Saturday, October 23, 2021

The Good, Bad and the Downright Ugly

All That Glitters

Submitted Photo

Life can be a comedy and even more hilarious if you work with the public. Oh! Yes, I was an un-cut gemstone, found in the dark then cut, faceted and polished by the public and the final product took over fifty years to complete and here I sit. (Sitting I find is now more comfortable than standing.)

Jewelry is my thing, I eat, sleep and live in its world, there is very little I don’t know about most of its goings on.

My shop is a combination of old school hand tools and 125-year-old cast iron machinery mixed with and state of the art laser welders and high tech vacuum casting equipment. My work bench was built in the 1890’s and I have been using it since age 12.

My taste is a little Romanesque, Medieval, Victorian and a bit of modern contemporary. Let’s just say it’s a broad stroke. I especially love the unusual and the tastefully unique.

I enjoy designing and creating jewelry that can sometimes incorporate more than several centuries of technology.

We all know taste is in the eye of the beholder, My wife and I go on several jewelry buying trips each year and I especially enjoy the one each year in Europe. This is where we disagree on what is good bad or ugly. My wife Andrea was born in Europe (And is an American citizen for many years now,) and her taste in jewelry is to say the least…very conservative for a European? Like more In the flow of the average wanting masses, myself on the other hand like shock and awe and constantly strive to find or create the WOW FACTOR.

Sometimes that can be a near impossible feat to accomplish here on the rock.

In season we have people all walks of life, the conservative tastes of the New Englanders, then the trendy folks from New York and Jersey then there is the unpredictable folks from the Midwest and Southwest to California states, by that I mean their tastes are all over the board. Occasionally some want to see six inch diameter gold and silver belt buckles or heavy and chunky nugget jewelry. Go West, young man! And back out that T-Bird you Elvis impersonators. Geeze! A demand for cowboy hats, boots and buckles on Marco Island, any investors looking for a sure way to fail business out there?

I’m not perfect and not everybody likes the all the jewelry I stock in my shop, but most do and I’m still in business now over 50 years (25 years on Marco) so I’m doing somethings right.

We carry sea life from several designers and my son and I personally create many of the unique pieces also we pride ourselves on our huge selection of gold and silver or combinations of both, that include sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, sea- rays, pelican…land, air and sea, you name it!

This is all good!

The way I look at it if I can’t attract a crowd with cool and enjoyable sea life jewelry on Marco Island it’s time to pack it in and sell mango smoothies at the farmers market.

Some jewelry trends come and go quickly, the three stone diamond or journey pendant for example, and the promotion for the two stone diamond rings last year went over like $10 dollar snow cones in Alaska (I sold only one in a year.)

My half-century of years connected to the diamond industry have paid off with the increased demand of my high quality diamonds, a standard I always maintained during the worst of times, I never lowered my selection of diamond quality to make a buck and now my new clientele realized that many of their hometown jewelry stores did . Good for me, bad for them.

This is where the bad and ugly comes in, a cheap quality diamond(s) won’t shine or sparkle and it’s a total waste of hard earned money, for they retain no value, who wants lifeless highly flawed gray diamonds in a cut rate 10kt. tennis bracelet? That is bad and ugly. Fine jewelry is just that… Fine.

If a piece of my diamond or gold jewelry does not bring joy or a repeated sense of happiness to a lady, gentleman or family member every time they wear it I see no reason to possess it.

Do well in your future jewelry purchases, avoid the bad and ugly.

Richard and son Andrew are The Harbor Goldsmith’s, located at Island Plaza, 680 Bald Eagle Dr. Marco Island, and welcome your questions about “All That Glitters.” Call 239-394-9275 or visit

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