You walk into a new restaurant, sit down, and look over the menu.
Hmmmmmm, the loaded mac-and-cheese sounds pretty delicious...
There are a lot of different ingredients you can add to customize your dinner and you settle on the broccoli, chicken, and spinach. The veggies make it healthy, right? Your waiter notices that you’re ready to order and hurries over to see what you would like to eat. You very politely give him your order and after he writes everything down, you quickly ask,
“How will I know your chef didn’t poison my food???”
The waiter looks at you in shock. He only gets more uncomfortable after you demand to physically watch the chef prepare your meal. It’s better to be safe than sorry, you always say. When the waiter tells you that this is not possible, you angrily hand him your menu and storm out of the restaurant.
“I will write a scathing review!!” You shout over your shoulder as you rush out the door.
Does this sound like any of you? Probably not. I have never heard of anyone ever doing this in a restaurant. In general, we, as a society, trust the people preparing our meals. Explicitly. When you really think about it, how easy would it be for someone to slip something into our food? We would have no idea. Yet never once have I ever herd of someone having this conversation with their server. What I have dealt with, however, is a client asking me to repair their ring AND then demanding how they are supposed to know if I have stolen their diamond and replaced it with a fake. I can’t count on my ten fingers how many times I have had to try to politely answer this question while reeling over the indignity of the accusation. The devil on my shoulder wants to tell the lovely person to walk their offensive little butt right out of the front door. I DO NOT steal my client’s diamonds. How would I possibly stay in business if I were ever caught doing something so horrible? Yet the jewelry industry is constantly fighting this perception that jewelers commonly take a client’s expensive diamond or gemstone and replace it with a fake. What are we to do?
Now I want to backpedal a little bit because there is some validity to these fears. Diamonds have been stolen. People have been sold fake gemstones. There are definitely those out there waiting for an opportunity to take advantage of an unsuspecting client. You absolutely have a right to be knowledgeable about your jewelry, who is repairing it, and how it is to be repaired. Here is how I would approach the situation if I were someone with limited jewelry knowledge:
Most of your diamonds and gemstones have very unique identifying features that you can see under a microscope. Whether it is a specific flaw in the stone or an engraved serial number (a lot of diamonds have serial numbers engraved on the very edge of the stone that references a grading report), you can absolutely ask the jeweler or sales associate to identify that unique feature before AND after the repair is completed. Most importantly, request to see this feature for yourself under magnification. This way, you personally have visual confirmation that the repaired piece of jewelry still has your diamond or gemstone intact. Most jewelry businesses would be happy to comply with that request, as long as you are polite and respectful when asking for this service (less accusatory and demanding). It they refuse, perhaps it is best not to do business with them anyway. After all, this is just as beneficial for them as it is for you.
As one of my favorite bosses used to say, CYA (cover your ass), right?
I have seen a lot of requests from clients to watch as the jeweler works on their jewelry. This is generally frowned upon in the industry as jewelry repair requires a lot of skill and concentration. It’s difficult to focus when a client is breathing down your neck and most jewelry businesses will outright refuse this request. Be prepared to leave your jewelry repair for, on average, 1-2 weeks (sometimes more). However, some jewelers might be willing to offer this service, but be warned, in most cases they will charge a MUCH higher price for the repair.
Have a great week everyone!