Name: Cheryl Scaramuzzi
Jeweler, Capitol Craftsman and Romance Jewelers
How long have you been a jeweler? How did you get started in the field?
I’ve been at Capitol Craftsman for 16 years, but the business has been in Concord for more than 30. The owner, Sue McCoo, is kind of like my corporate mom. I just loved the store, loved everything about it, so I decided it would be a great way to have a career in jewelry.
What is the most unique and/or expensive item you’ve ever handled and/or made here?
The most unique item I can remember we just made recently, and it was a completely custom flower diamond ring, with individual petals around the diamond center in a two-tone white and yellow style. We do a lot of custom stuff here. Nowadays, people want to make their mark with something unique. The customer can bring in a stone or an idea and we make it on the computer first, and then we work hand-in-hand with the customer through the process.
Where do most of your jewels come from?
All over the place. We have Montana sapphires, Maine tourmalines, some items from New Hampshire. Everything in the store for Capitol Craftsman is made in the United States. With Romance Jewelers we try to keep everything USA-made, but you can’t. But we try our best.
What is your most popular stone, and why?
Diamonds. Because they sparkle; they have the bling factor.
What are some jewelry items that correspond to specific events?
There are the 12 birthstones, one for every month. And all anniversaries have a stone or a metal. But a lot of times people just gear their decision to what they love to wear. Someone might love sapphires but not diamonds. Jewelry is very personal. It’s not a commodity so much as it’s a personal connection from inside.
What is your most popular time of year?
If you walk in here the last week before Christmas, it’s kind of like a deli – you need to take a number. That week is huge, but we have fun. We get into the flow, and it’s amazing how we can dance and twirl around each other behind the counter.
What is your stance on Ring Pops? Does that count as jewelry? What about ringtones?
Ring pops? Sure, as long as we can set a cubic zirconia in there afterwards, why not. But ringtones? No.
Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry that you own? What do you wear on a daily basis?
My favorite piece is a multi-colored sapphire and diamond bracelet that my husband gave me before we had children, because we couldn’t afford it now. But this year, because I’m turning 40, I really want a princess-cut Jabel ring. My husband, Frank, is the sales manager here, and I think he should get on that or else he’s going to have a really crappy Christmas.
What I wear on a daily basis, just diamond studs, a necklace, a Citizen’s watch and my wedding band and engagement ring.
Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry in the world?
I would covet the Hope Diamond, but it comes with a curse, so I think I’ll keep with my little rings here.
Have you ever sought out specialty items for a customer?
One woman wanted us to find pig earrings, and we did. I also had someone looking for cornstalk earrings. We have a lot of craftsmen we can go to, so we can help with unique and unusual requests. And we do get a lot of crazy requests.
Cheryl’s co-worker David Dingman: “We had a dentist one time, and they use a different carat of gold for crowns. He had us melt down the gold from the crowns into a wedding band.”
What is acceptable man jewelry?
Watches, chains, bracelets, rings. Whatever floats your boat, really. We have a lot of guys come in for single-stud earrings, and not just young guys, either.
If you weren’t a jeweler, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be in the legal profession. I worked for an attorney for a few years before I started here. But it’s a little too dry; this is much more fun.
My daughter and I remodeled our house ourselves. I like to knock walls down. My husband when he goes away never knows what the house is going to look like when he gets back.
Mimosas, on Thanksgiving and Christmas morning. That is a guilty pleasure, every year. It’s tradition.