CAROL PERKINS:

CAROL PERKINS

I was admiring my friend’s ring one Sunday at church. “JTV,” she said. I didn’t know what she meant. “The jewelry channel on TV,” she replied. “Haven’t you seen it?” It wasn’t on high definition, so I hadn’t seen it.

I love jewelry. It doesn’t have to be real, but if it is fake, I want “real” fake. I am one of those tourists who goes on a cruise, sees the sites, but then heads for the jewelry shops. Every owner declares he is selling high-quality pieces, but that isn’t true. Novice shoppers like myself can end up with a piece that might be worth twenty dollars instead of hundreds.

Not long ago, I was in one of my favorite jewelry stores having a ring sized. I took along some of my “island” purchases. One by one, the jeweler looked with his eyeglass and laid them on the counter. When he finished, he asked where I had bought them. When I told him, he wrinkled his brow.

“How much did you pay?” he asked holding up each one.

Again, he wrinkled his nose.

“Do you like these?” he asked, and I assured him I did.

Then he said, “That is what is important.”

I disagreed. Being ripped off was important, so I pushed further. One that I thought was a yellow emerald was not. One that I thought was Tanzanite was not.

He continued, “Tourists need to know that most of the jewelry they buy on islands come out of Miami.”

I thought shopping for jewelry in places like St. Thomas and the Grand Cayman were bargain spots.

“If pieces you think are real are set in sterling silver and not platinum, don’t pay a lot of money for them,” he said. “That diamond and sapphire ring you bought in here was the real thing. You got lucky.” (It was stolen later, but that is another story.)

As far as JTV, I ordered two “fashion” rings. I love both although Guy says they are gaudy. I like gaudy. During commercials, he flips over to what he calls “my jewelry show” claiming that if he ever saw something he liked, he’d buy it for me. So far, he hasn’t seen one thing except for a strand of pearls, and I have a jewelry box full of pearls that I don’t wear. I’m going to hold him to his promise, but he is smart. He’ll likely never find something he likes. The women I know love jewelry from handcrafted items to gems. I am going to make sure they know about JTV. Their husbands will surely thank me just the way Guy thanked my good friend.