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All That Glitters

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Who Will Miss Me When I’m Gone?

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net On an early Monday morning (was it last week?) I was verbally accosted by an obviously upset senior citizen. (You’ll notice I refrained from saying an “irritable old coot” which I found out a couple of years ago is politically incorrect and lit up my e-mails for weeks on end, even though the person was a blatant card carrying I.O.C. and not to be confused with a kind, understanding sixty-one year old kid and loyal AARP member such as yours truly!) When I finally calmed him down, I asked what exactly his problem was. “That ... Read More »

Cheap Home Jewelry Repair

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I may not speak for everyone out there, but the subject of home remedy jewelry repair reminds me of a famous quote from actor Clint Eastwood…“A man’s got to know his limitations!” In time I learned what my limitations were; plumbing, auto repair and electrical work. What brought me to my senses was standing in water up to my ankles, a car that wouldn’t start and blown house fuses! I pay someone who knows what they are doing, like for example, a professional plumber, auto mechanic or an electrician. Then I get it done right ... Read More »

Buying Diamonds That Dazzle

Halo setting. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I recently sold a nice diamond engagement ring to a young couple I had never met before that day. They had told me I was highly recommended, a welcome compliment. The “perfect” diamond was set into one of my classic diamond halo mountings, and was presented to his lady during a complimentary romantic dinner that very evening. What made this young couple stand out from most was that they did not have sheaves of printed information they had downloaded from doing “research” on the internet. Honestly, when someone requests that they would like to show ... Read More »

Sir Richard…The Bridezilla Slayer II

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Folks have been walking in the shop and stopping me on the island laughing about my last article where I mentioned public enemy #1…The Bridezilla. They can sometimes be easily slayed with the reality of the actual price tag, yet woe and behold when that merely bounces off her armored scales, and then I am told money is no object; much to the surprise to the groom to be and future in-laws. There is no amount of money in the world they could pay me to subject myself to the insanity. As I mentioned in ... Read More »

Bridezillas…Chapter One

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net They say it’s all about the dress, and many a bridezilla have been revealed on more than one reality show. I have had the pleasure of experiencing more than I can count, firsthand in my jewelry stores over the decades, before it was even in fashion. For those of you who have no idea what a ‘bridezilla’ is- this is the best description I found on the internet: One incredibly ridiculously spoiled young female brat who thinks she is the center of the universe just because “Her Wedding” is eighteen months from now. She feels ... Read More »

Are You Nautical or Knot?

14 kt. gold Marco bracelet  with kissing dolphins. PHOTO BY RICHARD ALAN

ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Ah yes! Memorial Day has come and gone, and many islanders take to the sea. Finally, the Marco River does not resemble a one way tidal wave of vessels that have no clue as to who has the right-of-way or any knowledge of common boating courtesy, let alone know the difference between a red or green channel marker. Last month, while hanging out in the Ten Thousand Islands, I tried to politely warn a boat load of partying yahoos not to go any further past me into the mangroves. They thankfully gave me the bird, ... Read More »

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 »