Please don't lick your finger to remove a too-tight ring and then hand it to me.
Joseph's has sanitary lubricants on hand for this purpose.
Please don't lick your thumb to count money. If the new bills you just printed stick
together, give them to me and I will lick my thumb to count them. However, I will
excuse this unsanitary practice for counting hundred dollar bills. Thank you for
Your Hit Parade
Guess who sells the most jewelry. Tiffany? Cartier? Joseph’s? Wrong! It’s Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart sold almost 2 billion dollars worth of jewelry last year .
Here’s the top ten:
5. J.C. Penney
6. Service Merchandise, "America’s Leading Jeweler™" [since deceased --- that can
happen when you sell crap.]
7. Finlay (Leases space in department stores).
Costco was #21, Military base exchanges were #25, T.J. Maxx was #28, and Fortunoff
was #30. Joseph's was well behind.
Victoria's Secret is offering a bra with over 2000 rubies and emeralds with a 60
carat flawless pear-shaped diamond in the center. Matching panties with rubies, emeralds,
and diamonds complete the ensemble. Sizes not given. $10 million.
We've Got Steam Heat
People believe all sorts of cockamamie things about jewelry. This is usually due
to an understandable ignorance of the technical aspects of jewelry or to general
lack of mechanical intuition. But, then again, some people don't light up when you
flip the switch.
The best story I've heard is about a consumer who believes that you should never
let a jeweler steam your jewelry because some of the gold comes off and the jeweler
collects it and sells it.
The best question I've been asked, several times, is "Is it true that opals bring
I think it's only a nasty rumor.
Actually, the origin of this superstition is known. It comes from an 1817 Sir Walter
Scott novel, Anne of Geierstein, in which the colors of the opal the heroine wears
in her hair change with her moods and fade when she dies.
You Ain’t Seen Nuthin’ Yet
Like what you’ve read? You can get Ornamentally Incorrect, Luxe et Veritas the third
edition of the book of the newsletters. It's 263 pages with at least 870 short articles.
At 16.75 words per square inch (25.96 x10^9/km^2 for you scientific types), this
book has over twice the literary nutrition of the average book, with no fat. A bargain!
You’ll get vicarious little-guy satisfaction in how I sock it to ‘em in a section
called David v. Goliath et al. I take on a bank, the post office, New Jersey, a famous
cartoon character, Visa in particular and credit cards in general, including an elegant
method of getting even with that rip-off credit card you hate. (The Debtor Strikes
Don’t be so smug. I’m going to sock it to you, too (That’s the collective you. It
means "other people".) Joseph’s 3 Laws Of Retail Dynamics, Psychopathia Ornamentalis,
Gender Studies, A Diamond As Big As The Ritz, and other tales of the cockamamie consumer
give the lie to that Customer-is-Always-Right propaganda.
There are explanations of all sorts of mystifying little things, like what the quartz
in your watch and the 14 in your karat are.There are how-do-they-do-that articles
on diamond cutting, jewelry repair, how to clean silver, and gem identification.
There are longer articles about the Great Diamond Hoax of 1872, the Amber Room, the
Hunt Brothers silver bubble and the exploits of a legendary gemologist during World
The book includes the rock and roll contest newsletter with 30 references to fifties
music and the movie newsletter, with 40 movie titles and 6 movie quotes for you
to find. And the answers to both are provided at no extra charge.
Since we’re not in the store, I threw in some forbidden politics. You can join my
new political party,The Militant Moderates. The highlight is The Militant Moderate
Manifesto. In It’s the Economy, Stupid, economics is handily explained in one page,
so you can throw out that dense econ 101 textbook you never understood. In The Great
Recession, the stupid economy is explained. Highlights are Oeconomia Est O Asine!,
Bulletin from the Department of Good and Evil and Requiem for the Middle Class.
In Passing has a lengthy article on hats and short articles on a variety of topics,
such as artificial stupidity, the decline of the fudgesicle, who really invented
the toilet, and the self-help industry (no, you can’t order your Acme Home Counterfeiting
Kit from me).
Enrico Caruso brandishing a signed portrait of Teddy Roosevelt to make his way out
of the rubble of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, the trial of W.C. Fields for
"torturing" a canary in his act in 1928, a hilarious 1896 account of a lawsuit in
Scotland about a distillery's runoff getting a farmer's hens drunk, and a 1904 debate
in the press about shooting automobilists are a few of the articles in a new section,
The Way we Were.
By the way, the strange pictures on the home page are from the book.
Order the book from me by Paypal here, or send a check for $16.95 to Joseph's Jewelry,
200 Wanaque Ave., Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442. Be sure to include a shipping address.
Free shipping. You can also buy it fromAmazon. Articles from the book are on my
Here's a freebie: get the latest newsletter as a PDF file Hior Low resolution.
But How Big Was the Paycheck?
An ad in the Nov. 22, 1943 issue of Life Magazine lists prices for diamonds:
1/2 carat $200-350
1 carat $400-800
2 carats $1050-2500
A government web site lists inflation since 1943 at 10.5 times. That's about right
for the 1 carat, but too much for the 1/2 carat and the 2 carat at the high figures.
When you figure this one out you'll understand appraisals.
The goal of an appraisal is to state the market price to replace lost jewelry. Most
things most of the time sell at the market price, because that's how the market price
is determined. If everybody's diamond appraises for 50% more than was paid, how much
more than average should the average diamond cost?
Exclusive Gourmet Discount Hand-Crafted Designer Products For All
I opened the refrigerator to get milk to put in my coffee and there it was: Land
O Lakes Gourmet Half-and-Half*. "Gourmet" was done up in fancy script, too. The carton
contained no information that would save the name from being an oxymoron, i.e., "from
hand-milked cows" or "extra-virgin cream".
A lot of words like "gourmet" and "designer" are bandied about today. I suppose everything
is designed by someone, but prefixing a product with "designer" should mean it was
designed by someone you've heard of.
Hand-crafted is also abused. I was once in a fast-food chicken joint and, knowing
the mashed potatoes were of the instant ilk, I declined them. Well, the girl behind
the counter was offended and she proudly told me that she had personally hand-mixed
the potato powder. A lot of that "hand-crafted" Indian jewelry you see was just soldered
together from cast-from-a-mold components. The FTC regulates such claims: hand-made
jewelry is supposed to be made from scratch with hand tools.
Then there's "discount." Discount from what? Other than for watches, there's no list
price on jewelry to discount from. Actually, "discount" is a code word for cheap
stuff cheap. Good stuff cheap is hard to find, since the minute a store starts pushing
"discount", it attracts people who only want to hear price, not quality, which forces
the store to adjust its products accordingly.
"Exclusive" and "imported" are a few other words to make you think you're not just
getting a mass-produced product. I like the beer ad jingle that claims the stuff
"never tasted so imported." What does imported taste like?
I used the milk.
* Since renamed “Traditional Half-and-Half”, no doubt from the original pilgrims’