We fell in love with the countryside as it dick-clacked by the train window. We talked about how excited we were about going to see Dr. Gubelin, a giant in our industry and one of the most respected members of the gemstone community. A living legend in his field, he is founder of the world renowned Gubelin Gemmological Laboratory in Lucerne and has made his mark as an author, industry leader, and scientist.
At the time of our visit, Dr. Gubelin was interested in acquiring museum quality collectibles and John had shipped him some prior to our visit. Excited, highly motivated, and a bit intimidated, we arrived too early for our appointment. We both knew that Dr. Gubelin was a very busy and important man and we were definitely in awe of him.
We stopped off at a picturesque cafe to relax with a cup of coffee. We were both nervous and well aware of how lucky we were to be there. We were young, in love, sharing a wonderful adventure – and about to meet one of the most important men in our world. We checked the menu for fondue*, which was almost as popular in America during the 70s as it was in Switzerland. It was literally the flavor of the month at parties. Owning a fondue set was de rigueur or whatever the Schweizerdeutsch equivalent is.
Bolstered by lots of coffee and a generous helping of youthful bravado, we checked our map and climbed the hill that led to the Gubelin residence. When we reached the top, we walked all the way to his home, which was set back from the road. The first thing that caught our attention was the doorknob. It was made of a highly polished gemstone material and was the size of a small melon. As we stood there staring, the door swung open and we found ourselves facing a tall, slender man with a well-trimmed beard. We were finally in the presence of the famous Dr. Gubelin!