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True Tales

True Tales: Wild and Crazy Custom Jobs



True Tales: Wild and Crazy Custom Jobs

Published in the March 2014 issue


A couple came into the store that I worked at before I had my own business. Each had killed a bear and wanted a necklace made with the bear claws — turquoise and jet on a silver chain for her, and he wanted a manly looking choker. I guess they liked what I created for them, as they wore them to a hunters’ awards banquet the next year! — Pamela Hecht, Pamations, Calumet, MI


I make elk tooth jewelry. The client usually supplies the tooth. One time an old cowboy came in and asked me if I could make a ring with a tooth from his favorite horse (recently deceased). I explained that horse teeth have enamel, similar to human teeth, not ivory like elk “whistler” teeth. To make a long story short, I made the ring. About a year later he brought it in and the tooth had shrunk and cracked (as I had warned him). I finally removed the horse tooth and rebuilt the back with epoxy and re-set the tooth. Nine years later, he still wears it and talks about that horse to this day. — Mark Thomas Ruby, SunSpirit Designs, Loveland, CO



We had a guy call and ask if we could make custom sterling silver earrings out of … wait for it … turkey toes! When my husband said, no, the customer said he understood. He didn’t know how we were going to get the toes off the turkey legs anyway! — Beth Cevasco, Scott’s Custom Jewelers, Fairlawn, OH

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Downsizing? Wilkerson Is Here to Help

Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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