal taste or budget.

Merry Christmas to all and Happy Holidays! I pray for a New Year of
Hope and Peace. I know it’s hectic for most on this network this
time of year, but don’t miss the magic of this season and the
treasure of family and friends. Tell someone you love them.

Bob Staley
B.Staley, Goldsmiths
Precision Laser Welding

As a Jeweler that makes resale’s and all other facets, I find that
being a friend will bring you money. Perhaps the lesson here is,
does greed run my thought pattern? I know as well as the next guy
about investment, but I get much more reward to see happy people
recommending me to others. I feel we are a service oriented business
and sending the repair to someone who may not have as much business
and would be in your debt for the business, is a good idea, plus you
will not have to deal with the mundane and keep your reputation
clean… just a thought…Ringman

Hey…Suzanne…cut me some slack, will you! I am not a Scrooge
who belittles customers and their goods. When I am confronted with
the situation of failed shoddy goods the first thing that I do is
coax its provenance out of the customer. If it turns out to be a
present from a deceased beloved grannie, I tell them that I will do
my best to take care of thier problem, but that they might have to
let go if it is not repairable…or I suggest an alternative wherein
the piece can be modified to a more durable object. My chief gripe
pertained to having to deal with the dereliction of the discounters
who offload their travesties on the unsuspecting jewelry junkies who
then bring it into the jeweler. These are the people who will never
become customers and the stuff that they bring in is a nightmare to
repair. As a writer it behooves you to see the jeweler’s side of the
story. As a matter of fact, I think that you could do a great
service to the industry by putting together an article dealing with
the pitfalls of junk jewelry…it needs to be done ,if for no other
reason than to save the newbie jewelers a lot of agony and losses.
Merry Christmas ! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA. P.S. This was our
best Christmas ever, although ninety percent of our revenues were
custom orders…ho, ho, ho!

All, I do not disagree or agree with any of the statements made. I
do see a larger more difficult problem. The problem is what I tried
to address last year in this forum on value. In the USA the average
store selling jewelry has evolved into an entity that pushes out
product as quickly as it can, as cheaply as it can be produced, and
with as little responsibility for the products as can be obtained.
Jewelry sellers do this and intermingle the words love, value,
quality, best price, and intrigue all in an effort to maximize the
profit of the jewelry seller and no one else in the business chain.

To accomplish this task jewelry sellers have for the past 20 years
educated the public to various perverted definitions of custom,
value, and quality. They have twisted these terms in the following
ways. Custom now means taking a mass produced setting or mass
produced heads and setting a mass produced stone into the setting.
Value now means that a poorly cut, low grade gemsto ne is sold as
being a valuable gemstone. Love is entwined as being the tie of how
much value they are giving to this special person. How unique this
special gift is and that it is just for them. The reality is that
they are enriching one person by giving them lots of money for an
over priced piece of jewelry that has little value. Their loved one
will forever have a piece of over priced, low quality, best price
jewelry to proudly display as a token of someone’s love.

To accomplish maximum profits these jewelry marketers have evolved
many schemes to maximize their return. They place employees on
quota and commission basis to get as much work out of the employees
as possible in the shortest amount of time. Paying the employee a
small percentage for more work and rake the profits off the top.
Buying their pieces of the product from mass producing factories to
cut out anyone with an innovated, involved product that takes more
work to produce a finished product. Jewelry marketers stock their
display with “On Memo” goods. Jewelry marketers have educated the
public and appraisers that all gemstones and jewelry has great value
no matter of what it is composed and can be sold at rock bottom

I have seen this over and over at many independent and chain store
jewelers. My estimate is that only one in one hundred jewelers is
actually carving individual waxes, using custom gemstones,
fabricating from stock metals – making custom jewelry. All the
rest are jewelry marketers. All the rest is a lie. All the rest is a
twisted version of love. All the rest makes me sad.

Gerry Galarneau

Right on Wayne, This is my first post in a dogs age as I am in the
middle of Chaos even though Iam in the midst of the commercial frenzy
that we have chosen to partake in I still stop and give attention to
the many people that pear into my window to see if Iam there
hammering away.There is the woman who came in the other day who I
have had as a loyal customer for years and told me she was going to
have a bad Christmas and that she was not into it.I piped in that I
was not really in the spirit as I should be and Was becoming
jaded.She said the reason she was not in the spirit was she woke up
and found her husband dead next to her and she was going to have to
spend Christmas with her grand children alone without her mate.I
hugged her and tried to comfort her.And thought how selfish it was of
me to feel jaded because I had the blessing of work .We are more than
jewelers to our customers and sometimes it takes a good shot of
reality to make us see it.Have a merry Christmas Regards JMO