Sunday, October 21, 2018

Personal Treasures

ALL THAT GLITTERS


Submitted Photo

It may be something you don’t realize is so important to you. It could be only one thing or it could be many special things.

One of my treasures is a simple buck knife given to me by my Uncle Richie, an ex-Marine. He gave it to me (a kid raised on the streets of Dorchester, Massachusetts) upon hearing I was going on my first camping trip.

Coming from where a blade of grass was a thing of wonder, camping in the mountains of Maine was a pretty big deal for me at the time. He informed me the most important thing in my knapsack should be this knife. I still own it. It’s still razor sharp and in perfect condition and I use it, especially when floating about in the 10,000 Islands on my flotilla of vessels.

It could be a new boat, or an older wooden ship lovingly cared for or restored to original condition; this can also pertain to automobiles or motorcycles. I guess you ladies have figured out that all I’m talking about are expensive boy’s toys. Judging by the “collections” I’ve had the pleasure of seeing here on the island, you may be right!

Remember now, I’m a jeweler so I see many personal treasures that can fit in a Band-Aid box and some things that I or others may not consider valuable, like my buck knife for example.

Oh yes! I have seen some diamond or precious stone jewelry that would blow your minds, as far as value or rarity goes.

One ring recently comes to mind. I did an appraisal on a diamond ring that had not seen the light of day in more than fifty-years. The story that came with the ring was worthy of becoming its own epic Hollywood movie. It began in Germany in the late 1930s and the turmoil that went on then. A European diamond dealer and a wealthy Jewish family were hoping to escape the impending Holocaust.

The historic diamond ring before me for appraisal was over four carats in weight. It was the most perfect specimen of a diamond I had ever seen in my forty-plus years of selling, buying and appraising these bits of compressed carbon. It possessed the best color a diamond could be, apparently internally flawless and a perfect cut and proportion for that time period. (The art of cutting diamonds and polishing them for maximum brilliance and scintillation took several centuries and even to this day there are still improvements being made.)


Oh yes! I have seen some diamond or precious stone jewelry that would blow your minds, as far as value or rarity goes.


I made several phone calls to my personal diamond suppliers and even cutters to help me put a price on this spectacular treasure. First I was told it could not be true, what I was saying when describing the gem. I will admit the diamond was set in a simple four prong platinum setting and unless the stone is removed and examined “loose” it would be impossible to proclaim it internally flawless. Removal was out of the question. An appraiser rarely if ever removes gemstones from their settings during an appraisal; it’s not practical and irreparable damage can occur rendering the piece invaluable.

Several days and calls later, many of the merchants I had spoken to scratched their heads and admitted they never saw or heard of such an unusual diamond in decades. What? I was dumbfounded! Then finally a connection I had in New York informed me they had sold a similar stone that was close to five carats around twelve years ago for one million plus dollars. That stone was the same color “D.” It was not exactly internally flawless, but darn close.

This I found amazing. Only a few months ago I was working on a seven-carat diamond sale that was “G “color and VS-1 clarity. Still a magnificent diamond quality, but that sale fell through because of its immovable $650,000 price tag.

Meaning the four carats or so gem I had before me would have been worth nearly $2 million if it were larger in size and declared flawless!

The customer who inherited the ring was surprised by its value, and was now afraid to wear it. That ring could buy a house or two here or a lot of boy toys!

Prized possessions in jewelry don’t always have intrinsic value. I once restored a simple, sterling silver I.D. bracelet for the granddaughter of a WWII veteran who stormed Omaha Beach in occupied France on D-Day and beyond. He had worn it every day until he passed away a few years ago. This was an irreplaceable personal treasure.

Jewelry passed down from generations should be cherished and cared for and never altered or redesigned, or worse, sold for scrap gold. When it is altered, disassembled or sold it is gone forever. And to me the soul of the piece is lost for eternity. Over the decades, I have caught more flack, and ridicule for not relenting to the whims of the younger generation. Like tearing Grammy’s diamond ring apart to create a belly button or nose ring. I try to convince them to leave the perfectly beautiful work of art alone and wear it and enjoy it, many times to no avail, and they just go elsewhere and have the stones removed and chopped up. A real shame. And guess who they come back to when they think the ugly nose ring can be put back to original ring?

I have also seen gobs of well-made old costume jewelry, though not very valuable, it is cool to wear and enjoy, especially if it belonged to loved ones.

My most prized possession, and something I will hand down to my son, is a ring that belonged to my grandfather, a massive gold piece holding an antique Roman carved onyx, handmade by my uncle Ernest in the 1930s. It was given to me a few days before he left this world, after living a full, and happy life. Pa was a skilled shoemaker all his working days. He’s probably creating perfect golden sandals for the angels right now. Papa Freddy was also a skilled carpenter. The jeweler’s bench I use to create beautiful treasures for many of you he made for me while I was a teenager and that bench is another of my personal treasures.

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith, Marco’s Island jeweler for over twenty-five years, and is available to create any prized possessions you may desire. He welcomes your questions and comments about all that glitters by phone at 239-394-9275 or email: harborgoldsmith@comcast.net, or visit: www.harborgoldsmith.com.

It may be something you don’t realize is so important to you. It could be only one thing or it could be many special things.

One of my treasures is a simple buck knife given to me by my Uncle Richie, an ex-Marine. He gave it to me (a kid raised on the streets of Dorchester, Massachusetts) upon hearing I was going on my first camping trip.

Coming from where a blade of grass was a thing of wonder, camping in the mountains of Maine was a pretty big deal for me at the time. He informed me the most important thing in my knapsack should be this knife. I still own it. It’s still razor sharp and in perfect condition and I use it, especially when floating about in the 10,000 Islands on my flotilla of vessels.

It could be a new boat, or an older wooden ship lovingly cared for or restored to original condition; this can also pertain to automobiles or motorcycles. I guess you ladies have figured out that all I’m talking about are expensive boy’s toys. Judging by the “collections” I’ve had the pleasure of seeing here on the island, you may be right!

Remember now, I’m a jeweler so I see many personal treasures that can fit in a Band-Aid box and some things that I or others may not consider valuable, like my buck knife for example.

Oh yes! I have seen some diamond or precious stone jewelry that would blow your minds, as far as value or rarity goes.

One ring recently comes to mind. I did an appraisal on a diamond ring that had not seen the light of day in more than fifty-years. The story that came with the ring was worthy of becoming its own epic Hollywood movie. It began in Germany in the late 1930s and the turmoil that went on then. A European diamond dealer and a wealthy Jewish family were hoping to escape the impending Holocaust.

The historic diamond ring before me for appraisal was over four carats in weight. It was the most perfect specimen of a diamond I had ever seen in my forty-plus years of selling, buying and appraising these bits of compressed carbon. It possessed the best color a diamond could be, apparently internally flawless and a perfect cut and proportion for that time period. (The art of cutting diamonds and polishing them for maximum brilliance and scintillation took several centuries and even to this day there are still improvements being made.)

I made several phone calls to my personal diamond suppliers and even cutters to help me put a price on this spectacular treasure. First I was told it could not be true, what I was saying when describing the gem. I will admit the diamond was set in a simple four prong platinum setting and unless the stone is removed and examined “loose” it would be impossible to proclaim it internally flawless. Removal was out of the question. An appraiser rarely if ever removes gemstones from their settings during an appraisal; it’s not practical and irreparable damage can occur rendering the piece invaluable.

Several days and calls later, many of the merchants I had spoken to scratched their heads and admitted they never saw or heard of such an unusual diamond in decades. What? I was dumbfounded! Then finally a connection I had in New York informed me they had sold a similar stone that was close to five carats around twelve years ago for one million plus dollars. That stone was the same color “D.” It was not exactly internally flawless, but darn close.

This I found amazing. Only a few months ago I was working on a seven-carat diamond sale that was “G “color and VS-1 clarity. Still a magnificent diamond quality, but that sale fell through because of its immovable $650,000 price tag.

Meaning the four carats or so gem I had before me would have been worth nearly $2 million if it were larger in size and declared flawless!

The customer who inherited the ring was surprised by its value, and was now afraid to wear it. That ring could buy a house or two here or a lot of boy toys!

Prized possessions in jewelry don’t always have intrinsic value. I once restored a simple, sterling silver I.D. bracelet for the granddaughter of a WWII veteran who stormed Omaha Beach in occupied France on D-Day and beyond. He had worn it every day until he passed away a few years ago. This was an irreplaceable personal treasure.

Jewelry passed down from generations should be cherished and cared for and never altered or redesigned, or worse, sold for scrap gold. When it is altered, disassembled or sold it is gone forever. And to me the soul of the piece is lost for eternity. Over the decades, I have caught more flack, and ridicule for not relenting to the whims of the younger generation. Like tearing Grammy’s diamond ring apart to create a belly button or nose ring. I try to convince them to leave the perfectly beautiful work of art alone and wear it and enjoy it, many times to no avail, and they just go elsewhere and have the stones removed and chopped up. A real shame. And guess who they come back to when they think the ugly nose ring can be put back to original ring?

I have also seen gobs of well-made old costume jewelry, though not very valuable, it is cool to wear and enjoy, especially if it belonged to loved ones.

My most prized possession, and something I will hand down to my son, is a ring that belonged to my grandfather, a massive gold piece holding an antique Roman carved onyx, handmade by my uncle Ernest in the 1930s. It was given to me a few days before he left this world, after living a full, and happy life. Pa was a skilled shoemaker all his working days. He’s probably creating perfect golden sandals for the angels right now. Papa Freddy was also a skilled carpenter. The jeweler’s bench I use to create beautiful treasures for many of you he made for me while I was a teenager and that bench is another of my personal treasures.

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith, Marco’s Island jeweler for over twenty-five years, and is available to create any prized possessions you may desire. He welcomes your questions and comments about all that glitters by phone at 239-394-9275 or email: harborgoldsmith@comcast.net, or visit: www.harborgoldsmith.com.Richard

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