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Last updateTue, 20 Jun 2017 6pm
Ellis Jewelers Tim Hiatt credits retail success to his genes

Ellis Jewelers Tim Hiatt credits retail success to his genes

They say you can escape your past but not your gen...

GIA’s M2M app helps retailers tell a diamond’s story

GIA’s M2M app helps retailers tell a diamond’s story

As the creator of the 4Cs, GIA (Gemological Instit...

Retailer Roundtable: What jewelry trends are you seeing leading up to Vegas?

Retailer Roundtable: What jewelry trends are you seeing leading up to Vegas?

Q: What jewelry trends are you seeing leading up to...

Georgia Jewelers Association announces scholarship winners

Georgia Jewelers Association announces scholarship winners

For the sixth year, Georgia Jewelers Association (...

Other News

De Beers sends mining ship to explore Namibian coast

De Beers sends mining ship to explore Namibian coast

The $157 million vessel can accommodate a crew of 80 and has a helicopter deck suitable for Sikorsky S61s.

De Beers, the world's No.1 diamond miner by value, unveiled last Thursday the world's largest diamond exploration vessel, which will search for ...

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Industry Events

Charles Stanley and Yancy Weinrich honored at Jewelers for Children Facets of Hope

Charles Stanley and Yancy Weinrich honored at Jewelers for Children Facets of Hope

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers for Children (JFC) held the 19th edition of the Facets of Hope event on June 7, in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The charity announced that $2.2 million had been raised to support their charity partners in the ...

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On The Move

JA announces 2018 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement recipient

JA announces 2018 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement recipient

Sally Morrison of Gemfields to receive the prestigious award

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA) and the GEM Awards Committee have announced that Sally Morrison, Director of Sales and Marketing, Americas, of Gemfields, will receive the GEM Award for ...

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What's New

Rembrandt Charms introduces Bridal Party Program

Rembrandt Charms introduces Bridal Party Program

(WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.) - Rembrandt Charms Bridal Party Expansion Program creates an omni-channel experience for the bridal shopper, and cultivates new and repeat business for the retail jeweler. The Program is a low-cost investment of $170 and can gene...

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Featured Articles

With more growth in the works, LaserStar celebrates 60 years of an evolving, dynamic business

With more growth in the works, LaserStar celebrates 60 years of an evolving, dynamic business

LaserStar Technologies is celebrating 60 years in business the perfect way: The leading manufacturer of jewelry laser systems is doubling the size of its facility in Orlando, FL, putting its Southern operations on par with its flagship facility in Pr...

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Latest News

De Beers sends mining ship to explore Namibian coast

2 DAYS AGO
De Beers sends mining ship to explore Namibian coast

The $157 million vessel can accommodate a crew of 80 and has a helicopter deck suitable for Sikorsky S61s.

De Beers, the world's No.1 diamond miner by value, unveiled last Thursday the world's largest diamond exploration vessel, which will search for the coveted stones on the seabed off the coast of ...

Readmore

Are American malls dead?

2 DAYS AGO
Are American malls dead?

With All the Bankruptcies and Closings, How Will the Mall Survive?

My first retail job in 1983 was at a RadioShack store in a small Indiana town. We had no POS system or any other technology to help us outside of the calculator we used to add up the numbers on the invoices. Our best-selling item was ...

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Charles Stanley and Yancy Weinrich honored at Jewelers for Children Facets of Hope

2 DAYS AGO
Charles Stanley and Yancy Weinrich honored at Jewelers for Children Facets of Hope

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers for Children (JFC) held the 19th edition of the Facets of Hope event on June 7, in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The charity announced that $2.2 million had been raised to support their charity partners in the year ahead bringing the cumulative total since 199...

Readmore

Registration open for GIA’s New York Jewelry Career Fair

2 DAYS AGO
Registration open for GIA’s New York Jewelry Career Fair

Industry’s largest recruiting event returns to the Javits Center July 24

(NEW YORK) - Recruiters and aspiring job seekers can now register online for GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair to be held in New York on Monday, July 24. The leading gem and jewelry industry recruiting event will feature one-on-one caree...

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JA announces 2018 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement recipient

9 DAYS AGO
JA announces 2018 GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement recipient

Sally Morrison of Gemfields to receive the prestigious award

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA) and the GEM Awards Committee have announced that Sally Morrison, Director of Sales and Marketing, Americas, of Gemfields, will receive the GEM Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 16th annual GEM Awards...

Readmore

Georgia Jewelers Association announces scholarship winners

24 DAYS AGO
Georgia Jewelers Association announces scholarship winners

For the sixth year, Georgia Jewelers Association (GJA) has awarded scholarships to member stores and their employees. Scholarship chair, Jan Fergerson of Ford, Gittings and Kane in Rome, Georgia, announced the winners at the annual GJA Convention held at the Marriott Grand National Resort in Opelika...

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Rembrandt Charms introduces Bridal Party Program

9 DAYS AGO
Rembrandt Charms introduces Bridal Party Program

(WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.) - Rembrandt Charms Bridal Party Expansion Program creates an omni-channel experience for the bridal shopper, and cultivates new and repeat business for the retail jeweler. The Program is a low-cost investment of $170 and can generate over $1,500 in sales from one wedding party. ...

Readmore

Jayden Star celebrates 10-year anniversary with new product roll-out

22 DAYS AGO
Jayden Star celebrates 10-year anniversary with new product roll-out

(NEW YORK) - Celebrating with style, Jayden Star marks it’s 10-year anniversary with the biggest new product roll-out in company history during the JCK Las Vegas 2017 show. “With wholesale price points from $3 to $300, it’s hard to go wrong,” says Patrick Retzer, VP of Sales for Jayden Star. “All our...

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Furry Friends: Buffy the Shitzu

2 DAYS AGO
Furry Friends: Buffy the Shitzu

Buffy the shitzu recently celebrated her 10-year anniversary at Carl’s Fine Jewelry in Covington, LA. She’s quite stylish and the customers just love her.

Do you have a furry friend that helps out in your store? Tell us about it and send a picture to bill@southernjewelrynews.com.

 

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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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