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11 Things That Only Jewelers Can Understand

Dirty rings, for starters.




EVERY INDUSTRY HAS its quirks. They are the things that make the industry unique from others – things that only folks who belong to the trade can relate to.

As a jeweler, you know there are some things from your job that only your fellow jewelers can understand. Take, for example, that customer who brings in her ring to have it reset – you know that moment when she hands it over and you realize it’s filthy or is partially coated in some kind of weird substance that only a forensics lab could identify? This is the kind of anguish that only your colleagues have felt.

After years of engaging with customers from every walk of life, experienced jewelers have seen it at all, for better or for worse. Stick around long enough, and you might find yourself empathizing with the folks below who shared these comments on our INSTORE Magazine and INSTORE Community Facebook pages.

Some customers just don’t get it.

“We do a lot of repair work at our store, and I love it when the customer says, ‘Well how come it’s so much money for soldering? … I tell them, ‘Why don’t you YouTube ‘soldering jewelry’ and see how difficult it actually is.’ Then after the work is done and the item is cleaned and polished to perfection, they don’t understand why it costs what it costs. It really irks me.” – Dana Bracco Mac, Country Store Jeweler, Brick Township, NJ

Others think they do …

“We all have that ‘know it all’ customer, right? I love the ones that want to use a loop and put it to their eye upside down! Or the customers who think they know what an appraisal actually is, and they ask for one for a bubblegum machine ring they found in the dirt. SMH!” – Caryl Francis Moore, LeRAVe Jewelry, South Boston, VA

And still others live in alternate realities.

“Being told by someone that they are a ‘good customer’ who comes into your store all the time, so you should do their repair for free and/or give them a discount – only to check your POS system and see that they have had one chain repair and three batteries in the last 15 years!! Such a good customer.” – Angela Cisneros, K.Jons Diamonds & Gems, Atascadero, CA


Those melee diamonds have minds of their own.

“Showing a diamond with tweezers and it pops out and flies across the room. Then all of us are on our hands and knees looking under chairs and counters, even using flashlights to see it show up.” – Rick Borchert, former general manager for Jared in Virginia

You see which romances will end before they begin.

“The young guy that you help find an engagement ring within his budget. Then he comes back with the girlfriend, not for sizing but for a different ring, because this diamond is too small. He winds up spending much more than he can realistically spend to avoid a tantrum. Just want to tell the poor guy, RUN! Run fast in the opposite direction!” – Elisa Reyes, Austin Roberts Jewelers, Ocala, FL

All you see is statement pieces.

“When I meet people (in a social setting), I can’t remember their name, color of their hair or what kind of clothing they have on. But I remember their jewelry – earrings, necklaces, rings, watches. Then when I speak about meeting them to someone else, I describe them by their jewelry! Example: Talking to my husband
about the picnic we were at last week and he asks, ‘You remember the woman with the red hair and blue dress? Me: (blank stare) … Then I say, ‘Oh, the girl with the 5ct diamond tennis bracelet and Cartier Tank Francaise watch? Yes, I remember her!’ – Rosalie Fittery, GN Diamond, Philadelphia, PA

Everyone wants to pick the expert’s brain.

“Being handed jewelry for repair/resetting everywhere I go – sidewalks, restaurants. … I was once given a 1.5ct diamond at a party to come up with ideas for.” – Chrissy Cook, MADE Jewelry Boutique, West Reading, PA

Sometimes things get emotional.

“Being unsuccessful in trying my best to hold back tears while a customer shares a heart-warming story of the love and meaning behind a sentimental piece of jewelry from a beloved one who has recently departed, and is entrusting me with the necessary service that needs to be done. I end up doing it for cost or for free just because I can.” – Sherry Jones Almond Ward, retired after 32 years in fine jewelry

The filth.

“How incredibly dirty rings can get. It’s crazy that people don’t think twice about sticking their germ-ridden ring fingers in their mouth to loosen their even germier rings. Then they want to share those rings with us to clean, all the while telling us about all the food, paint and other gross things that could be in it. And they never once think about all of that just having been in their mouth!” – Jennifer Zermeno, Rinehart Jewelry, Nevada, MO


And the nail salon is out of the question.

“Getting a manicure is never an option. I can’t go a day without rouge under my nails.” – Potere Azure Jewelry, Ellensburg, WA

But it’s all worth it in the end.

“What other job is there that puts smiles on people’s faces when you create something for them that everyone else said couldn’t be done, or you repair that heirloom that they were told could never be fixed. Those are the rewarding moments.” – Arabesque Jewelers, High Ridge, MO

Jesse Burkhart is a freelance writer based in North Carolina. A hair stylist from Poland once told him he looked like a conquistador, a compliment he accepted without questioning its merit.



Wilkerson Testimonials

When It’s Time for Something New, Call Wilkerson

Fifty-four years is a long time to stay in one place. So, when Cindy Skatell-Dacus, owner of Skatell’s Custom Jewelers in Greenville, SC decided to move on to life’s next adventure, she called Wilkerson. “I’d seen their ads in the trade magazines for years,’ she says, before hiring them to run her store’s GOB sale. It was such a great experience, Skatell-Dacus says it didn’t even seem like a sale was taking place. Does she have some advice for others thinking of a liquidation or GOB sale? Three words, she says: “Wilkerson. Wilkerson. Wilkerson.”

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US Claims Overseas Jewelry Chain Supports Terrorism

It’s among 15 entities being targeted for sanctions.




The U.S. Treasury Department is targeting al-Hebo Jewelry Co., which has stores in Turkey and Syria, for allegedly supporting ISIS.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control hit the company, along with more than a dozen other organizations and individuals, with counterterrorism sanctions, according to a press release from the department.

According to the release:

As of late 2017, al-Hebo’s location in Gaziantep, Turkey was involved in an ISIS scheme to convert gold into cash to more efficiently and secretly send funds via hawalas in Turkey to ISIS sleeper cells in Iraq and Syria.

As of early 2017, Raqqah-based al-Hebo was a cash transfer business used by ISIS members.

In September 2016, an employee of Raqqah-based al-Hebo likely coordinated a money transfer on behalf of a now-deceased, Syria-based, ISIS senior operations official.

Turkey-based al-Hebo owner Muhamad Ali al-Hebo is named specifically. As of late 2016, he was “involved in procuring precious metals to enable ISIS to produce its own ISIS coinage,” according to the release.

In all, the Treasury Department is targeting “15 leaders, individuals, and entities affiliated with terror groups,” according to the release. They include entities affiliated with HAMAS, al-Qa’ida and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods-Force (IRGC-QF), as well as ISIS.

“Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, the U.S. government has refocused its counterterrorism efforts to constantly adapt to emerging threats,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “President Trump’s modernized counterterrorism Executive Order enhances the authorities we use to target the finances of terror groups and their leaders to ensure they are as robust as possible.

“These new authorities will allow the U.S. Government to starve terrorists of resources they need to attack the United States and our allies, and will hold foreign financial institutions who continue to do business with them accountable. These new tools aid our unrelenting efforts to cut off terrorists from their sources of support and deprive them of the funds required to carry out their destructive activities. They serve as a powerful deterrent to radical terror groups and those seeking to aid their nefarious goals.”

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Woman Watches Video on How to Find Diamonds, Finds 3.72-Carat Yellow Diamond

It’s the largest diamond registered at the Crater of Diamonds since March 2017.




Miranda Hollingshead apparently knows how to choose the right video.

The Bogata, TX, woman recently visited Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park for the first time and found a 3.72 carat yellow diamond, according to a report on the Arkansas State Parks website. After searching for about an hour, Hollingshead, 27, found the diamond at the base of a hill on the northeast side of the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area.

“I was sitting in the shade, watching a YouTube video on how to find diamonds. I looked over at my kid for a second, and when I looked down, I saw it mixed in with other rocks,” she said.

It’s the largest diamond registered at the Crater of Diamonds since March 2017, when a teenager from Centerton, AR, found a 7.44-carat brown gem. It is the largest yellow diamond since a visitor from Oklahoma City found a 3.85-carat jewel there in October 2013.

Park interpreter Waymon Cox said, “Every diamond found at the park is beautiful in its own way, and this one is certainly no exception. It’s about the size of a pencil eraser, with a light yellow color and a sparkling, metallic luster. Ms. Hollingshead said her gem’s unique shape reminded her of a rounded molar, with a small indentation in one end.”

Miranda Hollingshead found this diamond at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park.

Cox said rainfall likely played a role in Hollingshead finding her diamond.

“Much of the ground where Ms. Hollingshead found her diamond is made of unweathered volcanic rock. When it rains, flowing runoff often leaves loose gravel, and sometimes diamonds, on the surface in these areas. Diamonds have a brilliant, adamantine luster that makes them easy to spot, and Ms. Hollingshead happened to be sitting in just the right place to see the diamond sparkle in the sun.”

About one in every 10 diamonds is found on the top of the ground by observant visitors. Park personnel plow the diamond search area, the eroded surface of an ancient, diamond-bearing volcanic pipe, periodically to loosen soil and assist with natural erosion.

Many visitors choose to name the diamonds they find at Crater of Diamonds State Park. Hollingshead and her son named her gem the Caro Avenger. “He chose the name Caro, and I am a fan of superheroes, so it seemed like a good fit.”


Hollingshead said if she doesn’t sell the diamond, she’ll probably have it mounted in a ring.

In total, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the Crater of Diamonds since the first diamonds were discovered in 1906 by John Huddleston, a farmer who owned the land long before it became an Arkansas State Park in 1972.

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Jewelry Retailer Expands With Store Acquisition

It will be the company’s third location.




Hustedt Jewelers, which has locations in Gibson City and Pontiac, IL, has acquired William MarKen Jewelers in Bloomington, IL.

The store will be rebranded, The Pantagraph reports.

“This is an exciting time to expand,” said Kevin Hustedt, owner of Hustedt Jewelers. “We look forward to taking care of all the William MarKen customers just like we do in our other two stores.”

Hustedt took over the business from his father, Larry Hustedt, in 2013. Larry Hustedt started the business in Gibson City with his wife, Ursula, in 1983.

William MarKen Jewelers was started in 1996 by Bill Lyddon, Mark Meins and Ken Criser in Normal, IL. The store moved to Bloomington in 2007.

Kevin Hustedt said MarKen Jewelers’ inventory was being liquidated.

Read more at the The Pantagraph

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