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True Tales: Learning Curve



Definitely not hematite.

Many years ago my new salesperson “Nancy” was so excited when I came back from lunch. She was beaming with pride about how a gentleman had come in and asked for a hematite pendant in a cage. So she found a stone, put it in a silver cage, put a chain on it, boxed it, and took payment. What she didn’t know was I had knocked over a Speidel display at closing and in the rush, threw all the ball bearings in a cigar box, and being a newbie she mistook a ball bearing for a hematite bead. Sadly, it was a cash sale so I couldn’t track it for a refund. — Gayle Chinn, Chinn Jewelry, Royal Oak, MI

When I was 12 years old and apprenticing for a jeweler in an upscale store, in an effort to teach me about setting stones, the jeweler handed me a silver marcasite brooch about 3 inches in diameter and asked me to clean it up as best I could. Thinking I knew everything already, I took it straight over to the buffer and had at it. I quickly threw it in the ultrasonic and then straight into the steamer! … It looked as if it was snowing in the room. The jeweler allowed me to rattle and steam out all of the marcasites in order to give me practice setting over 400 new ones! Here is the best part: I can’t wait to teach my son the same lesson. — Mark T., Sacramento. CA

This article originally appeared in the April 2015 edition of INSTORE.




Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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