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Jewelry Feng Shui

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I would like to start out by saying “Thank you” to many of you who enjoyed my last column. The response was monumental; it included phone calls, e-mails and personal appearances. Not to mention a great deal of business. I was happy to provide a way to turn ugly jewelry into new jewelry, and even provide enough cash for one couple to embark on that dream vacation they always wanted. The most memorable was the pair of diamond earrings a customer acquired from trading in a handful of old gold neck chains. Mary told me ... Read More »

Spring Ring Bling Fling

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By Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net April was here and gone, it’s time to spring clean, clear-out and check your fine jewelry. Periodic cleaning and inspection is the surest way to prevent diamond or gemstone loss from faulty or missing prongs in settings. It seems this past season many have heeded my advice and many have not. I replaced a record amount of “missing” diamonds these past months, all of which losses could have been prevented by a simple inspection. A prong in time saves nine grand. My simple cleaning and inspection, which by the way is a free service takes three ... Read More »

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

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By Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net For many island businesses, the month of April is usually when things begin to wind down a little. It can still be busy but not as crazy as the prior months and many call it “a good busy”. A good busy is running your business at an easy controllable pace where you make your customers really, really happy and actually make money at the same time. That would be a perfect world but for me. April is totally the opposite in my world; it can be as hectic as the week before Christmas, No really, many ... Read More »

No One Goes There Anymore, It’s Too Crowded

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I think it was Yogi Berra who coined the phrase above. I had to chuckle a few days ago, while my staff and I were handling a crowd that seemed to appear in the shop all at once. (A lost tour bus?) My sales ladies and I were dashing about like whirling dervishes when I overheard someone complain to her friend while waiting to be served that she dislikes coming to this store because every season when she comes in we are always busy and she has to wait… Twenty-one plus years in business ... Read More »

Appraising an Appraisal

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All that Glitters By Richard Alan Mystery… It’s something an appraiser of fine jewelry such as myself comes across now and then. The mystery is the document I am reading, a professional appraisal that is supposed to describe the piece of jewelry in my hand in every detail, but what I am reading in no way describes anything. An appraisal dated December 14th 1965, from John Doe Jewelers, One ladies gold diamond ring……. $2,500.00 Huh? I don’t know of any insurance company of this day and age that would even consider accepting this appraisal. It’s like describing a car as… ... Read More »

Wearable Rock Salt

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Yeah, the diamonds were that bad! A few months ago while my wife and I were enjoying a quiet moment together at a local restaurant, a couple I knew approached us and asked me to describe the color and clarity plus a value on a diamond tennis bracelet they had purchased “on the islands”. They had been kicking the tires so to say with me for what seemed like months, but no matter what I showed them, it was either too expensive or the diamonds were too small or not big enough. Needless to say ... Read More »

Color Your World…endlessly

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Season on Marco Island is in full swing, and I survived another Valentine’s Day rush that required my son and me only a couple of nights burning the midnight oil in the work shop. It was the smoothest, hassle free and profitable Valentine week I can ever remember! While in the process of investigating and individually interrogating my sales staff I found the reason it was not the normal yearly, chaotic Valentine’s experience… One thing stood out…Endless Jewelry. I mentioned that I had seen the Endless Jewelry line while in Europe last summer. It ... Read More »

Valen-times Day

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan No, it’s not a misprint; I’m talking about Valentines Day. It’s not only a word that irks most warm-blooded male Homo-sapiens, but it’s also an important event. The contents of my column today are directed at the guys out there, who may need a nudge or a wake-up call, so ladies, if you don’t mind moving on to another more interesting article. Oh sure, many of us guys try to ignore it or even claim to have forgotten the day of infamy. Trust me, though, we males are always aware of the inevitable day on the ... Read More »

Senti-Mentally Foolish

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I don’t know. Sometimes, it feels like I am a rock; I am an island, not just living and working on one. Heck, I can go weeks — even months — without even leaving the island! I just finally realized I’m not a kid anymore. (My AARP membership proves it without a doubt!) Even so, one of my customers called me “kiddo” the other day. For crying out loud, I’ll be 61 soon. When will people finally consider me as being a full-fledged adult? I’m told I don’t look my age. I sure feel it! ... Read More »

Custom-Made Jewelry

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net An increase in the demand of high-ticket items this past holiday season was all the proof I needed to assure me that many of my predictions came true. Certainly, my personal experiences in a small jewelry business located on a quiet little island sitting in the Gulf of Mexico can’t possibly be a national or world-wide barometer? I hit a threshold this past September; I simply got tired of trying to figure out what the public wanted. For the past five years or so, the cost of precious metals prohibited many folks from buying even ... Read More »

Platinum Plus

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I trust many of you reading this are presently enjoying a day at home recuperating from the results of overindulging on Christmas Day, and then there are many of us that have to face a busy day. That includes yours truly…a goldsmith who happen to run a jewelry store. I would like to take this moment to extend a sincere thank you and a Happy New Year to our customers and friends for exceeding our expectations and goals this past gift giving shopping season! At my old Front Street location, I used to close the ... Read More »

How to Impress a Woman…Especially This Holiday Season

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Yes, diamonds… In my forty –five plus years in this trade I have only met two women who disliked diamonds, (one happens to be my wife!) a very small percentage indeed! Make her holiday very special with a gift that will dazzle her every day. It’s that time of the year again and the island is buzzing with gift seekers of all ages. As expected my “Endless” line of luxurious leather bracelets and charms is off to a great start, and at $69 for a double bracelet and a charm that’s a good deal ... Read More »

Endless Excitement

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net While traveling in Spain this past summer, I mentioned in my column I came across an unusual line of jewelry. Many of you who have been following my writing may notice I occasionally veer off subject when the subject is supposed to be about things that glitter and especially jewelry. Except for a few trends, I must admit the jewelry scene have been pretty much lackluster full. The past five years or so I have had the pleasure of investing my hard earned money in up and coming jewelry fads or trends only to ... Read More »

Gold: The Comeback Kid?

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I was beginning to worry that I may not see the renaissance of demand for the precious yellow metal as jewelry in my lifetime. Maybe that seems a little drastic to many of you, but may I be frank and ask you a simple question? When was the last time you bought a really nice piece of gold jewelry? Ah, just as I thought, so it’s been a while. Want to know something you may find surprising? Until last season came around, that made two of us! Sounds incredible? After all, I’m a designer/goldsmith ... Read More »

Jewelry Falsehoods Continued

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Call them what you may, old wives tales, home remedies or a friend from work told me so. There are things that concern jewelry that are downright wrong, false and can actually harm and even destroy your precious gems or jewelry. Cleaning jewelry whether it is fine (expensive) or costume jewelry (not expensive) is not a cut and dried process. There are certain chemicals that should never be used on either quality. Cleaning costume jewelry is always very risky. The gold or silver plating can be dulled or peel off and look worse that ... Read More »

Questions and Answers

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I hope to debunk wives tales and re-inform the misinformed in the next couple of issues, about all that glitters. Falsehood #1: Can you melt all my small diamonds together and make a large one ? No, you cannot take a bunch of little diamonds and melt them together to make one large one. No. Why? Because you can’t. Diamonds are formed by individual carbon crystals that take millions of years of pressure and high temperatures to form. One can burn a diamond and ruin it’s appearance, but never melt one. It would be ... Read More »

Viva Espana

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net By the time this story is published, I will be back home on Marco, as I’m writing about my experiences here and now. I’m in a sad-to-leave-but-happy-to-go emotional state of mind. What may seem to many of you like aimless wandering about the southern Iberian coastline actually panned out to a memorable and wonderful experience. The cities of the Costa de Sol dot the coast line like a beautiful set of pearls. We are currently in Almeria, Spain, which is considered the last but not least wonderful northern-most city on the Costa de Sol. ... Read More »

All That Glitters Along the Costa del Sol

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I’m currently traveling in Europe and exploring in southern Spain to what is known to all as the Costa del Sol. My summer trip began with landing in the old city of Malaga. I have always loved traveling by the seat of my pants, so I rented a car with a GPS and then hit the road with no predestined hotel arrangements. Sure, it’s risky; it also keeps the trip interesting. It was my first time in Malaga, and that made for a frustrating day for even my “trusty” Spanish GPS. It was confused ... Read More »

How to Avoid Being Swindled – Part Deux

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net This is sort of a part two of an article I wrote a year ago regarding the wonderful world of jewelry scams, as well as some hard knock personal experiences and advice on how to avoid getting bitten by one. Ah! The cruising vacation. It’s the excitement of being on the open seas — sun, fun, food and cocktails. Beware of venders hawking loose precious gemstones and gold chain-by-the-inch, especially if you have had a few. Sure the prices seem cheap because they are. The so-called gems you are purchasing are mostly rejects from ... Read More »

It’s Just Another Summer Day

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Ah, the glamorous daily life of a goldsmith! It dawned on me after what should have been a slow month was in fact uncannily busy. A kind of nothing seems to get accomplished busy. The day usually begins around 9 AM, when I usually encounter a single person or small crowd milling around the front door when I arrive. I then have to politely apologize for the fact I can’t let anyone in until 9:30 AM for security and insurance protocol — 9:30 is when I actually open. Try convincing your bank to let ... Read More »