The Tide Pool Starfish Earrings - Cross Jewelers
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Home Shop Coast The Tide Pool Starfish Earrings

Earring Details

Item#: X4128

Precious Metal: Sterling Silver & 14K Yellow Gold

Gems: 20 Graduated Blue Sapphires

Size: 1 3/16″ (from top of leveback to bottom of earring)
Diameter of silver swirl frame 1/2″

 

The Tide Pool Starfish Earrings

Item #: x4128

I was the local kid. I lived summers at the beach. I could say I was tall, dark, handsome, could surf, and play the guitar…truth, I was tall. Every week or two, half the cottages would turn over and cars with colorful license plates from all over the eastern half of the country and Quebec parked outside their new homes. The houses filled with moms and dads and lots of new kids. The lucky ones stayed for two weeks.

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$585

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Earring Details

Item#: X4128

Precious Metal: Sterling Silver & 14K Yellow Gold

Gems: 20 Graduated Blue Sapphires

Size: 1 3/16″ (from top of leveback to bottom of earring)
Diameter of silver swirl frame 1/2″

 

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The Local Kid and Two Fraternal Twins
In Seaside Tide Pools

I was the local kid. I lived summers at the beach. I could say I was tall, dark, handsome, could surf, and play the guitar…truth, I was tall. Every week or two, half the cottages would turn over and cars with colorful license plates from all over the eastern half of the country and Quebec parked outside their new homes. The houses filled with moms and dads and lots of new kids. The lucky ones stayed for two weeks. At our end of the beach, we had our own almost private compound. My dad owned five cottages, a series of docks, and a collection of boats. We even had our own tidal beach.

A family from Virginia came with two 10-year-old fraternal twin daughters my age. They had come for two weeks. Early on in their stay, I was at the tidal beach and one of the twins was down there spinning in the water with an oar making big 12-foot circles in the water. Somehow, she seemed to need an increasingly bigger space and told me this was her beach and to beat it. I explained otherwise. The negotiations didn’t go well, and we both eventually retreated to our cottages.

Later in the day, I was down on the front beach with my mom on her beach blanket and that girl was 20-feet away shoveling sand. My mom looked at me and said, “You could use a new friend,” pointing to the girl. I protested, “No way! Do you have any idea…she’s just awful!” Mom just waved the girl over and said, “You two look about the same age,” and proceeded to ask questions and introduce us to each other. Kids and kid relationships are easy compared to 20 years or 30 years later. A five minute conversation on the beach and I had two new friends. Twins always go together.

I was the local. I knew every rock, every sand dune, all the tide pools, cliff walks, and remote coves. I knew where the fish and shells were. I was the local kid, the local guide. I was filled with beach wisdom of everything Maine, everything sea, and shore. I rather liked being the expert and knowing so much. With my new fascinated audience of two we hunted, we explored, and we did tide pools, Dozens of hours in the tide pools with every manner of sea creature: limpets, crabs, blue mussels, starfish, lobsters, and sea urchins.

One of the girls had blond hair, blue eyes, and was soft-spoken. I don’t remember her name. The one with the oar and shovel had straight brown hair, talked a lot, had opinions about everything. Her name was Jan. We became best friends. Before they went back to Virginia as a thank you and to remember her by, Jan gave me an alarm clock with a black face and the numbers painted green in radium. She cautioned me that it was radioactive and not to sleep too close to it. I thought it was awesome because the numbers glowed all night. I still have in my attic the black radium dial from the alarm clock that Jan gave me in 1959. What treasures we hold forever until a generation comes along that hasn’t a clue as to whatever possessed us to save such a thing. Why we keep such treasures is often because of sentiment. A true sentiment is a fundamental component of jewelry. The new generation is able to open these old boxes and toss all the useless stuff. When its made of precious gold and silver everyone takes notice and saves.

Tide Pools

I see kids today in my old tide pools doing what appears to be the same type of science we did 60 years ago. What I know, or at least believe, is our Flora and fauna were much richer back then. Yet, I believe the fundamental science employed by kids is basically the same. In fact, today’s kids may be doing even better science.

Visiting Scientists

Almost 40 years ago, my future brother-in-law and I went up to the tide pools and rolled rocks around. To be with him was like being a 10-year-old again. He was a research biologist from the desert. He went on and on about the richness of species, the diversity of life, how close creatures were, and how many things were under every rock. He found our tide pools to be intense.

My Search For Buried Treasure
Is About To Begin Again

It was 4:42, July 2, in 18 minutes I would go on vacation for a week, back to the white sand beach I grew up on. I’m in my 70’s; I don’t feel 70. I still, at times, believe I’m 16. When I go, I will be barefoot on the beach. I will take the row boat out every day to explore. I will search for buried treasure like I was ten.

And yes, if you made it to Maine and visited Higgins Beach in Scarborough in early July, and you saw an old guy and woman sitting on foam cushions at a low tide pool poking around like kids, it may have been Nancy and me… And yes, we will do it again the first week of August, and we will do it again the first week of September. -R.H.P.

This is the Cover of Our 1999 Summer Catalog
The Starfish Were Ten Inches Across

Summer 1999. I’d heard from Jim, our in-house catalog guy, about the monster starfish under his dock on Great Diamond Island. We were talking about our fall catalog cover. He said he had starfish the size of dinner plates under his dock. I didn’t believe him. He said they were all colors: red, orange and purple. I didn’t believe him. As we continued searching for a cover, Jim brought it up several times more and he said he had long poles to fish them out.

Finally, I said I’ll take the ferry out. So, one fine August morning I departed Custom House Wharf with a five gallon galvanized pail. Still doubtful, I met Jim at the dock. As we walked up the dock, I looked over the edge and could see hundreds of starfish in the shadows. They were deep and I couldn’t quite gauge the size. Jim got a twelve-foot pole with a net on the end and we began fishing. We pulled them up slowly, one at a time. They were huge. Some bigger than dinner plates. We collected a dozen.

I filled my pail with starfish and saltwater. I said to Jim, “Are the rocks out here radioactive? I’ve never seen starfish so big.” Jim said, “No. There have been starfish under this dock as long as I’ve lived here.” I went back on the next boat to Portland and headed to our family cottage at Higgins Beach in Scarborough to meet the incoming tide.

Growing up, every August tide would have hundreds of starfish swept in with seaweed and sea urchins. Thousands in a week would come ashore. They were tiny, the size of a quarter, the medium size near the size of a silver dollar. Big ones might be half the size of a saucer, but never, ever monster size starfish, dinner plate size.

The tide was coming in. I took my pail of starfish up to the cliffs and tide pools and began setting them about. If you’ve ever handled starfish, they have hundreds of tentacles with sticky cups on the bottom and they move. The starfish can walk, not quite a scurry, clearly though, they have a mind of their own. Put three or seven in a tide pool and they begin racing off in different directions.

The starfish were the stars of this photo-shoot. I have pictures of them in tide pools with waves coming in. I have them on rocks with seaweed. I have them on the beach with waves sweeping in.

What you also can’t see are the dozen kids that followed me that afternoon and stood around in a circle asking questions. The number one question was, “Where did you get those monster starfish?” The number two question was, “Where do I get a starfish that big?” The number three question was, “When you are done with them, can I have one?”

I spent a fair amount of time getting the kids to stand back far enough so that they wouldn’t cast shadows. A couple hours at the shore made a great catalog cover.

The Ocean in the 1950s

When we were kids in the 1950’s we spent hundreds of hours in the tide pools in the same place I was taking pictures of my monster starfish. In the tide pools we would find limpets and whelks, crabs and baby lobsters, sea urchins, and of course, starfish. In 60 years, my ocean has changed, They say the water is warmer. Much of what we found back then is now gone. They say the alkalinity or acidity of the water has changed and the ocean is less friendly to marine life. I would pause and suggest that we all take these issues of Earth change seriously and individually think about how we can do a better job of protecting Mother Earth as we go forward in time.

Orders Under $1,000 – Free shipping via FedEx (allow 4 business days). You can upgrade to overnight delivery for $20.

Orders Over $1,000 require a signature on delivery. You may choose free FedEx Overnight or US Post Office Express.

Rings that need to be sized take extra time (one week). If ordering a ring, you may select, “No Sizing Yet, Ship Right Away” and your order will arrive according to the shipping schedule shown above.

Curbside Pickup is also Available – please give us a call to place your order.

 

Free Shipping Details

Shipping Details

Orders Under $1,000 – Free shipping via FedEx (allow 4 business days). You can upgrade to overnight delivery for $20.

Orders Over $1,000 – Ship Free by your choice of FedEx Overnight or US Post Office Express. A signature is required on delivery.

90-Day Returns/Exchanges

Our extended ninety days, for a small business, is almost unheard of. Truth is, we shop for gifts too, and rather than scrambling at the last minute and feeling the tension of time, we like this more relaxed approach. We wish everyone did something like this… it would be a kinder, gentler world.

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