#96 - High Tech, Where Does the Time Go?

Posted on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at 1:18 pm by LaLonde Jewelers

So now a days we have all this high-tech. Gadgets that are meant to minimize our time and effort to get things done.

I was just in a coffee shop and the guy in front of me didn’t reach for his wallet to pay. He just pushed a button on his watch and held it to the scanner and Bam!! He was paid. Now that probably saved him 45 seconds. So, I thought if he did that numerous times in a day, he might have as many as 20 extra minutes at the end of the day. Not so !!

You see in the jewelry business we have our share of time saving gadgets. We have CAD machines (Computer Aided Designs) What used to take a wax carver one and a half hours now can take 10 minutes by a good operator, and have it done more accurately.

Laser welding machine, when they first came out, we all wondered how we would ever get our $20,000 investment out of it. Now we can’t live without it. Among its many functions it has the ability to weld metals with no heat. This allows us to work on delicate pieces, weld and repair fine gold prongs without having to take out sensitive stones. This allows an incredible amount of time to be saved and a number of pieces that couldn’t be saved before now resurrected.

Sarine diamond analyzing machine. This is my favorite! Back in 1980, I developed a diamond analyzer of sorts. It was a Mitutoyo machine used to measure tolerances on aircraft parts for Boeing and aircraft industry. It had a microscope and lathe table that moved back and forth with dial indicators. After adapting it to view diamonds it would take me about 40 minutes to analyze a diamond for re-cutting.

When I showed my machine to a South African Diamond cutter he said “You are a genius.”

Now the Sarine use cameras and software. The cameras take numerous pictures of the loose diamond, and the software tells you how much the stone weighs where there are mistakes in the cut and how to improve the cut to the exact diameter and angles and the new finished weight. All in 60 seconds. It takes longer to clean the stone and prepare it, than for the machine to analyze it.
Everyone uses these machines they are just adapted to their industry. My dentist uses CAD to make molds and a Sarine style machine with cameras to micro measure your teeth.

So now that we have been able to shorten all our work time, we should all have more leisure time, right? Not so, I find myself analyzing more diamonds and repairing more delicate pieces and designing more difficult pieces.

I guess we are going to have to get some more real high-tech stuff, so we can go to the beach more often.

Written by Dan LaLonde, G.G., G.I.A.
Lalonde Jewelers & Gemologists
The Gem Expert