May 2002 Edition
Up to several years ago, we kept in touch with Ultra Tec faceters with a mailed newsletter. It was called the "SomeTimes" -- that name indicating how "regularly" it was sent. Now, overtaken by the Internet Age, we now offer this "SomeTimes Bulletin", for "newsy" information, faceting tips, and product information. We welcome your input - how about a design of yours-whatever. You can email me at email@example.com, or, we still get good ol' fashioned Post Office mail.
In April, there was an article in the Los Angeles Times describing an upsurge in the use of colored stones for engagement rings (to read the story, click here (note: a free registration with www.latimes.com is required)), as a change from the traditional diamond ring. It described how Bridal Magazines have had recent articles touting colored stones, and not just Emeralds and Rubies, but stones less familiar to the general public, such as Peridot and Topaz.
I guess good "PR" for colored stones is good news for all faceters - it increases general awareness and understanding. Of course, for those of you who are involved in selling, the drift to colored stones is good news indeed.
The article discussed how successful the DeBeers' PR campaign promoting engagement diamonds has been over the years (and more recently-you've probably seen them-there are the TV and magazine ads that promote the post-marriage "OK-I-still-love-you" diamond ring-I'm not sure which finger this one goes on). That discussion allowed that the colored stone surge might be, to some extent, a matter of effective PR too - but whatever - we're not complaining.
About the "Look" of the Ultra Tec Faceting Machine:
After several years of having a white formica-covered Base, we offered, as the result of customer requests, a solid Oak Base as an option. The "optional" choice soon predominated, and after a while, to keep things uncomplicated, we made the Oak Base standard. If you look at the picture on the Home page - that's it. (Having said that-the Assembly guys tell me there are a number of formica-covered Bases that remain - so the "choice" continues for some short period).
As information-the "Base", from 1965 to 1972, was considered only as "packaging" for the machine - the plan being that the user would set the machine into a desk surface. Since it was packaging, not very attractive Pine was used. We learned, however, that more people kept their machine in the Base than built it in, and that led to our using better material -- in sequence: "clean" pine, redwood, simulated wood (that I didn't like), white formica (that I did like), followed by the current solid Oak. The Oak Base is made for us by a nearby company that builds custom cabinetry, and we are very pleased with their workmanship.
And, no, I don't count those as "upgrades" or "changes" when I talk about the machine.
So long for now...
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