The Golden Rule Marble History
Old tradition finds new meaning: THE GOLDEN RULE MARBLE® makes a comeback after 50 years
THE GOLDEN RULE MARBLE® is back. Created nearly a century ago by Jesse Shwayder, co-founder and president of the Samsonite Corporation, the treasured keepsakes went out of production about 50 years ago. The new Golden Rule Marble, from Vallmar & Co. LLC of Stow, Ohio, is larger and even more beautiful than the original.
The Story of the Golden Rule Marble
When Shwayder was president of Samsonite from 1910 to 1960, he gave all company employees and plant visitors a special marble encircled by a bronze band on which was written the Golden Rule. The marble was to serve as a reminder to live and work according to the universal philosophy, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Even two generations later, when he would visit the family’s factories, Shwayder would still see employees proudly carrying their keepsake Golden Rule Marbles. By the 1970s, the marbles had gone out of production, and many became precious collectibles.
Nearly 50 years later, Vallmar & Co. was asked by an Akron, Ohio-based company to make 2,000 of the marbles to give as a corporate gift in honor of their 50th anniversary. Vallmar engineered a new version of the marble from a custom-blended cat’s eye acrylic polymer, centered by a stainless steel core. The 1-inch diameter marble, weighing 1.065 oz., is encircled by a hand-finished brass band inscribed by hand with the Golden Rule.
The marble is available from Vallmar in six colors (white, black, green, blue, red and translucent blue) and comes packaged with the story of the Golden Rule. The package insert can also be custom printed with a business or personal message for special orders.
Vallmar & Co. Partners with Weaver Pro-Pak
For Vallmar & Co., the Golden Rule is not just something they say but also something they strive to practice every day. In addition to supporting many charitable organizations in the U.S. and internationally, Vallmar has partnered with Weaver Pro-Pak of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, for the finishing, assembling, and packaging of the Golden Rule Marble. Weaver Industries is a non-profit organization providing individuals with disabilities vocational training and employment opportunities.
Why did Vallmar bring it back, and why did they choose Weaver to help? Vall Iliev, Vallmar’s co-founder, and president said, “The Golden Rule Marble is more than a keepsake—it’s a daily inspiration and reminder of one of the most fundamental of civilization’s values, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ We believe in that so strongly that we wanted to extend to others the opportunities to find meaning and satisfaction in every day, at home and at work.”
Vall and his wife and co-founder, Pepa Iliev, have gained more than a packaging vendor with Weaver Pro-Pak. “We have noticed that the disabled men and women at Weaver who work on our marbles exhibit an astounding show of pride after they complete the work on each marble,” they said. “We are so pleased to be giving them important work.”
Weaver Industries’ mission is to maximize the independence and personal fulfillment of individuals with developmental disabilities through the community, business, and family partnerships. Says Bill Richards, Director of Sales and Quality Control, “With the support of local businesses like Vallmar & Co., we are able to provide vocational training and employment opportunities—right here in our community—for people with disabilities.”Vall Iliev, Vallmar’s co-founder, and the president says, “We have noticed that the disabled men and women at Weaver who work on our marbles exhibit an astounding show of pride after they complete the work on each marble. And it makes us proud to be giving them meaningful work.”
An inspiration for generations: The new Golden Rule Marble® symbolizes caring, consideration, and communication.
Why does the Golden Rule Marble make such a strong impression on its recipients? Why did people treasure the original Golden Rule Marble for generations and hand it down to friends and family? Because it’s more than a keepsake—it’s a daily inspiration and reminder of one of the most fundamental of civilization’s values, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But the first Golden Rule Marble created a century ago by Jesse Shwayder, co-founder of the Samsonite Corporation, was discontinued about 50 years ago. Today the Golden Rule Marble is back for a new generation.
The new patented and trademarked Golden Rule Marble®, exclusively from family-owned Vallmar & Co. of Akron, Ohio, is an updated version of the treasured memento. One notable advocate of the Golden Rule Marble was Mary Kay Ash, who founded her global beauty and skin care company on the Golden Rule and emphasized the importance of giving back to others.
Just ask Helen Langham, Independent Sales Director at Mary Kay, Inc. Helen says, “I am a director of a sizeable unit in Mary Kay and still have the Golden Rule Marble that Mary Kay gave me years ago as a memento of her legacy. I ordered several from Vallmar to give to my top consultants in my Mary Kay unit this year. And I personally give inspirational items to people who come to my home; i.e., repair/cleaning/service people, friends, neighbors, and Mary Kay customers who pick up their products from my home. It gives me an opportunity to pass on something positive and inspirational in their lives. I’m sure other women would love the opportunity to purchase the symbol that helped grow this company into the giant we are today and to pass on something that would help America continue strong.”
Tammy Zitlaw, another Vallmar client, said about the Golden Rule Marble, “My father always carried one with him and passed that down to us kids. I’d like my kids to do the same. For me, it’s a family and close friend thing. The new ones are good heavy marbles, and although they are larger than the original, I am happy to find a similar product. They were packaged safely and professionally!”