The Great Alaskan Diamond Store Invasion
Alaska became a hot destination in the late-1800s during the Alaskan Gold Rush, and historical evidence of this event is clearly still visible in the Alaskan Inside Passage cities of Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan.
It’s been two years since we’ve sailed the Inside Passage, and one of the things that we noticed right away is that there is a new invasion currently afoot in these charming Alaskan towns: diamond stores.
I’ll never forget stepping off a cruise ship in St. Thomas twenty years ago and finding diamond, emerald, and watch stores in great abundance. We’ll, it would seems that these folks have decided to invade Alaska to sell their wares to the 4,000,000 cruise passengers now exploring Alaska’s Inside Passage each year.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we’ve purchased some baubles in these establishments over the years, and we’re also huge proponents of the free enterprise system. And, truth be told, we even have some new baubles that caught the eyes of my bride while we were visiting Juneau.
And while these jewelry stores are certainly creating local employment, and welcome contributions to the local tax base, part of me felt that perhaps some of the charming allure of these historic small towns has been lost since our last visit.
We noticed sparkling new buildings with a plethora of the very same jewelers that sell their wares in the Caribbean now here in Alaska.
While it would be hypocritical of me to speak against this growing invasion, particularly as I peek at my wife’s new wedding ring setting; at the same time, I do feel a tinge of remorse wondering if I have contributed to a steady washing away of the fabulous charm of the area.
On the one hand, we’ve left some of our hard earned dollars for the local Alaskan’s to enjoy, while at the same time, have perhaps fed a beast that might someday destroy the charm, and allure of these wonderful destinations.
What say you? Should I be flogged with a decaying Alaskan salmon for buying jewelry in Alaska, or should I be thanked for helping the local economy?
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