Reprinted from February 1999
We haven’t sold gold for some time now. The price is low and we’ve just held onto it for the future. One afternoon when El Nina was whipping around outside, we decided to at least sort through and see what we had.
There is nothing more mysterious to the customer than engraving. Seeing their thoughts put down in the form of engraving brings forth feelings unequaled by any other service in a jewelry store. I was raking gold items around in a cardboard box and pulled out a heart shaped pin. On the back it said, “I will love you forever and ever. You are my heart’s desire. Feb. 14, 1995.”
I thought to myself the engraver must have gotten a pretty good price for that. Digging further I found a tiny gold bracelet engraved with, “Grace, I will be faithful forever, Lou. Jan. 21, 1997.”
Now you have to believe this was real love. We were all getting into the mood of the situation when Chip pulled out a wedding band. In tiny script, hand done was the engraved message, “Honey, I would walk to the end of the earth to be with you. George 4-13-97.” We all laughed.
I was going through layaways that day and had made mention that some of the items had been intended for Christmas 1998. One, in particular was for a customer I knew was in good condition financially, but had not been picked up. I called the customer and inquired. “Oh,” she said, “We broke up.” I’ve been meaning to come in and exchange that men’s watch for one for myself.” I recall the pains and trouble she’d gone through in selecting it. She wanted it just so.
Three days after Christmas someone wanted to return an elaborately engraved heart locket. “Darling, our first but not our last Christmas 1998.” It seems it didn’t make it to presentation, but being engraved we couldn’t’ take it back so that was one sale that held. I sure hope they patch it up.
Last Valentine’s Day we sold several sets of wedding rings. You should have seen the time they spent selecting just the right band.
One couple returned several times and we had to end up ordering something with hearts and flowers for them. The engraving was elaborate and sentimental “Feb. 14, 1998 Our lives will be forever intertwined. Rose and Pedro.”
As we progressed with our gold sorting we found item after item promising to love each other forever by beautifully scrolled letters.
Love seems like such a fragile thing. Among the old things I fished out was a tiny ring engraved “5-14-1919”. This had been a keepsake, so perhaps not all love affairs and marriages end poorly.
Last Valentine’s Day a customer bought an expensive brooch. He asked for a gift card and stood there writing for a few minutes then asked for another card. He had to have the wording just so.
After a few minutes he dropped it in the gift box and had us wrap it. In less time than it took to pick it out and wrap it up he was back saying she didn’t want it. Love is a many splendored thing, I guess.
Poking further in the box of gold goodies I came across a gold charm. “To Martha from RB.” I have to wonder how that got in there. Since RB always said, “never engrave anything - that makes it useless to sell,” I have to believe there is another RB and Martha out there!
If there isn’t, I have to believe RB is churning in his urn and protesting I didn’t appreciate his gift for whatever reason. If not then he had to have been practicing. Well at least it didn’t say “To Helen from RB.” That would have been simply awful!