Graduate Gemologist in Residence. Artist, goldsmith, fabricator,
caster repairs, lapidary; faceting and cabs. Retailer.
Obsessive-compulsive. Own my own store, in my 13th year.
In my 20’s I started making silver rings and pendants with a hand
held propane plumbers torch from a hardware store.
I only did one turquoise ring.
I did silversmithing as a hobby for about 6 years, basically self
Then I had an opportunity to attend G.I.A. when it was in Santa
Monica in 1977. I had a trust fund and I could not get the money, but
I could go to school and it covered tuition and living expenses. I
piggybacked my G.I. bill and was doing quite well financially for
those days.I lived about a mile from the school and rode a bike to
school. I took a faceting class and hand engraving class after the
Had a store in Ventura, Cal. for 5 years. It was a learning
I lost my ***. My half, $15,000 from selling fixtures and goodwill
went to paying off my wife’s parents for a loan. Broke, I moved to
Denver and lived with my sister for a year, recouporating from my
loss and burned out from a failed business and my wife dying from
cancer. She was 38 years old. My wife stayed in L.A. living with
her sister, going through three chemo treatments, as the first two
did not work. The third one worked and she has been in remission for
over 18 years.
I had been paying $2,500 a month in Calif. for 1400 sq. ft. I found
a retail spot in Denver when I was not even considering opening
store. Rented it. The rent was $650 for 1700 sq. ft. in a quaint
location. I had no savings, and no income, and I borrowed $ 1000 from
my wife who was on S.S. while going through chemo in Calif. before
she joined me in Denver, chemo having worked. After 6 months in
business, I thought either I had faith or I was crazy to attempt what
I was doing. That was after I had called E.M.T for an anxiety attack,
having worked 14 hour days, no days off for months.
I then realized I had been given an opportunity to caretake something
that was given to me, not of my creation, and things went a lot
I have just started, after 13 years, to reap the benefit of high
quality custom, repair, and service, service, service.
I take as much time with every customer as they need to feel
comfortable. I treat every person who comes through the door as if
they are a friend whom I have not seen in a while. I treat my
customers as if I am appreciative for the fact that they pay me my
paycheck, because they do.
I got the best compliment last Friday. Talking with a customer I had
done work for, designing a ring with her, she said, “You are a
jeweler that is a jewelry designer’s dream come true.”
I have had a burning desire, patience and persistence. And I have a
wife who is as committed as I am, who loves gems,minerals, fossils,
and jewelry as much as I do. She has created a retail shopping
paradise for women. She sets the stage and creates an environment for
me to do what I do. And our store is kinda funky, but our customers
do not seem to mind. I guess it is “charming” in some way. It is not
dirty, it is mismatched cases, worn carpet, scratched glass on the
case tops. We will never have an article about our store being “the
coolest” in a jewelry magazine. We do have better cases lined up and
we’ll have a new carpet this year before Christmas.
I just turned 58 on the 8th of June and I am having the best time of
Richard in Denver