By Jaime Polmateer
There’s a new jeweler in town looking to help anyone searching for that perfect gift to suit any occasion.
Clearwater Gems and Gifts, owned by Harry Minci and family and located in the Brookfield Mall, carries a wide variety of jewelry and offers a range of services that’ll meet the various jewelry needs of Clearwater and the surrounding area.
“We are jewelers by trade as well as gemologists and designers; we make and create jewelry—people can come down with their old jewelry, like for example, an old high school ring, or 16th birthday bracelet that doesn’t fit, we can melt it down, redesign it and recreate it,” said Harry, whose family has been in the gem business since 1887.
“We can make it something nice and you’ll have a personal choice, it’s confidential, if you feel you have ugly nugget jewelry and don’t like it, we can also put it on the scale and I buy it from you.”
Harry came to Clearwater so he and his wife, Diana, could be closer to family, so he fixed up his new location, which had its grand opening last weekend, to do what he does best—design, create and sell jewelry.
Other services the shop offers include appraisals, watch services, and repairs for anyone who needs to get a valued piece back in the shape it was in when it was bought.
“For example, you have a little cross you’re wearing and the blue sapphire has fallen off, there are a lot of shades of blue sapphire and we have it all in our Vancouver workshop, so we send it down, we’ll match it, set it and give it back to you,” he said.
“We’re very service oriented.”
Aside from the services mentioned, Clearwater Gems and Gifts will have a great deal of inventory in stock, from Canadian diamonds to gold and silver.
Harry said his family was the first to start dealing in Canadian diamonds, and though they were uncommon when the Minci’s began selling them, their popularity has risen considerably in the years since.
The selection of silver pieces at Clearwater Gems and Gifts is also a point of pride, Harry added, as it’s specially plated to keep it from tarnishing.
“All the silver we have is rhodium plated so if you wear it, it’s not going to go green or black on your wrist or neck, your earrings won’t go infecting your ear holes and they’ll last years and years,” he said.
“It’s all nice stuff, Italian made, and all at wonderful prices.”
It’s not all about buying and selling with the Mincis as charity and community involvement are also an important facet of the business, he said.
Some of the organizations he likes to lend a hand with range from local Rotary Clubs, the Shriners, Hospice Societies and various seniors homes.
“We do a lot of donations for fundraising to help out and we do a lot of work for seniors donation-wise and various types of food bank (initiatives) so the money we make goes back into the community,” said Harry.
“We’re more oriented for local community projects and support, and it gives people an understanding, if they’re buying something, sure it costs $300, but then we’re sending food to the seniors home and maybe their grandma is in the seniors home—it’s Thanksgiving and we might send over a dozen turkeys; it’s something nice.”
All in all, though, it’s the customers that keep Harry in the jewelry business.
He said no one leaves the store with nothing less than a smile on their face because he deals in materials that mark celebrations and happy occasions, and it’s a dream he can’t get rid of.
“It’s a thing to be happy, give to the community a need that’s not there and to be a part of that; it keeps me happy to work and produce nice pieces of jewelry and see how happy people are because it’s a kind of business that’s always a happy business,” said Harry.
“Nobody comes here to cry—you’re coming to buy an anniversary gift. It’s a happy occasion. You’re coming to buy a graduation gift, or to buy something for your wife’s birthday—there’s nothing sad or negative here. Everything is positive. By the time they get what they want, when they’re leaving, they’re happier.”
Harry added he looks forward to serve all those ready to buy an engagement ring or that perfect dream diamond.