Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Best laid plans

Richard Alan

Again, things are a bit tricky on the rock surrounded by water, a new bridge, torn up streets, detours everywhere, all this with an unpredictable season in the future.

I chose this moment in time to move my jewelry business because of the alignment of the planets and tea leaf readings and yes, I factored in this marvelous economy we have been experiencing.

I figured it would take a few days to clear out Front Street. I figured wrong, it took two weeks. Set up the new shop in Island Plaza and get it running in a couple of days? Wrong again. I’m still at it. I was practically changing batteries from the back of the moving truck!

I hope to be a totally functioning goldsmith shop by Labor Day. I expected things to be quiet, especially during the month of August. Once more, wrong again. I could be working with paint brush in the new store and a minute later I’m next door at my Richard’s Reef shop with a pair of pliers adjusting a pair of clip earrings or tighten a loose diamond.

I’m crazy busy, and technically I’m closed. The steady rise in cost of all precious metals has made my gold buying part of the business a near frenzy. (Gold was near $1900.00 an ounce at this writing.) I have been buying gold from the public for a couple of years now. In the recent past the gold jewelry went across the counter from me to the customer and now it’s the other way round.

Everyone is selling their unwanted gold jewelry for large cash results. I have noticed a huge increase in jewelry repairs and re-styling of customers older pieces and that tells me that people are becoming aware of the cost of new jewelry. Please understand that it isn’t always the least expensive path to take. In many cases to re-design, dismantle, recreate and reset numerous diamonds and gemstones, can actually be more expensive than buying a brand new piece of jewelry.

Keeping the re-design work simple can be cost effective. A competent designer can advise you which way is best. Sterling and gold combination pieces will be popular this year.

Big colored stone jewelry is still in high demand, along with exotic ear wear. There is a rash of cheaply made super- light weight pieces being sold to the large chain stores. So take some advice from my experience. The light weight hollow pieces of gold jewelry are a waste of your money, it will not hold up to day to day wear. It will most certainly break and you will discover even the best bench jeweler will not be able to repair it.

It’s a sad state of affairs, I hope the gold bubble bursts soon, so nice gold jewelry becomes affordable again.

A question from cyber-space… Is it true that diamonds can actually be purchased with a serial number inscribed on them?

Yes, this process has been in the diamond industry for many years now. Usually, if a diamond is certified it can actually have the certified number laser engraved either on the edge or on a top facet.

Some folks have their social security number etched on their prized baubles. It is a simple process that can cost anywhere from $200.00 and up. It does not harm the diamond and is impossible to see without magnification.

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith at his new location 680 Bald Eagle Drive (Island Plaza) Marco Island. And welcomes your questions 239-394-9275.

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