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Mark Clodius: What’s On My Bucket List




A special invitation from mining company Rio Tinto allowed Mark Clodius to get up close with some rare red diamonds.

Mark and Monika Clodius

Clodius & Co. Jewelers, Rockford, IL

Currently topping the bucket list:

Seeing the Crown Jewels of England and the treasures of the Kremlin.


Already checked off the list:

The annual Rio Tinto Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, which showcases the best stones of a year’s production from the Argyle Mine in Western Australia. Mark and Monica received an invitation to a preview in New York through their membership in the National Colored Diamond Association, but they didn’t know till the last minute exactly where or when it would be. They faxed their passports and drivers’ licenses to Interpol in Europe, were approved, and then had to scramble for plane tickets to New York. They flew in on the Friday morning before Memorial Day, without luggage, planning to leave the same day on a 4:30 p.m. flight. “The people with Rio Tinto were very nice, no one even got real excited when I dropped a Tender diamond on the floor!” Mark said. “What amazing diamonds!” In fact, one of the gems Mark held was the Argyle Phoenix, a 1.56-carat rare red diamond.

Also checked off the list:

The Green Vaults of Dresden (largest collection of the jewelry arts intact since the 1500s.)

The Treasure of St. Januarius. (A collection of jewels, gathered in honor of the patron saint of Naples, Italy, for about 700 years.)

The Gem Gallery of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.


Jennifer Farnes achieved a dream when she first fired a customer, and now seeks to achieve another by achieving a sales goal and taking everyone on a watery reward trip.

Jennifer Farnes

Revolution Jewelry Works, Colorado Springs, CO

Currently topping the bucket list:


To cross the $1 million mark. “I made a promise to my team that the year we do that, I will take everyone and their spouses on a cruise instead of going to JCK Las Vegas. I want to do that before I die (I think I will get there before the end of the decade).”

Already checked off the list:

Fire a customer. “If you do great work and have that customer that you can never make happy no matter how hard you try, then let them go (politely of course). I’m not saying fire every customer that takes extra time, but that one that sucks the air and energy out of a room when they walk in.”

Susan Eisen wants to live in New York and see Picassos in Paris.


Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry & Watches, El Paso, TX

Currently topping the bucket list:

“Rent an apartment in Manhattan for a month. I never get enough time to spend in the cities I visit; I’m always rushing, doing business. I would love to enjoy the culture, museums and restaurants that New York has to offer. I’d also like to go back to the Picasso museum in Paris, spend eight hours a day for two weeks on the Internet doing whatever I want, write another book (my fourth) about the adventures of being a jewelry store owner, and have my home remodeled.”

Already checked off the list:

“Nothing yet! The list keeps getting longer and longer and I put my business projects first. I am waiting until I retire but don’t know if I ever will!”



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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