Saturday, November 27, 2021

Blue Suede Blues



Richard Alan

September is almost over, and I finally got my business moved to my new location at Island Plaza. All my thanks to the contractors, inspectors and my father in-law, Ray, who designed and created the shop of my dreams.

September is also the month that has one of the nicest birthstones… the sapphire.

A beautiful multi colored gemstone that is also hard and enduring; it can take what life throws at it and not show scratches or chips.

The sapphire is a member of the basic superior gem group which includes ruby, emerald and diamond. Sapphire is a very popular gem stone in my business. Whether it is their birthstone or not ladies love it in all forms of jewelry. A lot of men enjoy the sapphire in the rings I design.

The sapphire’s diverse colors offer a great medium for me in my custom work. Beside the many shades of blue that can be found in the gem, colors of yellow, orange, purple, green, hot pink and white can also be found.

In my opinion it’s brighter and more brilliant than a yellow citrine or topaz and it can out shine even the finest amethyst. Once again it’s the hardness of the gemstones and that is important to me.

The sapphire is found all over the world, one of it’s main sources used to be Sri Lanka, but today sapphires are found in East Africa, Eastern Australia, Thailand, Madagascar and even right here in the good ol’ U.S.A., like Montana, for instance.

For years I was partial to the hot pink sapphire. It was different, but it has also become hard to find at a reasonable price. Smaller stones are affordable, but lack the neon color of a larger gem.

Basic blue is king around the world. With the recent royal wedding, it brought back the popularity of the sapphire with Kate’s smashing engagement ring. It was an oval blue sapphire and diamond classic design that once belonged to Princess Di.

Sapphire and diamond tennis bracelets are far more requested than other gem combinations. Blue is a favorite color for lots of folks and a sapphire will not disappoint! The shades of blue are endless, from pastel to deep dark blue. An almost black and opaque sapphire is to me, unattractive. A truly fine blue sapphire is described as cornflower blue (or for you that remember the color of a milk of magnesia bottle, close to that shade.)

Don’t forget the other colors sapphire is found in like bright yellow, orange and green, mixing the combinations of color in pieces of jewelry make the creations stand out because it’s that different.

Years ago when I had my shop in Boston, I created a snake ring for a gentleman that sported a one carat round blue Ceylon in its head, fiery pink sapphires in the eyes coiled around a two carat brilliant yellow canary diamond.

When finished, I had to admit no one but Elvis, Liberace, or Elton John could have pulled off wearing that piece, it was so out there! My client loved it so much he later had me create a pendant to match. My wife, Andrea adores sapphires and preferred them over diamonds for her engagement ring and wedding band.

I would like to reply to a question I received last week concerning the sale of a collection of antique silver place settings. The customer was distressed over the fact that the antique ten place set would wind up in a smelting oven. Sadly it is a true fact, I have exhausted every lead to locate a company who would buy them outright and try to resell them intact… NADA!

There is no one that I could find who would pay above the scrap price. The demand for sterling silver place settings in this economy is non-existent. You would have a better chance selling snow cones to the Eskimos. So my advice is, unless you really need the money, hold on to Grammy’s silver until things change, if they ever will. These days newlyweds pick out stainless steel, not silver, for kitchen utensils.

“Gold dust blinds all eyes.” English Proverb.

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and the owner of the Harbor Goldsmith and Richard’s Reefs on Marco Island and welcomes your questions about “All That Glitters” 239-394-9275.


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