Monday, December 6, 2021

It’s Okay to Be Itty Bitty

All That Glitters

Submitted Photo | Crown of light.

Nice things come in small boxes, especially when they come from my jewelry shop. Many of you know I deal with people from all walks of life, and the diamonds they possess and cherish can span from tiny to gigantic. 

100 points=1.00 carat. So, 25 points is a ¼ carat sized diamond, capiche? A teeny tiny ¼ pointer measures ¼ millimeters, literally a flyspeck, it takes four hundred of these to weigh one carat. Then take a .01-point diamond for instance. They take one hundred of these to weigh one carat! Yes, even one pointers are very small, smaller than the head of a pin, and yet they have fifty-eight facets cut into that tiny diamond crystal. You drop a ¼ pointer on the floor it’s next to impossible to locate a diamond that is the size of a gnat’s kneecap! Talk about itty bitty! 

So, what’s my point? No pun intended.  

Well, here in paradise I see some spectacular diamonds some really big rocks, some ten-carats, and some larger than a sore thumb. And even though some were really big diamonds, they weren’t necessarily all that spectacular. Some in fact were downright ugly. When it comes to diamonds, bigger isn’t always better. 

How can a fivecarat diamond ring not be better and ugly, you ask? It’s all about the quality. If five-carat diamond that has the color of a tinted windshield and brilliance of a piece of rock salt; is not pretty nor is it valuable especially if one wishes to sell or trade it. Oh, and I have seen plenty of those in the one to five carat range. And it is always these folks who think their diamond is the cat’s meow, Now I have to tell them it is more like what the cat left behind… Either they were totally inebriated during the purchase or it was sold to them in a dark closet with a threewatt bulb. And they always say “they stole it” meaning they got a great price. The diamond I’m looking at with my 10-power loupe wouldn’t be a bargain at any price. It always amazes me how obviously bad the diamond can be, yet the owners can’t see it! 

I remember one time I took in a real “gem” for repair and they were concerned and worried if it would be the same diamond when they came back after the completed repair, I took out my “Mr. Microscope” and showed them their “gem” under magnification, and presented in amazing detail just what they had here. Then pointed out the vast number of large flaws and imperfections, took a picture to compare later so there would be no questions about it being the same diamond when they came back. What did they think I was going to do, give them a better one…? 

In my 50 years as a jeweler, I have noticed it was always the folks with the worse diamonds that were the most paranoid. I understand in many cases we are meeting for the first time. I explain you can ask any resident who is a customer on this island about the honesty and integrity of my staff and yours truly and they will be happy to hear we have always been rated at 100% or ten stars (**********) in that department.  

I may have a reputation of being a bit cranky at times—that comes with age and dealing with my share of a cast of characters both here and when up north for over 50 yearsand I have never compromised my professional status as a craftsman and an appraiser. Although its sometimes considered brutal, I always tell it like it is. I won’t sugarcoat my opinion of a piece of jewelry or a diamond regardless of its size to appease the owner’s feelings. A professional appraisal is a complicated process of skill and an honest evaluation of an article’s replacement value. Period. 

Just because a person paid an incredibly high price for something does not mean it’s worth its salt, this is of course is true with anything of conceived value. Like paying a lot for a fake Rolex for example. 

Some of the most beautiful diamonds I have laid my eyes on were not even big diamondsevery diamond large or small has a story to tell. Many smaller diamonds I view have been in the family for generations. Take this super brilliant onethird of a carat gold miner cut that belonged to one’s great grandmother. She got it 100 years ago and it was all greatgrandpa could afford at the time. And it went from daughter to daughter to grandchild through the century, and there it is today shining as bright as the day it was first received. 

I’ve seen diamonds with a history/ I once repaired Mrs. Sherman’s engagement ring, yes that Civil War’s Union General’s wife’s ring, a stunning threestone totaling around five carats. 

Big or small, old or new, diamonds are timeless and forever. In a world when very few things in life are, proudly wear your family heirlooms with the same enthusiasm as your first engagement ring, regardless of their size or quality. All diamonds are meant to be worn and enjoyed.  

Angels are like diamonds. They can’t be made. You have to find them. Each one is unique. J. Smith 

Richard Alan is a designer/goldsmith and a purveyor of fine diamonds and gemstones for over 50 years, 27 of those years here on Marco Island at his shop at Island Plaza… The Harbor Goldsmith. He welcomes your questions and comments about all that glitters at www.harborgoldsmith. com. His number is 239-394-9275.



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