In my book, The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime, I write of how my client, Ron Morgan, made money in the jewelry business.
Ron had three sources of income in those early days that I knew him. There was Jackson-Morgan, the high-end antique store, interior decorating, but there was also the scheme—perhaps we should call it a profession—of selling and trading jewelry. He had learned the trade working for a man in Lubbock when he first attended college there. Periodically, Ron gravitated to selling a piece of jewelry as an aside to his interior decorating. The two “professions” run hand-in-hand, if you know how to pull it off.
Women who collect sparkly things as a passion are known in the industry as “crows.” A good crow has an addictive nature towards collecting, and as Ron gained their trust and confidence that he knew what he was doing when it came to jewelry, the crow was an easy mark for a sale of a piece Ron could acquire or take on consignment. The wealthiest crows are called “whales.”
As far as I know, Ron never dealt with a “hip-pocketer,” unless it was his Midland, Texas, jeweler connection. A hip-pocketer is a savvy middle person, a jewelry freelancer, who buys from pawnshops and jewelers in distress, or works out a deal with big players like Blue Nile, Cash America Pawn, or even Neiman-Marcus — then resells the jewelry or puts it on “memo.” Memo simply means consignment: you pay for it if and when you sell it, otherwise, you return it. Often, a hip-pocketer is his own enforcer, and it is probably not wise to stiff him. With Ron’s propensity to get behind on invoices, or not pay them at all, it was a good thing he didn’t deal with known hip-pocketers. With his kick-back arrangement with his Midland jewelry connection, he didn’t have to.
I write of these and other schemes of my client in my book: The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime.