What do you do?
Michael ‘Buzz’ Steenrod

Where do you work and what is your title?
       All That Glitters Fine Jewelry Gallery in Old Colorado City. It’s a jewelry store with custom-made jewelry. We also do repairs and appraisals. I am the gemologist/appraiser.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       In addition to merchandise sales and taking in items for repair, I do gem identification, evaluation and appraisals. I help educate the client about diamonds and other precious gems.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       Consistently for 34 years (along with other pursuits). My first job in a jewelry store was at the age of 17 in 1962. I’ve been here on the Westside for 13 years.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       I really like colored stones, the variety of types and colors. Also, working with and helping people is very rewarding.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       Besides having a bigger budget for advertising, I would like to be able to spend more time with each customer. People are so busy and often in a hurry and don’t get all the information they need to make the best choices.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       I studied at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and also learned a lot hands-on. However, due to the constantly changing technology, gemstones, including diamonds, can be altered in so many ways. While the Internet can be very useful, information can sometimes be distorted and misused. For example, many gems can be produced in a laboratory. They can be very attractive and modest in price. Genuine gems are, of course, much harder to get and command higher prices. Unfortunately, that distinction is not always disclosed.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       The people: Westsiders are so friendly and considerate. The atmosphere: We have history evident all around us.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.