I wake up at around 7:30, to Toby’s loud and demanding purr hovering above my head. My long haired 13 pounder cat wants breakfast. Or attention. Both. I pull myself out of bed and make a pot of tea. Still in my pajama’s, I head over to the computer to check my email and my Etsy. There’s a transaction, that’s nice, but just a tie bar. And 7 convos. About half of them are about custom orders I’m working on, where we’re still sorting out the details. Others are requests: more photos for a ring, questions about a gemstone, or the availability of something similar to a listing. A request for reserve that I turn down (many “reservists” don’t buy, but each “reservist” creates another request for a reserve).
than half an hour has gone by and I’m still answering convos and relisting
items. I better hop into the shower or I
won’t make the 10:30 subway to NY. Then
more listings, a quick photo session. I
check my To Do list and the Marilyn cosmetic bag where I keep what I have to
take with me: a tie bar to engrave, some borrowed stones, earrings for setting,
gems to be fitted for settings, and pre-assembled jewelry. There’s a ring I soldered together, and a few
things I started but then ran out of time.
I’ll let someone else finish the assembly.
quick breakfast, and one last convo, I head out. I check my bag again. If I forget anything - like my checkbook, or
my list, or, God forbid, Marilyn - I have to run back. I move the car to the other side for
alternate parking, and dash to the subway.
I text the setter (“coming in today”), and the gemstone dealer, D.
a trip to the bank (mostly taking out money), and standing in line at the gold
dealers, where they don’t have what I want in white gold, I go to the setter to
pick up and drop off. Something is
soldered together wrong, I’m not happy but I swallow my anger. I had added extra jump rings to the baggie
(because sometimes they vanish) and now my dangly earrings have an extra
hoop. Ok, “let’s leave it,” I
decide. Not worth redoing because the
item is stock and anyway, it would now have to be lazered because the stone is
already set. We discuss the new orders,
I listen to a few jokes, pay for the orders received and head down the hall to
the polisher with my pickups.
setter could have just had it all polished of course, but him and the polisher hate each other. Both are excellent, so I don’t
want to switch. Oil and vinegar, that’s
what they’re like. They try to mix, but
each time they end up separating again.
I get free coffee at the polishers and drop off the jewelry that has to
be rubber wheeled, sandblasted, rhodium plated.
next stop is the engraver, I give him the tie bar and instructions, then drop a
ring with the guy who resizes for me.
He’s the best I know, never breaks a stone. He’s bored though, so we chit chat,
and I dash off to the casting service.
That place is slow, and there’s always a line, so I call ahead as I’m
walking over and ask for my invoice to be prepared.
They put me on hold, and I stay on hold until I reach the building. Oncein the elevator, I hang up.
Then I wait in line. One order is
missing (rose gold is cast only every two weeks), something else didn’t come
out right. It happens. I inspect what I get, and realize that some
items have to be prefinished (twig rings).
I head back to the polisher.
1:30 already and I don’t even know how that
happened. I need a break, I get more coffee
and some hummus, and sit down at the gem dealer’s booth. That’s my favorite place of course. Someone comes by with a parcel of something,
wants to sell. “Nobody’s buying,” D.
says. Or: “Too much,” after having heard
the price. A jeweler pops by who broke a
stone. A really expensive
tanzanite. “Don’t have,” D. says, but
feels bad. He’ll call around. I give back some stones I don’t need and pick
up others for orders, for new listings, or just for fun. Time really flies now, I look up and it’s
3:05. I had better check on my orders.
pick up the tie bar, the ring, but the polisher’s not done though so I head
back to D.’s booth. Another gem dealer
comes by with interesting emeralds. But they
should be double checked in the lab for treatment. D. takes a sample out on memo, and I will
take it with me the next time. Another dealer shows up at D.’s booth,
someone whom I owe money. Oops. I’m out of cash. I need more anyway, so I run back to the
bank. I pick up with the setter, take
stuff to the polisher. Again. And pay a bill. Again.
4:30. D. packs up. “Done for the day.” I’m pooped.
I inspect my orders, D. loupes the more difficult setting jobs to make
sure nothing’s broken or cracked. Then
we head upstairs to the diamond cutter’s, where D.’s cousin is still busily
shaving down a 25 pointer and J. is cursing out someone to blow off steam – he
does that a lot but he doesn’t mean most of it.
D. has a beer, joins in the cursing.
I have some chocolate and a little Pinot Grigio out of a plastic cup,
looking out of place but actually feeling at home. J. shows me some diamonds he wants to sell to
make money for the weekend. Someone else
with old jewelry shows up that will either be resold or melted. I peruse but don’t find anything. I’m out of cash anyway.
catch the 6:00 subway back home. I have
to bend and polish the tie bar still, answer a convo and let someone know their
order is finished. Send out a paypal
bill, print labels. Eat dinner. Pet Toby, who’s been waiting, and who keeps
jumping up on my desk, blocking my view.
I think I need to go to bed.