LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
Issue No. 125 - Thursday May 8, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
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VISIT OUR WEBSITE TODAY
From the Moderator:
We have some great post today. Keep 'em coming.
TOPIC for this WEEK: OPTICAL PERFORMANCE
and TECHNICALLY CORRECT CUTTING.
Index to Today's Digest
01 RE: Exceptions: The Regent has No Class!
02 RE: reviews n machines
03 RE: Business and Customer desires
04 NEW: Something new at Rough To Cut
Subject: Exceptions: The Regent has No Class!
Date: Wed, 07 May 2003 19:48:36 -0400
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: "Jonathan L. Rolfe" <email@example.com>
At 05:42 PM 5/7/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>Jon, it seldom that I disagree with you, but on this I must. I have always
>prided myself on customer service, starting back in the early 60's up to
>today over a range of different professions. In my last, as a jeweller
>and stone cutter, I ran across "customers" who defied respect. There were
>not many, only three over five years. But they happen. (Horror story
>There are times that you have to say "the king has no clothes"
Yes, they are out there, and I suspect that the deinstitutionalizations
that have happened in recent years, that produce a lot of strange people
mumbling to themselves that we see in some cities are a result..and it is
not surprising that a few who are off their medicine find the way to a
jewelry store. Possibly my experiences have not hit your percentage
because all my customers at least have to know where the "ON" switch is on
a faceting machine. I can think of a couple, offhand, that I would be
happy never to hear from again, but that is out of 1,600+ units, and these
people were not all that bad. But if I remember back to the '70's when I
did have a gemstone cutting business (Wholesale and retail) I did meet some
amazing people. What was "amazing" to me was that they attained the ages
they were when I met them, and were not claimed by Father Darwin. One can
only assume at first meeting that the person deserves a chance, and a
default position of "Regent". But I do know what you mean.
I try to keep in mind a couple of sayings:
"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity".
"Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain".
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity ."
I have a fish pond, that had a couple of dozen koi in it until a couple
of weeks ago. Some were ten years old and we had names for them (Yeah, I
know..they did not come when called..) We were so happy that they made it
through a bad Winter.
Then, a Marsh Hawk (Harrier) ATE THEM ALL! And more insulting, he brought
his WIFE back a week later .
I do not hate the hawk; He was simply being what he is!
Likewise, if a person is an @$$hole, they are simply being true to their
nature... And the odds are we will encounter them sooner or later.
Hi Jon, I know hydrogen is H2. What would the Element Stupidity be? I am fairly certain
that hydrogen and sulphur are involved. LOL
Subject: reviews n machines
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 23:16:10 EDT
I hope this is a post link? I am only getting email, but cannot find another
Two issues of real interest to me at least:
1) I understand the fear of liability, but comments from members on their
experience with suppliers and machines is most useful and often truly
educational. For instance, apparently the Facetron does have a weak link
which is pretty indefensible (sorry all fans thereof, but that issue SHOULD
be improved by the company). There is NOT liability in reporting FACT ...
the issue becomes how much trouble can you go to in order to have a sound
basis for publication. If you have that, you do not have liability. It
seems questionable to me that there is much danger of suit where a member is
permitted to express their opinion at any rate.
2) WHAT is the ideal machine for me? One that is rock solid, perfectly
machined, readily aligned by the owner in all respects (that IS possible),
and has parts readily available ... along with all mountings for add-ons
(i.e. BW meter, dial indicator, ???) pre-drilled for standard components.
It don't not exist. I have tried whining at Jon to produce machines but he
just ignors me, durn it. I would sell both my machines in a moment to buy
one from him - heck, i would throw in my favorite rifle even ... why? because
he cares, because he really really knows what he is doing and loves it,
because he has incomparible machine skills.
Alas, such is not to be so i have two of the best production machines and
slowly work at making them what i want, but that is sad ... my best machine
actually was improved using 600 grit sandpaper!!!!!!!!!! good grief (there
is a non-critical part, that works a dial indicator important to me, that has
a cam riding on a machined surface ... so poorly finished at one end that
using 600 grit sandpaper i got the indicator to work fairly well at its
So why am i writing so much? because it seems to me that we as a group do
not demand the degree of perfection from our equipment suppliers that we
need, therefore we do not get it. And yes, there is a place for low priced
equipment and that equipment will not be perfect ... but in fact, there are
several entry machines which perform nearly as well as the delux stuff which
costs 3-4 times as much- whose fault is that? ours.
Hi Bill, I also wish Gearloose would start building machines. A total
Gearloose Faceting solution has great appeal to me for the reasons you
so correctly stated above.
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 20:26:53 -0700
From: "Galarneau's" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A few thoughts based on 25 years in the repair, wholesale, and retail
business of cutting and selling gemstones.
There is a large difference in sellers expectations of customer
knowledge between wholesale and retail. When I am a dealer at a
wholesale show I expect my customers to be knowledgeable of the business
in which they are engaged. That means a prospective customer is
expected to know about the stones, FTC Guidelines, and ethical business
practices. I do not expect them to know much about gemstone cutting or
about how the quality of cutting effects the look of the stone. 90% of
my wholesale customers are interested in two things and two things only.
Number one is the face up look of the stone and number two is how much
does the stone cost. They expect the stone to be cut to able to be
mounted in one of two ways. First is in a ready made standard mounting
available from many supply stores, second is by making a custom setting.
They do not expect a stone to be cut such that it almost impossible to
Retail customers must be approached with the thought that they have
very little knowledge of what they are buying. Salesmanship is used
right at the start of the business encounter to determine if the
customer is knowledgeable. From that point on the sales conversation is
a give and take where product guarantees and warrantees are discussed
and written out. Customers are not always right and neither are
sellers. I have made mistakes in the past and eaten the mistake rather
than trying to find a way to get out of the mistake. Rude customers
are not tolerated and rude sales people are not tolerated.
Wholesale repair of gemstones has been my one most unethical,
troublesome, and money losing aspects of my business. When you repair
a gemstone you take full responsibility for the safe storage, safe
shipping, and repair expectations of both the store and the customer. I
have had more trouble in the repair business than anywhere else.
Custom cutting of someone else's rough is the second biggest problem.
Expectations of quality, yield, and face up appeal are the normal
trouble areas. This applies to both facetted and cabochon jobs.
Third on my list of problem jobs is special order cutting out of your
own rough, When I was into this business I sometimes had 20 -30 jobs
lined up at a time. Expectations is the main problem. One time I cut
30 Montana Sapphires to get a matching set of 6mm earrings and a 7mm
ring stone. 30 stones cut to get three to match. This job cost me more
than if I would have just given the money for the rough to the customer.
A word about facetting. I disagree with the idea that the only good
stone is one cut to perfect proportions, with a perfect polish, and
perfect meet points. When I first started selling my stones my goal was
just like yours. Everything I had for sale was as perfect as I could
make it. Then I started to get comments from my customs like - That
stone has too much sparkle, it looks fake. - I will not buy your stones
because they will not have the same look as the rest of the stones in my
store. - I do not like all those sharp points on facetted girdles. They
are too easy to break off in setting. - etc,
The point is that my customers perception was different from the
perception I was trying to sell. Gradually my facetting evolved to a
more artistic approach. I spent a lot more time looking at my stones
face up. I spent a lot more time studying commercially available
mountings to make sure my stone could fit them with a minimal of
manipulation of the mounting. I stopped facetting girdles on
everything, but emerald cuts. I listened more to my customers and was
gradually able to stop my repair business, stop my on order cutting, and
am now in the position of selling stones that I produce. And I am
successful at it, making more money with less stress than ever before.
The point is if every stone you facet is done to the best meet point,
best polishing, and best orientation of the rough you can accomplish you
will not be meeting your customers expectations and find your product
difficult to sell.
Hi Gerry, Thanks for the business insights. They provide a valuable look inside
the industry for those of us on the outside.
Subject: Something new at Rough To Cut
Date: Thu, 08 May 2003 08:33:33 -0700
From: Noel Rowe <email@example.com>
Since my partner & I started Rough-To-Cut we have had so many nice
compliments on the quality of Tom's photos that we decided to make them
available in the form of wallpaper & a screensaver. I have added a new
page to the site where you can download them for free. the screen saver
is available as either an self installing executable file or in zip file
format (for those systems that don't like executable files). The
screensaver is Windows-95, 98, 2000, ME & Xp compliant. The wallpaper is
available as either individual pictures in either 800x600 size or
1024x768. You can download either single pictures or a zip file with all
the pictures. Check it out at http://www.roughtocut.com/Downloads.htm
Rough To Cut
RESOURCES FOR LAPIDARIES:
PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)
Lurking is fine, but participation is better for learning !
Post something from your experiences in gemcutting today!
TODAY'S FUNNY ~
Subject: Funny for the list.
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 21:05:21 -0400
From: "Doug & Beth Dover" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An American, a Dutchman and a Frenchman are all in Iran, sharing a smuggled
crate of booze when, all of a sudden, Iranian police rush in and arrest
them. The mere possession of alcohol is a severe offense in Iran, so for the
terrible crime of actually being caught consuming the booze, they are all
sentenced to death!
However, after many months and with the help of very good lawyers, they are
able to successfully appeal their sentences down to life imprisonment.
By a struck of luck, it was an Iranian national holiday the day their trial
finished, and the extremely benevolent Sheikh sentencing them decided they
could be released after receiving just 20 lashes of the whip.
As they were preparing for their punishment, the Sheikh announced: "It's my
first wife's birthday today, and she has asked me to allow each of you one
wish before your whipping."
The Dutchman was first in line. He thought for a while and then said:
"Please tie a pillow to my back."
This was done, but the pillow only lasted 10 lashes before the whip went
through. When the punishment was done he had to carried away, bleeding and
crying in pain.
The Frenchman was next up. After watching the Dutchman in horror, he said
smugly, "Please fix two pillows to my back."
Even two pillows could only take 15 lashes before the whip went through and
the Frenchman was soon led away whimpering loudly (as they do).
The American was the last one up but, before he could say anything, the
Sheikh turned to him and said, "You are from a most beautiful part of the
world and your culture is one of the finest in the world. For this, you may
have two wishes!"
"Thank you, your Most Royal and Merciful highness," the American replied.
"In recognition of your kindness, my first wish is that you give me not 20,
but 100 lashes."
"Not only are you an honorable, handsome and powerful man, you are also very
brave," the Sheikh said. "If 100 lashes is what you desire, then so be it.
And your second wish, what is it to be?"
The American replied: "Tie the Frenchman to my back."
REFLECTIONS AND TIDBITS:
People only see what they are prepared to see.
---Ralph Waldo Emerson---
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