Last updateTue, 19 Jun 2018 9pm

24 Karat Corner: The enchanted lives of jewelers


This time of year, with Christmas just days away, nobody I know in the jewelry business has time to attend holiday parties. It comes with the territory, just like my accountant friends who can’t get out much in March or April.

After the holiday, there is plenty of time for cocktail parties. And, if you are like me, when people find out you are in the jewelry business, you get some strange questions. Such as:

“Is Basil really as beautiful as they say?”

“How exciting is Hong Kong?”

“What’s it like to handle one of those $100,000 diamond watches?”

“Are the stories we hear about the Vegas show true?”

As for that last question, I’m not sure what stories you heard, but yes, they are all true.

I’m curious as to what these people think we do all day, but the perception is there that as purveyors of luxury goods, we must be leading a luxury level life style. And, while some in our industry do, the vast majority of us spend our evenings coaching youth soccer teams and going to PTA meetings, and spend our days changing the valves on the steamer and washing out the sludge from the ultra-sonic.

So, while the next few weeks will be miserable for us in terms of work hours and pressure, there is no other business I’d rather be in. Retail jewelers get to spend time with their customers at the happiest times of their lives, picking out engagement rings, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. Manufacturers get to work with the earth’s most beautiful and rarest treasures. Who else gets to say that?

Each year at this time I like to thank my brothers and sisters in The 24 Karat Club for their unwavering dedication and commitment to the jewelry industry. You give your time, expertise, and resources to assure the future strength of our industry. And, special thanks to everyone who took the time to contact me when one of these columns made you laugh or touched you in a special way.

Christmas is almost here, so soon we’ll be able to relax and enjoy life again as it should be. And, of course, start handling those holiday returns.

From everyone at The 24 Karat Club, we wish you a prosperous season and a healthy and happy holiday!

Howard Kelrick is President of Finger Mate and a board member of The 24 Karat Club, SEUS. Finger Mate manufactures and installs expandable ring shanks and sells to retail jewelers throughout North America. Contact Howard at 954-458-2700 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..