Anyone who has more than a passing acquaintance with me knows that one of my great passions is jewelry. I’m not just talking about my own jewelry, but large, impressive pieces of jewelry that can only be created by craftsmen like Harry Winston and Cartier and are only seen in museums or heavily guarded stores.
I’ve never been shy about walking into a Harry Winston store, or Cartier’s for that matter, and asking to see the largest, most expensive pieces in the case. I try them on, marvel over the size of the stones, wonder about their “story” but most especially I enjoy looking at the craftsmanship that it took to fabricate something so beautiful.
The first visit I made to a Harry Winston store in California, was a memorable one. My husband and I were waiting for our son to return from his first deployment as a United States Marine to Afghanistan and stopped at a mall to entertain ourselves while we waited. I didn’t know anything about that particular mall so imagine my surprise when I rounded a corner and on one side was Harry Winston and on the other was Cartier. I felt like Fred Sanford when I grabbed my heart and told my husband “this might be the big one honey!”
It was a difficult decision, but I chose to go into the Harry Winston store. There was a nice young man who literally let me try on every piece in the case and as he discovered my passion for jewelry in general and knowledge of Harry Winston pieces in particular, we started discussing our favorite jewelry books. We both owned many of the same wonderful books on all things bling and I even shared a few titles he might want to add to his collection. I had a wonderful time.
As we were leaving, I thanked him for his time, adding that there wasn’t a Harry Winston store where I lived. He asked where I live and when I told him Kentucky he excitedly came from behind the counter and announced that he was a UK graduate! Then of course we had to spend the next few minutes discussing how he got from the University of Kentucky to selling very expensive jewelry in Southern California. The best part was when all the clerks and security guys started talking UK Basketball. It was a wonderful visit.
After we left the store my husband looked at me and said “they’re in there trying to figure out if we’re ‘coal money’ or ‘horse money'” to which I replied, “wouldn’t they be disappointed to find out we’re no money?!”
On our next trip to California a few months later to meet our future daughter-in-law, I decided that my daughter & future daughter-in-law needed to experience their first visit to a Harry Winston store. So, off we go! When we walked in, the same clerk was there and recognized me and called me by name! He was kind enough to give us the “tour” of the good stuff. At one point asked if he should put a million dollars worth of jewelry on my daughter-in-law, which he did. She was so overwhelmed she started shaking and asked to have it removed! (Personally, I would never have that problem!)
As we were walking out I stepped back to quietly ask what the ring sizes were that my future daughter in law tried on. He leaned across the counter and told me that they were size six but that my son should get her one size smaller. (Talk about knowing your client and meeting their needs! That young man excelled at customer service!)
I personally have numerous pieces of nice jewelry that have been gifts during my lifetime. But I have three rings I wear exclusively. My wedding band, engagement ring and an anniversary band all from my husband. They are my most valuable emotional (as well as jewelry) possessions.
The day after we got engaged I called my Insurance Agent and had my engagement ring added to my policy via an Inland Marine endorsement. The value of the ring exceeds the limits of my policy coverage and I wanted to make sure my husband’s investment could be replaced in case of loss or theft.
As it turns out, that was a very wise decision indeed. I am the only person I know who has actually broken a diamond! I took my engagement ring to my jeweler for its annual inspection and lo and behold, I had a broken diamond. I contacted my insurance agent, she turned in the claim, and …to make a long story short… the diamond was replaced and remounted in my original engagement ring setting.
Losing a valuable stone is disconcerting and stressful in itself, but to have an unusable engagement ring mounting would have been heartbreaking. That fact alone made my premium payments over the years an excellent investment. Even today, having that coverage provides me peace of mind. I wear my rings and enjoy them every day without a moment’s worry.
This Valentine’s Day if you are one of those lucky women whose significant other brings home something sparkly, you might want to take a look at your other jewelry to see if your collection is valuable enough to consider purchasing extra Inland Marine coverage on your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy. If you need any help determining your insurance needs for this (or any other) type of policy, give me a call. I’ll help you keep your own bling safe so you can enjoy it every day — without worry.