Silver Service

I enjoyed reading Janice Mack Talcott and Kate B. Peterson’s article, “How to Make Your Store a Service Ace,” in the September 1999 issue of JCK. The details and information covered in the article will surely be helpful to many jewelers. But there was one important omission. The article didn’t mention the service of silver restoration.

For more than 40 years, my company has been working hand-in-hand with jewelers all across America, providing silver-restoration services for their customers. This is the ultimate example of the benefits of outsourcing. Jewelers take in old, damaged silver items from their customers and send them to us for restoration. The jewelers don’t have to worry about plating chemicals; polishing dirt; or hiring, training, and employing silver craftsmen. That’s our job.

Successful jewelers know that offering silver-restoration service is a good profit-builder. And by actively promoting these services, they multiply their earnings.

Robert J. Kaynes Jr., Bron-Shoe Co., Columbus, Ohio

Fancy Cut Grades

Cut grading of fancy-shaped diamonds, contrary to the statements on page 89 of your July 1999 issue, has been around for quite a few years now. My lab has been using cut grading standards developed by me and in conjunction with James Jolliff and Joseph Tenhagen since before 1990. The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers has adopted these standards for use by members. Richard Drucker’s The Guide and Tenhagen’s Diamond Value Index use them, too, as do many gemologists and labs around the world.

These cut grades and usage instructions have been given freely to the trade time and time again for comment and suggestions. Short of some foot-dragging by the “big guys” whose vested interest is the status quo, most of the grading of fancy shapes is pretty much done. Just some fine-tuning of what might constitute “Ideal-cut fancies” is still in the works.

My lab, Accredited Gem Appraisers, produces diamond grading reports, known as AGA-CERTs. They’re used on Polygon, which has given us a much wider audience. If you’d like to see the cut grading charts for fancy-shape diamonds, take a look at www.gemappraisers.com. The trade-restricted areas may be accessed with the following: Login: 126990. Password: scope.

The wording of the short note in JCK implies that nothing yet exists that does the job, and that is a long way from what is going on. In our area, many diamonds have been successfully graded and sold with cut grades. I believe consumers and the trade are being well served.

David S. Atlas, D. Atlas & Co. Inc., Accredited Gem Appraisers, Philadelphia

Diamond Inscriptions

Ever since the San Diego Gemological Institute of America Symposium, we’ve been urging jewelers to be aware of the negative publicity about color-treated diamonds. The big question the consumer will be asking is, “What am I really getting?” and “How can I be sure?”

If there is nothing on the diamond, she can’t be sure. But, today any diamond can be laser-inscribed. The inscription is invisible to the naked eye but can be seen with a 10-power loupe. Putting a trademark or store ID there and a number that ties in with the cert number or your inventory number—and tying that in with a sales slip with that number and a written description—goes a long way to assure the customer that she is getting what she is paying for. The fact that there is protection for her if she leaves her ring anywhere to be sized or repaired or if it is lost or stolen is a plus for her and an extra sales pitch for the retailer.

Retailers should ask their diamond suppliers to have a number inscribed on every stone. They should have every diamond in their inventory (at least those 1 ct. and larger) inscribed. There is at least one company that will inscribe mounted solitaires without removing the stone from the setting. A retailer providing this service can put a positive postscript on some very negative publicity.

Al Burk, Jewelry Merchandise Consultants, Sparta, N.J.


In “Grade Expectations: How to Choose a Diamond Lab” (JCK, September 1999, p. 122), the address of the International Gemmological Institute was incorrectly listed. The correct address is 579 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10017. Jerry Ehrenwald is IGI president, not the owner. In addition to the services listed, IGI offers cut grade reports. Most of its current reports include a photo of its unique laser inscription.

In “Prime Platinum Markets” (Business Report, JCK, September 1999, p. 68), we inadvertently switched figures for the years 1997 and 1998 in a chart showing demand for platinum jewelry. The chart should have shown a decline in demand in 1998 in Japan and an increase in Europe, North America, and the rest of the world.

In “Tiffany to Get Diamonds Straight from the Mine” (Up Front, JCK, September 1999, p. 15), the name of the Diavik mine in Canada was misspelled.