By Cathy Wharton
For Hometown News
Terry Musselwhite was in Pennsylvania helping his father with a restaurant his family owned and operated in 1991.
At the same time, he was drawn to his mother's interest in jewelry and the magazines she collected. "She use to dabble in jewelry," he said. "One day, I was looking through her magazines, and saw an advertisement." The ad promised an $80-a-day income just from making wire name pins. After responding to the ad -- and a promising reply -- Terry Musslewhite was hooked on what would become his life-long profession: jewelry design.
As a self-taught jewelry artist, Mr. Musselwhite initially practiced his skills with barbed wire, which in time led to the craft he perfected -- gold wire name jewelry. It wasn't easy learning intricate techniques using hard wire, but he was determined to succeed. He did, one wire at a time.
After moving to Florida in 1992, Mr. Musselwhite started his jewelry business with a single case that contained his handcrafted creations -- literally in a cigar box -- offering his expertise to restaurants, beauty salons and other local shops. From there, he opened a small shop in the Daytona Flea Market on Mason Avenue. After working in a couple of other shops, he opened his own store, a multi-case shop with plenty of room to continue his dream. For the past 16 years, Terry's Jewelry Repair and Design has been operating at the same Holly Hill location, serving customers for a variety of jewelry needs and interests.
In addition to handcrafted gold wire jewelry, Mr. Musselwhite's skills and talent include custom designs for rings, bracelets and pendants. One of the most prominent signs in his shop is, "Custom ring design, using your gold and gemstones," which means customers can bring in their precious or semi-precious stones and have a design created to their own liking.
Another sign in the store is "Buy and sell gold, silver, jewelry and coins," while another one states, "We buy old gold and diamonds."
Like many jewelry shops in recent years, the offer to buy gold and silver is not uncommon. With the price of an ounce of gold hovering around the $1690 per-ounce mark, and silver close to $30 an ounce, Terry's is no exception in the buying of precious metals and stones. But in order to accurately assess the worth of a gold or silver item, each must be weighed according to standard procedures, then calculated as to current value. "We've been told that we have the best prices in town for gold," Mr. Musselwhite said.
Also available at Terry's is an ample selection of estate items. There are numerous other products, of course, including watches and watchbands, rings, earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets and charms. A closer look at the store's display cases shows a categorized system according to different gems, which makes it easier for the customer to make a selection. Another section focuses on children's jewelry -- gold-filled and gold-layered items.
Still another section is all about birthstone jewelry -- rings, bracelets and other items -- all in varying shapes and designs.
Bridal sets are another distinct category at Terry's. A two- or three-piece set can be custom-designed according to the customer's wishes. Also, the store carries a selection of men's jewelry, with watches and rings topping the list of the most popular items.
Terry's Jewelers isn't just about the products it carries, it's also about service. Among the many services the business offers are jewelry appraisals, ring sizing, engraving, soldering, watch repair, tips and prong repair, battery replacement, and clasps and catches.
In fact, what Terry's Jewelers does best -- providing quality products and expert service -- is aptly stated in the store's slogan: "Our name says it all."
Terry's Jewelry Repair and Design is at 1609-C N. Nova Road, Holly Hill. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Phone: (386) 253-3426. www.terrysjewelry.com