Local jeweler Barry Nicholls will be heading to Alaska to prospect for gold this month in hopes of coming home with a big find.
Nicholls, who opened Paradise Jewelry in 1982 and handles all aspects of a fine jewelry store from bench work to marketing, will now add prospecting for gold to his list of accomplishments.
In business for more than 40 years with 33 in Naples, Nicholls says he is self-taught in goldsmithing, jewelry, gemology, and lapidary (gem cutting). He’s taken GIA (Gemological Institute of America) gemology courses and subsequently wrote a chapter about Diamond Selling for their Diamonds correspondence course. Over the years, Nicholls has written numerous articles about gems and jewelry for local and national publications and has taught Gemology classes as part of Collier County Adult Education for the past 24 years. He was the first Laser Jewelry Welder in the Naples area and repairs jewelry under a 20-power microscope, making pinpoint welds (not soldering) smaller than the head of a pin.
“Life is about adventure,” says Nicholls. “I’m fortunate to be in a business that is about adventure, magic, and excitement. For many years, I’ve also been a Charter Boat Captain and now, I get to add a whole new chapter and adventure!”
According to Nicholls, prospecting for gold and visiting Alaska have always been on his bucket list. Because he can use the gold for his work and use the experience to further his knowledge of the precious metal in raw form, he will set off for a 10-day adventure with Gold Fever Prospecting which is located on the South Fork of the forty-mile river near historical Chicken, Alaska. The family run operation states they are committed to giving guests the greatest backcountry gold prospecting trip they will ever have, and an adventure of a lifetime.
When Nicholls returns from his adventure, he hopes to display his find at his store and show clients what gold looks like in its raw form. He would also like to do visual presentations for local groups about prospecting, how to find gold, and what can be done with it. If he brings home a lot of gold, he says he will have it refined by a refiner so he can use it in some custom jewelry.
About Paradise Jewelry:
Paradise Jewelry specializes in high quality jewelry in affordable price ranges, as well as custom design, and precision repairs. The jewelry store also buys jewelry, gold, silver, and platinum, as well as entire estates. They evaluate jewelry separating the valuable from the not-so-valuable, and inform clients of their various options, all for no charge. Options may include keeping it and enjoying it, gifting it, redesigning it into something new and exciting, or selling it.
Paradise Jewelry is located at 5455 Airport Rd. North in Naples in the Bed, Bath, and Beyond Plaza at the northwest corner of Pine Ridge and Airport in north Naples. They may be reached at 239-591-2645.