The other day a woman entered my establishment and asked me if I replace batteries in watches, which I do. While installing her new battery, she complimented me on the many wonderful things in my showcases. She said how she loved jewelry but her money conscious husband refused to buy her any nice quality jewelry (they were married over forty years!). He was always claiming diamonds and jewelry were a bad investment. A sense of sadness came over me for this nice woman. I noticed all she was wearing was a simple gold wedding band minus the engagement ring and a pair of costume earrings.
Ok…I realize there are times one should bite one’s tongue, and mind thy own business, but I know this woman’s husband and they are, shall we say, by no means “financially strapped.” I’m sure he also feels flowers are a bad investment because they wilt and die, and eating out at a nice restaurant is a waste of money. Oh, did I mention he does get her an occasional Hummel or some comparable dust collecting knick-knack? I can tell you one thing, this gentleman doesn’t have a clue as to what makes his wife of forty-plus years happy, and it sounds like a serious case of short arms and deep pockets.
Jewelry is an investment in love, not money. It is something that brings back happy memories, a keepsake from a mom or a dad or grandparents, celebrating the birth of a child, an anniversary or a holiday, and for no reason whatsoever. And my favorite random gift giving reason is the ever popular “get me out of the dog house” piece of jewelry.
I have never insinuated or closed a sale on the pretense that someone’s expensive diamond jewelry purchase was “ a good investment for the future.” If your present jeweler tells you that…run away or get it in writing that he will buy it back, anytime with interest!
Sure there is always some monetary value years later, but believe me you are not going to make a killing investing in diamonds and jewelry, unless you bought a ton of gold in 1960 at $35 an ounce, or paid $500 each for fine one-carat diamonds. But that is not the point; jewelry was first meant to be an adornment. Our prehistoric ancestors gave his or her mate a simple bone or shiny rock through the nose or around one’s neck, only today it’s a lavish diamond tennis bracelet or a diamond solitaire pendant and could be a beautiful diamond fiftieth anniversary band, something the before-mentioned Mr. Spends-nickels-like-manhole-covers would never even consider. As you can see my pet peeve is dealing (more like enduring) with painfully cheap people. The way I look at it they have no business even entering a fine jewelry store in the first place.
I remember the gold bracelet that I hand made and gave my first love and how much she cherished it and how wonderful it made me feel. I still get the same feeling when my loved one or family members are surprised with my jewelry gift giving. (So…I admit, I get a pretty good discount!) One should not lose sight of the fact that a diamond is really forever and many of my diamond sales are women buying diamonds for their men.
This past season one of my friends gave his young grandson a gold signet ring that I created to look just like grandpa’s. He brought his grandson in to have it sized a little larger, the proud look on that kid’s face when he put that ring on was priceless, and grandpa didn’t have to sell the farm to create such joy for both of them.
My daughter Lindsay, who can choose wear any extravagant piece of jewelry in the store, cherishes the simple pieces she inherited from her great-grandmother (93 years old and sharp as a tack!). Mamaw’s frivolous investment of love reaps its rewards on a daily basis for her great granddaughter.
Until next time. And remember, friends don’t buy friends cheap jewelry.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his informative website at www.harborgoldsmith.com.