Last updateTue, 19 Jun 2018 9pm

24 Karat Corner: 2017 Jeweler of the Year Preview


During the recent election cycle, Jerry Seinfeld quipped that, “If you think that you are qualified to be President of the United States, that, in itself, should automatically disqualify you for even being considered! How could one person reasonably think they can be Commander-in-Chief, manage the world’s biggest economy, deal with the middle east and all the other unsolvable problems of the job, all while half the country hates you and hopes that you are going to fail?”

And, so it is with our Jeweler of the Year candidates (except for the part about half the country hating you and hoping you fail). If you think you are Jeweler of the Year material, you probably are not. Jeweler of the Year is the highest honor The 24 Karat Club can bestow. It is reserved each year for that one jeweler who pours his or her heart and soul into their business each day, treasures their customers, and goes above and beyond in supporting the community they serve.

Most of the retail jewelers I know get up early every morning.  Even though the store doesn’t open until 10, they are dropping kids off at school, then running to the chamber of commerce breakfast, and then, on the way to the store, stopping at the printer’s, Office Depot, Home Depot and the like. And, regardless of what time the store closes, they manage to attend a board meeting of the charity they support, coach a little league team, and meet the lady’s group who wants to pick out a donated item for a fund-raiser. And, at the end of this 16 hour day, they can’t even turn off their cell phone because they are the first call in case there is an alarm at the store.

And, this is just your average retail jeweler! So, you can imagine how much more it takes to even be considered for Jeweler of the Year. The Jeweler of the Year is announced at a black tie dinner in August held in conjunction with the Atlanta Jewelry Show. His or her story is shared with the members of The 24 Karat Club who are often moved to tears by the motivational and inspirational story told.

So, if you know of someone who might be worthy of a Jeweler of the Year nomination (the actual candidates are way too busy, and way too humble to apply themselves) please share this information with your favorite 24 Karat Club member. A list of the members can be found on our website, www.the24KaratClub.org. Past winners of this most prestigious award include some of the most successful and legendary names in the retail jewelry industry.  Let us know who you think should be this year’s recipient.

One final note. Last month, several alert readers took me to task for my comment that a Trump presidency would, for a variety of reasons, result in higher gold prices. They pointed out, quite correctly, that a Trump administration would most likely result in a stronger dollar and higher interest rates, and that would lead to lower gold prices. Either way, there could be lots of volatility, so keep your cards and chips close to your vest! If you bought gold based upon last month’s column and suffered any losses, I’d be happy to cover your losses at the bar the next time we meet.

Howard Kelrick is President of Finger Mate and a  board member of The 24 Karat Club, SEUS.  Finger Mate manufactures and installs expandable ring shanks and sells to retail jewelers throughout North America. Contact Howard at 954-458-2700 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..