Last updateWed, 22 Nov 2017 7am

Howard Kelrick

24 Karat Corner: Words I don’t need to hear

Unless you are sitting in an astronomy class, you probably don’t hear the word “trillion” in too many conversations. Unless, of course, you are talking about our national debt. Our federal government’s total debt is almost $19 trillion, which is about equal to all the goods and services we Americans produce in an entire year. In other words, if the government were to confiscate every company’s production (and I’m not talking about their earnings, but everything that rolls off the production line), they would only be able to pay down the debt, and not have anything left over to pay for government services like national defense, medicare, social security, and the like. So, how will the government ever make a dent in this enormous number, much less pay it back? The same way governments have been doing it for years - they will just print the money, making it worth less each year.

24 Karat Corner: Help wanted - stat!

After a few months of not being able to get away, I was happy to get out and see some people I hadn’t visited in a while. My first stop was to my friend Donnie’s store. Donnie and I have been friends since we both started in the business back in the bronze age.

When I pulled in, the store was busy with customers, and Donnie was trying to work with two different customers at the same time (a definite “no-no” on so many levels) and other customers were milling about waiting impatiently.

24 Karat Corner: Who pays for training?

Regular readers of this column know that The 24 Karat Club is a strong proponent of continuing education for employees, up-dating one’s skills, and working towards advanced certifications. And yet, I am sympathetic to the two main reasons why more people don’t do it.  One, the very high cost of taking classes and attending seminars. And, two, the significant amount of time away from family and the job that is required. The third reason, however, “I’ve been doing this for twenty years. At this point, what could I possibly learn?” doesn’t fly with me at all!

24 Karat Corner: It’s jewelry only for this Valentine’s Day!

Have you ever had one of those days where every tapered baguette fell neatly and perfectly into place, or where every supplier’s order arrived on time and with the right quantity and sizes, or where every customer makes a purchase, and they choose the most expensive item they are shown?

24 Karat Corner: No deposit, no return

It’s only a few days after New Years, and already two of my resolutions are toast! So, once again I’ll be putting “eat healthier” and “get more exercise” on the top of the list for next year. And, the one resolution I do still have working - get chummy with Warren Buffet - isn’t looking too promising either.

24 Karat Corner: My love/hate relationship with Apple

First of all, I hope you don’t have time to read this column right now. With Christmas just weeks away, I hope your in-box is over flowing, and if you are reading these pages like me, its with one hand holding a sandwich while the other hand is sorting through job envelopes and order tickets, all under the glow of the flashing message light of your phone. But, as always, the holidays will be behind us way too soon, and life will get back to normal. And, these pages will look a lot better when we are all relaxed.

24 Karat Corner: Diamonds regain their sparkle while gold tarnishes

Is it just me, or have you noticed that diamond prices have really started to climb this year? And, surprisingly, gold prices have moved in the opposite direction! Unless you are in the jewelry business (or thought about buying a diamond last year and put it off until now) this really isn’t of much interest to you. But I was in New York City last weekend having lunch with some friends in the industry at a diner off 47th street, and that was about all we could talk about. I tried to point out the exorbitantly high price of a corned beef sandwich, but this being New York City, nobody else seemed to notice.