Wednesday , October 22 2014
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Diamonds on the Soles of His Shoes

Diamonds on the Soles of His Shoes

ALL THAT GLITTERS
Richard Alan
harborgoldsmith@comcast.net

I believe it’s a verse from a Paul Simon song, and it’s something that can occasionally occur by accident in a jewelry shop that happens to work with really tiny diamonds. It can happen.

Crazy you say? I guarantee shoe soles and heels impregnated with industrial diamonds would last darn near a life time or better than that. Imagine how long car tires would last?

Diamonds… Just ordinary carbon created by Mother Nature that becomes transformed into something so beautiful and precious with a little help from we mere mortals.

Diamonds are an incredibly hard material, but contrary to public belief, they are not unbreakable. I am usually the giver of bad news when accepting a diamond ring for cleaning or repair. I always carefully inspect the ring from every angle, and then inform the customer what the current state of their cherished diamond ring is in before I let it in the shop for any reason. So that involves pointing out small abrasions, large chips or even burned stones (more on that later). The customer in almost every case never noticed the damage before.

I’m not doing it to ruin anybody’s day. I’m doing it to inform them before the damage gets beyond repair. Plus, it is to protect yours truly. Anyone who has ever rented a car knows you inspect it for damage before you leave the lot or you will get blamed and billed for the damage later. Every diamond ring that enters my shop for repair leaves the shop like brand new. It gets boiled out, hand polished, an ultra-sonic bath and a steam cleaning. Any prior damaged diamonds will show like a sore thumb when the ring is repaired and refinished.

Yeah, diamonds and most precious gemstones can get burned, and it is rarely done by the ring’s owner — unless you are really a spazz around a barbeque. A non-professional jewelry repair shop is usually the blame for burned diamonds. The cause is simple, any repair requiring a jeweler’s torch to complete the task. It is imperative that the piece is surgically clean. All soaps, hand creams, food and any form of dirt or debris must be eliminated, or these contaminates will burn onto the outer skin of any diamond or fire resistant gemstones, rendering what were once bright, happy gemstones in to toasted gemstones. Sad part is it is virtually impossible to reverse the damage without replacing smaller gems. On large gemstones, it requires removal be sent to a diamond cutter. Sometimes a re-polishing of the diamond’s facets can save the unhappy gem.

Using simple common sense, or “S.C.S.,” is another way to prevent damage to your precious gems. Don’t wear them gardening or building a retaining wall. I guarantee any encounter between a diamond or gemstone ring and a cinder block will result in major damage to the ring, leaving the block unscathed. Even washing pots and pans wearing your rings is risky.

And ladies wearing your rings to the gym is a disaster waiting to happen. An environment full of free weights and hardened stainless steel? You do the math. Certain professions keep my shop busy with ring repairs, such as nurses, bartenders, landscapers, fish captains and rock climbers. (I’m not kidding about the last one!) My point is if you do heavy work with your hands it is best to remove all rings. Leave them in a safe place, and put them back on when the work is done. S.C.S.

And don’t get me going about the damage and wear that results to all prongs and what ever else holds your gems in the settings. This past season, I inspected more than a half dozen rings that by only some miracle the customer’s diamond wasn’t lost due to prong loss or excessive wear. Catching or snagging prongs are a first sign of loss or wear.

Just remember my staff and I are happy to inspect and clean your diamond ring. We will point out any present or future problems, or even better, give your diamond a clean bill of health. I suggest doing just that every six to eight months. It only takes a few minutes, and the service is complimentary.

It is only days until I surrender the $10,000 Marco Green Diamond Ring to the winner of the weeks long island quest. All authorized charts with the five correct coordinate numbers must be returned to The Harbor Goldsmith, 680 Bald Eagle Drive, by 5:30 PM, April 10. The correct charts will enter a lottery, and one winner will be chosen by blindfold at 3 PM, April 11.

It is not too late to acquire a chart, figure out the clues and be on the $10,000 Green Diamond Quest! A lot of folks have been struggling to get the second course number. An additional hint: It’s a two digit number (“I can’t drive __!” – Sammy Hagar).

GOOD LUCK, and happy hunting! 

About The Author

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith at Island Plaza and welcomes your questions about all that glitters. Contact him at 239-394-9275 or harborgoldsmith@comcast.net


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