Aladdin couldn't have seen more gems than I did at that showroom, tucked in the industrial Free Trade part of Pudong.
Here's Diana with her husband who hails from Toronto and is the third generation of jewelers in his family. With production costs mounting in Canada, they turned to China to manufacture jewelry about four years ago.
I'm sorry: looking at the jewelry was nice and all...but seeing the 100 or so jewelers making the baubles? Now, that was cool! I got to see the entire process...from the shaping of the rings and bracelets. To the polishing...
Diana insisted on having our rings cleaned. Yucca and I were giggling over her expression when she saw our beat-up, dull rings. Mine hadn't been cleaned in, oh gosh, at least five years. Possibly longer.
This wasn't just any old ring cleaning. When my ring was returned to me, I couldn't even recognize it--it looked brand new. Scratches from my daily rough wear had been polished away. The stones checked to make sure the ring was still sturdy. My ring sparkled. Gleamed like buffed up hope.
Today I am thankful for the unexpected silver lining even in dreaded experiences. Here I thought shopping for jewelry would be horrendous. Instead, I got a behind-the-scenes tour, a clean ring, and....yes, I found a new bauble that will be the perfect talisman for my next novel. How fantastically fantastic is that?