Can Jewelry Change the Universe?

Gallery of Diamonds, Newport Beach, Jewelry, Vintage, Estate, Custom, safe,As my moving truck was grunting on the solo three-day journey to Southern California, I don’t think owning a jewelry company entered my mind. I did know Southern California was the land of opportunity, and that I would help change the world for the better. I’m sure my confidence came from my adoptive mother, who instilled in me that all things were possible, and that life would lead one wherever one wants to go. I didn’t know anyone in that state, and I didn’t realize that an apartment would cost twice the price of anywhere I had lived in the past.

I anchored my truck in Santa Ana, and put a hefty security deposit on a unit in the Spanish speaking neighborhood. A few young Hispanic gentlemen helped me unload. I had met my first friends and learned a few words of their language. I also met a beautiful girl named Carmen who would become my wife and soulmate. I slept that night with the windows open while the cool breeze of the Pacific Ocean blew through the curtains.

The next morning, I dressed sharply, slapped cologne on my cheeks, and was hired for a jewelry company a few miles down the road. The ten years I spent as a diamond merchant in the Midwest did not prevent me from having to learn the rules of my new employer. I suppose everyone has their own policies of doing business. During the following two years, the rapid transformation of Californian business tossed me around to three different employers.

In 1991, I opened Gallery of Diamonds with Carmen as my co-pilot. In honor of my adoptive mother, I began a writing contest for local schools, and asked them to pen their creative thoughts about their mothers. At the time, I was still searching for my own biological origins, and I thought this was a good exercise for kids to express their feelings for their moms, whether or not they were adopted.

Perhaps that is the slice of time that led us where we are today. Hundreds of couples in love have come to select a diamond that would symbolize their commitment. Having a store full of customers was a frequent image in my nighttime dreams. Today, Gallery of Diamonds is constantly busy with customers and internet orders. Hundreds of people contact me to buy or sell jewelry. What I never dreamed, however, was that the largest mothers appreciation contest in the United States would be created. Today, 20,000 kids take the time to express their words of love to the person who instructs their footsteps in life. Every year.

What is my purpose? To convince the reader that whatever one imagines and holds intensely in the mind, that thought becomes real. That is quite extraordinary, and deserves a moment of reflection.

Think good thoughts. Change the universe.

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How to Make the Best Cupcakes

See my 2-minute instructional video here: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr3JId7H9WM

Due to the overwhelming response to my homemade cupcakes, I made a tutorial how to make these delicious treats. Never say,”I don’t have time” or, “There’s no way I could do that!” Believe me, my first batch turned out horrible. With practice, will become an expert baker and everyone in your family will be begging you for more.

Make sure you have an accurate measuring cup and use the exact amount of mix required.

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Everyone knows what a half cup of milk is.

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Adding an egg gives you the confidence to tell your family you made the cupcakes from scratch and not just out of the box.

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Blend the mix carefully on high speed. Remove large lumps.

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Ladle evenly into each cupcake liner. (This recipe called for 12 cupcakes so that is the same as 24 mini-cupcakes.)

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I also get confused if the recipe says 350 degrees at 18 minutes or 18 degrees at 350 minutes. Always keep the instructions on the recipe box handy.

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Prepare frosting (or icing). My favorite color is purple. Use 8 drops of red food coloring and 8 drops of blue. Experiment to get the color you like.

Transport purple frosting into a zip lock bag. (I will explain later.)

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Out of oven. Beautiful!

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Allow to cool.

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A moist cupcake should have the right bounce. Toss a couple into the air and examine the bounce on a hard surface. No bounce means they were baked to long and probably will be as hard as a rock. It will take a lot of milk to rinse no-bounce cupcakes down the throat. A slight bounce should assure the cupcakes are nice and moist.

Now take the bag of frosting and cut a tiny hole in one end. This is the fun part. Gently squeeze the bag and twirl over each cupcake to make a swirl. Note: This takes a lot of practice and a steady hand. Be patient. With time you will have perfect swirls. Also, some of your guests will not like frosting. Always leave a few without it.

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Caution: Sometimes the ziplock back will burst or come unzipped. When this happens use your fingers or a knife to evenly spread frosting on the rest of the cupcakes.

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Ta da! You have made your first batch of beautiful cupcakes. To make sure I did a good job I do the “Grizzly challenge.” If he licks his lip, I know I was successful. (Warning: Do not give chocolate to a dog- it is poisonous! Give him a doggy treat.)

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Who wants to join me to a delicious chocolate cupcake with purple frosting?

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My diamond chipped!

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We have always be told that diamonds are the hardest natural substance in the universe. If that is true, why do they sometimes chip or break?

The reason is that the definition of a gemstones hardness is its resistance to scratching, not breaking. The scale of “break ability” is called toughness. In fact, if you place a piece of jade and a diamond side by side, then smash them with a hammer, which one would smash the easiest? The answer is diamond. On the other hand, a diamond is so hard that nothing can scratch it. The only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond. Because of this, it is a quite amazing specimen of nature.

With the right force or blow, a diamond can chip or break. If that happens, what should you do?

1. Yell at the jeweler because he said a diamond could never be chipped?
2. Throw the diamond in the trash?
3. Contact me for advice

If the damage is mild, a diamond can be re-polished with little or no weight reduction. If it is severe, it may have to be re-fashioned into a different shape in order not to sacrifice too much weight loss. If you have insurance you should check your policy to make sure it covers damage to your diamond. Most of the time, insurance companies now cover theft, mysterious disappearance, and damage to the gem.

If your diamond has been damaged, please contact me. I will give you the best advice and I will attach a link for directions how you can safely send me your jewelry. Once I receive it, I will contact you right away to discuss the options and to roughly determine what the finished weight would be if it would need to be re-cut. The price of cutting is not very expensive and not nearly as expensive as buying a new diamond.

http://www.galleryofdiamonds.com/fine-jewelry-mailing.html

You can call me at 1-800-667-4440.

 

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The Death Certificate

DeathCertBetty

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The Story of Diamond Mike and Carmen

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After working for a diamond company for many years in the Midwest, I moved to California. I drove for days, and arrived in Orange County. While unloading my belongings, I saw a beautiful, dark-skinned girl with long hair. She said her name was Carmen. After some small talk we made our first date. The next twenty-three years would be filled with adventure.

I earned the title of gemologist from GIA, then soon learned how to negotiate prices on jewelry and diamonds. I dreamed of a store where people could own quality jewelry at below normal retail prices. I soon fell in love with Carmen and asked her to be my partner. The economy was poor. Success was uncertain. In exchange for her help, I vowed to pay Carmen with diamonds.

In 1991, with little funds and inventory, Gallery of Diamonds was born. Carmen and I married shortly afterward. Carmen studied diamonds and gemstone sorting. The small boutique began its search for vintage jewelry while also creating innovative pieces. Today, Gallery of Diamonds offers a large array of jewelry from antique to modern, at 20-40% below normal retail prices.

We know each of you by name. For the past twenty-three years, your happiness has been our happiness. Whether we were there when you picked out your first diamond engagement ring, or when we helped you select your fortieth anniversary necklace, you have been a big part of our lives.

I continue to give Carmen diamonds.

Happy Anniversary, Carmen!  July 23, 1993.

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