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   September  2004 Edition



Some thoughts--The Faceting Gene


With the genetic studies being conducted, almost every week there’s a story about discovery of a new specialized gene.  Well, the scientists haven’t discovered the “faceting gene” yet, but you know—I know about it, so it’s a matter of time.

 I’ve been at Ultra Tec for over 30 years—that’s a lot of time for observing the pattern of faceting machine sales.   Sure, there are underlying reasons for good years and bad years—our business goes up and down with the country’s economy, like other businesses.  But there are “overlying” circumstances that affect faceting uniquely—assuring our continuity—I’m referring to sure-to-be-discovered faceting gene.

 There have been “boom” times.  There was the 70’s when it seemed that everyone pursued an active hobby of some sort.  Another boom time was in the ‘80’s, for a number of years, when many customer’s goal was greed—Time Magazine had written about the fantastic value of colored stones—banks made large loans with colored stones as collateral (I have a funny story about that—for some other time).  It was hard to warm up to those customers who came in with dollar signs in their eyes, (I admit, it wasn’t hard to sell to them—that was OK). 

 Even during that particular time, however, there were the customers who, I say, had the faceting gene--the people who came in with stars in their eyes—easy to warm up to.  They were people who upon finding about faceting, were going to facet—like Mozart was going to play the piano and Rembrandt was going to paint pictures—whether it made money or not.  They were there in the good times—more importantly for our business, they are always there when things get slow.  And it is those people who assure that we’ll always have customers.

 A not unusual story (but one that sticks with me):  We were showing Ultra Tec Faceting at a Federation Show in San Diego.  A young man, about 20, approached —eyes popping.  “So that’s how it’s done”, he almost gasped.  He had never seen it. He watched for over an hour.  He had the faceting gene, and before two weeks had passed, his order came in.

 Last summer, at the Southern California Faceters Guild seminar, one lunchtime, with about ten people around a table, conversation turned to how each person, had “caught the faceting bug”, as they put it.  Each story was something like the young man I just told you about.  They came across faceting, and it had been a revelation—they thought they caught a bug.  I know better—they had the faceting gene—it clicked in.

 I just realized—not everyone who enjoys faceting has the “gene”—or maybe they are not swept away by it (you know, I’m in this group)—but the enjoyment is real and rewarding.  Needless to say, I don’t want to discourage anyone who thinks about faceting—or make that person think a DNA analysis is needed first.  Hey, they haven’t officially found that gene yet.

 So long for now...

Joe Rubin



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