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Alissa Eisemann

What Matters This Holiday

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What Matters this Holiday

Ruback Team Member: Naomi Franklin

As 2020 draws slowly to a close, let’s face it: it’s been a hard year for everyone. In an unusually difficult and divisive year, we can all agree that no one expected 2020 to go this way. Heading into the holiday season is especially tough for many of us. Maybe travel or quarantine restrictions are keeping you from seeing your family. Maybe you can’t gather with your large group of relatives and friends, and you’ve had to cancel that Christmas party you’ve been looking forward to all year. Maybe you have immediate family in other states whose lifestyle decisions or health restrictions mean you can’t see them this holiday. In some way, we all feel the pain of isolation and loss. 


Through the dark clouds of difficult times, a ray of light is always visible, if you just know where to look. A virus can’t control your life unless you let it. We can all choose resilience by looking on the bright side this holiday season. While the pleasant bustle of holiday busyness has diminished for many of us, we find we have more time to cherish some of the people who really matter. As we travel less and stay home more, we become more grateful for our local communities. The stark backdrop of the virus has made the vitality of relationships and community stand out; we have the unique opportunity to serve, support, and love each other all the more. 


In fact, the ability and desire to support one another, simply because we all have humanity in common, is a beautiful element of the human experience that is brought out by suffering. We have seen the healthy put their wellbeing on the line to care for the sick, because we know that each person deserves the best health care possible. As people, we believe that our strength is a gift to give to the weak. For many of us, COVID-19 has brought out inner strength perhaps we didn’t even know we had. 


As we head deeper into the holiday season, let’s not take family for granted. Let’s remember to thank the people who have served us this year–family, friends, neighbors, local businesses. Let’s all remember to have an attitude of gratitude for the health and provision we have been given, and to share with those who have been less fortunate this year. That’s what the holiday season is all about: giving. 


If you are looking for a meaningful gift for the special person in your life, we would love to help you handpick something that will carry the depth of your story. Colored stones can have a special connection to your loved one’s history, and we would love to help you make a piece that will be unique to you and her/him. This holiday, let’s continue to support our local businesses, our communities, and our families more than ever–the virus can’t defeat us if we stick together!

Custom In The Age Of Mass Production: Naomi Franklin

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Custom in the Age of Mass Production


We all know how easy it is to obtain almost anything we want to buy with very little effort: open your web browser, click a few times, receive it two days later (and if it’s late, aren’t we usually upset?). We frequently sacrifice quality for convenience–and for some items, it really doesn’t matter and saves us some money and hassle. We Generation Y and Z-ers use the internet as our default shopping method. Don’t get me wrong–I am thankful for the convenience of online shopping. But if we are being honest, I think we could all admit that the normalization of speed shopping for generic products has made us lose something.

My dad recently told me about growing up on Long Island in the late 1950s. Although all this sounded like a myth to me, just like the thought of a typewriter or a telephone with a real wire attached to it, I have no reason to doubt the veracity of his tale. He told me of days gone by where there was the local iceman, produce man, newspaper man, grocer, butcher, even the local doctor who actually came and saw you if you were sick. My dad’s family had a relationship with every businessman, and nearly every business was locally owned. I am thankful that progress has led us to a wider, cheaper array of goods and services to choose from, but I still found myself feeling a sense of loss when he told me what it was like to have a relationship with your local community businesses. People didn’t feel isolated, because face-to-face interaction was part of their normal, daily routine. Even the telephone was operated by a real person who you could talk to and ask to relay your call!

Not only is in-person shopping becoming a thing of the past, but goods are now being produced in mass quantities. My generation is used to buying generic, cheap goods at the click of a button. We have not, however, given up our desire for quality and individuality. True, we are willing to cut corners on certain items for convenience. But in many ways, we are even more desirous of the unique and well-crafted than our parents’ generation. We have been so bombarded with instant gratification and thousands of cheaply-made options that we long for something that is made specifically and individually for us. Contrary to what our parents’ generation may think of us, we value things that are handmade, individually crafted, forged with genuine quality. I see more and more people in my generation turning from the ostentatious and fake to the tasteful and genuine.

At Ruback, custom-made is our specialty. What we sell is chosen and designed by you (with a little help from us!) and produced especially for you. This is what makes us different from many other jewelers. At Ruback, you become the designer. The piece you create could be as simple as choosing your stone color for a sample band we have on display, or as complex as designing your own pair of gold drop earrings from scratch (I am helping a customer do that right now!). What I love about working here is that I get to establish a relationship with every customer. Unlike an online or chain jewelry store, we get to know all of our customers personally. We get to know your preferences and tastes–how else could we help you design your custom piece of jewelry? Stepping into Ruback is almost like stepping into the past–we are local and personal. But it’s also like stepping into the future, because I really do believe that we will see my generation returning to custom-made pieces that showcase individual taste and personality. We are creating something entirely new and fresh here every single day with the latest technology. We hope you will trust us to help you become your own jewelry designer and create something that has never been created before.

Owner Hal Pollack remembering friend & mentor Nancy Brewer – A trailblazer in the Jewelry Industry

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“In her third year in business after starting her company, I was one of her first wholesale representatives. For 3 years working with her, not only did she give me my start, but she opened up the Industry to me as she allowed me to open up her collections in half the U.S. She, by example taught me there was no difference in leadership , talent & innovation, whether you were a Woman or a Man.

Nancy not only touched so many lives & careers through her attitude & work, but in representing & selling her collections throughout the country, I learned how they were uniquely positioned to fit into the finest Rodeo Drive/ 5th Ave. stores all the way to popular department stores & every store in between.

Nancy will be remembered as a trailblazer in the Fine Jewelry Industry, and will be greatly missed.”


Are Diamonds Really Forever?

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Enduring Stories: Are Diamonds Really Forever?

A blog post by our newest team member: Naomi Franklin

Are diamonds really forever? The answer is not a simple yes or no. Left in the earth under very specific conditions, they may re-crystallize and re-form, explains Dr. George Harlow, a gem curator at the American Museum of Natural History and research scientist at Columbia University. On the other hand, if diamonds make it near the earth’s surface, it is “very hard to get rid of them,” in the words of Dr. Harlow. The amount of pressure and temperature it would take to re-form them is not available nearer to or on the earth’s surface. Therefore, in a sense, diamonds really are forever. (Citation: Are Diamonds Really Forever? C. Claiborne Ray, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/12/science/diamonds.html.) 


This incredible fact is something that didn’t really dawn on me until I started working at Ruback Fine Jewelry. But it’s something that binds Hal to the jewelry industry. When I first met him, his deep passion for the industry couldn’t help but surface: as he explained to me, these gems will be around much longer than you or I. There is something enduring about them that transcends our lifespan.


What is it that makes diamonds or other precious stones valuable? I’m not talking about what makes them valuable as commodities, such as being extremely rare and hard to obtain from the earth, taking unbelievable amounts of time to form, requiring extremely skilled and specific methods for cutting them, etc. That’s what makes them valuable as objects. But what is it that makes them valuable to us as people? Why do we want to save and re-set our grandmother’s diamond? Why do we want to make a pendant out of the ring of a deceased spouse? Why do we take so much care in choosing the center stone for an engagement ring? We don’t cherish these stones merely because we know they’re scientifically proven to stand the test of time. Rather, we cherish them because they represent relational bonds that transcend the test of time. When we are gone, that diamond will remain, offering connection to those we love that remain after us.


Since joining the Ruback team, I have already seen this in action many times. As I am beginning to hear people’s stories, I see that their jewelry matters to them because their family matters to them. They may have an objectively beautiful center stone or an exquisitely-crafted wedding band, but their real attachment to their jewelry comes from something much deeper than monetary value: a desire to remain connected to their roots, or to establish roots that will remain. The young man who comes in to pick up his painstakingly-chosen custom engagement ring, and the older lady who brings her deceased husband’s ring to have it made into a pendant, have one thing in common: what their jewelry represents to them.


It’s something that’s actually very difficult to put into words, because the deeper and enduring aspects of life can be very hard to articulate. This intangible beauty of the enduring, of being connected to heritage, is something I see clearly represented in the pieces of custom jewelry that we produce at Ruback. It may be difficult to put into words, but maybe that’s why a piece of custom jewelry makes the best gift: the jewelry says it best. 


Your custom-designed piece tells a unique story about your family and your heritage. It tells the story of the people who came before you, and has already begun telling the story of the people who will come after. Your diamond will be around much longer than you, wordlessly representing the story of your life. That’s why at Ruback we want to produce custom pieces that tell your story, a story that will be around much longer than we can even imagine. It’s one worth telling!

Ruback by Appointment

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Ruback’s Showroom is open & ready for your appointment

During these unprecedented times, we’ve continued to work with customers all over the country through Zoom, FaceTime, you name it. Our goal is keep each project on track! We even found many customers starting new designs with the extra time at home.

In accordance with the guidelines of the state of Kansas, our doors are finally open again. We’ve certainly missed working directly with our customers, so we’re delighted to set up one-on-one appointments with you.

We want every customer to feel safe and reassured we are following social distance guidelines. We are wearing masks, and disinfecting between appointments.

We look forward to seeing you soon! Feel free to make an appointment online or give us a call 913-649-8811.  

Showroom & Operations Update

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In recognition of the city-wide Stay At Home Order affecting local businesses,

our showroom & workshop will be


until further notice,


Tuesday, March 24th.  

We will continue to service our customers to the best of our ability,

and encourage you to contact us for:

Special Orders

Video or Phone Consultations

Custom Design Inquiries

We’ve had many customers eager to find new jewelry & begin new custom projects with us via

Facetime and Phone Consultations from their own homes!


Please call or text (213) 706-2261 to reach Hal Pollack


Fill in the CONTACT page of our site and we will be in touch.


We appreciate all of our customers’ understanding as we move forward to the best of our ability through these uncertain days ahead.





Tips of the Trade: What 3 Years in the Fine Jewelry Industry have Taught Me.

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Just over 3 years have passed since I walked out of college with degrees in Psychology & Philosophy and into the custom design, fine jewelry industry. It was quite a change in direction from my education and, suffice it to say, I had much to learn about diamonds, jewelry manufacturing, and the art of selling an engagement ring. Here is what 3-years of full immersion in the fine jewelry industry has taught me and why many of my pre-conceived notions have disappeared.


Tradition & Trends


Our jewelry store specializes in custom design. Starting with the center diamond or gemstone, we work entirely ground-up and can bring our customers’ dream rings to life! As you can imagine, my mentality when working with our customers is whatever you want and the world is your oyster. Therefore, something surprising to me which I had not anticipated was the alarming frequency of customers asking me what they should or should not do; or worse, what they Can or Cannot do. Am I supposed to solder my engagement ring & wedding band together? Can I wear white gold and yellow gold together? Or my personal favorite… If I buy a band for one side of my ring do I need to buy the matching band for the other side?


3 years and a shocking number of these encounters have thought me; while tradition & trends still play a notable role in our industry, the “rules” hold no more meaning than you choose to place in them. One customer’s very special “something borrowed” is another customer’s cliché to be avoided. One customer’s admiration of antique, art-deco pieces is opposed by another’s opinion that they appear old and out of style. At the end of the day I tell my customers this, the only thing that matters is what YOU will be happiest wearing and looking at on your finger. What speaks to YOU? Forget the rules… make your own and be a fashion trendsetter!



We all know the old saying; A man should spend 3-months salary on an engagement ring. Personally, I don’t know if there is a more antiquated or out-of-touch belief in our industry! For many young men, an engagement ring may be the first of life’s larger purchases. So, how do you establishing an appropriate budget when engagement rings can range anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000? Easily… what budget is comfortable for you?! The name of the game is NOT spending more but spending SMARTER. There is no sense in stretching your budget or overextending yourself to try and afford a ring you fell in love with out of a jeweler’s display case. Instead, stick firm with your price point and identify the characteristics of the ring that are most important to you. What are your priorities?

The price of an engagement ring can vary significantly by changing a few surprisingly minor details. For instance, that ring you love in the case may be made in platinum, and it’s identical counterpart in 14K or 18K white gold could run anywhere from 25%-50% less! Or, slight adjustments to the carat weight, color, or clarity of the diamonds in a ring can also drastically alter the price.

What is most important when considering budget is finding a jeweler who will help you understand exactly what it is you are paying for, and will help you Put Your Dollars In The Right Places! Once again… what are your priorities? You may want the largest diamond for your dollar OR you may be more inclined to spend less on a smaller center stone and put more money into the surrounding ring. There is no right answer… only the benefit of allocating your dollars to the elements of the ring you personally prioritize.



A fine piece of jewelry is like a fine automobile, though most people do not treat their jewelry as such. It is not uncommon for jewelry stores to see a steady influx of individuals needing loose stones tightened, missing stones replaced, or a rigorous deep-clean and polish to bring their favorite piece back to life. Surely there must be an easier and more cost-effective way?! There is… care for your jewelry properly and save yourself extra trips to the jeweler for repair work.

Start with knowledge of the basics. You may be one of the many individuals committing everyday atrocities against their favorite pieces of jewelry without even knowing it! Are you following these BIG 3 rules of proper jewelry care?

No Sleeping in Fine Jewelry

It’s easy to be cautious about dropping your ring or banging it against the grocery cart, but sleeping with your jewelry on can be just as damaging. As you move throughout the night, micro-fibers in your sheets and pillowcases will begin to tug and pull at prongs, causing diamonds and gemstones to loosen or worse, fall out.

No Swimming, Showering, or Hand washing

Chlorine will eat away at your jewelry! Exposure to chlorine, such as in swimming pools, will have slow yet significant deteriorating effects on your silver, gold, and even platinum jewelry. In addition to swimming pools, you will want to avoid wearing your jewelry in the shower and wearing rings while washing your hands. Although hand soaps & shampoos will not have the same deteriorating effects as chlorine, soap-scum gets in between gemstones and the prongs holding them causing looseness and stones to fall out.

Keep‘em Clean & Shining

The best thing you can do for your favorite pieces of jewelry is Keep Them Clean! Keeping your jewelry clean will accomplish two things. First, it will prevent dirt, soap, and other foreign agents from getting in-between the gemstones & prongs and causing stones to become loose and fall out. Secondly, it will keep your jewelry looking its best and shining like it does when you first get it from the jeweler! Although this seems quite obvious, I cannot tell you how often I return a piece of jewelry from a quick soak & steam to a customer who cannot believe how it looks. It doesn’t even look like the same ring, is a quite common response. That is because 9 times out of 10 when we receive a customer’s piece it is very dirty and frankly, often borders on being gross! This is no way to treat your favorite pieces of fine jewelry! Keep a jar of jewelry cleaner at home to drop your favorite pieces in at night. This simple act of keeping your pieces clean will add to their lifespan & keep you from having costly repairs.

While there is no substitute for having your fine jewelry inspected frequently by your jeweler, following these steps will ensure your jewelry looks its best and lasts longer with less-frequent & less-costly repairs.


My first 3 years in the fine jewelry industry have taught me a lot. Mostly, I have learned Just How Little I truly knew before entering the trade! The best way to effectively navigate fine jewelry purchases is to find a jeweler you can establish a trustworthy relationship with and heed their knowledgeable advice.

Author: Will Patrick

Our Brand New Look!

By | Ruback News

Be Sure To Visit Our Brand New Website & Remodeled Store!


We are very pleased to be unveiling our fully redesigned website. Get to know us, our story, our fine jewelry, and the custom experience you’ll enjoy while working with Ruback.

Ready To Shop?

Come see our renovated showroom, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the comfortable new setting.

See You Soon!