Fine Jewelry can be a funny thing. It can be pretty or beautiful to look at, it is desired, cherished and even coveted; an art and commodity that is still in demand not just for centuries, but millenniums.
It was probably first just an ornament or a talisman such as a tiger’s tooth or a bear’s claw, then shiny rocks and glistening ores such as copper, silver and gold somehow became an ingredient and the means of no ordinary adornment.
Jewelry has been found in the cradle of mankind, Ancient Babylonia, then the Egyptians, Chinese, Indians, Greeks, Tuscans, Romans. I’m not sure the above order of discovery is 100% accurate, but I’m sure you get the picture. Whether its reason for existence is for adornment or a show of wealth and power has always been an interesting conversation subject.
This evolved into jewel–encrusted gold crowns, batons or tiara’s, rings and pendants with enormous rubies, emeralds, or sapphires that today are worth millions of dollars.
I have been very fortunate in my life to visit museums both domestically and in European countries where I got to feast my eyes on such things. Just what is on display at the Vatican in Rome is enough to blow anyone’s mind on the beauty and grandeur of a goldsmith’s talents and one of the finest collections of priceless jewelry I have ever seen!
The true Renascence was after the dark ages in Florence, Italy, the greatest goldsmith in history, Benvenuto Cellini, was the hottest go–to–artist the new world had ever known. Besides jewelry, he was also a renowned sculptor. Young men flocked to Florence from all over Europe to become apprentices and learn the skill so they could practice the trade back in the country of their birth.
So, where does comfort and joy come to play here? A heavy solid gold gem–encrusted crown cannot be the most comfortable thing to wear on one’s head all day. Between the queen’s crown some of the royal neckpieces, rings and bracelets, it all must have weighed pounds, no wonder they sat on a throne all day!
Today, things are a bit different. The Queen of England has a hefty collection of jewels, but only wears them for special occasions. On the other hand, you may see certain rap artists or sports figures weighed down with diamond–studded platinum neck chains, bracelets and rings that made the Liberace collection of jewelry look pale in comparison. Besides being a status symbol, they also show pieces proclaiming their success. They love wearing it and can’t they can’t get enough of the stuff.
I did a few pieces many years ago for some famous Boston sports figures; money was no object the more bling the better. Three carats of diamonds in each ear most definitely makes a big statement!
I miss those days and those clients.
Nowadays, I still design and create jewelry for individuals who want something different; not run of the mill stuff that mall stores sell on a regular basis. The jewelry I create for an individual is usually one of a kind. I love clean and simple where the gemstone(s)or diamond(s) does all the talking and gets the optimum attention. Above all is comfort while wearing one of my pieces. Not only should it feel good, but a pendant should also lay on one’s neck correctly, a ring should be comfortable and not become a weapon by accident because of numerous prongs or sharp angles.
The comfort and joy comes when I get everything right from the original design to the finished piece of jewelry and the person who wears it truly enjoys everything about it and gets compliments for years to come. When it all comes together, it’s a beautiful thing!
My many thanks to the folks who are contributing canned goods for watch battery replacement, together we can donate to the food local food banks to keep them stocked for the upcoming holiday season. Just two or three cans is all I ask per battery replacement. I can change most watch batteries… 90% at least. Please understand watches that need a factory authorized technician I cannot change and I don’t do modern multi–function watches—wrist computers that have several batteries. Just every day watches, okay?
And please… canned goods only! Vegetables, fruits, nuts, whatever you like, as long as it is in a can. Thank you from all of us at The Harbor Goldsmith, for helping those in need and please be safe out there…
Richard Alan is a Designer /Goldsmith and owner of The Harbor Goldsmith Marco’s Island Jeweler since 1994. He welcomes your questions about all that Glitters at www.harborgoldsmith.com, or by phone at 239-394-9275.