Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Forgeting your work

Hello All: I was wondering if maybe any of you have forgotten making
something before? The other day my boss brought me a ring that he
swears I made and so does his wife, who also works there. It is his
wife’s cousins ring that they say I made 2 or so years ago. I do not
remember it. It doesn’t look like mine. I feel like I’ve made so many
rings that it is getting harder to tell sometimes. It kinda puzzles me
and I thought I might share with ya’ll and see if anyone else is
losing their mind or if it’s just me. I have been making jewelry for
some 22 years now and I really thought I would be able to identify
everything I’ve made.

Michael R. Mathews Sr.

After 22 years of heavy production, you’re bound to forget somehing
you made. But if you don’t use your personal maker’s mark, or have a
hidden way of identifying your stuff, why not photograph and catalog
everything you make? Then if it isn’t in your file, it isn’t your
creation. Dee

This same thing happened to me last month. My sister brought me a
ring that I made 10 years ago and I didn’t remember it. I guess we
need to keep sketch records or some such if we are ever to remember
all that we make during our life span because i just can’t keep it in my memory bank.

Every once in a great while someone brings in something for cleaning
that I can’t remember making, but it is usually when it was a custom
job for someone based on a design they wanted.

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

Hi Michael,

I have been making custom jewelry for 28 years and thought I would
also remember every piece of jewelry I ever made. But not true
anymore, too many pieces. About 14 years ago, I started signing and
dating by year, all of my pieces with a small air drill with a bur
grounded to a sharp point. It works great. Now if a ring come back
in the store, I look for my signature which I put next to the karat
stamp, and can tell by the date how long ago I made it.

Jimmy Eriksson
J. Eriksson Jewelers

    Hello All: I was wondering if maybe any of you have forgotten
making something before? 

For the last 5 or 6 years I have found it hard to recall whatever it
was that I was building yesterday. Unless there were problems that I
don’t want to forget, it just goes away into the void. It is probably
just as well as this way my problem ego won’t be so busy trying tell
me about all the “great stuff” that I’ve done. I started building
jewelry 30 years ago

Bruce Holmgrain
JA Certified Master Bench Jeweler

Hello All: I was wondering if maybe any of you have forgotten making
something before?

Oh, definitely!!! Before I decided to switch professions, I was a
clothing designer and made one of a kind suits…Someone brought a suit
to me and asked if it could be made smaller as they had lost weight. I
commented what a nice design the jacket was and was greeted with a
smile and the comment that it should be for the price…Imagine my
surprise when told it was one of my pieces and not that old… I tend
to put my all into what I’m working on then, finish, and put my all
into the next piece…

Michael, Yea,your losing it.Along with anybody else that makes tons of
stuff.I have customers come in once every couple of months that say
you made this and I say yea right.I had a friend send me a buckle he
wanted me to melt down into something else.It turns out I made it 30
years ago.He forgot where he got it but when I saw it I remembered the
very day that I made it.I had given it to him as a gift.What kills me
is when customers come in and say you put a spring ring on my chain
last year and I just say oh yes.Or I lost my ring and now I want you
to make me one just like it.You sized it a couple of years ago.It’s
just part of the gig.Human and jeweler. J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio


Like you, I’ve prided myself on remembering my work over the years.
About five years ago I had almost the identical experience as you
describe; totally blank on a fairly recent piece (and it had my
hallmark!) I took this as a message, changed my diet, and started
taking selected vitamins and supplements which enhance brain
function. I haven’t had a recurrence, but it seems that for a period
of about 18 months in the early 90s I was experiencing mental lapses.
If you have a good health plan it probably would be well to have a
complete physical, including blood work to check your hormone, enzyme
function, etc. There are many “conditions” which diminish mental
function and are so gradual in their onset that they go almost
unnoticed. Good luck!

Jim Small

Yeah, Mike. Senility bites, huh? (chuckle. feels that way, at any
rate, doesn’t it.) I’ve been at it myself since '69, when I first
took a high school jewelry class… Would you believe I rediscovered
a ring I made for my own mother, in her jewelry box this last
Christmas. I’d made it perhaps 15 years ago, according to her, and
from the style, that’s about right. It’s got my stamp inside, so I
know I did it. But even seeing it, it looks somehow alien to me. No
recollection of the thing at all. Weird… And at work, where many
of the design ideas are not mine, but are the “work” of various
salespeople or customers, I do find pieces showing up now and then
that ring no bells at all in my head. Again, only the markings on the
inside suggest to me that it probably is my own work. Doesn’t happen
all THAT often, but yeah, it happens.

Peter Rowe

Hi There Michael R. Mathews Sr.,

Yes, I have certainly forgotten a few of the things I’ve made over
the years. It’s bound to happen if you make enough stuff… My wife
and I work with kids. One day, I complemented one of the girls on a
necklace she had on. It wasn’t THAT special, but in general I think
it’s good to notice things to complement kids for. She kind of gave
me a funny look then said. “Well you ought to like it. You made it
for me as a bat mitzvah present when I was 13.” Ooops. After she
said that, I did remember, but it was a tad embarrassing.

A second somehow related story: if you live long enough, things come
around again, right? Last summer I was wandering around an antiques
market. One of the vendors had a case of reasonably nice "retro"
jewelry. Looking in the case I recognized a necklace I made in the
late 1970s. Without mentioning anything about the piece’s provenance,
I asked to see it. The tag said “Sterling silver pendant circa 1950.
$55.” It was worth a good chuckle.


You find lessons in humility in some of the strangest (and most
painful) locations! This father of two (14 and 17) thanks you for
the chuckle!

Warm Regards,

Hello M&M

Pictures buddy,pictures.That’s what I do and ones in a while I just
browse in my album(s !!) and come up wiht new ideas. That’s the part I
like most of all.

Regards Pedro

I have used both quality and maker marking stamps for most of my
jewelry making days, but I never thought to date my work. It’s such a
good idea. Odd too, cause I date my sculptural stuff. Thanks. MP

My artist husband sometimes does designs for me, and having done
them, promptly forgets about them. By the time I finally get around to
making the piece, it’s a great surprise to him when I say “It’s one of
yours” when he conpliments the design. I always recognize my own work
when I see it, but I sometimes see customers wearing things I haven’t
thought about in years.(gee–I was pretty good back then…)

Janet Kofoed

Net and All, Last year I saw an opal in a gold ring in an antique
shop in S. Florida that I swear I cut while stationed in Taiwan back
in the mid-1970’s. The shape, while standard oval, had some peculiar
finishing aspects exactly like the style I used when first starting
out. The setting was marked only 14K but looked exactly like the type
used by the Chinese goldsmith who set my stones before I took up
smithing. Now, the problem is…how do you identify a stone without
scratching your mark in it somewhere? To take a single angle picture
of say, an opal, will result in that looks like a million others out
there. Only freeform or possibly stones with unusual designs might be
identifiable. But again, how do you take pictures of literally
hundreds and hundreds of stones?

These days, I sign the gold/silver work on all one of a kind items.
But the stones remain anonymous. Cheers, Don at The Charles Belle
Studio where simple elegance IS fine jewelry.

On a similar note, I’m 38 and my parents are in their 70’s. They’ve
reached that point in their lives where they’re trying to simplify
their lives. Part of that process for them is to disseminate most of
the sentimental “family stuff” to us kids. It’s an “oddness” to talk
to them about the will, etc. as it touches on the essence of
mortality, but I understand and can’t fault their logic. About nine
months ago, I was at their house and my mother brought out a
cardboard box with her next installment of assorted items. It was
like finding a treasure chest. Among the items were three that held
special significance to me.

The first was my grandparents’ “rock collection” – a large candy box
filled with pebbles and fragments of “pretty rocks” (mostly agate and
jasper) that they had collected as they traveled around the western
states. It had been decades since I’d seen it but recognized it
immediately. This humble collection of theirs is what sparked my
love of rocks and minerals as a child. I spent hours just sitting on
the floor going through them. My favorite – a 1"x3/4"x1/4" piece of
beach-tumbled black nephrite jade from the N. California coast – is
going into a cast gold pendant setting (waves crashing over and
under) for my mother.

The second and third were wrapped up in tiny drawstringed velvet bag
my mother had sown for them – a tiny fragment of fossilized tooth
and the very first fossil I’d found (circa 1974, age 13), and a
sterling silver twisted-wire ring I’d made for her and that was my
very first jewelry project (circa 1979, age 17). Priceless.

Warm Regards,

I never forget my work. Why just the other day I saw an old piece, a
silver ring…no, it was a gold pendant…or was it a bracelet? Darn
it, I forgot to take my memory pills again. Will E.

Hello all of you, I respond ones already to this subject but if you
folks don’t mind,I like to add something to it since the word
"health" came up.In the first place we are all humans and forgetting
"things" is a natural proces in order to make place for some more and
better used space in our brain(by the way,we ONLY use 9 up to 11% of
our capacity).I’m not going into medical terms because i don’t know
that much,but I don’t recommend people taking vitamines,hormones or
whatever because nature is doing his job.People forget and the reason
for this is that package of this particular isn’t of any
value anymore.If you think that you reached the level of forgetting
your name or wake up in the morning and asking your wife who she
is,now then you’ve got a problem!! Each brain is exceptional and don’t
compare yours with the one from someone else.Everybody has his own
capacity and that makes us all one of a kind.If you really want to
expand your braincapacity, then start training it as you train your
body with exercise.I know’ taking medicines is easy,but I’ve never
seen a sportsmen trained by pill’s ??!! Next to this,take care about
your body and specialy your brains and think twice on using
chemicals.Recall the effects off using cadmium contained
solder.Remember the pictures of people turning in to boo-zoo’s by
refinning gold with mercury.Ancient people get killed due to trinking
out of tin cops.Lead is also a brain killer if you don’t know.If you
like playing with gold and silver,you better except the rules and do
it save which makes more fun and next to this you train your brains
by reading books. Have fun and enjoy this still wonderfull hobby.
Regards Pedro

       Now, the problem do you identify a stone without
scratching your mark in it somewhere?  

If you are talking about cabochon stones I see no problem at all for
you to use an etcher to put your mark on the back (bottom) of the

There are some diamond producers who laser their identification
marks/numbers etc. into the girdles of their diamonds.

Best regards,
Robert Lowe - Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
e-mail: @Robert