Thursday, January 20, 2022

It Called to Me


Submitted Photo | Not the emerald and diamond ring sold before the author’s trip, but an impressive online pic. Remember, what looks like high quality jewelry on the internet may turn out to be junk.

I’m back enjoying my self prescribed R&R in a location I consider the most beautiful and enjoyable place on earth, Mallorca, Spain.

While Marco Island is my real home, anyone who has seen the beauty and grandeur of this Balearic Island will be smitten with its friendly people and one hundred twenty-five or so beaches, kissed by the ink blue Mediterranean Sea.

It’s a place where you can do pretty much anything you want, at reasonable prices.

Most beaches are private with sheer cliff backgrounds and accessible only by boat, or if you are an accomplished mountain climber! Mallorca brings the term no shoes, no shirt, no problems to a whole wonderful new level as far as I’m concerned.

This trip began with meeting up with friends from Marco in Amsterdam, then off to Munich, Germany. We parted ways after three more glorious days in the Austrian mountains near Salzburg. The closest thing to work was a visit to the world’s oldest salt mines, in Hallstatt, Austria.

(There is something to “salt therapy.” My wife was fighting off a bit of congestion and a cold but those two and a half hours underground surrounded by salt cured her ills! In fact, our entire entourage felt invigorated and breathed better!)

Naturally, I still think of work. I cruise and smooze many European jewelry stores to see what is up and coming. I found many interesting pieces that will be in my showcases at The Harbor Goldsmith for the upcoming holidays and 2019 season.

While chillin’ here with my wife in Cala Fornells, Mallorca we get to reflect on last season and figure out what to keep in inventory and what to phase out due to lack of interest or demand. The public’s jewelry tastes can turn on a dime and having the wrong inventory for the holiday shoppers can be disastrous.

Literally hours before I left for Europe I sold a spectacular emerald and diamond ring. Ya! Big deal, so what. I know what you’re thinking… You’re a jeweler that’s what you are supposed to do! First take into consideration that it’s summer, and historically speaking, late August can sometimes be a little tough on the retail aspect around these parts. September is slower than slow business-wise and is the reason I exit the island stage right about now.

For me a summer interest in an outstandingly important and beautiful ring is a big deal.

These past summer months have been a bit more active than usual, and for that I’m grateful. The thing about this ring purchase was it became reality by a text message accompanied by a photo, or in phone jargon, a pic.

All things aside, I was dealing with a discerning and loyal client whose taste was quite simple, “only the best!”

We had been in tune and always on the same page as far as our combined taste in fine jewelry goes in other acquisitions over the years. To the point of while at domestic jewelry shows or traveling to Europe viewing and shopping for exotic pieces, I will usually find just what falls into her and a handful of other customers’ likes. I purchase them, put them on display in the shop, and nine out of ten times they usually wind up being a keeper to the exact person I expected to fall in love the very same piece. I’m psychic, you think? I think not!

It’s not magic, it’s just knowing what your special clients like. That’s not going to happen making a purchase in a big box store or a soul-less internet purchase. It looks good on your iPhone or laptop, the price seems reasonable, you receive it, then wander into my humble establishment to ask my professional opinion and I tell you it’s a piece of junk. (Ask anyone who knows me, the term “brutally honest” comes to mind, especially when it comes to evaluating jewelry.)

My regular customers don’t buy jewelry online, maybe because they learned a hard lesson a time or two, or could it be they fear my wrath when they present it to me in pieces and I tell them to bring it or send it back where they bought it because it failed their expectations. A plausible possibility!

It took only two pics before my special client focused on one ring and in a text to me replied, “it’s calling to me!” My V.I.P. customer was temporarily off the island for a couple of weeks, so I assured her the ring would be at the shop when she returned to the rock so she could try it on and truly appreciate its beauty.

On her return, we presented the ring, which happened to be her exact size and she positively loved it, purchased it without a ring box or giftwrapping, and proudly wore it out of the store!

What’s not to love! Earlier in the day I spent over an hour with someone lamenting over the selection of a $19 silver chain she had to “think about” and talk to her husband before purchasing, a purchase phobia my wife certainly does not have.

People with sophisticated tastes who know exactly what they want are unfortunately far and few between. I appreciate these few kindred spirits, and I strive to not just meet their expectations, but to go beyond what they would expect and more to satisfy their unusual requests for exceptionally fine jewelry.

Some would call it a gift, I call it many years of experience by listening, absorbing and retaining sometimes unconsciously, my customer’s requests.

Isn’t that what you would expect?

My wife Andrea just presented me a pitcher of ice cold sangria… time to go!

Enjoy the rest of your summer, see you all soon! Adios from Espana!

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and owner of The Harbor Goldsmith and welcomes your questions about all that glitters at

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