Where Do Addictions Come From?
Some people have no interest in jewelry and others cannot get enough of it. What is it about jewelry that makes us so fascinated with precious metals and gemstones that some of us will spend a small fortune to adorn ourselves with rings, earrings, bracelets, watches and pendants?
My dad was a jeweler and watchmaker and sold fine jewelry and watches from a small store. His skills as a watchmaker were unbelievable. When I was seven years old, I would leave the school I attended as soon as we were released and run as fast as possible to his store about one mile away. I would wash the windows, run a few blocks to the post office to pick up the mail, empty the waste baskets and finally, with the chores done, I would stand by his watchmaker’s repair bench and watch him repair watches.
By the time I turned 10 years of age I was taking old clocks apart and putting them together again. I had a small table in our bedroom I shared with my two other brothers. My dad sold many cigarette lighters that were popular at the time. The men and women were returning home from the war and these made good gifts. I offered to repair these lighters when they came in for servicing. Dad bought me a service kit for $10 and I repaid him with my services.
The First Hint on a Lifetime Addiction
It was within this atmosphere that I developed my interest in precious metals and gemstones and fine jewelry of all kinds. I learned how to repair jewelry and resize rings. I loved to look into diamonds with my powerful eye loupe and see the colors and shapes of emeralds and especially opals.
My dad obtained a service contract with an electric power company to service their clocks. These clocks were used to turn on and off the power for the different districts around the nearby city. This was before the time when solar switches were invented. I did the servicing of these clocks.
I left school at 16 and began to learn my jewelry trade under dad’s teaching. Over the next two years I became quite adept in repairing watches, engraving and learning the jewelry business.
Ours was a coal-mining town. Our part of the country was suffering because the coal was no longer used as fuel for trains and diesel was coming into its own. In a short time the jewelry business was dead and I decided to join the Canadian navy to see the world. I still was fascinated by the business and after a few years in the navy my girlfriend and I married and Irma and I raised our four children. I worked for the next few years in the jewelry business.
The British Crown Jewels
While serving on a destroyer in the navy we visited Plymouth, England and were given a few days off to visit London. On a tour of the Tower of London we viewed the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. It was incredible as the diamonds were huge and extremely brilliant. At that time we could stand very close to the security case, probably three feet away. I could have stayed there for hours!
A few weeks later, we visited Amsterdam and a tour brought us to the Diamond Cutters of Amsterdam Corporation. This was the company that actually did the cutting of the Cullinan Diamond (the largest diamond ever discovered) and we were shown the glass replicas of the diamond that were cut from that stone.
A Diamond Cutter at Work
Our guide brought us to the work area where diamonds were being cut and polished by hundreds of workers. We were able to closely watch as the diamond polishers did their exacting trade. It was thrilling for me to see!
So over the years, fine jewelry has been an addiction of mine. I find it tough to pass by a fine jewelry store without spending time studying their display of gems and watches.
I am always interested in people who load themselves up with jewelry. Rings on every finger, multiple bracelets and neck chains. Some people love the bling! Have you ever noticed that the same people will select the fanciest eyeglass frames as well? I suppose this can be classed as an addiction of a sort. Whatever we want to call it, being able to have been around fine jewelry all of my years has brought me a lifetime of enjoyment.