by Cheryl Rhodes
Since the dawning of time, mankind has been irresistibly drawn to things that sparkle, zoom, soar and roar. Sure, love is reserved between humans for others who breathe and smile and return affection, but can such fierce devotion also be directed at objects that capture the imagination, liberate the spirit and excite the senses? Meet a few Gwinnettians who enthusiastically say, "Yes!"
"I just love custom jewelry,"
Says Rosemary Wonder, long a Stone Mountain resident and teacher. "It sparkles and is just outstanding. When you have an individual piece designed, no one else has one like it and it is different and can never be replaced."
To celebrate her sister”s eclectic nature, Wonder conspired with her mother to fashion a piece of jewelry that would capture their family”s lineage in a tasteful, striking setting. They enlisted a Lilburn jeweler, Henry Lam of Tina Fine Jewelry, to create the design.
"He designed what I call a “lineage necklace,” which is stunning," says Wonder, beaming. "It features the birthstones of my mother, my sister and her two children. It is nothing like the typical birthstone jewelry that you see in stores. It”s individual. While the jeweler was waiting for me to pick it up, he received several offers for it."
Featuring an aquamarine, amethyst, sapphire and diamond, sleekly mounted in a dangling, diamond-cut necklace, the piece of handiwork was not inexpensive but, says Wonder, is well worth the cost.
"It”s an heirloom," Wonder says. "Like an antique, it represents that particular time in life that can never be reproduced or replaced. My family values who we are as people and where we”ve come from. Building upon that is very important. All of my ancestors came through Ellis Island, and being able to meld together as individuals and as a country is very important to us. Each stone in this necklace represents a meaningful life and a personal achievement in our family tree. It”s a family tree in jewels."
Devotion to family has also fueled a continuing passion for Mike Springer, president of Snellville”s Liquid Handling Specialists. Long an avid boater, he now stands at the helm of his 35-foot Jefferson Marlago every chance he gets.
"I”m a nut about it," Springer says, chuckling when asked about his impressive watercraft. "What is it about the call of the water? With the rat race in Atlanta and the contrast of being out there in the middle of the ocean, where you can turn 360 degrees and you don”t see anything or anybody, it”s just a new adventure I can share with my daughters every time we go out. It”s a whole different world."
Despite the expense – $150,000 for the 2005 model, once all the bells and whistles were added – Springer says it is worth every penny to inspire in his girls an early love for nature.
"It”s kind of weird that I caught this bug, because my dad didn”t do any fishing," Springer says. "My grandfather would take me on the pier in North Carolina and we would go fishing once a summer, and I liked that. Bu