Inspired by a Sparkler

4F1HBy Jeff Salter

By Jeff Salter

We’re all about jewelry this week and since I wear none besides a wedding band and a watch, let me tell you this true story about a real sparkler (that caught my eye).

I guess it was about two years ago when I met a Cincinnati couple, with whom my wife and her cousin had traveled a few times to Pigeon Forge. So they all knew each other pretty well, but this was my first time to meet this couple. Let’s call them Rob and Laura. [I’d use their real names, except I might have a few story details askew, so I don’t want to ruin their tale if they choose to tell it elsewhere.]

Rob and Laura had driven down to Possum Trot with Cousin Pam and her husband, Ken, to attend a car show hereabouts. I joined the party as they all convened at Sonny’s for supper.

We’d hardly gotten seated and exchanged introductions when I noticed a striking gem on one of Laura’s rings. “My, but that’s a stunning ring,” I said. Then before I realized what I was doing, I grabbed Laura’s hand and said, “May I?” And began turning the gem to see it from all angles. Even in the relatively dim light of that restaurant, the stone had dazzling fire. Laura’s husband, Rob, may have been taken aback at a stranger grabbing his wife’s hand, but he did not deter me. [Perhaps this has happened before.]


“Surely, this is some special stone,” I said, out of pure amazement over its beauty. [Now, youse guys should understand, I know almost nothing about jewelry or individual jewels and gems. All I know is what catches my eye. And this stone had certainly done that.] Still holding Laura’s hand and gazing at this ring – which I assumed was a diamond – I said, “There’s got to be a story about this.” Looking back, it was actually a rather intrusive query, but I was truly taken by this gem.

“As a matter of fact,” replied Laura, “there is (a story).” And, with a genteel movement, she retrieved her fingers.

Obviously her husband Rob knew the story, and I assumed perhaps Pam did, but I was convinced that Ken, my wife, and I would be hearing it for the first time. I was all ears.

I no longer recall which relative she said it was, but Laura and her siblings (and perhaps others in the family) were going through the belongings of a recently deceased relative as they were settling the estate. I got the impression some (perhaps most) of the others had already gone through much (or all) of it and Laura and Rob were examining what was left. They came upon a jewelry box and looked at the few remaining contents. Didn’t seem to be much in there besides a large (presumably grubby) stone in an unfortunate-looking setting. Evidently it looked forlorn enough for the others to have left it.

But Laura picked it up. “I wonder what this would look like if it was cleaned up?” thought Laura. Because of the size of the stone, she and Rob must have figured it was only costume jewelry. But something about it caught her eyes, so Laura took that grubby ring as her small portion of the estate’s leftovers.

At some point later, upon further examination of the piece, Laura thought, “What a shame the setting is so awful.” And she decided to take it to a jeweler to get his opinion about the gem and see if it could be inexpensively reset.

The jeweler took it to his table, put it under lights and magnifiers, and peered every which way. Then he looked up at Laura and said, “This is one of the most perfect diamonds I’ve ever seen.”

“What?” exclaimed Laura. “You mean it’s real?”

The jeweler nodded as he carefully placed it on a nearby pad. “All five carats,” he said with a heavy sigh.

Fast-forward through Laura’s excitement and selection of the proper setting for her lovely diamond. And rest assured, I allowed her to use that hand to deal with her plate of barbecue. But I thought to myself: Here Laura got practically last pick of the jewelry and she ended up with what was likely the finest piece. And further, I thought: How is it that I – who knows next to nothing about diamonds or jewels – would even notice a ring, much less spot one with its own delicious story to tell.


Have you ever possessed – or seen – a really special gem of any kind?

I saw the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian way back when I was a kid.

[ JLS # 242 ]


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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12 Responses to Inspired by a Sparkler

  1. I found a diamond once. I moved into a new apartment that needed a bit of deep cleaning before I felt comfortable there. I moved the washer and found a small lovely, loose diamond. I went to the office and told them I’d found what I thought was a valuable piece of jewelry. They called the previous renter who said she’d lost nothing of value. The apartment manager proclaimed the gem mine.

    As a gift, a friend of mine had the stone secured to a pendant setting. The jeweler said the stone was nice, but not spectacular and set its value around $100. I’m glad it wan’t valuable because my necklace chain broke and the stone disappeared — again in the laundry room — and that time moving appliances didn’t reveal it. It may still be there for all I know.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jeff7salter says:

      cool story. and how ironic that the stone was lost and found and then lost again all in the same room. perhaps the stone was haunted?


  2. jbrayweber says:

    I have never found a diamond, but I have lost one. My engagement ring, in fact. No real story there except people suck. I know where I lost it, or, rather, misplaced it. I should not have called ahead to say I was on my way to retrieve it.

    I’m due to find a nice piece of jewelry.

    Fun story, Jeff. One that could be woven into a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Great story, Jeff. This reminds me so much of the one behind the Overnighter’s Secrets. Definitely mystery/suspense material. I’ve been to the Smithsonian twice, but I couldn’t tell you if I saw the Hope Diamond – it’s possible, I suppose. I know I’ve seen the British Crown Jewels twice, as well as the French Crown Jewels at the Louvre. But as stunning as they are I’ve never felt any desire to possess anything like them. I’d probably be too worried about losing them!

    Liked by 2 people

    • jeff7salter says:

      when I’ve seen photos of the royal crown jewels, it strikes me as so over-the-top extravagant for a population to bedeck their royalty in jewels while a percentage of the citizens are living at or near poverty.
      I know they make the case that the jewels have been handed down for generations, but when you look at history, chances are those gems were originally obtained through oppressive taxation (or worse).


  4. What a nice tale. It is a don’t judge the book by its cover story. I’ve never found jewelry. I have been given some that belonged to my grandmother. I am sure it is costume jewelry since I was still young when she passed but it is a wonderful cladhdagh ring.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great story! And here you thought you had nothing to say!
    Looks like you are a natural, Jeff. We should take you out gem hunting…along with the lady who spotted the ring!


  6. ericrynne says:

    I too have seen the Hope Diamond! When I was in the process of working at a Jewelry Store, I came across so many beautiful pieces but nothing like the Hope Diamond!

    Liked by 1 person

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