Countering BDS – With a Smile
After 33 years of marriage, my poor wedding and engagement ring set was in deep need of repairs just from wear and tear alone. But it can be a bit daunting to take a beloved keepsake like this to a jeweler, not knowing who will do a good job at a fair price or who is looking to swap out high quality diamonds for those of lesser quality. My husband’s sister kept telling us that “diamond swapping” is an urban myth – that in order to change out a diamond solitaire from its setting, the jeweler takes a risk on cracking the stone. But we were still uneasy about who to trust with this – the repairs had been estimated by another jeweler in Northwest Oklahoma and the cost sounded too high to us.
Finally, I decided on a jeweler in a large Oklahoman city to take the ring to for an estimate. This jeweler was proud of the fact that they did much business with Israeli diamond merchants, and this was something they openly shared in their advertisements. It seemed best to me to provide business trade with people bold enough to take such a political stance in a world fraught with the “Boycott, Divestiture, and Sanction” philosophy against Israel.
When I walked through their front door, all of the staff was extremely nice. But when I told them why I had selected their business and that I was a strong supporter of Israel, they visibly brightened up and really made me feel welcome like I was family. My advice – if you select a business because they are anti-BDS and pro-Israel, it really pays to tell the business owners why you selected their services or product. It appeared that they were very appreciative knowing people in the community supported them in anti-BDS efforts.
I was even comfortable enough to tell them what the dollar amount for repair the jeweler in NW Oklahoma had quoted, and stated that I didn’t know if this was a good offer or a poor deal. It seemed like it would just be less expensive to remount the diamond solitaire in a new setting. My rings are yellow gold, and a change to a white gold would have been trendier. This was something my mother had done many years ago (when the fashion went from white gold to yellow gold), and that seemed like the best strategy to me.
After answering questions like, “if the setting can be restored, would you rather do this?”, or “do you still like the ring style?”, or “how long have you had the rings?”, or “are these really your original rings?”, they assured me the repair could be done, even for sentimental reasons alone. My set always seemed unique to me – I’ve never seen anything else like it before or since because it had an unusual, botanical-themed, diamond-accented ring guard which wrapped around the diamond solitaire by about 190 to 200 degrees. But yet, my plain wedding band could still be worn with the two diamond rings and the simple ring didn’t look out-of-place. They reassured me the leaf-and-berry design of the ring guard was actually coming back in style (I didn’t know it was out of style because I got so many compliments on it throughout the years!). They also said that it was an elegant, yet slightly old-fashioned set, and that historical settings are very trendy now.
Best of all, their estimate was half the amount the jeweler in Northwest Oklahoma quoted! We discussed the quality of the diamond solitaire, which I already knew about having looked at the stone through our geologists’ stereoscopic microscope on multiple occasions. The stone has an unusual olive-green tint to it, and I can recognize the stone (without magnification) by its very slight color and its brilliance. They pronounced the set as truly unique and they would do their best to ensure I would be happy with the results. So, I left the set with them, confidant in my choice of jeweler to do the work.
Not only did they do an outstanding job, but they had it done a day earlier than they promised! When I picked the set up, I loudly burst out with the exclamations, “Wow! It’s gorgeous!” Apparently I was so excited that a lady shopping for a new diamond ring at the counter all the way across the store turned around and looked up.
The jeweler explained all of the improvements she made, and said, “You can be so proud of these rings – it truly is a unique set between the unusual setting and the beautiful stone! And very few people can say they’ve had the same rings for 30-34 years! It will now last another 33 years for you!” This really piqued the curiosity of the new diamond buyer at the far jewelry counter and she took a couple of steps towards us, but stopped like she thought she better not gawk at my jewelry.
“It’s all buffed up and polished! It looks like it just came out of the new diamond ring sales case!”, I exclaimed while gesturing toward the new ring displays. That really got the other lady’s curiosity up!
The jeweler responded to me, “Of course! We’re a full service jeweler! Nothing but the best for you and this set! It has been a joy working on this one-of-a-kind set with such a beautiful diamond!”
The lady turned to the salesperson helping her and said, “That’s what I want!! I want a one-of-a-kind ring like hers!” To which the salesperson said, “Of course! We can do that for you!”
After thanking everyone on the staff profusely, I happily walked from the store with a big smile on my face. In this case, it was very worthwhile to seek to do business with an anti-BDS, pro-Israel enterprise! I hope to hear of others with experiences as uplifting as this!
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