First of all I want to say that not all jewelry from the Islands is
of poor quality. For those of you who are in the islands you know who
these jewelers are. I was writing about the faded emerald issue and I
got to thinking about all the jewelry that our “customers” bring to
us after their trip to the islands.
We have one customer she is just a junkie and has to have a jewelry
fix when she goes on that cruise. She had treated ruby ring that was
"Certified" to be glass filled and it turned out to be resin filled.
I don’t know what she paid for that ring but it cost her another few
hundred dollars after we had the reinforce the structure of the ring
so the stone would stay in the setting. Same customer, now different
ring. She had to buy the Tanzanite in the islands. She paid $9k for
this ring. She was home a couple of weeks when she broke the stone.
It was a fat trillion cut so we know why it broke. So we took the
stone and had it re-cut. Now it would not fit back into the original
ring. The original ring was horrible. It had big porosity holes in
it, infact the ring had not been touched with a buffer. It had only
been tumble polished!!! The ring did not have that sharp polished
look, it was sort of a soft shine. When you looked it through a loupe
you could see the million little dents in the metal. In fact this was
the first piece of jewelry I have ever seen done this way. Short
story the ring was junk and we got $6k for making a whole new ring,
with a better design way better diamonds. There was twice as many
diamonds in the new ring. Also a full bezel around the Tanzanite. The
original ring was just V prongs at the corners.
Another one of our “customers” who is know in the Tampa area was in
the islands and spent $7600 on this pretty necklace that had
briolette sapphires hanging in it. Well the started to fall out of
the pendant. So we looked at it to discover the briolette were
mounted in the pendant with open jump rings. So we had to replace a
couple and then have them all laser welded. I think we charged $800
for the repair. We don’t have a laser so we had to send it out and do
our markup on the service. She later came back and bought a $14k ring
and their daughter a $4k ring.
Good cruise story about a customer that come in and wants us to
repair her “cruising bracelet”. We have a look and it is a tennis
bracelet that is CZ’s and gold plate over sterling. So we tell her
she is better off buying another one of these knock off’s. We take a
chance to show her a 12ct diamond bracelet we had in the case. Well
after a bit of negotiations she wears it out of the store much to our
They must use some really good marketing people for those stores
that specialize in Tanzanite on the islands. We were on company
outing with my wife’s company. I was talking to the owner of the
company and he is a couple of years younger than I am. He was very
interested in what I do and was asking me questions about gemstones.
He said something to the effect of “well you can only buy Tanzanite
in the islands, right?” I was dumbfounded by this. This is pretty
smart guy and has traveled a good bit. He is a good son because every
year he takes his mother on a cruise vacation. So that is where he
getting exposed to this
So lets hear your Island stories.