What’s On My Desk: Marcus Chait From 66 Mint

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66 mint

Family owned and operated for four generations and backed by 100 years of tradition, 66mint has evolved into the premiere estate jeweler on the West Coast. Located next to the historic U.S. Mint in San Francisco’s SoMa district, 66mint offers exquisite and rare jewelry at an unmatched value.

Marcus Chait along with Joseph Chait form the dynamic father-son team that heads the San Francisco Provident Loan Association as well as 66mint, the premiere estate jeweler on the West Coast.

Marcus Chait was an actor for a dozen years, even playing opposite Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank in Million Dollar Baby. Eventuallyhe founded a film production company that was sold to Random House a few years ago, which allowed him to move his family back to the Bay Area where he’s from. He joined his dad at the biz that’s been in their family since the early ’50s. Now the two sit across from each other in desks that separate 66mint from S.F. Provident. The two businesses are related but kept apart; sometimes a jewelry buyer will want to just browse 66mint’s baubles, while while someone else may arrive with diamonds in hand to make a loan next door.

Take a look at the things that Marcus cannot live without (and take special note of number five!).

Joseph and Marcus Chait's desk

1.       Our loops and gauges:  We use these throughout the day to examine diamonds and other precious stones that we’re considering purchasing from the public.  They help us evaluate size, color and clarity of the pieces we’re considering buying or lending money against.  If you want a personal anecdote, I keep my grandfather’s loop on my desk.  It has his initials carved into it and it reminds me to make sure we continue running our business with the same principals of honesty and integrity that he insisted on.

2.        Our computers:  We’re on our computers constantly throughout the day, continually monitoring fluctuations in gold and diamond prices, as well as working with customers and dealers around the world.  We’re thrilled at how the internet has allowed us to expand our customer base, so we’ve put a great deal of work into the websites for both 66mint and San Francisco Provident Loan Association.  Those websites have created new business opportunities that force us to rely heavily on our computers.

3.       Our diamond tester:  While we take great pride in knowing the in’s and out’s of diamonds, it’s always nice to have a bit of technology behind our buying and lending decisions.  If we have any doubt as to the authenticity of a diamond that we’re looking at, it immediately goes under the diamond tester for confirmation.

4.       Our microscope and lightbox:  Like the diamond tester, these are tools that we rely on heavily throughout the business day.  If a stone hasn’t gone to the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) for grading, we look at every aspect of that stone under the microscope in order to get the most accurate information possible needed to evaluate clarity and cut accurately.  And we’ll use the light box and comparison stones in order to get an accurate color grade of a stone. The difference between some of these grades can mean thousands of dollars, so we utilize all the tools at our disposal to make sure we grade as accurately as possible.

5.        My dad.  I like having him across from me at the desk!  Very lucky that I get to learn from the best every day.

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