One question for you - let's say you go buy yourself a new car.
Let's say it's a "program" car, a year old - smart buyer that you
surely are, you don't want to take the $1500+ hit in devaluation
from driving a brand spanking new set of wheels off the dealer lot.
So you look the car over - looks pretty darn good, low miles and you
pay what you think is a fair price for it.
Well, after cruising around in it for a few weeks, the novelty wears
off and you start becoming more aware of the subtle rattling that
occurs when you're doing 60mph on the highway. Then you notice water
seeping in while running your new dream machine through the
automatic car wash - even after you hit the power window buttons 15
times to make sure those puppies are up all the way.
So here it is your car isn't performing as you rightfully expected -
and you decide to investigate why you're having these unexpected
problems. Lo and behold, you find out that the car you bought had
been involved in a nasty collision - and you've basically paid for a
bondo-buggy with a bent frame.
Personally I wish every valuable item I purchased that falls well
beyond my area of expertise was scrutinized one-tenth of what
valuable gems and jewelry are.
We, as an industry, make it tough enough on consumers to make
purchases confidently and without complications. If you doubt that,
I'd be happy to share some of my research into this with you.
Yes, it's a big responsibility and far from an easy task to keep up
with the latest gemological developments. It takes dedication to
manage that, no doubt.
However, I disagree with you on the point of this leading to the
demise of the little guy! Why? Because in my experience, it IS the
little guy who IS keeping abreast of these things!
In my humble opinion, independent jewelers are the unsung heroes of
this industry. These are the people who know the meaning of the term
"the jewelers arts" and care enough about their customers to WANT to
make sure they don't unwittingly end up with a gem version of a
bondo-special. Not because they're worried about a lawsuit, but
because they sincerely care about their clients and hope they'll
come back again.
Ours is not a trade to get rich quick in. Nor is it one promising an
easy path. People who succeed in this industry do so because they
love their work and take pride in going the extra mile - or ten! I
don't mean to sound cold here but if someone feels it's too much
trouble to do all that is required of a jeweler, that person would
probably be happier and more prosperous doing something else
instead. And the industry is probably better off without such
individuals as well.
As for myself, I'm grateful to all our colleagues who make it
possible for us to sell - and for our customers to buy - with
confidence. My hat is off to all the dedicated, hard working people
who spend hours identifying microscopic details which translate into
massive value AND durability differences. Without them, we could ALL
kiss our careers good-bye.
Respectfully, Jeanette Marie Kekahbah