Monday, January 24, 2022


All That Glitters

Photo by Richard Alan


Yea, Yea I know most of us are guilty, including myself. I use it every day for business and yes, I buy all kinds of products not because I’m too lazy to go out and drive to kingdom come and back, it’s just that it ends up a fool’s errand because you find out it’s not in stock in the brick-and-mortar store… “You can always order from our online store, sir!” 

In reality you can find most anything you need when you shop online and never have to leave the house. My wife gets dog food, coffee, and wine from a club she belongs to including most of our paper products (they are almost never in stock in local supermarkets!) my meds, and heck, even my choice of underwear and razor blades comes to me from ordering online. I still do this well knowing and very wary that somehow, some way within three- or four-months’ time some mouth breathing, energy drink addict in a trailer park is going to steal my credit card information and have a field day in some Walmart (It’s always a Walmart!) in some hayseed town in Nowheresville, Arkansas. Oh! Correct that! One time someone had a great lunch with my card for the tune of 250 dollars at the Four Seasons in New York City! I hope he wound up with a bleeding ulcer! 

Photo by Richard Alan

I will most certainly become compromised yet again (three times in 2020 I had to get a new card!). The more you give that info out there in cyberville the better the chance you get hacked.

While on the subject, I have another reason for my hate/love affair of the internet; I get inquiries on the phone or better yet in person from folks who surf the internet for days and even weeks gathering information about precious gemstones, diamonds, jewelry or the type or brand of watch they are interested in buying. They just want to pick my brain (aka…waste my valuable time) and ask my advice on which website store has the best deal. The ones who physically come in the store have a stack of papers with information that compares different companies and pricing on expensive diamonds. They ask me why is this one and that one-and-a-half carat diamond that is G color and near flawless color so much cheaper or more expensive than another company or different from the price that I’m asking for that matter?

First of all, I have them stop right there. I’m looking at a self-internet educated couple who I presume now think they know more about diamonds and how they are priced than anyone in the known world. I happen to sell diamonds to make a living so why in heavens name am I going to go through two dozen sheets of “research” and recommend where in cyberspace to spend thousands of dollars on something they are told is the bargain of the century from a sketchy website that buys directly from the mines in Bangladesh! 

I have seen more dreck purchased from the internet touted as the real thing and wind up being a Chinese knockoff, high-grade looking brand watches, Tiffany or Cartier look-alikes sold as precious metal only to be cheap gold plate. I see gold charms that looked so fantastic online only to be five times smaller or lighter than depicted once received and is nonreturnable.

Nevertheless, it’s a billion-dollar industry, people are buying diamonds off the internet and suffer or enjoy (rarely, at least from what I’ve seen) the results when it arrives in the mail. Disappointed ones rarely get refunds.

I can’t get my head wrapped around seeing someone spending thousands of dollars buying something so important as a diamond or precious gemstone sight unseen, from an unknown entity that’s from who knows where.

All that said…I wonder, where is my new replacement radiator for my 1940 Ford Tractor? It’s been nearly a week! 

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith, Marco’s Island’s go-to jeweler since 1994. He welcomes your questions and comments about All That Glitters.



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