Last updateFri, 22 Sep 2017 12pm

Howard Kelrick

24 Karat Corner: Help wanted - stat!

After a few months of not being able to get away, I was happy to get out and see some people I hadn’t visited in a while. My first stop was to my friend Donnie’s store. Donnie and I have been friends since we both started in the business back in the bronze age.

When I pulled in, the store was busy with customers, and Donnie was trying to work with two different customers at the same time (a definite “no-no” on so many levels) and other customers were milling about waiting impatiently.

24 Karat Corner: Who pays for training?

Regular readers of this column know that The 24 Karat Club is a strong proponent of continuing education for employees, up-dating one’s skills, and working towards advanced certifications. And yet, I am sympathetic to the two main reasons why more people don’t do it. One, the very high cost of taking classes and attending seminars. And, two, the significant amount of time away from family and the job that is required. The third reason, however, “I’ve been doing this for twenty years. At this point, what could I possibly learn?” doesn’t fly with me at all!

24 Karat Corner: It’s jewelry only for this Valentine’s Day!

Have you ever had one of those days where every tapered baguette fell neatly and perfectly into place, or where every supplier’s order arrived on time and with the right quantity and sizes, or where every customer makes a purchase, and they choose the most expensive item they are shown?

24 Karat Corner: No deposit, no return

It’s only a few days after New Years, and already two of my resolutions are toast! So, once again I’ll be putting “eat healthier” and “get more exercise” on the top of the list for next year. And, the one resolution I do still have working - get chummy with Warren Buffet - isn’t looking too promising either.

24 Karat Corner: Diamonds regain their sparkle while gold tarnishes

Is it just me, or have you noticed that diamond prices have really started to climb this year? And, surprisingly, gold prices have moved in the opposite direction! Unless you are in the jewelry business (or thought about buying a diamond last year and put it off until now) this really isn’t of much interest to you. But I was in New York City last weekend having lunch with some friends in the industry at a diner off 47th street, and that was about all we could talk about. I tried to point out the exorbitantly high price of a corned beef sandwich, but this being New York City, nobody else seemed to notice.

24 Karat Corner: Getting rough with the customers

Frankie is one of the most resourceful jewelers I’ve ever met. Her showcases are filled with unique items and things I never see anywhere else. No diamond stud earrings or straight row diamond bracelets in her displays, only one of a kind items that make her, and her store, special.  The last time I was in her place, she proudly showed me a platinum diamond and meteorite necklace.

24 Karat Corner: Publish or perish?

Joe is a third generation retail jewelry store owner.  His son Mark runs the shop, his wife the books.  After school, or during the weekends and summer, there is always a niece or nephew behind the counter.  This is a family that has it figured out and its consistent formula has paid off for decades.