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Friday, April 1, 2011

Personal Safety

The other day I had a woman come in with a gold ring and a platinum ring. She wanted to know how much it would cost to remove the engraving on the inside of the platinum ring and get them both polished. She also said she wanted to know how much each weighed. Anyone who has been in my store knows that I like to find out the whys and wherefores of any work I'm doing so I inquired why she was doing this and why she wanted to know the weights. I thought at first that she was going to take the rings to a scrap buyer and sell them, but if she was doing that it was meaningless to remove the engraving. The scrap buyers don't care (nor do they care if they're polished). She announced to me that she was going to sell the rings on Angie's List.

Okay, now I know I'm a little paranoid. I have to be in my business. There is, after all, a reason why I have cameras all over the place, a locked door, panic buttons and requirements that people have to take off their hats and sunglasses, and sometimes have to hand over their licenses before I'll show them an expensive piece. But the reason I do all of these things is because I know that there are criminals by the barrelful out there, many of them desperate and they will often do anything to steal something like jewelry as it's easy to carry and has high resale value (even if it's only for gold scrap value).

Now, please folks, think about this for a moment. You're going to advertise in a public place that you have jewelry you want to sell. And then you're going to agree to meet someone YOU DON'T KNOW to have them look at this jewelry. Do you honestly think there aren't people out there looking for just this opportunity? After all, look at the Angie's list killer who has just been back in the news again as they released some new information on his crimes. He killed someone he met from the list for anything she had and he didn't even know that they might have jewelry for sale on their person!

I'm really sorry, but this is just a stupid thing to do. It is, quite simply, asking for trouble. I did tell the customer (actually I pleaded with her) to either just take the stuff and scrap it or do it on Ebay where she didn't actually have to meet anyone. I told her I was exceedingly uncomfortable with helping someone put themselves in such a vulnerable position. I think however that despite my repeated pleas with her that she plans on proceeding with the sale on Angie's List. It's a big mistake folks and I urge everyone to take this advice to heart: If you have to sell something do it in a way that won't leave you in a position to have someone stick a gun in your face and steal it (and probably stuff you don't want to sell too!).


  1. Hi Danny! I've just found your blog--and it is wonderful. Really interesting to learn about the stones you work with, and even more fascinating to see how you interact with your community, and your customers. Quite lovely. It sounds like you and your wife had a terrific time in Big Sur, and it sounds strangely as if we might even have been there at the same time--I was with my sons staying at Deetjen's in January. I'll definitely come by the shop next time I'm in Cambridge; your work looks even more beautiful than when I last saw it...when was that? 1972?! all best, Dominique

  2. I can't tell if this is an April Fools joke. Angie's List is a website that helps rate service professionals, like a grass roots Better Business Bureau. "The Angie's List Killer" is an old joke that has been kicked around the internet and radio for a while. Found your blog looking for the original joke.