In my book, The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime, I reveal how my client, Ron Morgan, had learned the jewelry business and what a “hip-pocketer” is.
By the time Ron had met and married Jackie Bancroft Spencer of Ruidoso, New Mexico, the Wall Street Journal heiress, he already had a lady in Midland who served as his hip-pocketer. In that trade, the jewelry business, a standard mark-up is a “keystone.” If Ron could buy it for a thousand, he would sell it for two thousand, or, if he had the piece on consignment, he would shoot for a triple key.
But by the time he and Jackie got together, he had a special hip-pocketer in his hometown of Midland, Texas, a lady who dealt in high-end jewelry pieces out of Neiman-Marcus. He would periodically give Jackie a gift, a pendant or some other jewelry piece, from the Midland jewelry source, that cost fifty- to a hundred-thousand dollars. The Midland connection would kick back half the profit to Ron, but, in the end, Jackie would have to pay for her own gift.
It was a strange arrangement and went on for the five years Ron and Jackie were married.