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[Tidbits] The Jewelry Shop


First… the answers:
Raymond C. Yard
David is King of Spades
Alexander-the-Great is King of Clubs
Julius Caesar is King of Diamonds
Charlemagne is King of Hearts

The Jewelry Shop

We’re in the 21st century. Things were a tad different in the 19th
century. Let me contrast the image you are about to see by describing
my contracting shop as it existed at the peak of it’s production.

In the back there was the polishing room. It had a melting furnace…
three ultrasonics… a steam machine… rectifiers for stripping and
rhodium plating… and twelve polishing heads with three dust
collectors and various other sundries which escape my memory just
now… not an uncommon event these days.

Then came my office. All glass so I could see what was going on in
all directions. Two secretaries sat fifteen feet away… and
directly in front of me there were about six inspectors. Another room
held the check-in area where all work entering my premises was logged
and counted. Furthest way was the setting and jewelry room which
housed sixteen setters and two jewelers. This was quite a production
shop and was geared to quite easily turn out six hundred pieces of
jewelry per day from the polishing room and twenty thousand or so
stones per week out of the setting room. When we cooked… we
cooked. Lest any of you think this is all about bragging… it is
not. I need you to get a picture in your minds.

Let us now segue into a time long past and into a country quite
distant in culture from what most of us know. We’re in the nineteenth
century in an area of Southern India. Production shops were a tad
less sophisticated. They used mouth-operated blow torches and
hand-pump drills. A shop could consist of 4 or 5 people sitting
cross-legged on a mat on the floor in front of belly-high tables
laden with gold and gems. As to the workmanship coming out of these
shops… I defy anyone today to duplicate it… especially using the
techniques of the past.

So… I have an option here. I can show you a piece of jewelry that
emanated from these “modern” entrepreneurial establishments… or I
can show you an establishment itself… workers included. I have
decided to take the latter road… for I find it fascinating… as I
hope do you.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… and then click on it in order to view a 19th
century jewelry shop.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark