[Digest Post] Stories from our jewelry experiences

 I really should have had her come to the shop, I would have loved
to see if she was as stupid in person. Just one of many memorable
moments working with the public. 

Janine, hey, I think I know that woman. She must get around. I’m
sure it must have been her, or one of her relatives, who managed to
get me into a slightly heated argument over her firm belief that
white gold came from different types of gold mines than did yellow
gold. She was certain of it, and could not be dissuaded by any
amount of metalurgical She know, of course, because
she’d seen something on Television that led her to know this. Ghod
only knows what show she was watching. Monty Python, perhaps…

Peter.From: Peter W.Rowe PWRowe1@attbi.com

And then there are the stories that illustrate that jewelers, too,
can be a little too human. Many years ago, working in a mall store
where the workshop was a large fishbowl setup so the customers could
watch us work, we’d often put samples of some of our own custome
designed pieces on the window sill. Most of the store inventory was
purchased, and we were allowed to produce designs on our own time, on
which we’d then get an extra commission, if the design sold. It was a
nice perk. One of the other goldsmiths in our shop was called out
to the sales floor when a customer had seen one of his designs in the
window, and wanted to inquire about it. As the sales counter was
seperated from the shop area just by a low wall, we could clearly
hear the whole conversation. She loved the ring, but was dickering
around with the price. Way too much, she said. (this was, by the
way, a well dressed middle aged lady with substantial jewelry on,
indicating that her budget could likely easily afford this relatively
modest ring.). So first she asked if our jeweler could discount the
price. he took ten percent off, under duress. Not enough she says.
Not at all. Can it be cheaper, somehow? He suggested that if he
made it as a pendant, without the weight of the shank, he could lower
the price some more. Still no go. She liked that idea well enough,
but the price was still more than she wished to pay. Was there
another way? After a moments thought, with a totally straight face
and normal tone, our fine professional jeweler informed this customer
that he could, indeed, make the thing cheaper.

In the form of a suppository.

It took her a moment to realize what he’d just said to her. She
straightened up very stiffly, and stalked out of the store without
another word. I’ve always wondered whether another of us might have,
with more diplomacy, been able to help her realize that unlike some of
the other mall stores, we didn’t have the markup to allow the deep
discounting she wanted and made the sale, as well as perhaps keeping
her as a customer, but I’ve also always somewhat admired that man’s
quick thinking for coming up with that line. I’ve never had the
guts to try it myself, but I’ve thought about it a few times…


From: DAgronick@aol.com

I have mixed emotions about this story. Customer #1 got her original
ring back, but customer #2 gets her ring switched, and evryone lives
happily ever after. I don’t know ???


From: LSHancock@aol.com

Missing diamond stories. I am fortunate enough to have never lost a
diamond. Yes, I’ve misplaced them, sometimes for periods of years,
but they have not been permanently lost.

I have to start with a story from my parents. Back when they first
started repairing and selling jewelry in the small rural town where
I grew up in Oklahoma (when my parent’s originally opened the store
they only repaired watches and clocks), they didn’t have job
envelopes because they mostly just did repair as a favor to friends.
A good friend came to the store to get her ring sized and called
after a few days to see if she could pick it up. My dad had
repaired it the day it was brought in and had taken it home wrapped
in a tissue and gave it to my mother for her to deliver. Of course
Mom thought it was a piece of trash and tossed it. Fortunately our
town was so small that we had to take our own trash to the dump and
Dad had been so busy that he hadn’t made his weekly trip. But he
never let my mother or any of us who worked in the store forget the
importance of accountability and communication.

Next…I worked for my parents full time after I completed jewelry
school and was setting several diamonds one day. One of the stones,
a round that was about a 1/3 of a carat, with a very distinct
inclusion, flew to the floor. We looked and looked but never found
it. I thought it was going to be my first ever “lost” diamond. 6
years, 3 bench jobs and 1700 miles away I was opening my old
briefcase and heard a rattle. The stone had fallen into the groove
that went around the edge of the briefcase. I had been carrying
that thing around all that time, mentally and physically.

Last story…Back in about '93 I was working as a contractor in a
store. The downtown business community did a sidewalk sale every
year and the owner always struggled with how to participate since we
obviously had nothing that was “sidewalk sale material.” So one
year we set a bench up in the front of the store complete with
torches. I had only one custom job at the time and it was for my
sister-in-law. She wanted me to remake her engagement ring using
her diamond. This diamond was, how can I put it…distinctly cut?
Let’s just say that it was in dire need of recutting! Well, no
amount of selling would persuade her husband to buy a new one so I
set out to make her the ring of her dreams. At the end of the day
when I was ready to set the stone, the nightmare began, I couldn’t
find it. I had thoughts that perhaps someone had taken it off the
bench, though, as usual it was the slowest day of the year. I tore
that place apart and finally called my sister-in-law to tell her the
long story. She was gracious about it but I felt lousy. To top it
all off my wife and I were getting ready to move into our first
house from the apartment we shared with a roommate; talk about
stress. OK, to make a long story slightly shorter, I picked up the
laundry hamper to load it up and caught a glint in the corner under
the baseboard. It was the diamond! The only thing I can imagine
was that it had fallen into the cuff of my pants and then fell out
when I had put them into the laundry basket. From that time on I
stopped wearing cuffed clothing!

So, those are my stories about diamonds…don’t get me started on
customers, weird coworkers or bosses!


From: “Island Gold Works” islandgoldworks@telsouth.net

This thread is just another way to bring our “family” a little
closer(with a bit of laughter) Hope I don’t step on any toes or
offend. In the 80’s, I had to wait on customers at a jewelry store in
Sausalito Ca. There were daily busloads of visitors from all over
the world. Usually each bus was from a particular country on
‘package’ tours . The night before, I had gone to see the movie
Trading Places with Jamie Lee Curtis. In one scene she is trying to
divert the attention of a passenger on a train. She is acting as if
from from Sweden…"I am vom Svveden’ as she leans over him with a
low cut outfit. The very next day a busload from Sweden comes in
town, and a beautiful young Swedish woman comes in and leans over
the counter…and with a very thick accent … ask… “Doo you
haav…gold ballls” Well, I kept a semi straight face for I knew she
meant …gold beads, but I could not get Jamie Lee Curtis out of my
mind! T. B. Boozer III d.b.a- Thomas Blair Designing Goldsmith Island
Gold Works Hilton Head S.C. www.islandgoldworks.com 843-686-6001
843-686-6407 fax islandgoldworks@telsouth.net

From: Jewelers Gallery jeweler@interfold.com

Jewelry stories: I had done a repair to a customers ring, they came

back after some time and wanted me to fix the ring again. They
thought I should do it for free, somehow they thought that even
though they had run over it with their car, the damage happened
as a result of my repair work!

You know who your friends are when…

I was young. I was a boaster. I had just bought my first package of
10pt diamonds, 100 of them in a paper. I was at a party.

Naturally my friends wanted to see them and I opened the package
only to be joggled by their large Alsatian dog. Diamonds everywhere
on the carpet - a white shag pile.

The party stopped. The music was turned off and two hours later we
had found 98 of them.

Everyone agreed it was one of the best party games ever invented!

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone