01222017Sun
Last updateTue, 17 Jan 2017 8pm
How will Trump’s election affect retail jewelers?

How will Trump’s election affect retail jewelers?

President-elect Donald Trump has been in the publi...

Leading the state in estate jewelry

Leading the state in estate jewelry

Levy’s capitalizing on estate jewelry popularity

Es...

Retailer Roundtable: What is your outlook for the industry in 2017?

Retailer Roundtable: What is your outlook for the industry in 2017?

Q: What is your outlook for the industry in 2017?  

“...

Greg Lynn discovers art in the midst of struggle

Greg Lynn discovers art in the midst of struggle

When Greg Lynn’s parents were transferred from Nor...

Jewelers Helping Jewelers

Jewelers Helping Jewelers

The Southern Jewelers Guild takes a look at the exp...

  • Newsletter

  • Latest Post

  • Most Read

Other News

Citizen Watch Company announces newly integrated company – Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc

Citizen Watch Company announces newly integrated company – Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc

(NEW YORK) - Citizen Watch Company, Ltd., parent of Bulova Corporation and Citizen Watch Company of America has completed the integration of the two companies into one organization, Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc. The company will do business i...

Readmore

Loading...

Industry Events

GIA’s colorful lineup at Tucson 2017 Gem Shows

GIA’s colorful lineup at Tucson 2017 Gem Shows

Alumni party, colored stone services, unique exhibits, expert talks and more

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - GIA’s not-to-miss activities and services will enrich the visitor experience at the 2017 Tucson Shows, including an out-of-this-world alumni event, show s...

Readmore

Loading...

On The Move

JA announces 2017 GEM Awards winners

JA announces 2017 GEM Awards winners

Jim Rosenheim receives Lifetime Achievement and Grace Fuller, Kay® Jewelers, Lucia Silvestri for BVLGARI and Patek Philippe win

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, h...

Readmore

Loading...

What's New

New and unique, Love Universe hits the market with broad appeal

New and unique, Love Universe hits the market with broad appeal

Voyager Brands’ new line targets customers from teens to grandmothers

(AUSTIN, Tex.) - Something new, different, random, abstract - that’s Voyager Brands’ new Love Universe collection of earrings, rings, pendants, small necklaces and bracelets. It’s fu...

Readmore

Loading...

Featured Articles

Female wounded warrior finds passion, career and calling in jewelry

Female wounded warrior finds passion, career and calling in jewelry

There are many paths to finding the right career. Most are predictable, but sometimes the path becomes clear only through adversity. Richard Branson, whose net worth of $4.9 billion makes him nearly 10 times wealthier than Queen Elizabeth II, dropped...

Readmore

Loading...

Latest News

Citizen Watch Company announces newly integrated company – Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc

4 DAYS AGO
Citizen Watch Company announces newly integrated company – Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc

(NEW YORK) - Citizen Watch Company, Ltd., parent of Bulova Corporation and Citizen Watch Company of America has completed the integration of the two companies into one organization, Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc. The company will do business in the Trade as Citizen Watch America.

Readmore

Jewelers of Louisiana opens application for funds to benefit jewelers impacted by Louisiana floods

4 DAYS AGO
Jewelers of Louisiana opens application for funds to benefit jewelers impacted by Louisiana floods

(NEW ORLEANS) - Over 100 people employed in the jewelry industry were impacted by the August floods in South Louisiana. Jewelers of Louisiana, a statewide organization representing over 1,500 employees, has established a fund to help anyone in the jewelry industry affected by the floods. Over $3,700 ...

Readmore

GIA’s colorful lineup at Tucson 2017 Gem Shows

4 DAYS AGO
GIA’s colorful lineup at Tucson 2017 Gem Shows

Alumni party, colored stone services, unique exhibits, expert talks and more

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - GIA’s not-to-miss activities and services will enrich the visitor experience at the 2017 Tucson Shows, including an out-of-this-world alumni event, show service laboratory, fascinating exhibits, expert ta...

Readmore

Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair coming in February

18 DAYS AGO
Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair coming in February

The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), the Ministry of Commerce of the Royal Thai government has extended an invitation for U.S. jewelers to visit the upcoming 59th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair 2017. The Fair will be held February 22-26, 2017 at the IMPACT Exhibition & Conven...

Readmore

JA announces 2017 GEM Awards winners

4 DAYS AGO
JA announces 2017 GEM Awards winners

Jim Rosenheim receives Lifetime Achievement and Grace Fuller, Kay® Jewelers, Lucia Silvestri for BVLGARI and Patek Philippe win

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, held their 15th annual GEM Awards on Friday, Januar...

Readmore

Stuller commits to promoting health and wellness in Louisiana

10 DAYS AGO
Stuller commits to promoting health and wellness in Louisiana

Company designated as a top-level WellSpot

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Stuller is proud to announce that they have been named a level one WellSpot by Well-Ahead Louisiana, an initiative started by the Louisiana Department of Health.

Readmore

New and unique, Love Universe hits the market with broad appeal

4 DAYS AGO
New and unique, Love Universe hits the market with broad appeal

Voyager Brands’ new line targets customers from teens to grandmothers

(AUSTIN, Tex.) - Something new, different, random, abstract - that’s Voyager Brands’ new Love Universe collection of earrings, rings, pendants, small necklaces and bracelets. It’s fun and enticing to women of all ages.

Retail prices ...

Readmore

MJSA launches Council of Custom Jewelers as part of new Custom Design program

10 DAYS AGO
MJSA launches Council of Custom Jewelers as part of new Custom Design program

MJSA, a trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, has introduced the MJSA Council of Custom Jewelers as part of a wide-ranging program to advance the art and consumer appreciation of custom jewelry design.

Readmore

Ugly Asset

I received a call from a client of mine. I could tell that I was on speaker phone so I chose my words carefully. He explained that he had a friend that had a diamond she needed to sell. He wanted to send her over to me to see what I could do for her. I told him that I did not buy diamonds off the street but would do what I could to advise her.

An hour later this stunningly beautiful woman shows up at my door with two very well dressed and groomed boys, approximately 8 and 10 years old. They entered and within seconds she was excusing herself to return the boys to the car. I explained that they were more than welcome to stay but she insisted that they would be fine in the car with the AC on - Warning Bell #1.

She retuned only to pull a diamond out of her purse that was neatly secured in a jeweler's ziploc bag - Warning Bell #2. She explained that she had lost her diamond out of her wedding set (which she was still wearing - Warning Bell #3) and had a CZ put in the ring - Warning Bell #4. She later found the diamond. Now she was planning to leave her husband and wanted to sell the diamond - RED ALERT!!

Remember, I studied gemology not psychology. It is none of my business, nor do I care, what her station of life is or her destiny - I am not trained to understand.

However, there are a few things I do know. I have reared children and I know there are some things they need not know however, those things usually do not take place in a jewelry store. I also know that a man that invests money in his wife to have perfect platinum blond hair, manicured eye brows, hands and feet, enhanced full lips and breasts, a personal trainer and massage therapist (my client provides the last two services) - would NEVER allow his wife to walk around with a CZ as the symbol of their marriage. I understand she said she lost the first one, I understand he may not have had it insured or been able to replace the one she lost with another one - but a CZ - I do not think so.

Yet another thing experience has taught me... people who find a lost diamond seldom bring it to you in a jeweler's bag. I have received lost diamonds from coin compartments of wallets, sandwich bags, pill bottles, old jewelry gift boxes, film containers and my personal favorite - Kleenex tissue paper secured with Scotch tape.

As I sent her out the door with the heart breaking news that she was not going to get the $15,000 - $20,000 she thinks he paid for the ring, I felt as though I had just dodged a bullet. I did not fully understand why or at whom the bullet was shot, but I was relieved to have her out of my office.

Moments later, one of my students, working on her Gem ID class with GIA, emerged from the lab. She came out and asked if that kind of thing happens often and if I understood the potential danger that I had just avoided. Her husband is a divorce attorney and by proxy she is privy to the ugliness of divorce. She enlightened me to the fact that in most divorces of middle class or upper class couples, jewelry - especially wedding rings - is a marital asset that is often the battle ground for an ugly war. Her $15K wedding set, $5K diamond earrings, $7K diamond tennis bracelet, $8K diamond solitaire pendant and her gold watch adds up to a huge hammer that he will use to further pound at her heart. It also can become, so she thinks, a great start to a new future if gotten rid of BEFORE she announces she is leaving.

What danger did I avoid? Depending on who her husband is and how ugly the divorce gets I could have become the jeweler that helped her unfairly liquidate assets before they became fair game. I could have become a party to the fraud of diamond switching that she evoked on her husband. Neither my student nor I are attorneys and are unsure if there is any legal recourse the husband would have if our suspicions were confirmed. None the less, words like fraud, switching, theft, cheating and hiding are not words I want spoken in the same sentence as my store name or even my own name.

If you think this is an isolated case you need only turn on your radio. It was only 5 months ago that a talk show host of a local radio station was discussing women who get engaged and have their new diamond switched with a CZ after selling it to a jeweler. They use the money to pay off debt so that they can maintain the image of being financially responsible and so that they will not carry debt into the marriage. They fully intend on replacing the diamond later when they have the funds, but seldom do.

I thought the incident that the talk show host was referring to was one isolated case, until he opened up the phone lines for discussion. His phone lines were flooded with calls from women promoting the idea, women sharing their twist on the fraud, or women with stories of people they knew who did it. I was left speechless as I sat in my car listening to this.

Marital asset, I never thought of it as an asset to be fought over and I am thrilled I was willing to follow my instincts that told me I did not know the full story, did not want to know the full story and did not need to buy the diamond that had a story.

Tammy L. Williams, Graduate Gemologist of GIA, also prizes her membership in AGTA. She is President of J D Jewelers, a salon private jewelry business located in Suwanee, Georgia and the Southeastern Rep for Global Diamonds. Tammy is very active as a speaker and authority on Gemstones and Diamonds. Whether in her laboratory at J D Jewelers, on the lecture circuit or writing about her experiences in business, her love and passion for gemstones becomes contagious. If you'd like to contact Tammy, please e-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Columnist


×