Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Get wired

This opal has been set in a sterling silver wired necklace. Submitted

This opal has been set in a sterling silver wired necklace. Submitted

By Richard Alan

The things ladies wear on their necks like most fashions come and go but one style of neckwear has in my opinion never reached its peak.

I’m talking about the simple neck wire. But before I elaborate on neck wires I wish to quell the rumors about “my retirement” and selling the business. I have not retired, but after forty years at the bench, I am limiting my hours at the store, let’s call it “semi-retired” as far as my business…

The Harbor Goldsmith is concerned. This summer I am simply moving it and its staff from our Front Street location to the Island Plaza between CVS and Beall’s Outlet. I hope this clears up any confusion.

The neck wire is a thin flexible wire usually in a variety of precious metals. It can also be made out of rubber, stainless steel or even titanium. My most popular ones are in 14kt. gold and sterling silver and the style is called the sparkle or tinsel wire. It is only one or two millimeters wide and anywhere from sixteen to eighteen inches long. They resemble the omega necklace which has been popular like forever except, now thin is in!

The obscenely high price of precious metals has made the cost of heavy chains or omega out of the reach of most jewelry lovers and though the cost of the wires has increased, because of their light weight, they are affordable to most especially in silver.

There is nothing classier than a simple diamond or precious gemstone solitaire pendant on a tinsel wire. Even the simplest gold charm looks like a million on any wire. Seeing is believing! The wire keeps its round shape and truly showcases what is worn on it from a beautiful diamond to a simple beach charm and it even looks great all alone.

The super wide omegas are a statement but are designed to be worn alone and most slides or pendants will not fit a ten millimeter or larger omega.

Some wires are in fact round omegas only thinner. The new hot “reversible” omegas are also thin but have a slightly flatter construction and are gold on one side and silver on the other. It’s like two necklaces for the price of one.

Many of the new wires have a combination of the two tone gold woven in for a dramatic look.

Because of the thin nature of the new wires they are delicate and should be handled with care, and should never be worn to bed. A night of tossing and turning will turn most wires in to a slinky gone wrong and they are impossible to straighten out or repair.

The creation of the rubber wire is a fun combination of gold or silver clasps attached to a rainbow of exciting colors and can be mixed and matched with a woman’s outfit. Check out the new wires and try a pendant of your own on one to give it a fresh new look.

Mary S. of Naples asks by way of cyber-space. “I used a jewelry cleaner purchased at a mall store to clean my gold and diamond jewelry and I admit I left it in overnight. The next morning my jewelry had turned dark brown, is it ruined? How in the world do I clean it?”

Mary, don’t panic. Most of the jewelry cleaners out there contain ammonia and water with a coloring. If your pieces are left in too long they can do more harm than good.

The dirt and tarnish that is initially removed becomes inert in the solution and if left in too long will attach itself back on to the rings, chains, etc.

It is impossible to remove yourself. I possess chemicals and cleaning methods that are not available to the public. Bring the patients in and I can administer the proper treatment to restore them to their original beauty.

Mary, never leave your precious jewelry in cleaning solutions too long, two or three minutes in a cleaner is enough, a soft bristled toothbrush should loosen most dirt behind the stones and don’t forget to always rinse the cleaning chemicals off in distilled or bottled warm water. (The reason for this is some tap water may have hints of sulphur and heaven knows what other chemicals and these can also discolor jewelry if left to dry on the metal.) Then dry with a soft cotton cloth to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

I have the best home jewelry cleaning system available in my shop, come in and check it out.

“Man prates, but gold speaks”


Richard Alan is a designer /goldsmith and the owner of the Harbor Goldsmith and Richard’s Reef’s on Marco Island and welcomes your questions about all that glitters. 239-394-9275.


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