Wednesday, 23 May 2012
I’ve been watching old seasons of Kiefer Sutherland’s 24. In season 2, Jack Bauer is working undercover with a group of bad guys who are plotting to blow-up his counter-terrorism unit building. When a captive telephone repair guy asks, “who are you guys?” One of the bad-guys tells Jack to answer. His reply, “we’re patriots.”
The fact that bad guys refer to themselves as patriots was cause for instant fear. Why is that? Well, patriotism implies that you believe in your cause so fervently that you will take extreme measures to protect or further it. You will kill or die for it. When Hitler or Bin Laden called their constituents to perform patriotic acts, horrific things were done out of firm patriotic convictions.
It’s been many years since our nation has been asked to test our own patriotism. If Canada had to step-up and protect our very existence against an invading enemy, how would you respond? Would you be willing to go to war or send your children to war?
Let’s move onto jewellery. What if I told you that the jewellery industry was under attack. The very way we have conducted business is being threatened. If we do not push back against this enemy, our businesses could be in grave danger. I’ve never heard of Ford dealers trying to pass-off Lada’s as Mustangs. I’ve never heard of a furniture store trying to sell knotty pine as teak, and the Leather ranch has yet to be criticized for selling the hide of the cowardly “nauga” as leather.
We’ve put-up for years with embellishment of diamond qualities, but never to this extreme. Because so many diamonds are being sold with grading certificates of one kind or another it’s easy to just take them at face value and blame the supplier IF they’re ever called into question.
The more difficult and more patriotic route is to stand-up for our industry and begin rejecting misrepresented diamonds and rejecting the purveyors thereof. You may lose sales to jewellers without the same convictions. Those losses are casualties of war. The big question is, “are you going to beat-‘em or join-‘em?” In many ways the stereotype of the polite Canadian is accurate. Picture a jeweler in New Jersey being told by a client, “the guy down the street is offering me an EGL certified SI2/G for $2,000 less than your diamond.” How polite and diplomatic is that guy likely to be regarding the discrepancy?
Maybe us Canadians speaking-up and aggressively defending our integrity and our standards is just what we need; even if our brashness isn’t very patriotic.