b'FINAL THOUGHTSA NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE PROVIDESA MUCH-NEEDED REMINDER BY PETER SMITHIn these turbulent and hectic times, the Nationalbrimming with pride at what his father wasThe ring is a talisman that will serve as a Jeweler columnist takes a minute to reflect on whydoing, and imagining his moms reaction.constant reminder of the power of their love, jewelry really matters to people. When I saw Toms name pop up on mytheir indomitable spirit, the strength of their phone that night, I held my breath just abond through myriad ups and downs, and of M y friend Tom called me recentlylittle in the hope that things went well. Ithe future they still have despite a near-death to thank me for the ring Idneednt have worried, as he could hardlyexperience. helped him select for his wife. contain his excitement when describing theI found myself telling Tom why the ring was Weve been close for more than 20 yearsevenings events in great detail. so great in terms so common in our industry and Ive always tried to help him pick out nice it was extruded metal, it was low-profile jewelry for her when the occasion warrants. and comfort-fit, the diamonds were beautiful-This time, however, was different.ly cut, G-H color, SI clarity, etc. Tom was calling from a hospital bed,Mid-sentence, I caught myself and real-where he was recovering from a broken neck.ized that none of that mattered. He fell off a ladder a couple of monthsIt was, quite simply, a beautiful ring that ago and suffered innumerable injuries. Thewas imbued with more emotion and symbol-surgeon told him it was nothing short of aism than any list of physical attributes could miracle that he had survived, that the fallever capture. should have left him paralyzed, or worse.I am beyond thrilled that my friend will even-Not that long ago, my wife Sherry andtually recover and live an active and fulfilling life I had hosted Tom and Sheila in our home.as he and Sheila navigate their next chapter. I am Wed enjoyed a wonderful dinner, good mu- also humbled their story served as such a power-sic, and great conversation. So much of theful reminder of what business we are really in. talk that evening revolved around their plansWe are so often consumed in rational and for the future, as they had recently becomecognitive justifications about what a ring, a empty nesters.diamond, or a piece of jewelry is or isnt when There was talk of travel, of visiting friendsall of that completely misses the point. afar, and of downsizing. We could never haveThere are, of course, serial buyers and col-imagined the fragility of life as we laughedlectors, but the vast majority of customers are through that night.Sheila absolutely loved the ring and hadbuying jewelry to celebrate profound mile-When Tom called me a couple of weeksno idea what was coming. Even the sizestones in their lives. Many of them may only ago to ask if I could help him select some- selectiona six-and-a-halfturned out tobuy one important piece in their lifetime. thing for Sheila to acknowledge how incredi- be perfect.That piece will continue to serve as a bly supportive and strong shed been throughListening to Tom describe her reactionreminder of a special occasion long after the darkness of the recent days and weeks, Iwas a gift to me.the metal type, diamond specifications, and suggested a Mmoire diamond band.Theyd been through so much in recentprice paid have been forgotten.Knowing Sheila as I do, I told Tom theweeks that one could be excused for believ- Wed all do well to be reminded of that look was clean, sophisticated, and understat- ing that a piece of jewelry, a material posses- every once in a while.edprecisely the kind of thing that wouldsion, like a diamond band couldnt possibly appeal to her. He loved the idea, and a planhave mattered that much.Peter Smith is president of was hatched.But the opposite was true. That ringMemoire and Hearts On Fire When Toms son Gareth came to pick upsymbolized their strength, their journey,(Chow Tai Fook, North the gift to take to his father in the hospital, Itheir fight through multiple surgeries, con- America). He is the author of opened the box to show him the ring.stant stress about what might have been,three books, Hiring Squirrels, His reaction was precious. He genuinelyand the many challenges and opportunitiesSell Something, and The marveled at the beauty of the ring, no doubtahead of them.Sales Minute.72 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2021'