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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Gemstones, What Fun

18k wirey yellow gold ring with round ruby.
About once a year, when it's possible, I like to get up to see my primary gemstone suppliers who are located not far from Boston.  I like to do this for a variety of reasons, the first of which is that they are friends as well and it's always nice to get together, even if only for a few hours. The second is that, while they are happy to come down and see me with some of their merchandise if I ask them to, they have so much merchandise that they can never bring it all down.  And quite frankly, even after all these years in the business, I still love to see lots and lots of sparkly things all together, and I am still both fascinated and enchanted with gemstones. 

While diamonds may look more or less sparkly, and more or less white, colored stones are great because every one of them is unique. Even in certain consistently colored materials there can be subtle variations that make each stone different.  That's what is so much fun about them! And when I get up to my dealer's place I am still like a kid in a candy shop.  Let's try one of these, and one of these, and oooh look at that one over there.  Then when they start writing up the bill I have to put half of them back because I can't afford them, but it's still a lot of fun. 

I made my annual trip up there this past weekend and came back with some beautiful new stones. I got two pairs of opals from the new Ethiopian source that I have been excited about (and shown you) in some of my past posts, that are quite stunning. One pair will be out within a week I believe and I'll try to get a picture up when they are done.  I also got a set of eight small watermelon tourmalines that I am going to be making up into a bracelet shortly.  They were all a very unusual lighter colored stones and two of them have nice alien faces in them (don't believe me?---come in and see it when it's done!).  My suppliers also gave me some items just to put out, including a fantastic natural color 3.37 ct. orange sapphire, a beautiful pair of rubies and a large, wonderful pair of tanzanites among other things.  So there are lots of new pretties to look at.  Come by and ask to see the orange sapphire, tell me you read about it here, and I'll give you a $50 credit against any custom job or case piece (good any time!). 

The ruby ring pictured above is a new piece I just put out.  I had gotten a couple of rubies in for someone to look at, and I liked this one so much I kept it because it was so pretty. The ring is 18k gold. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

On Old Customers and Lost Rings

Most of you who are local are probably sitting around at home waiting for the blizzard to hit.  I, on the other hand, am at work as usual.  I will probably close early today but only because the media has pretty much scared everyone off the streets, although maybe some of the locals will walk over and see me. New Englanders used to be much hardier it seems to me. 

Last weekend I had a couple come by to purchase a replacement wedding band. They had gotten their original rings from me almost 30 years ago.  While here they told me the story of how they had ended up coming to me.  Prior to opening my original store (Spirer Somes Jewlers) I did craft shows for five years all around New England.  It seems that the husband saw my work at one of the shows we were in and, even though he had no girlfriend at the time, took a card because he was so struck by what I had on display.  They told me that he said to himself, I know someday I'm going to need rings and this is the guy I want to do it.  Sure enough, not long after, he met his now wife, and when they decided to get married a few years later, he simply pulled my card out of his pocket and said we're going to see Daniel! I always like to hear stories like this (probably they told me when they originally got the bands but I'm afraid I really don't remember everything said to me that long ago---although I always remember the jewelry!) as they remind me of why I'm still here today. 

Incidentally, he needed a replacement band because he lost his in one of those blowers in a men's room used to dry your hands.  I do at least one replacement band a month year round for people so here are a few things to remember.  1) Your hands do change with age.  If you feel like your ring is getting loose, get in to see someone about getting it resized.  2) Your hands shrink when you go swimming.  If your ring isn't fitting fairly snugly and you swim a lot you might want to take it off when you do.  If you are swimming in pools, all gold jewelry should be removed, especially those pieces that have stones in them.  Chlorine actually eats the gold and it is quite possible to lose prongs off of settings and the stones with them. 3) If you work out regularly, or do other activities that mean you need to take your ring off regularly, buy yourself a decent weight chain and put your ring on it to wear around your neck.  That way, you don't have to leave it in a locker, or a pants pocket, or leave it lying around on a sink, where it might be stolen, misplaced or lost.

Frankly, I don't mind the extra business, and it's always nice to upgrade a band to something new, but those wedding bands in particular do carry a lot of sentimental meaning.  

Enjoy the blizzard as best you can.  Hunker down and stay warm and enjoy the extra time off.

The picture above is a collection of my wife's earrings, but only one from each pair.  What a lucky woman she is!