Last year I lost 5 pieces of jewelry to shoplifters. Four rings and
one pendant. The pendant was scooped up by a woman in Muslim garb at
a gem and mineral show. She hit a lot of other vendors at the show.
Security chased her through the parking lot but they had had one too
many doughnuts and lost her. Rings are an easy hit if you have a
tray of them out on the table. People will try them on then just walk
away with the one they like if you don’t watch them like a hawk. I
used to put all my pendants and bracelets out to let people pick them
up and try them on. I’ve noticed that women like to shop by feel.
When they look for clothing they feel the garment as well as look at
it. It’s the same for jewelry. If they like how a piece feels in
their hand you’re halfway to a sale.
Last week I did a show at a prospecting seminar put on at a local
mining museum. It was a joint project with the museum, the
mineralogical society, and the local gold panning club. It was
attended by about 75 people who paid $25 each to be there. They asked
me to set up there with my jewelry and cabs. It was free for me and I
wasn’t expecting to sell much. Being that I’m president of the
mineralogical society I needed to be there anyway so I thought I
would maybe sell a piece or two. I wasn’t expecting to get ripped
off. I lost four cabs. I wasn’t watching my tables very closely
because I was with a bunch of rock hounds like me and thought I
could trust them. But I guess not. I don’t know if one person stole
four cabs or four people stole one cab each. I even had a tub of
tumble polished stones there I was giving away for free. No need to
steal from me.
I can see where if someone would steal something from a large retail
store they could justify it by thinking to themselves that the store
makes huge profits they can afford it. But when you steal from an
artisan you are stealing something that they put their heart and soul
into. It’s not just the financial loss. It’s the principle of the
theft. But I guess stealing is stealing and a thief is a thief.
Now everything will go under glass. I’ll have to present the pieces
to the customer on a velvet pad. It just seems like a barrier between
me and customers but I can’t afford the losses. I will admit I won’t
miss when the plus sized ladies try to cram my inlay bracelets on
their plus sized wrists.
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado