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Padgett elected President of NC Jewelers Association

Padgett elected President of NC Jewelers Association

The North Carolina Jewelers Association (NCJA) ann...

Schnack’s Fine Jewelry turns 150

Schnack’s Fine Jewelry turns 150

Not many jewelry retailers can say their store ope...

From Vicenza with Love: At Oro International, Italian family values shine

From Vicenza with Love: At Oro International, Italian family values shine

Fifty years ago, Qurino Ruzza, with 20 years as a ...

Mason-Kay Jade to make Atlanta Jewelry Show debut

Mason-Kay Jade to make Atlanta Jewelry Show debut

Mason-Kay Jade has been a leading fine jade jewelr...

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Ancient trade route shows gold's enduring power

Ancient trade route shows gold's enduring power

Researchers at the University of Southampton have found a prehistoric gold trade route between Ireland and southwest England. The route gives a glimps...

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Jewelers Mutual presents honors at National Sale Conference

Jewelers Mutual presents honors at National Sale Conference

(NEENAH, Wis.) - Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company recognized its top agencies and agents during the annual awards ceremony held at their National Sale...

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Ancient trade route shows gold's enduring power

1 DAY AGO
Ancient trade route shows gold's enduring power

Researchers at the University of Southampton have found a prehistoric gold trade route between Ireland and southwest England. The route gives a glimpse into how ancient cultures regarded gold.

A new study has shed more light on how the value of gold has endured – and changed – since ancient times.

Arc...

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Colorado woman finds 8.52 carat diamond in Arkansas state park

1 DAY AGO
Colorado woman finds 8.52 carat diamond in Arkansas state park

MURFREESBORO, Ark. –  An 8.52 carat diamond has been found by a Colorado woman at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park at Murfreesboro.

Park officials said Friday that the gem found by Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, is the fifth largest diamond found since the park was established in 1972....

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From Jewels to Tools: Ivan Levi to speak on enhancing business practices at RJO Show in August

1 DAY AGO
From Jewels to Tools: Ivan Levi to speak on enhancing business practices at RJO Show in August

(HIGHLAND PARK, Ill.) - The jewelry industry has seen changes in the way business is being done since the advent of the Internet, and especially since the economic downturn began in 2007. Ivan Levi’s quest to find answers to questions about these changes led him to discover how one specific, yet easy...

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Rings of Strength collects over $60,000 for JFC

1 DAY AGO
Rings of Strength collects over $60,000 for JFC

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers for Children (JFC) held the 3rd Annual Rings of Strength Tour on Thursday, May 28, at Mandalay Bay Resort Casino in Las Vegas, NV. More than 125 participants assembled at 5:30 a.m. to either walk or run 5K, or bike one of two courses, a leisurely 15K route or a challenging 50K r...

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Padgett elected President of NC Jewelers Association

1 DAY AGO
Padgett elected President of NC Jewelers Association

The North Carolina Jewelers Association (NCJA) announced that Brad Padgett, an independent jeweler and native of Jacksonville, North Carolina, is the new president of the statewide association. His two-year term of office as the organization’s president began May 16.

Padgett graduated with a B.S.B.A....

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Two Houston jewelers named Distinction Winners in Houston Better Business Bureau Awards for Excellence

1 DAY AGO
Two Houston jewelers named Distinction Winners in Houston Better Business Bureau Awards for Excellence

(HOUSTON, Tex.) - Houston Jewelry and Jewelry Judge Ben Gordon were among the businesses recognized at the annual Houston Better Business Bureau Awards of Excellence held in May. Both businesses were named Distinction Winners, a designation awarded to businesses that maintain a superior commitment to...

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In tune with the times? New Unisex Ring Collection keeps the beat

1 DAY AGO
In tune with the times? New Unisex Ring Collection keeps the beat

Designed by Elaine of Esprit Creations

New to SJTA and the Atlanta Jewelry Show, family business Esprit Creations has been successfully manufacturing and wholesaling fine sterling silver jewelry with genuine gemstones for over 2 decades. Standing apart from the ordinary, their wide selection of exclu...

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Mason-Kay Jade to make Atlanta Jewelry Show debut

1 DAY AGO
Mason-Kay Jade to make Atlanta Jewelry Show debut

Mason-Kay Jade has been a leading fine jade jewelry wholesaler/supplier/designer in the United States since 1976. The company specializes in all natural (type “A”) jadeite jade fine jewelry, designed in-house by their exclusive designer Kristina and MK design team. Mason-Kay Jade is excited to intro...

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The Best Policy: The watch shop burglary

The customer walked into Jim Cellar's Fine Jewelry with a watch that had not run in years. The bracelet was missing and the brand name was indistinguishable. The customer said that he would just like an estimate on what it would take to get it running again. Jim took the watch in without a discussion about the value except that the customer mentioned that it had belonged to a deceased relative.

Jim outsourced his watch work to I. Ken Fixit, who had a small shop across town that did nothing but watch repair, and so that's where he sent this customer's watch.

A few days later, Jim called the customer with the estimate, and the customer said he was undecided as to whether the old watch was really worth repairing, so he said he would think about it and let Jim know whether to proceed. In the meantime, the watch remained in Ken's fire safe.
Eventually the decision was made to clean and repair the watch, so Jim called Ken to give him the go-ahead.

"Well, uh, there's been a little problem, Jim."

Burglars had decided that Ken's watch shop would be a good target. They easily compromised his very basic alarm system and then had far more time than they needed to break into the old fire safe - it took them less than 2 minutes.

"That's terrible news, Ken; I guess you've turned this over to your insurance carrier."

"Well, that's another problem, Jim. My insurance is just for my tools and equipment, like for a fire, you know. It doesn't cover jewelry or watches. I just never thought that a watch shop needed to have a Jewelers Block policy."

Jim then had the unpleasant task of informing the customer that the watch had been stolen in a burglary at the repair shop, and that the shop had no insurance coverage for the loss. Thankfully, Jim knew that the watch was not of much real value.

The customer was irate. The rusty old watch which previously may not have been worth repairing suddenly had great value! According to the customer, though he did not know the brand he knew that it was surely crafted of solid gold and maybe even a "collector's item" because of a logo that was on the face. Also it was then a "priceless family heirloom," believed to have been given to an ancestor by the Queen of England.

"Why would you send my priceless watch off to someone who would lose it in a burglary! And so now it's gone forever and I want to know what you're going to do about it!"

With only a vague description of the watch on the take-in order and no value stated, Jim had nothing with which to dispute the customer's wild and escalating claims. This was a problem which was destined to consume a great deal of time and energy, and an indeterminable amount of money.

Did the customer have insurance? It would have to have been insured as "scheduled" property and Jim was certain that was not the case. Even if the customer had had personal insurance on the item, that carrier would likely seek recovery from Jim.

Jim looked to his own insurance policy for coverage - he did have a Jeweler's Block policy which insured watches as well as gemstones and other forms of jewelry; and it did cover customers' property in his care. But this loss was about an item that was not in his care.

The good news:
Jim read further. He read an option in the policy for "property in the custody of jewelry dealers . . . "and a limit of coverage was shown." He called his agent; was the watch repair shop a "jewelry dealer" under this definition? Did his policy provide coverage for his loss from the burglary at I. Ken Fixit?

The loss was turned in to the carrier, and it was determined that coverage did apply to Jim's situation; an insurance adjuster would be assigned to work out the details with the customer. With the limited information on take-in, the adjuster may also have difficulty in reaching agreement with the customer and will likely end up authorizing more than the watch was actually worth. Regardless of that, his insurance company's intervention allowed Jim to step out of the fray and turn the irate customer over to a professional - as long as the settlement was within his limit of coverage.

Tip No. 1 Jewelers Block is the insurance staple of the jewelry industry. Every jeweler who has inventory, memo goods, or customers' property should carry that type of insurance. And if property is sent to another jeweler for any reason, such as for repair, design work, appraisal, or on memo the policy should include other jeweler coverage with an adequate limit of insurance. (It may not be automatically included!)

Tip No. 2 When accepting customers' property, describe the item(s) and request the customer's estimate of value. It may be necessary to explain to a customer that the purpose of insurance is to replace an item with "like kind and quality" and that because of that, only the intrinsic value is insurable. Unfortunately there is no way to replace an item's sentimental value.

You may still receive an inflated value from a customer, but that often is better than no value at all.

Also be sure that the job envelop is not the only record. If the envelope is the only record and it remains with the item, then you would still have no information if both are lost or stolen. Consider job envelops that make double copies of all the information - original as a claim check for the customer, first copy separately filed, second copy remains with the piece.

Tip No. 3 Property that a retail jeweler sends to a shop often belongs to the retailer's customers. Does the shop have good security? Does the shop carry insurance - specifically Jewelers Block insurance? Since Jim regularly used the same shop, Jim could have requested a Certificate of Insurance - Ken's agent would have provided it.

And if this shop had had insurance, it might have had better security.

Tip No. 4 Check the deductible. Company A's policy states that the deductible is subtracted from the limit of coverage; Company B's deductible is taken from the amount of the loss. Same thing? Not always. Consider $10,000 limit on other jeweler coverage; $1,000 deductible. A jeweler suffers a loss that is greater than his limit, say, $15,000. Company A will pay $9,000 ($10,000 limit less $1,000 deductible). Company B pays $10,000 ($15,000 minus $1,000 = $14,000, so the policy pays its full limit of $10,000).

It may appear to be a minor distinction, but it can be major in some circumstances.

It pays to look at the details of your insurance coverage. Had Jim not had the optional coverage for property in the care of another jeweler, he would have been on his own in an embarrassing and difficult to handle situation - which may even have led to litigation. His insurance protected him not only financially, but emotionally. And always deal with a reliable jewelry insurance company and an experienced agent you can trust.



Bob Carroll of Robert G. Carroll and Associates is a Certified Insurance Counselor who has specialized in working with the jewelry industry from more than 25 years - representing Jewelers Mutual and other quality carriers in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Tennessee. "Jewelry insurance isn't just what we do, it's all we do!" [www.robertgcarroll.com]


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