Skip to main content

Cygnals: Russell Oliver: Jewellery Fetishist or True Patriot?

(The thought of discontinuing my old site, http://www.cygnals.com/, has crossed my mind from time to time. A few articles from over there still get a lot of hits, so thought it prudent to republish them here. Besides, those articles -- many published more than a decade ago -- had tiny photos and scratchy RealAudio files, as was the style of the time. Now I can offer bigger photos when I have them, and MP3 audio if I can find the source tape. -- Scott)
---

From the pages of Cygnals Zine, Issue #8, Summer 1996.



If you've been up late watching TV in Toronto, you've probably noticed this guy begging for you to bring him your jewelry. He's Rusell Oliver. He spoke to Cygnals from his stately jewelry emporium on Eglinton Avenue West.

Cyg: For anyone outside Toronto who hasn't seen your ads, explain what you do on TV.
Oli: I basically go on myself, and I encourage people to come down and bring me any jewelry they have in the form of gold -- gold chains, gold bracelets, gold necklaces. I also encourage Cartier and Rolex watches or any big-name brand watches. I also buy diamonds, and I buy antiques and estate stuff. So what I do is I have encouraged people to come down, bring me their jewelry, and I pay them cash, on the spot, while they wait.

Cyg: How did you first get into these TV ads, these middle-of-the-night low-budget ads?
Oli: Well they're not really middle of the night any more. They started out that way, but now you'll find you'll see them on Oprah Winfrey, Dini Petty, Breakfast Television...

Cyg: ...And I notice you're also sponsoring the late-night movies...
Oli: Late-night movies I kept, because they're fabulous. If you watch any of those movies on Tuesday or Friday nights, you can't miss them, because they're sponsored by me...so I'm constantly on there. What started me on that was, I was selling used jewelry and the market was pretty slow -- most people were coming in wanting to sell stuff. So I decided, well, rather than get involved too much in the selling of jewelry to people, let me try buying from people. And what happened was, people started coming on a more frequent basis as I started advertising. And when I went on TV and people saw that...and people who don't know where to go, they have no idea where to sell their jewelry, would say Oh well, here's a guy who encourages and wants our jewelry. They're intimidated to go anywhere else because they're scared. People go into a jewelry store and say "will you buy my jewelry" and they're afraid the answer will be, which it is most of the time, no, we won't, and they're intimidated by it. So they're happy to see a guy on TV who's saying I want your used jewelry, I need your used jewelry, I've got cash for your jewelry.

Cyg: You're pretty passionate about needing people's jewelry. How did you first get into all this?
Oli: I've been in the jewelry business for 25 years. But I've been on the other end. I've been on selling jewelry.

Cyg: So where do you get all this money to buy all the jewelry? Where's all the jewelry that people bring in go?
Oli: Uh, well, what we do is we export most of it. So we've got customers all over the world who are giving us money...and we take their money and give it to the Canadian public.

Cyg: And now you've joined the ranks of Bad Boy and Crazy Joe -- a sort of kitschy TV personality. Do you think people take you seriously or do they look at you like some wacky pawn-shop guy on TV?
Oli: It doesn't matter. How they look at me is not important. They look at me and they come down. They react...everybody reacts differently. Most people are, you know, quite impressed. But what is fabulous is that I am the only one that you can actually come down and meet me. Should you want to go to Bad Boy, you're not really going to meet Blaine Lastman. You may or you may not. You're taking a shot. He's got four stores and they're huge. You come to my place, I guarantee you're gonna meet me. You're g onna meet Russell Oliver in person. That's what it says on the commerical. And people love it. Because they feel they know me. You have a guy in your living room, and he's talking to you, a few times a day, which I am, they feel they know me. They come in, they feel comfortable, they smile, they're in a good mood -- everybody likes coming, because they feel like they're meeting a television personality. And, quite frankly, they are.

Cyg: And do these people ever have second thoughts about going through their old family heirlooms and bringing in old gold?
Oli: Sure, sure. It's an emotional experience, and I understand that. I sympathize with people, and I'm the first one to sympathize and say "look if you have any use for it, use it.." But if you don't have any use for it, it's silly to have it in a drawer, jewelry box, or even your safety deposit box. You may as well turn it into cash, which whether you need it or not is not the important -- your cash can make you cash. Whether you put it in the bank, get some interest out of it, or buy a GIC or put it in the stock market, you're gonna make money. Sitting in your drawer and jewelry box is not going to make any money, it's going to sit there as dead money. So turn it into cash and then you can use it for something else that might represent something that you get more enjoyment out of.

---
Bonus links:

Oliver Jewellery, Official Site




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Gordon turns four and has questions

Gordon wanted to know where mommy went.

Not what happened to her body, but where SHE went.

We celebrated his fourth birthday this weekend with three gatherings. One at our house with his little friends. One at nana and grampa's house. One in Stratford with the Simpson clan.


The big party for the kids was a success. I'd never planned such an event. Thank goodness for the Internet, where I found a Martha Stewart article that laid out the basics. And thank goodness for Party City, which had a ton of Transformers party stuff ready to buy. I wasn't feeling well, but managed to pull it off. Thanks to sister Shannon and SIL Amy for being the Designated Adults who helped in wrangling and last-minute logistics. G thought the whole event was kind of loud, but he really enjoyed it. And I feel like a winner for making it happen -- some of the other parents even chimed in that they now know what goes into a kid's party, since they were as clueless as me! Great!

Great time at nana&#…

Chugging along through a slump

Gosh, I haven't posted since before Christmas.

I got through Christmas. I put on a good Christmas for Gordon. Maybe a great Christmas. But I also got a nasty cold and came out of the holidays in a funk.

As you've seen here on the blog, I was full of HEY, LIFE! and WOW, OPPORTUNITY! and BLANK CANVAS! sentiments for months. But then I just fell flat and seemed to lose interest in everything. Social life, self-care, home improvement, good food, personal finance, hobbies. It just all went plop and I didn't really dig doing anything any more. Thank goodness for friends and family asking me to come out and do stuff.

Now, I'm not one to shirk responsibilities when others depend on me, so I'm lucky that others depend on me. Business has been picking up at work, so that's good. And Gordon is my inspiration to keep things interesting.

We got out and about to some fun stuff, including an overnight road trip to Hamilton to see Paw Patrol Live.


Something weird happened at t…

The sweet smell of success (the opposite of that)

Let me lock in the system at warp 2 Push it into systematic overdrive - U know what 2 do - Ween, "Poop Ship Destroyer"
Pardon the juvenile humour off the top, but this journey has been so unreal that I can't help but fall back on laughing in the absence of appropriate things to say.

Amanda's headed for another big surgery this week.

Quick recap of how we got here: She went into hospital in late January to have her ovarian cancer tumours taken out. That surgery ended up taking a foot-long chunk of her colon, so they spliced what was left to her nature-given outlet. Well, that blew apart and she went for emergency colostomy surgery. THAT didn't work, either, as illustrated by our guiding light with the scalpel hand and the silver tongue, Dr. Sugimoto:


The business end of the remaining colon sloughed its way back into her insides and strictured itself off, creating a cul-de-sac with no escape for poop nor gas. They put her on TPN (full nutrition by IV) but let her …