Friday, December 3, 2021

Are You Nautical or Knot?

14 kt. gold Marco bracelet  with kissing dolphins. PHOTO BY RICHARD ALAN

14 kt. gold Marco bracelet with kissing dolphins. PHOTO BY RICHARD ALAN

Richard Alan

Ah yes! Memorial Day has come and gone, and many islanders take to the sea. Finally, the Marco River does not resemble a one way tidal wave of vessels that have no clue as to who has the right-of-way or any knowledge of common boating courtesy, let alone know the difference between a red or green channel marker.

Last month, while hanging out in the Ten Thousand Islands, I tried to politely warn a boat load of partying yahoos not to go any further past me into the mangroves. They thankfully gave me the bird, passed me and continued on… only to immediately run up into the mud with an outgoing tide. Then they refused my assistance! A simple boating tip: If you see a flock of birds standing in one inch of water, and you steer your vessel in that general direction, the water will most likely get a bit skinny under your boat. Oh! That had to be a long, dark, sobering night on the mud with the no-see-ums and the mosquitos.

Well that’s one aspect of enjoying the Gulf of Mexico. I get inspired every time I’m on the water. After all, sea life and nautical jewelry is a major part of my business. Rarely does a day go by that we don’t sell a sand dollar or a jumping dolphin charm or pendant. These can be accented with diamonds and precious gemstones, especially in my selection of gold or sterling silver palm trees and star fish. Even the frisky pelican is a popular pendant or charm.

My exclusive hand-crafted “Marco Bracelet” has gone through many changes over the decades. It now shows two kissing dolphins that form the letter “M.” My son Andrew and I craft them right here in our shop on Marco Island. They are created in all sterling silver, or with combinations of 14kt. gold and sterling. For those few with discerning tastes, we hand craft them entirely in 14kt. white and yellow gold.

Another unusual custom choice is our new line of “Endless Jewelry” that comes with a large selection of sea life charms. You can choose a rainbow of exotic colors in fine leather. I love the beautiful turquoise colored leather bracelet, in a double strand design. Just add a turtle, dolphin, crab or pelican charm – you name it! The selection of charms is endless!

Many guys put a nautical spin on their choice of jewelry. I am currently creating an impressive one-of-a-kind handcrafted Danforth anchor in two-tone 14 kt. gold.

On this little island in the sun, the sand dollar is by far the most popular piece of jewelry in the shop. We make them in a number of different sizes, and in all precious metals. The yellow gold and sterling combination is our bestselling sand dollar. Some I accent with pave white or even colored diamonds that makes it even more beautiful.

Don’t forget the majestic palm tree. I have lost count on how many styles of this other “got to have” pieces we now create in small, medium and large, in gold especially. One of my newest versions have round cut chocolate diamonds mimicking coconuts hanging from the tree.

I encourage my customers to get their creative juices flowing and explain an idea to me. Then I put the original design on paper, craft it in wax, cast it in precious metal, hand finish it, set the diamonds and then polish it to a gleaming luster. A bit of skill and time and there you have it, a one-of-a-kind piece of custom made jewelry.

Nautical link design chains for around the neck, wrist or ankle can resemble an anchor chain. I recently completed a gentleman’s diamond encrusted navy anchor – one of my new original designs. It was on display in the window for less than a week before its new owner fell in love with it.

So it comes down to whether you are nautical or knot. Nautical jewelry is not for everyone and that’s just the way I like it.

So, if you have the opportunity to get out to the gulf, either to fish or cruise, just do it and get inspired.

Personally, I found a private beach on a no-name mangrove where I can park my butt in a beach chair with my toes in the sand, while my salty dogs run amuck. Where is that beach you ask? You would have a better chance asking me where you can find buried treasure.

Stay safe, know the rules and remember “a little boating courtesy won’t kill you.”

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and has been Marco’s island jeweler for over 21 years. He welcomes your questions about all that glitters 239-394-9275, e-mail Check out our new web site


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