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There’s Something’s Rotten About This Ring-Cleaning Story

That wasn’t white cookie dough, unh-uh.

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I had a lady come in around Christmas to drop off her wedding ring for cleaning. It was a ring with a box-style head. As I cleaned it, I noticed that under the head, the ring was packed with white cookie dough, so when she came in to pick up the ring, I joked with her about doing a lot of holiday baking. She replied that she hadn’t made any cookies, but she had made a meatloaf a few days ago. Yuuuuck! SUE P., ESCANABA, MI

Let’s face it… lots of men are dumb about jewelry. We had a woman who loved big jewelry and she met a man at church. He drove a cement truck and it was apparent he had never purchased fine jewelry before. She came in and looked at engagement rings with two-carat diamond centers and triple-row invisible-set mountings. When the man came in with her, he announced that she could have anything that she wanted, so she selected a ring. When he found out the price, I thought he would faint. He got angry. She offered to pay for half of the ring as she was not going to settle for smaller. He could not pay for the ring and we could not get him financed. In the end, the couple did not get engaged … all because of the ring. We spent many hours trying to keep the sale alive and keep the couple together. Since that incident, when a man tells me he’ll select the diamond and let his lady select any mounting that she wants, I suggest that he qualify his offer as such: “Darling, my budget for the mounting is $X,XXX and you can have any mounting that you like within the budget.” This has been very helpful for the less-than-savvy jewelry buyer. BRAD F., SCOTTSDALE, AZ

A male customer was very interested in a black jade men’s ring we had made in 14K yellow gold. I told him the ring was “seven ninety five” and he told me he had to “think about it”. He came back a few hours later ready to purchase the ring. He handed me a $10 bill. I was so shocked it took me a minute to respond. NIHALA H., HEALDSBURG, CA

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For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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