Friday, October 15, 2021

Semi-Retired… Not Dead and Gone

All That Glitters

Submitted Photo | Personalized memorial jewelry.

Just want to quash the rumors that I retired or worse I’m currently hammering out gold halos for the angels. No, I haven’t passed away, though I’m sure some folks that I have locked horns with in the past wish I had!

That sadly was my former neighbor, the owner of Gulf Coast Jewelers, soon to be another Ice cream shop. I’m alive and well and still hooking up my loyal customers with beautiful diamonds and handcrafted jewelry. And yes, I’m taking days off here and there and enjoying a 30-ish hour work week, enduring fifty years and counting in the biz I figure I deserve a break here and there. I’m usually around most Saturdays for personal advice, consultations and appraisals for serious inquiries, such as fine diamonds or commissioning me to create one-of-a-kind jewelry (an appointment may be required).

So don’t send condolences or flowers quite yet, hopefully this should set things straight on inaccurate island scuttlebutt.

My last article touched on the current lack of emotions that in the past was the heart and soul of jewelry gift giving. A recent trend has emerged that not only is the epitome of emotion, the very creation and presentation of the pieces have drawn tears in my shop on more than one occasion. It’s called memorial or remembrance jewelry. Originally it was to honor and cherish the loss of a loved one. It involves jewelry that is designed to actually contain the ashes or fingerprint of a departed loved one.

With the invention of laser engraving this new line of jewelry has now evolved into mementos for the present loves of our lives, both two and four legged. Laser engraving or carving creates permanent fingerprints, even a baby’s footprints, photographs, your grandkids’ first drawings, and even personal handwriting can be duplicated exactly. I recently completed a dog’s paw and nose print on a piece of jewelry. Almost anything can be engraved onto countless pieces of wearable jewelry including a handy buck knife for Dad.

A recently married couple had me laser on their fingerprints and the date of their marriage. I filled the heart shaped chamber with sand from Residents’ Beach where their ceremony occurred.

The best one yet was a recent “friends for life” reunion on Marco, which resulted in matching starfish pendants. The pendants were engraved with all their names and the date of the meeting, and were filled with, believe it or not, the salt from many celebratory margaritas! Pretty cool!

The response I received from my last article about checking valuable jewelry for security to avoid loss was colossal. On one day alone I cleaned and checked at least 25 rings. I examined one woman’s ring last week and had to point out to her amazement that her diamond had a serious chip on one side of her two-carat plus bauble.

I recommended she have that repaired to avoid further damage. It is an involved two-week procedure requiring removal and a re-cutting of the diamond, which has to be sent out of town, thus the use registered mail and proper insurance both ways. To her a big hassle, I agreed, but the result of not having the large surface fracture repaired and polished is far more catastrophic. I explained another smack to the same area on the diamond could increase the damage rendering the $25,000 diamond worthless. She said she would take her chances, a very risky decision. I hope she has the luck of the Irish.

Now that season is slowly winding down, I wish to thank the many customers and well-wishers who showered us with many thank you notes, favorable social media reports, gifts of pizza, cookies, wine and even meatballs (!) in appreciation of our services, which we have provided to visitors and residents alike since 1994 and beyond.

During the months of November – December, my son Andrew and I were overwhelmed with gift orders and by working many an evening and a month of Sundays we were able to deliver every piece of quality hand crafted jewelry in time. I thank everyone for your patience during that stressful period. Once again, thanks to all of you!



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