Wednesday , November 25 2015
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All That Glitters


Perfect Imperfections


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan Might sound like an oxymoron to you, but when it comes to buying diamonds or precious gemstones a perfectly located imperfection can save you a great deal of money. When purchasing a fine diamond or any expensive gem, the clarity is graded by the amount of inclusions, imperfections, blemishes or flaws. Call them what you like, they can be white or black marks, striations, even surface cracks or chips. Sometimes flaws appear to be minute bubbles or similar to the scrape that an ice skate leaves on ice, inside or near the surface of the ... Read More »

Jewelry Common Sense…Watches


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan With any profession there are words or jargon (call it what you like) that pertain to only that particular business. The word “shop talk” comes to mind. Sometimes I catch myself using jewelry terminology in front of a customer, and at once realize he or she has no clue what I am taking about. Sort of like me understanding the daily goings on the subject of physics or nuclear fusion. Over the years I have tried to educate or give advice on certain aspects of the business, whether it is on the subject of jewelry ... Read More »

Jewelry Common Sense… Jewelry Repair

Don’t swim with your necklace  on - it will get damaged by chlorine
and salt water! SUBMITTED PHOTOS

ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan I’m a goldsmith and own a jewelry store, and that means we make our own jewelry and also repair jewelry that people break. Yes, sad but true, jewelry breaks, wears out, gets mistreated and then needs repair. I’m also proud to say we rarely repair jewelry that has been purchased in our shop. I can’t count how many times when inspecting people’s jewelry with my trained eye and see problems that are present or about to occur and get lambasted because of it. Remember now, they asked me to “look at their jewelry” to make ... Read More »

There Must be Something in the Water?


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan Upon entering certain establishments, such as dentists or doctors offices, I can understand why some folks may be irked, irritated, or just P’d Off. It probably has to do with the uncertainty of one’s health (they always find something wrong), and the biggest factor is the unpredictable amount of money you will have to shell out-of-pocket, whether you have healthcare or not. I can relate firsthand with my $2,500.00 toothache ordeal I had to deal with this past summer. I went through a blizzard of expensive x-rays, got not-diagnosed, which resulted in going to ... Read More »

Knuckle Island


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan I sort-of kind-of touched on this subject a while back, and it’s a real complicated problem – practically epidemic – and it’s something I deal with every single day in the shop. The process of making a nice diamond ring sale can be a challenge, as you may have gathered if you read my last column. It’s what happens after the sale that the fun begins, and that magical feat can range from impossible to miraculous. Now the diamond ring has to fit the finger. That may seem to many of you a simple cut-and-dried ... Read More »

Such a Deal?


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan Honestly, I enjoy a good deal as much as anyone when it is offered to me, but on the other hand, when did buying almost everything on the island suddenly becomes a game show episode of “Let’s Make a Deal”? There are coupons and newspaper ads from every facet of island retail establishments hawking enormous discounts, lots of buy-one get-one free promotions (bogo’s), and many restaurants are offering two-for-one, complimentary bottles of wine, desserts and whatever it takes to get customers in the door. It can be agonizingly slow here in the summer for many. ... Read More »

Who Will Miss Me When I’m Gone?


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


By Richard Alan 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


By Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


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 »