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From flea markets to estate jewelry market leader

From flea markets to estate jewelry market leader

With Millennials marrying in record numbers, “some...

Take a proactive approach to jewelry retailing

OJA seminar to offer sales techniques, JA certific...

Dorothy Burke, co-founder of Burkes Fine Jewelers in Kilmarnock, VA dies at 90

Dorothy Burke, co-founder of Burkes Fine Jewelers in Kilmarnock, VA dies at 90

Dorothy Lee Thrift Burke, 90, co-founder of Burkes...

AJA, GJA to co-host annual Convention April 10 – 12

AJA, GJA to co-host annual Convention April 10 – 12

The Alabama Jewelers Association (AJA) and Georgia...

Jewelers of America names 2015 GEM Awards winners

Jewelers of America names 2015 GEM Awards winners

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national...

Elisa Ilana’s Lollies Collection has something for everyone

Elisa Ilana’s Lollies Collection has something for everyone

(OMAHA, Neb.) - The Elisa Ilana Collection offers d...

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AISociety AiCertify-2015 debuts with a Global Valuation Standard

The AISociety - Appraisers International Society (AIS) began live and self-study global, online, offerings of AiCertification™2015 at the start of Feb...

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Cas-Ker Company releases 8th edition catalog

(CINCINNATI) - The Cas-ker Company has released the eighth edition of its Tools and Supplies for Jewelers and Watchmakers. The new edition comes with a...

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Dorothy Burke, co-founder of Burkes Fine Jewelers in Kilmarnock, VA dies at 90

26 DAYS AGO
Dorothy Burke, co-founder of Burkes Fine Jewelers in Kilmarnock, VA dies at 90

Dorothy Lee Thrift Burke, 90, co-founder of Burkes Fine Jewelers in Kilmarnock, Virginia - a family owned and operated fine jewelry and repair store - died on December 31, 2014.

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AISociety AiCertify-2015 debuts with a Global Valuation Standard

26 DAYS AGO

The AISociety - Appraisers International Society (AIS) began live and self-study global, online, offerings of AiCertification™2015 at the start of February with the live, AiResidence sessions of its 5-course series of Valuation Appraisal courses to AIStandard v4.0 for gems, jewelry, watches and othe...

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AJA, GJA to co-host annual Convention April 10 – 12

26 DAYS AGO
AJA, GJA to co-host annual Convention April 10 – 12

The Alabama Jewelers Association (AJA) and Georgia Jewelers Association (GJA) wish to invite all retail jewelers and vendors to the 2015 annual co-hosted Convention at Marriott’s Grand National Resort & Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Opelika, Alabama.

The educational program features industry s...

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Take a proactive approach to jewelry retailing

26 DAYS AGO

OJA seminar to offer sales techniques, JA certification opportunity

The Oklahoma Jewelers Association (OJA) invites retail jewelers in Oklahoma and surrounding states to attend a seminar developed to enhance sales techniques targeting today’s multiple generations of jewelry buyers.

Lynn Baldwin and Darc...

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Bulova celebrating 140th anniversary in 2015

26 DAYS AGO

Esteemed watchmaker commemorates 140 years of consistent creativity and innovation

(NEW YORK) - Since 1875, Bulova has been renowned as a force for innovation in timekeeping, known for its dedication to creativity, artistry and craftsmanship. In 2015, to mark 140 years of impressive achievements and a...

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Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company earns 28 consecutive A+ Superior Ratings from A.M. Best Company

26 DAYS AGO

(NEENAH, Wis.) - Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has earned 28 consecutive A+ Superior financial strength ratings from A.M. Best Company, a highly respected insurance rating and information source. Founded in 1913, Jewelers Mutual is an insurer dedicated solely to serving the jewelry industry in th...

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Cas-Ker Company releases 8th edition catalog

26 DAYS AGO

(CINCINNATI) - The Cas-ker Company has released the eighth edition of its Tools and Supplies for Jewelers and Watchmakers. The new edition comes with an expanded collection of equipment from it’s seventh edition release in 2013, and contains new reference material for watchmakers and jewelers to make...

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GIA to issue revised Colored Stone and Pearl Reports

26 DAYS AGO

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - GIA has announced, effective Feb. 1, they began issuing revised Colored Stone and Pearl Reports and launched Report Check enhancements. The revised reports feature improved gemstone images and language that reflects the most current gemological terminology. Report Check for color...

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Do you do appraisals?

What a lovely day, 85 degrees, low humidity, slight breeze out of the north, (my store is south of the Krispy Kreme) a squirrel has a nut in it's mouth digging a hole. I'm sitting on the bench in front of my store taking a break when an old car pulls up and something told me my bliss was about to end.

The driver gets out of the car wearing a 20 year old shirt with a 19 year old food stain on it, and he was looking right at me kinda funny. Maybe he thought I was goofier looking than him with my optivisor, my store phone, my cell phone, my pager, my blue tooth, my 7 pairs of tweezers, my 6 pens and 2 pencils all clipped to my ears or my apron. Wait... maybe I was goofier looking than him?

Anyway, he comes walking up and asked if I was the jeweler. Now, normally I'd be thinking, "what do you think?" But since I'm next door to a gun store, most people think I'm a gunsmith so I had to give him a break on that one. I told him I was and asked him how I could help... like maybe buying him a new shirt or something.

I know. I've heard the same story about the old guy that walked into a jewelry store in old coveralls and no one would help him because of how he was dressed so he drove to the competition and pulled $10,000 in cash out and bought something on the spot. Yeah right. That didn't happen. If it did, someone needs to give me solid proof because in my 30 years experience if they look like this guy, they don't have $10,000... or a wife to spend it on.

The guy asked me if I did appraisals. I told him I did. He stuck his hand in front of my face and showed me a diamond nugget ring that was dirtier than his shirt. YUCK!

"Is that a Diamond?"

I realized now that I was going to have to get up from my comfy resting spot if only to try and get away from that smelly thing under my nose. We walked in the store and I didn't see any big round bulges in his pockets (the kind that $10,000 in cash makes) so I'm back to my original theory by now. I asked him why he needed an appraisal and he told me someone wanted to sell him that ring and he wanted to know if it was real. (I wanted to know what the guy looked like that he was buying that nasty thing from) I told him that a written appraisal was $75, but it wouldn't help him much unless he was going to insure it which didn't seem likely.

"I don't need nuthin' written down, just tell me what it's worth."

Okay class, here's your lesson for the day. When people started buying diamonds off of the Internet, they would bring them to a jewelry store to validate their purchase. They wanted to know if the bright shiny rock in their left hand matched the overwhelming amount of paperwork in their right hand. In the beginning, most of us didn't think anything about it and would spend 60-90 seconds looking at it and say yes or no. Then, the inevitable happened.

Someone bought an expensive diamond off the Internet and took it to their local jeweler who verified it was what the paperwork said it was. The guy buying the diamond decided to keep it and got married. A few years later the marriage didn't work out and one of them went to sell the ring only to find out after all that it wasn't what the paperwork said.

Uh Oh! That Internet company is in big trouble now. Nope. Out of business. Gone. Vanished.

The only person in the entire chain of events that was still approachable was the home town jeweler and he got sued by the guy who bought the diamond off the Internet. Why you ask? Because the guy claimed that he made his buying decision based upon the professional opinion of the home town jeweler... even though the jeweler didn't charge him a dime and only spent about 60 seconds looking at it. I don't remember the outcome of the case, but I do know one thing. It forever changed the way I approach appraisals.

I, like many thousands of you out there, carry appraisal liability insurance. I made a decision that I will never again do a verbal appraisal as long as I live (or until my policy is no longer in force, whichever comes first). I can glance at a cert paper and a diamond and in 2 seconds tell you if they match with about a 75% certainty. But I'm not willing to get sued just because someone "didn't need nuthin' written down." If you want my professional opinion, you'll have to pay for it. If I'm charging you $75 - $100 then I'm doing due diligence to the situation and signing my name to a legal document that is covered under my appraisal liability policy. If I'm wrong, I've got insurance to protect myself. Me saying, "Yep, it's a diamond" is not covered in most instances and leaves me wide open legally. Why would I do that when I pay a lot of money to be protected legally?

As a matter of fact, if a person is not going to hire me to do a full blown written appraisal, I won't even so much as hold the object in my hand. Because it starts that game of: "Just look at it, I won't sue you or nuthin'. Just look at it and tell me if it's real." If I'm not holding it, I can't see it and I can't render a professional opinion on it. I know a lot of people think I carry that a little too far (and I probably do), but when I explain the situation to my customer, they understand. They don't always like it, but they understand... even though they would never sue me.

A lot of people I've found are more than willing to spend the money to find out if they got what they paid for while they're still in that ‘30 day refund window,' so it's not all bad. Selling appraisal services is one of my profit centers so why would I give it away? But today it worked out better than I could have ever imagined.

Old dirty shirt guy with the nastiest ring I think I've ever seen (made nasty by someone else mind you) decided he was going to hand it to me anyway and make me take a look. The ring was way too small for his finger and when he tried to take it off it wouldn't budge. He tugged once. He tugged twice. And everyone knows what happened next. He started licking the ring like it was an ice cream cone and I thought I was gonna throw up. Through my gags I told him not to bother... cough cough... I'm not going... cough cough... to look at it.

So... what do you think of my policy now?

Chuck is the owner of Anthony Jewelers in Nashville, TN. Chuck also owns CMK Co., a wholesale trade shop that specializes in custom jewelry and repair services to the jewelry industry nationwide. You can contact him at 615-354-6361, www.CMKcompany.com or send e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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