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Big Survey

Big Survey: Jewelers Reveal the Hardcore Jewelry Things They Do

Tattoos, far-flung travels and sleeping in the store are among the responses.



Q: What’s the most hardcore jewelry thing you’ve done? (E.g. Get a tattoo of a jeweler’s torch on your back, name your child or pet after a gemstone, honeymoon at Carlsbad …)

One independent jeweler said the question made them feel “like a wet noodle.”

But other respondents had plenty to share:

Many acknowledged their dog has a jewelry name. Topaz, Ruby, Bijoux, Carat, Pearl, Jewel, Gemma, Onyx, Opal, Nugget. “Named my dog Rolex. He’s my `watch’ dog.”

Several carried the theme over to naming other entities:

  • “Named my daughter GIA.”
  • “All three children in my family were given names that start with J since our family store is named Jae’s.”
  • “Named my boat D Flawless.”
  • “Named my fantasy football team The Family Jewels.”

In the tattoo category:

  • “Shamrock tattoo with an octahedron in the center.”
  • “Gem tattoo on my wrist.”
  • “I’ve got a tattoo of a diamond on the inside of my bicep and plans to have all the different shapes on my forearm.”
  • “I have a diamond tattoo the size of my palm on my rib cage.”

Hardcore wedding planning:

  • “Held my wedding in my own store.”
  • “Had my wedding on a day the shop is always closed so that my wedding didn’t conflict with my store.”
  • Took wife to JA show in New York on our wedding weekend. (It’s OK though; she got to choose her diamond wedding present!)
  • “Honeymoon in South Africa to go to the Kimberley mines.”

In the travel category:

  • “Took entire staff to the Mexican Caribbean for photoshoots with jewelry for the store.”
  • “I drove 12 hours with a 2-month-old baby to attend a jewelry show.”
  • “Took my 1- and 3-year-old sons to a jewelry show; not a great idea!”
  • “Took my grandma to a trade show.”
  • “Fixed a lady’s bracelet in the airport layover on vacation.”
  • “I’ve had the opportunity to go down to the lowest levels of the Cullinan diamond mine, nearly 1 kilometer deep. I saw diamonds being liberated from the rock!”

Other responses that defy categorization:

  • “I had two flawless diamonds set under crowns on two teeth (in case of dire emergency, they could be used as “get out of jail” cards).”
  • “Appraised a decorated monkey skull (a real one) for a customer.”
  • “Building a model railroad inspired by the Colorado gold rush.”
  • “I am always looking at ladies’ rings to see if they need work while we are out and about.”
  • “Minerals and rough stones have become decorating fixtures in our home.”
  • “Wore a leopard print tie on a day my sales ladies had all agreed to wear animal prints.”
  • “Sleeping in the store to make sure everything was done for Christmas.”

The 2023 Big Survey was conducted via an anonymous online form from late August to early October, attracting more than 750 responses from American jewelry-store owners and managers. The full results will be published in the November edition of INSTORE.



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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