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Gems From The Heart Story Contest Entries

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a Winner!

    The gang here at Joseph Schubach Jewelers has pored over the Gems from the Heart Story Contest entries for the last several weeks and after much deliberation, we’ve come up with a winner!

    First, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to the participants for so many thoughtful entries this year. We were genuinely surprised at the overwhelming response. It goes to show that everyone has a story to tell when it comes to a prized piece of jewelry. Our entries ranged from the simple and poignant to the funny and offbeat.

    Of all of them, we found The Phoenix Zoo Story to be the most dazzling story of them all. Not only did the writer tell us a genuinely moving and romantic tale but her use of photos really made us feel like we were right there with her!

    Read the Winner of the Gems from the Heart Story Contest here!


    (above, our Winning Storytellers)

    Honorable Mention goes to The Ugly Little Ring Story for her effective and touching piece that shows it’s not always the quality of jewelry that counts, but the meaning behind it.

  • Another Gems From The Heart Story Contest Entry

    The first date my current wife and I went on was to Dairy Queen on a
    Sunday afternoon; so it only seemed natural that when it came time to
    propose marriage to her I had to do it at Dairy Queen. So on a Saturday
    night I took her to Dairy Queen and ordered a banana split for the two
    of us. Then I placed a diamond solitare ring on the top of the sundae,
    as I got to the table where she was seated I got down on one knee and
    asked her to mary me. It was a night that we will never forget (and
    probably the folks in Dairy Queen too).

    Thank you!

    Randy Pope

  • Another Gems From The Heart Story Contest Entry

    I have a beautiful diamond set in platinum from 1928.  It belonged to
    my grandmother and then my mother.  People who appreciate fine jewelry
    always comment on how lovely it is.

    Michelle Dry

  • Another Gems From The Heart Story Contest Entry

    Time Travel:
    "Don't Fence Me In" has been the motto of my boss over the years. 
    She's now in her 80s and yearns to trot around the world but because of
    this and that health issue for her husband and herself, she has been
    grounded BUT what trips she has taken over the years.  Each of her
    trips was topped off with gifts of jewelry for me.  There was a
    beautiful, multi-colored beaded necklace from Venice, silver and
    turquoise earrings from Mexico City, turquoise from Tokyo, and silver
    from Jerusaleum.  Her care over the years in selecting pieces she knew
    I would love has made each piece of jewelry precious.

    Sylvie Warren

  • Another Gems From The Heart Story Contest Entry

    I have a special jewelry story.  Four years ago, my father died
    suddenly.  It was such a shock and tragedy.  He was only 49.  My whole
    family took it really bad.  But I think I took it the worst, since he
    died at my house and I found him.  That night after we all left the
    hospital, my mother came into my room and sat on my bed.  She looked so
    sad, I will never forget that look.  She took my hand and gave me hers
    and my fathers wedding rings.  I looked at her in shock.  She said he
    would want you to have them.  I told her I would treasure them
    forever!  One of my sisters was upset she did not get one.  She just
    got engaged, and I went to my mother and said maybe we should give "Lu"
    your engagement ring.  My mother said OK, if it is alright with you. 
    It wasn't but I loved my sister so I said OK.  To make a long story
    short.  A year later my sisters marriage didn't work out.  I noticed
    she didn't wear the ring anymore, so I asked her where it was?  She
    said "away".  Well come to find out she pawned it!  How could she of
    did this!  I was so upset.  I prayed to my father to bring the ring
    back to me where it belonged!  With the other rings.  Three months
    later, my mother called me.  She said "guess what?"  I said what?  She
    said I got the ring back!!!.  I was shock and asked her how?  The ring
    she had was specially made and one of a kind.  She said a friend of
    hers was shopping and spotted it in a pawn shop and recognized it as my
    mothers and bought it!  To this day I still think my father sent her
    friend into that shop that day!  Thanks DAD!!

    Gina Benway

  • Another Gems From The Heart Story Contest Entry

    I asked my wife to marry me after meeting her on a cruise
    and only physically see her 5 times.  She wanted an antique ring.  We went to
    30 pawn shops in the Memphis
    area.  We gave up and were driving to the airport to send me back to Idaho when we saw   a
    pawn shop.  We found the most fabulous ring for only $500.  Fifteen years later
    and two kids and we are still happily married.
    Steve Scott

  • Another Gems From The Heart Story Contest Entry

    My Grandfather had an old battered trunk that he brought over from
    Norway as a young man at the turn of the 20th Century.   I have been
    storing it for years in the attic knowing it was beyond use or repair.
     I found an old silver chain necklace that belonged to my Mother in my
    jewelry box and put the key to the trunk on the chain.  I finally had
    the heart to throw out the trunk knowing I can wear the necklace with
    fond memories of them both.

    Marilyn Chapman

  • Another Gems From The Heart Story Contest Entry

    To preface: I am originally from Arizona and I am going to law school
    in Minnesota.  My fiance lives in Arizona.

    I have really fallen in love with a great man.  The story?  We call it
    Trains, Planes and Automobiles: Engagement Version.

    It all started when Rob's mom presented him with a ring that she
    wanted to pass down to me.  Up to this point we had been talking about
    marriage for months.  I really thought it would happen this past
    summer, but it didn't.  In God's time, right?  So, once Rob received
    the ring, he immediately began trying to figure out how to meet me in
    the midwest.  He would be starting a job in 2 weeks so he wanted to
    get out here as soon as possible.  Flights at that time were about
    $1000.  So, the best thing he was able to find was a train ride to
    Chicago.  The train didn't have a connection to MN.  So, he called me
    and asked me to meet him out there.  It's only about a 5 hour drive
    from here.  That way we'd have more time to spend with each other and
    get to see Chicago.  I'd never been there.

    We planned to go to mass once he got into Chicago and then to dinner.
    Little did I know, he was going to propose on the steps of the church
    before we would go into mass.  He spoke with a priest at the church
    and asked him to give us a blessing before going into mass.  We would
    then go to dinner and enjoy the town.  Notice I said "would."

    The adventure begins.  So, he would drive to Flagstaff to get on the
    train for what he thought would be a 32-hour trip.  The train that was
    suppose to pick him up was delayed because of a train wreck that
    killed over 2 dozen people in California.  Needless to say he had to
    wait a few hours for his train.  Once he boarded it was free sailing
    (or free training) right?  Wrong.  Passing through New Mexico, the
    train hit a cow.  The train didn't just knock the cow off the tracks,
    it actually ran over the cow.  So, the train officials had to get
    stop, get out and look at the cow.  For another couple hours.
    Meanwhile, Rob called me and told me not to leave for a couple hours
    because he was going to be late.  We probably wouldn't make mass.  :(
    When they finally removed the cow from the tracks and started moving,
    we thought he'd be in Chicago in time for dinner.  Wrong.  Going
    through Kansas, the train had to stop for a few hours because there
    were several tornadoes touching down.  They had to wait until it was
    clear enough to pass through.  Rob told me that all the passengers
    were restless and almost protesting.

    46 hours later (almost two days), he arrived in Chicago.  When I
    picked him up from the train station, he seemed a little anxious and
    just glad to be off a train ride that ended up being 14 hours longer
    than anticipated.  Disappointed that all of his plans fell through,
    but so excited and happy to be with me, he just couldn't hold it in
    any longer and got down on one knee.  Although it didn't happen the
    way he wished, I couldn't help but think how romantic it was that he'd
    go through all that just to get to me and ask me to be his wife.  Of
    course I said yes!  We enjoyed the day in Chicago…did you know that
    Chicago received record rainfall that day and the streets flooded?

    We drove back to Minnesota and celebrated with my friends and brother.
     We were able to merge his mom's ring with my late mom's ring.  It's
    absolutely beautiful.  Once we got back to Minnesota I told him that
    we would look for a plane ride home for him this time.  Luckily, I
    found a one way ticket for $100.

    Thank you for letting us share our story!


    An Nguyen

  • Another Gems From The Heart Story Contest Entry

    My jewelry story is actually one of regret (although it does have a
    somewhat happy ending).  My father had never wanted my mother to work,
    as he saw himself as the provider for the family as many men of his
    generation did, but when all three children had left home he relented
    and allowed her to work part-time at a gardening center (she was very
    good at growing flowers and people would come from miles around to see
    the flowers she'd planted around the horseshoe driveway in front of our
    home in the suburbs).  My mother and father had originally come from
    Ukraine and so my mother did have a bit of trouble communicating
    (writing up time sheets, etc. – I had always translated everything for
    her when I was at home) but she loved working there.  However at tax
    time it turned out that her job put my parents in a higher tax bracket,
    and so it wasn't worth it for her to work there anymore, even though
    she'd been there just a little while.  One day when I was back at home
    visiting my mother she gave me a shy smile and presented me with a box
    that had a pendant in it – a tiny piece of coral in a cone-like gold
    setting at the top.  She said the coral came from Ukraine and that
    because she had never had nice things, she wanted me to have them, and
    so she wanted me to have this pendant.  At the time I was prone to
    wearing glitzy fashion jewelry or antique pieces, and although I
    thanked my mother I thought that she really didn't understand me and my
    sense of style in giving me this piece of jewelry, which I usually only
    wore when visiting her.  One day after a visit I found that I'd lost
    it, but didn't give it much thought (being so young and foolish).  Many
    years later my mother had a stroke (after my father passed away) and I
    spent weeks with her in the hospital translating for her and talking to
    doctors.  One day she asked me to bring me her purse and when I did,
    wrapped in a small piece of paper towelling, she withdrew the coral
    necklace and gave it to me!  She told me that she could tell I really
    didn't like it and that I had lost it on her carpet and she'd kept it
    for me these many years and now wanted me to have it.  She had spent
    all the money that she earned at the gardening center to buy it for
    me!  I put it on and cried – I loved my mother so much! – and finally
    realized how it wasn't my transient trendy styles that she chose to
    acknowledge but that she was giving me a piece of herself to remember
    her by.  She died soon afterwards, and ever since I've worn the coral
    pendant and been very, very careful not to lose it and to tell everyone
    that my beautiful mother gave it to me!

    Christina Zawadiwsky

  • Another Gems From The Heart Story Contest Entry

    My boyfriend and I were planning a day trip to NYC to go to
    Central Park and see Rockefellar Center, the skating rink and all the
    Christmas decorations. He had picked where we would eat, and I picked
    the date we would go up, so it was a joint effort. We took the
    chinatown bus up from philly and surprisingly my boyfriend seemed to
    know exactly where to go, he led us from the subway station to the
    park, and we were walking through and he led me up to this beautiful
    bridge called "bow bridge" in central park. I told him I loved the
    bridge, it had such beautiful detail. While we were on top of the
    bridge admiring the view he told me he had a surprise for me, so he
    told me to turn around and close my eyes. When i turned back around to
    face him, I found him down on one knee with a beautiful princess cut,
    white gold, engagement ring in his hand. He asked me to marry him, and
    I said yes. Little did I know that he had the ring for over a month,
    and that two weeks prior to our trip, he came up with friend to scope
    out the route to get to Central Park, and he came to Central Park to
    find the "perfect" place to propose. After we got engaged I returned to
    my mom's house where I was living at the time and another gift awaited
    me…it was a wrapped, framed photograph of the bridge where we got
    engaged. He picked it up when he was in NYC planning it all out. It was
    a perfect day!

    Melinda Fathel