Jennifer Danny | ‘Angel Money,’ Life Lesson No. 1,367

Jennifer Danny

There’s a lovely jewelry store in the Stevenson Ranch Marketplace. The gentleman who owns it is named Edward. Through the years I’ve always purchased my watch batteries from him and entrusted him to repair the watches that needed TLC, and with each visit we’d share a little bit of our own life stories.  

There was a time when I went through all of my old gold jewelry, from necklaces to bracelets to charms, and sometimes when I realized that I was probably never going to wear them again I would sell them to him. 

I usually cleared this with my father first to see what he thought, and Dad would always say, “Jen if you’re not using them, then get rid of them.” 

I would think about it and then the little bird inside of me would give me the OK to part with some of my earlier jewelry items that I had collected since I was a young teenager. 

Recently my sister and I decided we would get my grandmother’s wedding ring appraised and if the price was right, we would sell it. 

My sister came over to my house and I looked at it, half-remembering it from years ago. It was platinum with crushed diamonds. Thinking it was worth a try, we drove to Edward’s store, and we walked in, and I introduced him to my sister. He asked what he could help us with and my sister, Cindy, pulled the ring out and we asked if he could tell us what it was worth. 

He looked at it, got his eyeglass magnifier out and weighed the ring and he told us the price. 

My sister and I looked at each other and nearly giggled. We had driven to the jewelry store in the hopes of being able to sell it or find a buyer to sell it to for at least $2,500 and I think at best it was worth less than a couple hundred dollars, for reasons that only an honest and qualified jeweler would know.  

We decided to keep the ring and, as we were leaving, I thanked Edward and told him I would see him soon. 

Cindy and I decided to go to the market together in an effort to get ahead for our weekly groceries, one less thing to worry about during the work week and after all it’s always nicer to do your grocery shopping with your sister.  

While she was driving, my cell phone rang, and it was our father. I put him on speaker phone, and he asked me what I was doing. 

I said, “I’m with Cindy, and we took Grammy’s wedding ring to the jeweler to see what it was worth.” 

Dad said, “And so …?” 

I told him and then he asked what we thought it should’ve been worth, and I said, “$2,500.” 

He started to laugh and said, “Girls, my dad, your grandfather, didn’t have that kind of money back in the day. Not many working-class people did.”  

And in some way, I felt that perhaps my sister and I had overstepped our bounds. Not that we were doing anything terrible, but for not valuing our Grammy’s ring with the right kind of value, a family heirloom that in this case showed the love and commitment between my grandparents. 

Ah, life lesson No. 1,367 learned.  

A few months later I was looking at my gold bracelet with some diamonds in it and I thought well … hmmm … maybe I should get it appraised. 

I went to see Edward, and this time my husband went with me because he had a watch and he wanted to find out if it had retained any value throughout the years. 

My bracelet was surprisingly worth about $400-plus, and having had some unexpected bills that previous week, I though, “Oh,why not.” 

My husband looked at me as if to say, “Jen, are you sure?” 

But I was like, fine, sounds good. 

To say I had seller’s remorse would be an understatement. 

For two days I marinated in what I did. And since it was a weekend, on that Sunday, I knew that right after work on Monday, I was going to go back to the store and buy back my bracelet. 

And so, I did just that. When I walked in to see Edward, I explained to him that to please understand that I had made a hasty decision and that I would like to buy my bracelet back. 

He understood completely and he got my bracelet from the display case, and he put it on me. I thanked him and I walked out of his store with a little bounce in my step, and all the while thanking the man above that this had worked out and that the next time I come up with an idea to sell something, that I would take a cleansing breath and table the idea for a while. 

But there is something genuinely kind about my friend Edward and I’ll end my article with this:

A few years ago, I had brought one of my watches in for a new battery and a new band. I had thought I had enough money in my wallet to pay for everything, but I was a little bit short, so I grabbed my $20 bill that I had kept in a special place in my purse. 

I was hesitant to use it because it had the words: “Angel Money” written on it. 

I had found it on the street several years earlier and thought, in its simplest terms, it was a little sign directly sent my way. 

I told Edward the story and asked him to please pay it forward, in the hopes that the “Angel Money” blessing could bring a smile to another person’s face. And without skipping a beat he wrote those very same words on my dollar bill that was my change. 

I keep it in the very same place where I kept my other “Angel Money” before. And every once in a while I take it out and remember the story of how it came to be, and I am reminded of the kindness Edward showed me that day and to continue to be a person who also “pays it forward.” 

Jennifer Danny is a Santa Clarita resident.

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