Saturday, January 19, 2019

Ho! Ho! Holiday Must Haves

ALL THAT GLITTERS


So what’s hot and what’s not this holiday season? Once again I have seen the ads for the two stone diamond rings and pendants for three straight holiday seasons in a row… resulting in a dismally lackluster response from the public, at least around these parts. I’ve had zero requests so far.

Hugely popular once again (Even after close to 20 years!) are my “Marco Angels.” They have been a huge hit for gift giving, and are literally flying out of the store. The angel pendant is designed just like the candle holding angels you see lit up on the mediums all over the island. Instead of white or colored lights, I incorporate diamonds or colored gemstones into my “special angels.” The standard designs are also available in small, medium or large sizes, all high polished without gems in solid 14kt. gold or sterling silver or combinations of both, all created and handcrafted right here in my island workshop.

My original design Marco Island Bracelet is also in great demand with at least two or three being sold per day, they are available in all solid 14kt. gold or combinations of gold and sterling silver, or just sterling silver. I have yet not seen one returned after being presented as a holiday gift, except by one lovely lady who apologized for her husband because he gave her one the year before; she ended up keeping it when her daughter had to have one too.

I have designed many “living in paradise on Marco Island”-themed pendants, besides angels and bracelets. And for you boaters out there, my latest design is a 14 karat gold mariner’s compass pendant with the words Marco Island across the center and Marco’s longitude and latitude incorporated in the design; a beautiful new addition to my line of island designs.

What lady would not love simple diamond stud earrings? They have been moving way more lately than in the past years. I’ve had to re-order twice already. All sizes are in demand, from a haft carat total weight to four carats!

Diamond “in and out” hoop earrings are also the rage, in all sizes. “In and out” means the diamonds are set on the outer and inner part of the hoop earring so no plain gold is showing — just all diamonds, which makes for a spectacular look.

I have always said if you cannot sell sea life themed jewelry on Marco, you might as well pack it up and sell earmuffs to the locals in Anchorage, Alaska.

My huge selection of sea life jewelry will please even the fussiest shopper. There are dolphins, crabs, manatees, burrowing owls, pelicans, and even game fish (such as the elusive snook, redfish and tarpon) in precious metals. Just add diamond accents to any sea life piece and the enhancement is stunning!

To my amazement, nice diamond tennis bracelets are also being requested and what I mean by nice is just that. Don’t fall for cheap big box store “tennis bracelet specials.” The quality of the bracelet and diamonds are atrocious, and will fall apart before the New Year. A nice bracelet will run you several thousand dollars or more.


While in Spain last summer I saw a sign in English on a restaurant’s wall that summed it all up, “We don’t have Wi Fi, try actually talking to one another!”

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A joyous holiday season, Happy Hanukah!
A very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year to all of you!


Pendants and more pendants! Small is big right now with tiny pendants on fine chains all the rage. Small diamond palm trees and simple geometric designs with a cluster of micro-diamonds are very affordable. Even diamonds by the inch necklaces are enjoying a comeback. I have sold several this month.

For those of you with a limited budget who still want quality, my Lafonn line is just right. Sterling with a platinum overlay, set with the highest quality cubic zirconia, the closest thing to real diamonds you will find. You have to see it to believe it.

It’s exciting for me to see real gold jewelry in demand again instead of the stainless steel and gold plated stuff folks were buying a few years back.

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I know what my customers like and don’t like, and I must admit it is no easy process. Some folks want only the best, some will run middle of the road that is still good quality. If someone wants anything below that, there is an outlet store next door that has five-dollar earrings.

I don’t do cheap jewelry.

Let me remind the new generation out there who are not big fans of jewelry gift giving, sure you want the latest iPhone or the newest expensive electronic fad gadget, so be it. (I remember when owning an eight-track cassette player was a big deal!)

You know what I have learned? That in six to eight months that phone is obsolete and won’t hold a charge. Also, it’s embarrassing to own because it’s not “the new one,” is it? Nice quality gold jewelry can last for generations and it actually means something, because it was a gift from a loved one to another on a special occasion, such as Christmas 2018.

While in Spain last summer I saw a sign in English on a restaurant’s wall that summed it all up, “We don’t have Wi Fi, try actually talking to one another!”

A joyous holiday season, Happy Hanukah! A very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year to all of you!

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of The Harbor Goldsmith at Island Plaza and welcomes your questions about all that glitters. Contact him at 239-394-9275 or harborgoldsmith@comcast.net, or visit his informative website at www.harborgoldsmith.com.

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