I’m hoping everyone is well and staying that way during these trying times. I apologize for my lengthy absence from the paper these past weeks, but in my defense, what was supposed to be a five-day birthday getaway for my wife and I somehow turned into five weeks of rural (AKA “the boonies”) isolation three hundred miles from the island with barely a bar on my cell phone and no laptop or iPad at my disposal. I only recently returned to Marco to check on loved ones, settle some biz affairs and retrieve my laptop. I quickly realized that after a couple of days here, I’m heading back to my isolated rural safe haven with my wife, three dogs and tend to my resident family of birds and squirrels; a perfectly safe place to weather the rest of this storm.
I hope to reopen my shop soon, but at this writing, it’s still not safe and I will not put my family—which includes my employees or customers—in an uncertain and dangerous environment.
I will also be implementing certain safety measures in the store to ensure a constantly clean and sanitized place to conduct business.
That said, I can’t imagine what the future will bring, but I’m optimistic. I thought the same thing opening my shop in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma after being closed for many weeks; there was so much confusion and destruction and it was remarkably busy for many months after that disaster and so was the oncoming season. Who would have thought in one’s wildest dreams?
This, of course, is a whole new scenario, this calamity (pandemic) is not affecting just the state of Florida, or paradise found Marco Island, but the whole world; this is a whole different can of worms!
I don’t believe business as usual will occur in the jewelry industry as I used to know it before all this. I have no doubts I will probably be buying more gold from the public than I will be selling new gold jewelry to them—shades of 2008-2012 crazy gold buying era. Who knows what kind of condition banks will be in around here when the dust settles and many folks are going to need cash now and not having to wait for weeks or a month for a short-term loan, especially after being out of work for months; selling unwanted gold is one way to get it fast. One good note for the selling public, at this moment, the gold metal market and even silver are high and expected to rise.
In the wonderful world of fine jewelry, one thing is for sure it will always require care and maintenance—and with myself being a goldsmith who also works on a bench and not just a piece of showcase jewelry for a half a century now (ouch)—it’s not my first downslide in this biz and believe me, the ladies will always need their cherished jewelry cleaned, repaired, restrung, refurbished or re-designed. And island folks will always need their watch batteries replaced even if three-headed aliens on surfboards were landing at Cape Romano.
Hope to see you all soon, stay safe and God Bless!
Richard Alan Is a designer/goldsmith and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith, Marco’s Island Jeweler since 1994. He welcomes your questions and comments about all that glitters. Website: www.harborgoldsmith.com.