|Adolfo Gracia, Master Jeweler at Work on My Necklace|
I wanted a freshwater pearl necklace to go with the pearl bracelet I bought last year in Santorini, Greece, so I asked the buying guide expert on the ship where to go. She suggested a big shop on the main drag in Cozumel, Mexico, and, gave me a special card, with her signature, that would entitle me to a a 40% discount.
That was the day I learned never to listen to the buying guide expert on a cruise ship.
I went to the flashy shop she suggested and was offered a $399 string of pearls. That price included my "discount."
Since I lived in Mexico for four years a while back, I knew to keep looking for the masters of the craft who run small stores and depend on word-of-mouth for their business. Because they are masters of their craft, they do not need to advertise. That's how I met Senor Gracia.
He strung beautiful freshwater pearls for me--twice because we had a miscommunication--to create a much lovelier necklace than I'd been offered at the flashy "recommended" store and even threw in a pair of lovely silver and pearl earrings. The bill? $70.
Adolfo Gracia, master jeweler, is easy to find in the Plaza Del Sol, Local 32 in Cozumel, Mexico. Either walk or take a quick taxi ride from the cruise port to the Plaza and ask anyone where to find him. His tiny shop, with a big picture of a pearl out front, is about a block from the ocean. His phone number is 987-87-2-0351.