Saturday, January 22, 2022

Shop Well! Shop smart this season!



by Richard Alan

Another holiday season is upon us and as I predicted, the  public is blanketed with slightly obscure and deceptive ‘sale’ ploys to get you in their stores. So… was it really a bargain? Gee, they told me it was. Honestly how would you even know? Was it trumped up pricing that was then ‘discounted’? What exactly were the regular prices? I love it when I see 40% off to 80% off on gold jewelry!  Impossible!!! Not when gold is hovering around $1400.00 an ounce.

Any jeweler I know with half a brain would be better off scrapping the inventory to a gold refiner and reap more profit than sell it for less to the public.

Bottom line… It’s moronic to think a someone would sell gold for less than you can scrap it for.

Weeks later …Even deeper discounts now in effect!  Off what??? Ridiculously high prices on merchandise you couldn’t sell? Give me a break!

The sad truth is the average person will flock to intellectually condescending advertising ploys expecting real bargains only to wonder later how they were duped, and reluctantly realize a deep disappointment with a non- returnable item.

Want to hear the cold hard truth? Gold, diamonds and precious gemstones aren’t cheap; in fact it has never been as expensive as it is in this point in time as long as I have been a living breathing goldsmith. (As a young apprentice in the 1960’s I remembered when gold was $35.00 an ounce, if only then I bought pounds of it!!!)

With my lack of foresight aside the reality is that sterling silver will be the new gold for the upcoming holiday season.

There are also a lot of gold and sterling combination pieces that are really quite attractive and being grabbed up quickly by my early holiday shoppers. The popularity of my line of Italian anodized colored gold neck pieces and chains have astonished me, causing me to re-order every week.

This is a process that is applied to gold and changes yellow gold from chocolate to blue, purple, red or black and the combinations can be mixed with white gold with results that are outrageously different.

Sea life jewelry which is a constant on Marco Island is now more affordable because it has evolved into gold and silver platinized combinations that reduces tarnish and looks like white gold without the cost. Many of my customer’s favorite sea-life designers such as Denny Wong and Stephen Douglas are now using platinized silver and gold in their lines and the costs are a third less than gold.

My wife and I made it to Europe in September for a quick buying trip so our regular clientele won’t be disappointed with our selection of exotic jewelry, gifts and Murano glass this season.

Not to forget a great selection of cutting edge German and Italian designed jewelry pieces along side U.S. designers from the domestic shows we attended this past summer.

Engraved name plate pendants are popular with the younger generation and orders have been plenty for me the past two weeks. (Be sure to order these custom pieces well ahead of time to avoid disappointment.)

And ladies, giving gold jewelry to the man in your life this season will be a humbling experience. (Kind of like the apple high on a tree that is just out of reach, price wise.) Deep pockets will be a necessity here. But don’t fret ladies there are alternative metals such as sterling, steel, titanium and gold layered bronze that are now being manufactured in rings, bracelets and chained pendants. My sterling or stainless steel rubber banded money/credit card holders personally engraved by you are still year after year the most appreciated gift that he will love without draining the bank account. And guys alternative metals apply to you too when looking for that special gift for your one and only.

For those gentleman that know your other half won’t settle for anything less than gold, precious gems or diamonds, I offer my condolences to you for any thoughts you may have concerning acquiring a new car, golf clubs, a new motor or even fishing tackle for your boat after your trip to the fine jeweler this holiday.

Boats and fine jewelry = Break Out Another Thousand

Emergency smelling salts and oxygen masks would be practical as standard equipment in fine jewelry stores this season.

Shop well, shop smart……. Happy Holidays to all!

Richard Alan is a designer /goldsmith and owner of the Harbor Goldsmith’s and Richard’s Reef’s of Marco Island and welcomes your questions about “All That Glitters” 239-394-9275 or

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