Hello Teresa, Suzanne and all -
What a shock Teresa! I can’t imaging losing all the tools - the
metal can be replaced and stones will be missed - but the tools . . .
Over the years I managed to collect quite a grouping of tools from
ads in the misc for sale column in the newspaper. It seems that
jewelry/metalsmithing is alive and well - and so, it is not as easy
to come across these deals. Usually, it is from individuals who have
passed away or had a life change where they give up the whole set up
or businesses that are closing. I found that the tools were sold as a
grouping - rather than in bits and pieces. I always found things that
I would never have chosen in a catalogue and have found very useful.
There is a tool supply shop locally that works as a network for
referral of the availability of used tools - usually from businesses
that are closing. Perhaps this might be a possibility in your area.
I can’t imagine losing all the tools. Perhaps, through the Orchid
network we could help you somehow in replacing the loss - if we hear
of some good deals (perhaps there are ebay regulars in our network
here). Even if you find the receipts - the tools will cost double the
original cost and I doubt if insurance takes that into account - but
it may. Do you have a “wish list” of what still needs replacing?
I agree with others, that it is good to post these thefts on Orchid -
because as jewelers, who knows - if they can be distinguished -
someone might try to sell them. I know it has been posted on Orchid
when there are gemstone thefts - not sure if the networking brought
the stones back - but awareness never hurts. In Hawaii we have a
radio station that runs a “posse” by cellular phone when a car is
stolen - ususally during the morning hours - and it is very
We definitely need Suzanne’s new research project! I’d be interested
in what type of safes have proven to be the most effective - or
perhaps might even be “overlooked” during a robbery - because they
were hidden in the wall or the floor. Do “hidden” safes make a
difference? Maybe it is good to have one safe with raw materials that
"could" be stolen and then the “real” safe hidden somewhere - with the
"real" valuables. Then the thieves will think they got the goods and
be on their way. Replacing customers’ one of a kind stones is never
possible - especially when there is sentimental history. At an small
upscale mall - a small restaurant had their heavy safe taken away -
during a construction upgrade. I wouldn’t trust a heavy safe - it
certainly would slow many thieves down - but many years ago my mentor
had his giant safe hauled away from a secured retail location and
emptied and dumped. So, that makes the small restaurant’s experience
the second time I have heard of that happening.
Hopefully, the article will also touch on insurance possibilities for
the individual small scale jeweler. I know this topic has come up on
Orchid before. In the near future, when I return to a coop gallery -
where I am responsible for the loss, I plan to research the options.
I have been told by other jewelers that the cost of the insurance is
greater than replacing the goods when and if the loss takes place.
Lack of coverage is one reason that makes me hesitate a bit in working
and selling at a higher level. I do know of a ceramic artist who had
coverage from an ACC plan (as I recall) - and it covered her studio
repairs - when damaged by a hurricane.
I am always wary of workers at the house - not to divulge that there
is a jewelry workshop when at all possible. However, when the house
is tented and we have to vacate, I make sure everything valuable is
put away (I take my hand tools with me!) and even cover/hide the
benches/rolling mill etc. . . . out of site out of mind, hopefully!
Hopefully, the workers won’t know what goes on in the space! I’m sure
that there is communication among the thieves of good places to “hit”.
In a classroom setting, this is impossible - it is very obvious
where the metals room is.
It scares me somewhat to upgrade to a higher end product - and will
have to learn about the insurance possibilities. All I have heard
from other jewelers is that the insurance costs more than taking the
chance of replacing things down the line. Also, if things are stolen
from the retail site where I will be relocating - the theft issue is
handled by the individual artists. I will look up previous strings on
Orchid on insurance. Robbery is a different issue than theft, but
having been robbed at gunpoint many years ago - when working in a
health store, I know first hand that the unforseen does happen! I
think this is one reason why I love working behind the scenes.
Best wishes Teresa in reconstructing your tools. The trauma of it
will take time - but let us know if we can help in some way. And, thank
you for your kind words in your LJ article feedback!