Friday, December 3, 2021

I’m thankful, I really am!



Richard Alan

I tend to come across a bit on the sarcastic side, (In case some of you haven’t noticed.) I will try to control that emotion as I write this serious column.

For me celebrating the holiday of Thanksgiving was for most of my life a day I dreaded, in those days my family was spread all over the state and I ended up on the road with a car load of kids going from dinner to dinner, it was far from being a thankful day.

But today things are very different; I never leave the island and my family and friends celebrate at our home or under a chickee hut at Residents’ Beach where the traveling time only takes five minutes.

I have also realized that I have a lot to be thankful for; a great wife, family and friends and despite the worst economic conditions I ever faced I never had to lay off a single employee and my businesses are still up and running, sure we sprung a few leaks and we worked as a team regardless of the sacrifices and kept the ship afloat. We have since moved the flagship store from Front Street and dropped anchor at The Island Plaza next to Beall’s outlet, resulting in a future so bright and shiny we’ll have to wear shades.

I would like to offer a whole hearted thank you and A Happy Thanksgiving to my family and irreplaceable staff and of course my hundreds of loyal customers; the regulars and the scores of newbies without whom I would have little to be thankful for. Richard Alan.

Thankful jewelry? Believe it or not there is. The traditional anniversary ring is the first thing that comes to mind. The husband presents a diamond anniversary ring to his loving wife for putting up with him for so many decades. More often than not it is a complete surprise and an emotional moment to the unsuspecting bride, which ultimately results to a very, very happy husband.

Gifts of thanks traditionally presented to bridesmaids and ushers at most weddings, can include earrings to compliment the ladies’ gowns and monogrammed money clips for the men.

There are other dated reasons to presented baubles at other thankful occasions. Diamond and religious jewelry was customarily presented to a new mother and to the new arrival or arrivals.

Sweet sixteen was often celebrated by presenting a birthstone ring from thankful parents to their little lady on her sixteenth birthday; this is rarely practiced today especially if she was anything like my first sixteen year old. (Sorry! sarcasm once again is trying to rear its ugly head.)

The tradition of presenting a ring to a boy becoming a young man, was common in my youth! I still have it today. It was usually a stone ring or a monogrammed signet ring, something to be cherished and handed down from generation to generation.

My grandfather handed his down to me before he died, as I will to my son when my time has come…but not yet!

Sadly, many of these thankful traditions have gone by the wayside because of the fast-paced lives we now live.

Traditions like giving jewelry for thankful reasons have persevered for centuries. Even the Pope presented priceless jewelry to royalty or his own bishops in thanks for his safekeeping and preservation of the holy church. I saw many of these magnificent pieces with my own eyes while traveling in Europe.

Certain nationalities, for example the Italians and Latinos, give jewelry as gifts for almost any reason involving thanks. The very young are usually covered with gold.

Giving jewelry for any reason not only makes the recipient happy but also makes the giver feel good.

Richard Alan is a Designer /Goldsmith and the owner of The Harbor Goldsmith of Marco Island and welcomes your questions about “All That Glitters” at 239-394-9275 and

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