Last updateWed, 19 Oct 2016 12am


The lore and lure of gems

Sparkling. Enticing. Enchanting. Do you secretly covet a large, flawless diamond? Are you mesmerized by the rich beauty of emeralds? Do you treasure tantalizing tanzanite?

Throughout the ages, gems have captivated us with their alluring magic. The ancient Egyptians revered midnight-blue lapis lazuli, pairing it with purest gold in striking ornaments for their royal pharaohs. In the India of antiquity, rubies were known as the "king of gems". Warriors, believing these precious gems to convey invincibility, wore them into battle for protection. The Chinese have venerated jade for millennia, considering it a celestial blessing, a harbinger of happiness and prosperity. Rich purple amethyst, included in the British Crown Jewels, has been favored by both royalty and clergy. According to lore, its influence helps prevent drunkenness! Shining turquoise, the color of the sky, was sacred to the American Indian, and is still widely used in Native American jewelry.

The Retailer’s Perspective: Here’s your answers

A few months ago I wrote about a jeweler that had a bad problem (This Really Happened, June 2016). She had a customer that wanted to marry about 12 or 5,000 elements together from pictures on Pinterest into her totally RAD, one-of-a-kind, custom wedding band. Once finished, her customer had changed her mind and wanted her money back and was just going to order something cheaper online. She called me and asked for my opinion on how to handle the situation. Most importantly, she wanted to know if she should refund the substantial deposit that her customer put down (that she had already spent on having the ring made)? I told her I didn’t have a clue, but I would write about it and ask our colleagues across the country for some advice. Here are a few of the answers in your own words.

The Retailer’s Perspective: I can’t believe this happened

The Beginning

This true story started back in 1995. I was sitting at my front counter having lunch when he walked in. He was a big guy who kind of looked like Gary Busey. I picked up my lunch tray and set it in the back and asked him how I could help. He said his watch had stopped and he was hoping it was just a battery. We were chit chatting as I changed his watch battery and then it happened. He told me he owned an alarm company and the type of security system I had was very outdated and unreliable. I said that’s what was here when I bought the store and I wanted to upgrade. We did the deal and I loved my new alarm system and my alarm company. I’ve written about them many times throughout the years. And that was how our 21 year relationship started.

The Retailer’s Perspective: Why are you mad at me?

I was sitting at the front counter of my store, having a late lunch one day. It was the end of May, the sun was shining, and the landscaping looked spectacular out the front window. I was eating a chile relleno casserole that I’d made the night before. It’s always so much better the next day you know. Then she came through the door holding a bunch of papers in her hand.

The Retailer’s Perspective: This really happened

“Do you make jewelry?” said the young couple that walked into a jewelry store a couple of months ago.

“We do,” the owner said.

Then we all know what happens next. Out comes the smart phone that’s full of pictures from websites you’ve never heard of before. There’s black rhodium, there’s champagne diamonds, there’s the ‘Stones I’ve Never Heard Of-ite’s’, there’s about a thousand micro pavé set yellow diamonds and a thousand micro pavé set blue diamonds. There are halos with split shanks and halos with cathedral shanks. But, none of them are “perfect.” And this couple insists on perfection, and here they are, right in front of you. Oh joy of joys. Let’s get this party started.

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