It’s nice to be recognized when I’m out hob knobbing in different establishments around the island with my wife or friends, more often or not it’s “hello how are you, how you doing?” and the occasional… “I have to come see you!”
Only thing is my appearance almost always also invites the inevitable dreaded question(s). “We just came back from a cruise and bought this diamond ring can you tell us what it’s worth?” (In other words, the way I see it without even looking at the piece in question, is while this couple, who happen to pop into my store now and then were under the influence of way too many Rumrunners or Marquita’s more than likely paid a ridiculous amount of money for inexpensive piece of diamond jewelry. So here I am in the off season out on the town, with the intention of having a nice dinner and a good time with friends, something I rarely do during season because I am so slammed with work and too exhausted to have fun. So now hypothetically I have just been placed in the middle of a potential mine field. Nothing good for me is going to come from their simple but complicated question. So I will try to make the excuse it’s too dark in here, I can’t really see it too well, or sorry I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine, bring it in the shop tomorrow I’ll look at it then. “It’s very nice.” That was a white lie; even in the dark it looked pretty bad.
“Oh come on what’s it worth? We want to know how good a deal we got.”
Geeze… They never get the hint. Time to tip toe through the mine field, if I tell the God’s honest truth, they will be disappointed, no, more like devastated, and mad with what I have to say and I now become the bad guy for bringing the truth of the matter to light which happens to be this poor excuse for a diamond ring that is not worth anywhere near the 9,500 Benjamin’s they just paid.
I’m not going to sugar coat what I really feel about this predicament and I’m sure every jeweler has similar thoughts as I do on this subject.
1.) I’m a bit hurt that they would purchase an important piece of jewelry somewhere else especially when they are regular customers of mine and thenthrust their purchase it in my face expecting me to be overjoyed with their “treasure”. Sorry that’s just rude and uncouth. (Honestly, I couldn’t give a rat’s behind, and I’m not even interested in seeing it, unless you make an appointment for a formal written appraisal and I charge a fee for that.) What I would really like to say is “That’s very nice. Now can I get back to enjoying my dinner with my friends?” I lose, and my feelings are hurt, I go from drinking wine to Irish whisky.
2.) Then there is the fat chance they got a really good deal and the diamond is well worth the money… Heck they practically stole it! And they will continue to go back there for future purchases. (This is very rare indeed) and I lose here again.
3.) The lighting is good, I have my jeweler’s loupe on my person and I’m stone cold sober, no excuse to not look at it. Just as I suspected… it’s a piece of junk! Now what? Tell them the truth they certainly don’t want to hear, and if I say otherwise I tarnish my professional reputation when another jeweler looks at it and says I must be a moron for saying it was nice for this $9,500 worth of junk! Once again a no win situation for me.
4.) So I tell them the truth, now I’m accused of not knowing what I’m talking about. “The jeweler on Martinique told us it was worth twice what we paid!” and they have the papers to prove it, pages of pure fiction of course. Now I’m doing a line dance with a can of gasoline in each hand on that mine field I mention before. I won’t be expecting them in my store anytime soon for telling the truth. Loser!
5.) So I have now decided to resort to plan 5… “Dat’s berry niesh.” Then spill a little of the contents of my glass of Irish Tullamore Dew on my lap and now I act totally disappointed and they buy me another round…Thus totally avoiding the ugly situation. No loss, no harm done. Cheers! Here’s to the Queen!
Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and has been Marco’s Island jeweler for over twenty-two years and is located at Island Plaza he welcomes your questions about “All That Glitters” 239.394.9275 www.harborgoldsmith.com