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Some Things Should Just Stay Broken

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ALL THAT  GLITTERS Richard Alan  harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I fix this, repair that. A solder here, a laser weld there, and lately the use of quick set epoxy glue and enamels have their merits. You already know if you enjoy or dread reading my column that I have acquired an excellent reputation repairing or restoring almost any piece of jewelry that enters my establishment. (Not to mention household objects, such as statues, dog collars, ladies shoes, belts, electric razors, Rolls Royce and Bentley interior parts, sunglasses and numerous ceremonial pieces from all religious denominations.) News of my expertise also has crossed the ... Read More »

Keeping Old Traditions Alive

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I recently celebrated my 60th birthday. (Wow! Where did the years go, though I’ve been told I’m still a puppy by Marco standards!) Enough said about that. From now on, I stop celebrating every year. Traditions involving jewelry are a subject I still remember. I may be a baby boomer from the 1950s, but I’m not totally senile. Today’s generation hasn’t a clue about traditions of any kind. It’s a shame. I’m talking about presenting a delicate solid gold signet ring engraved with graceful interlocking script initials to a daughter or granddaughter for her ... Read More »

Drama-less Jewelry Inspections

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net It’s something most people rarely think about… the present condition of your fine jewelry; and that can include that expensive watch you have been wearing nonstop for a couple of decades or so. I am the first stop when something goes terribly wrong. For example, the loss of the important and highly cherished center stone in your engagement ring or the metal or leather strap on your favorite watch falls from your being during the frenzy that occurs at airport security or the luggage carousel. I’ve heard it all… Folks will tell me again ... Read More »

Change: It’s a Way of Life?

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Change is supposed to be good, but for many, even the suggestion of change can be downright traumatic for them. Change has been my way of life since I read that seemingly silly book “Who moved my Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. You can read the whole book in about an hour, but what you get from it can honestly change your life. It was that book that motivated me to leave a steady job in someone else’s jewelry store, sell my small condo, pack up the wife and kids in a U-Haul and leave ... Read More »

Shoulda Woulda Auwtah Coulda

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Yes, my title is a true massacre of the King’s language, but no other words I can think of can better describe the topic of this column. Most everyone has experienced a missed opportunity or, in extreme cases, like waiting for your ship to come in while sitting at the regional airport. Lots of other sayings come to mind such as “he who hesitates is lost.” Or, completely the opposite “don’t jump in with both feet.” or “I’m just getting my feet wet.” Lost opportunities abound in the jewelry business, why did I buy ... Read More »

9-55-3-7-5

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net These are the winning numbers to the quest of the $10,000 Green Marco Diamond Ring. A blindfolded drawing consisting of 40 chart holders in the lottery pick with the correct co-ordinate numbers was held, and only one was chosen. The lucky winner of the Green Diamond Ring was Ms. Darlene Canton of Marco Island. Congratulations Darlene!!! The following is a feeble effort to explain the method of my madness. Many found my quest difficult, but it also caused many to become dazed, confused and utterly confounded. Then, I can say, “Mission Accomplished!” The numbers: ... Read More »

Diamonds on the Soles of His Shoes

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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 ... Read More »

Diamonds are Still a Girl’s Best Friend

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net A remarkable comeback is underway, and that is a renewed desire for nice diamond jewelry. I’m not talking about the blasé quality stuff (a nice way to say it) offered to the public for the past six years or so, but a true emergence of quality and fineness. I admit I’m guilty. For reasons of survival, I was forced to carry jewelry that customers, in fact, really did not demand but could only afford, such as alternative metals that were in fact not precious and not the highest quality. I kind of felt I was ... Read More »

To be or not to be… Enhanced

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I may have touched on this subject in the past but the increase in popularity on Clarity Enhanced (C.E.) diamonds have piqued the interest of many that are unaware of the product and process in my shop the past couple of months. Yes, it’s true some jewelers won’t even consider selling them in their stores. I have been dealing with all kinds of diamonds since the tender age of 15 and have been involved in buying from dealers and cutters all over the world. Israel, Amsterdam, Belgium, Boston, New York City, L.A. and beyond! ... Read More »

The Quest for the Marco Green Diamond Ring

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Want to have some fun and intrigue? While experiencing a rare idle moment, I came up with the idea of why not give something valuable away for free to generate (instigate) some controversy, get people talking, and who knows, I’ll also get some new faces and former faces I have not seen in the shop for a while. My staff, which includes my wife and shop dog, Toby, finally decided my cheese had totally slipped off my cracker, to give away a $10,000, 18-karat gold, 1.43-carat oval green diamond ring for free! I decided ... Read More »

Web…site unseen

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Billions and billions of dollars are spent by folks using the internet, and there is no doubt a good percentage of that dough is generated right here in my household between my wife’s tennis addiction that involves ordering tennis shoes and trendy outfits that match the shoes let a lone the latest rackets and accessories. I also have two sons who order car, truck and motorcycle parts as if they are stocking their own parts warehouse. Yep! You can buy just about anything online. Ordering what you see on a screen and what shows up ... Read More »

Buyer’s Remorse 101

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I heard the term “buyer’s remorse” the other day, and it is not a subject most care to discuss especially when they have experienced it first hand. Being an appraiser of diamonds and fine jewelry for more than 35 years, lets just say I can unleash the unpleasant emotion more often than I care to mention. First of all, what exactly is “B.R.” — as I will now call this high level state of monetary emotional disappointment? Buyer’s remorse. I think it is many things: emotional, physical and, of course, monetary to name a few. ... Read More »

The Pleasure of Sea Life Jewelry

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I love the quote “if you’ve got it flaunt it,” and that holds true for those of us who live here in paradise either full or part time. Besides being truly fortunate, I think we also are smarter than the average bear; I still have lots of friends who tell me over and over how miserable it is “up there.” I cannot fathom how I spent a good part of my life in the great white north. It simply became old to me — the gray days, the long cold winters that lead into ... Read More »

A Goldsmith’s Tales of Christmas past

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net While working yet another long day and burning many evenings worth of midnight oil in my workshop with my 21-year-old son, Andrew, I tried to ignore hearing his complaints about working late. I came to the realization that this was to be my 44th Christmas season in this crazy business. If he only knew what I had to endure when I was his age. Forty-four Christmas seasons as a bench jeweler! Even Santa’s head elf would have been impressed with the volume of work I would push out in those days and in a ... Read More »

Painfully Cheap Isn’t Frugal

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net I know what you’re thinking, here goes Richard again, ranting about people who enter his jewelry store. Notice I said people, not customers. I love my regular customers; I have even begun rewarding the faithful with special V.I.P. card memberships to offer them sincere savings, perks and freebees for their patronage during these tough years. Nobody knows better than I do that things are still tough all over, but I’m still optimistic in my world; it’s slowly getting better. Things have been tough in the luxury business and jewelry is in one of the tip ... Read More »

November’s Birthstone: A Cornucopia of Color

You will not be invisible with vibrant colored topaz. PHOTO BY RICHARD ALAN

ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net November is a great month for birthstones. It’s a virtual “pick a color – any color!” Topaz is an old Greek name for Topazios, an island located in the Red Sea. Which, in fact, was actually an ancient source for peridot – the ancients confused it with topaz. Today, citrine is almost always confused with topaz where the colors are nearly identical. Through the miracles of both Mother Nature and modern science the choice of color available in topaz is mind boggling. Grandma’s or Aunt Edith’s huge topaz ring was probably a smoky topaz which ... Read More »

In gold we trust?

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net In gold we trust? Don’t get the wrong impression; I’m not about to give you a stock market tip that will change your life forever. But recently something very strange has been going on. Gold has begun to fall out of favor from the very souls who caused it to soar to unimaginable costs in the first place – namely the heavy metal market investors. As a practicing goldsmith I handle, buy, sell and shape gold on a daily basis; I have gold dust under my fingernails. I bet the people who trade pounds of ... Read More »

Euro-eye opener

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net It’s nice to be missed. By the time this story is published I will be back on the island and back to the grindstone after spending nearly six weeks on a “working” vacation in Europe. From what I have heard so far I didn’t miss much around these parts. Years ago my friend Tom had characterized the island in the summer as “Mayberry with sand” and he could not describe it better. I will leave it at that and you can fill in the blanks with your own summer experiences! As many of my ... Read More »

Sicilian Hospitality

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net It only took less than an hour before the whole village knew the Americanos were in town. My friend Al and I accepted our mutual friend or “gum bade” Davide y (of Davide’s cafe) invitation to spend a week with his “family” in the seaside resort village of Tres Fontane in southeastern Sicily. Little did we know the hospitality included the whole village! It is my first time in Sicily, I have visited mainland Italy numerous times for both business and pleasure and made several lifelong friends but never experienced anything like this. Every ... Read More »

High Heat Hot Colors

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ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan harborgoldsmith@comcast.net Whew! It’s hot and so is the demand for colored gemstones, pendants, earrings and rings sporting deep purple or pastel green amethysts with dabs of electric blue or bright yellow topaz to mix or match bold colors. I have made pieces with a rainbow of colors in just a single pair of earrings and created more than one WOW finger ring. After a quiet May and June, last month I enjoyed a renewed interest in colored gems that has been a refreshing awakening in quiet summer months. Diamond jewelry in my opinion has seemed ... Read More »