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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

27 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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An argument for an armed defense

I recently had a conversation with a married couple in the store to look for an anniversary ring. He had seen our store listed on the website for a group called Ohioans for Concealed Carry (OFCC). The OFCC website has a “Do Not Patronize While Armed” list providing information on businesses that do not allow customers to carry on the premises. They also publish a “Safe Alternatives” list showing those businesses which welcome CHL (Concealed Handgun License) holders. I am an active participant on their forums and use their website to keep up on legislative and legal matters regarding concealed carry in Ohio. I have a Concealed Handgun License and my store is on the Safe Alternatives list. I welcome those who are upstanding, law-abiding citizens.

With the busy Christmas season right around the corner, I want to address the issue of firearms in the jewelry store.

I don’t want to stir up a debate concerning the legality of carrying concealed firearms, but instead, would like to illuminate some ethical dilemmas faced by us, the store owners and our customers.

I have owned firearms for a number of years. I believe in the right of a person to feel secure at all times. The jewelry industry has had issues with security from day one. Where else can you find such a massed value in a nearly untraceable and compact form? You can fit literally millions of dollars into your pockets and blend in with any crowd. I don’t have to tell any of you how tempting a smorgasbord this is, which brings me to the issue of keeping us safe while doing business.

Some stores with enough budget can opt to hire a guard. The presence of an armed guard is probably one of the best deterrents. Camera systems, of course, are practically a requirement today, as are alarm systems and hold-up buttons. A couple of years ago, I began to think about the worst-case scenario. We have all heard stories of robberies turning into executions. This is a terrifying prospect. I decided I needed to be more prepared.

About three years ago, I made the decision to carry a firearm while in the store. The line of thought leading to this conclusion is as follows:

I don’t care about the merchandise. If you want it that badly, I’ll close the store, box it up and carry it to the car for you. Take it. Just leave me alone. That’s why I pay my insurance premiums. Let the insurance company do some work for a change.

I looked at the pictures of my wife and children and thought about the horror of not being able to see and hold them again. I want to have every possible tool at my disposal to ensure my survival, should a robbery turn into such a nightmare scenario.

I know that just having a weapon cannot guarantee my safety. Even using a weapon against an armed assailant may not prevent any harm from befalling me, BUT... it will provide me with an equal force of response, and will greatly improve my chances of surviving an armed encounter. Thinking about my family, I wanted to have every bit of help I could get. 9-1-1 is a fantastic asset and will get help to us in a hurry, but think for a minute...what’s the fastest police response time in your community? Believe me when I tell you that the criminals in any area also have this information. “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.”

No response is as fast as the bullet fired from a robber’s gun. Even if you have a SWAT team at your door, they cannot stop some murderous thug bent on ending your life if he’s standing in front of you. The police can process the scene of the crime, identify the robbers, even catch them and solve the crime, but they cannot be expected to be there to intervene at that critical moment when you may have your life on the line.

Quite simply, I feel safer while armed. Those customers who also have CHL’s can also feel safer in my store knowing that they do not have to leave their protection locked up in the car. I feel no threat whatsoever from the CHL carrying community. I know from experience that I have nothing to fear from a customer trying on a $40,000.00 ring while packing a .45 automatic. These people went through an NRA training course and an FBI background check in order to receive their license to carry a concealed handgun. This gives me some common ground with which to bond with my carrying customers as well.

It’s the unlicensed guy with a gun hidden in his pocket, who concerns me. Criminals entering a jewelry store with the intention of robbing it and perhaps harming others in the process do not give one seconds’ thought about the little sticker on the door glass prohibiting firearms from the premises. Actually, it may embolden them by ensuring that there will be no one in the store who can counter their actions with equal force.

A rather snobbish woman once asked me, “Do you think you’ll ever really need to use that gun?” I simply told her “I pray I never have to.”

I carry a firearm on my person whenever I leave the house. It’s better to have it and never have to use it, than not have it when you need it most. I’m not Rambo, John Wayne or the Terminator. I have decided to take on the awesome responsibility of my own well-being and the personal safety of those around me. The reality of the situation is that I am ultimately responsible for every bullet fired from my weapon. I must be absolutely confident in my ability to assess a threatening situation and appropriately decide when the moment has come to draw and even fire my weapon. I must be sure that I am willing to accept the possibility of having to take a life to save my own, or someone else’s. I must also be prepared to make a split-second assessment of my line of sight, what’s behind my target, are there people there who could be injured or killed if I miss? Those are some pretty hefty things to ponder. I am constantly assessing and evaluating my surroundings and the people coming and going in the shop.

“We must carry arms because we value our lives and those of our loved ones, because we will not be dealt with by force or threat of force, and do not live at the pleasure and discretion of the lawless.” - Jeff Snyder

Some might call me paranoid. Some will call me a yahoo, cowboy or try to label me as a vigilante. I am none of those things. I have simply come to the conclusion that my life is valuable, as are the lives of my customers, many of which have become dear friends over the years. I want to make it home for dinner... at all costs.

 

 

By Al Solymosi, Jr.
Young’s Jewelry
Cleveland, Ohio

 

 

I welcome all comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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