If you view diamonds, gold, and other precious metals and stones as just financial investments then Patty Reece is not the person to see.
It’s not that what she sells at New York Diamonds isn’t valuable in terms of dollars and cents. It is. It’s just that Reece has dedicated 33 years of her life as a jeweler including 25 years in Manteca to provide customers with something much more valuable — sentiment.
And if you’re content to have production style rings such as offered at national chain jewelry stores, you’ve also got the wrong person.
“We design every ring to be different,” Reece noted. “We aren’t selling dresses. Rings are (highly personal).”
She also believes creating a ring to capture someone’s heart shouldn’t send you into debt.
It is why Reece works with men buying engagement rings or couples looking for the perfect wedding ring to find out not just about the person the ring is for but also to find what their budget is and to design the ring accordingly.
“I believe in marriage but I don’t believe in going into debt to get married,” Reece said.
That approach has built Reece a loyal following over the past 25 years at her store located in the Mission Ridge Shopping Center just a few doors down from Safeway.
She is planning to celebrate the store’s silver anniversary this Friday. Sept. 25, from noon to 5 p.m. with an open house featuring hors d’oeuvres among other things.
Reece noted that jewelry goes back thousands of years. She pointed out some of the most stunning examples are antiquities found in the Smithsonian Institution.
“No one will ever be able to create an electronic device that can replace jewelry in a women’s heart,” Reece said.
Understanding the importance of not just repairing but preserving jewelry of such strong sentimental value, Reece has all repairs and custom work for customers done on site.
She also offers free cleaning of jewelry as well as checking it to make sure it is still in structurally good shape.
“A lot of people forget that jewelry needs to be cleaned and cared for,” Reece said. “Gold can break.”
Reece worked in a Sacramento jewelry concern before opening her first New York Diamonds location in Modesto in 1989. At the time she and her husband Carl owned Emil’s liquor store in Escalon where he was raised. Reece was raised in east Stockton. She ended up selling the Modesto store after opening the Manteca location in 1991.
It was while working at the liquor store that Reece noticed a stunning ring that a customer had given his fiancée. She found out that the gentleman was in the jewelry business in the Bay Area. She ended up falling in love with one of his pieces and bought it.
“That’s when I realized I wanted to be a jeweler,” she said.
Even so, the new ring with a stunning design couldn’t top in her heart the simple wedding ring that her husband gave her on their wedding day.
That ring, in her eyes, had more value than the Hope Diamond.
New York Diamonds also carries everything from watches to necklaces. They also purchase precious metals.