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All That Glitters


Senti-Mentally Foolish


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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?


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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

Costa del Sol, Spain. File Photo

ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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 »

Thrill Her


All That Glitters Richard Alan I’m not sure if is part of our sixth senses or if it is an additional one. Being thrilled is a feeling we have all experienced at one time or another in our lives, maybe more so when we were younger. Remember the feeling you experienced on a Christmas past when you got that special toy or bicycle you were wishing for? Excitement and exhilaration come to mind. I expect your first ride on a roller coaster provided the same incredible experience. Well, believe it or not jewelry can create the same feeling of ... Read More »

Some Things Should Just Stay Broken


ALL THAT  GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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?


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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 »



ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan 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 »