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Monday, January 23, 2017

VIDEO OF ME AT WORK

Here's a little change up on my blog.  Watch a video of me working on a ring.  Have fun!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Bracelet

14k Red Gold and 18k Yellow Gold Freshwater Pearl Bracelet
This is a brand new bracelet I'm putting out in my case today.  I worked with 14k red gold on this because I wanted a darker red out of my metal to match the colors in the freshwater pearl than the 18k pink gold I usually work with which is a lighter tone of red. So it's a mix of 14k red gold, 18k yellow gold and the bezel for the pearl is 22k gold. One of the other advantages of the 14k red gold is that it's a little bit less expensive.  I won't be making another like this for the rest of the year (at least) so come on in and take a look. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Some New Pictures

I haven't had much time to write on here recently because, in case you didn't know this already, I have to do pretty much everything here.  These days I've had to take over my photography work as well so I'm now handling making and selling the jewelry, all the social media marketing, photography, cleaning the store, etc. About the only thing I don't do around here is the bookkeeping and that's because my wonderful wife Kathy handles all of that.  Also at this time of year, I'm pretty much constantly under the gun to get the work done.  So it doesn't leave me as much time to get to writing on the blog.  I don't have much time today either so all I'm going to do is post some new pictures of some pieces I have done for the cases and some custom work, so I can get them out there for those of you who haven't started following me on Instagram (where you can see these things the same day as they're finished so sign up already). 
Carved black onyx (by Steve Walters) 18k gold pendant
 This piece is out in the cases.  I've been looking for a similar carving for awhile as I did one a few years ago that sold.


New freshwater cultured baroque pearls.      
Mokume gane, diamond earrings
 These are some classics of mine but a new pair just went out in the cases.



Rainbow Moonstones and Diamond earrings
 These are some brand new earrings I just put out.  The moonstones have gotten incredibly rare as rainbow moonstones (technically spectrolite) have pretty much been mined out.


18k gold, fancy colored sapphires and diamonds
 This is another one of my classic pieces but this is a new one out for sale now.
Natural color blue sapphire, diamonds, platinum engagement ring
 I just custom made this ring up for a customer.  I have a couple of versions I now do of this design. 
Tanzanite 18k yellow gold earrings
Brand new tanzanite 18k gold discs. 

That's it for today folks!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Holidays Are Coming! Another $100 Gift Certificate Contest! Instagram! Facebook! More Contests!

I just got in a new piece of onyx similar to this and I will be making up a similar pendant soon!
It seems to be that time of year again when Santa's elves (or the Hanukkah elves) are hard at work.  And since I seem to be one of those elves I am about to go into my nonstop work period.  I will be working every day until Christmas.  I won't be open every one of those days but I will be open most of them.  Starting on December 6, I will be open every day until Christmas.  We will also be open the day after Christmas as Christmas falls on a Friday this year (I hate it when that happens😀).  If you want to know my hours please check my website as they will be posted shortly. 

I know I haven't been writing as much lately on here but you have to remember that I am pretty much the whole shebang here.  Today was Small Business Saturday. When the government talks about small business, they are referring to any business with 500 or less employees.  500 employees????!!! To me that's a huge business!  I'm a small business.  I have one (very) part time employee at the moment.  Other than that my wife, Kathy, does the books.  That's the whole thing!  So it's hard to keep up with:  making the jewelry, selling the jewelry, cleaning the store, buying gemstones, ordering other supplies, keeping up with the gemological news, marketing, etc. 

Which brings me back to why I haven't been writing as much here lately.  Partly it's that I have all of those other jobs to do as well.  But also I have been investing a chunk of my marketing time into Instagram lately.  If you aren't already following me on Instagram, please, please do so.  And share my posts.  All of my newest pieces are being posted on Instagram as soon as they are finished.  Plus there are a whole lot of pictures of work in progress which I am being told are as interesting as the finished piece pictures.  You can also follow me on my Facebook business page, or you can friend me on Facebook, as long as you don't mind a lot of political fodder.  Almost everything I post on Instagram, I also post to my regular Facebook feed, but to see this you do have to friend me. 

While I still have a portion of the new body of work I produced recently out, I always make up new pieces at this time of year.  It's a great time to buy because under pressure I always turn out some of the best stuff.  I have a lot of new stones in the cases as well thanks to my suppliers who always give me some wonderful stuff for the holidays that you can come in, pick out and have me do a custom piece just for you. 

Speaking of which, as I am wont to do, I am running a small contest.  Want a $100 gift certificate against any piece in the case or any custom job?  Come in and pick out the most expensive loose stone in my cases right now.  It should be a piece of cake for some of you by now as I tend to get in similar types of material every year.   And there are no restrictions on the time frame on using the gift certificate (although, let's be honest, I really want you to use it now!). 

I am also running a second contest.  I will give anyone who gives me a good topic to write a blog article about a $50 gift certificate (good for anything I do) when I write an article about that topic. 
And yes I am going to continue my autobiography articles soon.  Actually I hope to do that next week some time. 

So let's get going here guys.  Come on by and look at what's here.  And write to me.  I like to write so you know I'll get back to you. 

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

I'm a Little Irritated

Tourmaline and diamond earrings
Not a month goes by anymore that I don't get two or three phone calls or customers into my shop (people who have never bought anything I make) where the conversation goes like this:

Customer: Hi.  I just got this ring and I need it sized and I'm kind of in a hurry.

Danny: Is it a new ring?

Customer: Yes, I just bought it.

Danny:  Well if it's a new ring the place you bought it from should size it for you for free.

Customer: But I bought it online and I would have to ship it back to them and I don't have time for that (or it will cost too much to ship it).  I thought you could do it for me in a day or two.

Danny: (Audibly sighs, maybe two or three times for effect).  My repair time is about two weeks right now.  And really the place you bought it from should be responsible for making it in the right size for you.

Customer:  They said they would size it but I have to send it back.

Danny:  Well I think you should send it back.  You can overnight it to them and ask them to overnight it back to you.  If it was my ring you bought I would size it for you so you could have it on time.

Customer: Well, um, okay.  Are you sure you couldn't do it right away?

Danny:  As soon as I get done with all the other repairs I have in house ahead of you I can get it done.

Usually that's the end of the conversation although a few people will continue pleading.

Some of you might ask what are you irritated about (although I suspect most of you know already).  It's just more work for you. So let me tell you:

When someone goes online to "save money" on a piece of jewelry, it isn't my job to fix what the online company does wrong. If the only thing I'm good for is to fix the mistakes of a company you work with sight unseen then I have to get a new location where my rent is only going to be a hundred dollars a month (of course then I wouldn't be nearby and you wouldn't be thinking I'm the person to call---despite my 40 years of experience).

If you want excellent customer service than work with someone local!!  If you buy a ring from me and it's the wrong size you can be damn sure I'm going to make sure it's sized right for you when you pick it up and if it isn't I'm going to size it overnight for you to make sure you can give it or wear it on time.  Sometimes I even do it on the same day.  And I never charge for it.

 So why do I do this for the customers who buy my rings and not ones bought elsewhere?  Because I make money on selling you the ring.  If I sell you an engagement ring for $2-3000 it's worth it for me to push other things aside and make it right for you.  If you buy a ring somewhere else and want me to size it for you I only charge $70 for a downsizing.  It just isn't worth it for me to stop all of the other work I'm doing (like making that engagement ring order up) so that you can give a ring you bought elsewhere to your intended.

Now I understand that I don't sell a lot of the more commercial designs that many of you buy online, but I can assure you that just about everything bought on line is available at a local jeweler.  It may not be me, but there are plenty of others who will sell you that exact same design AND take care of sizing it or fixing it locally and quickly.  So maybe it's worth thinking twice before deciding that the only criteria is how much money you can save by buying it online from some company that you will never, ever have a personal relationship with.

And that's my rant of the day.


P.S.: I don't look askance at people with heirloom pieces they bring to me.  If your family is passing down something to you to use I'm always happy to try to assist (although sometimes the time frames may be longer than you want) in whatever way I can.  This truly just applies to NEW purchases.