Best Jeweler

Giganti Jewelers

Alfonso Giganti skids up to St. Genevieve du Bois and pushes open the wooden door. Organ music is already playing, and the best man is about to walk down the aisle. Giganti presses the custom platinum wedding bands, ordered late, into his hand and makes a tactful exit. He's a tactful jeweler. When clients order custom body-piercing jewelry, he questions them with exquisite delicacy to determine just ... er ... where the hole is, so he knows what gauge the post should be. When big-name boutique jewelers call because some idiot dropped a diamond watch in the cleaning machine, he rescues them. When he Christmas-wraps for one client, he puts itsy initials on the bottom of the tiny, gaily wrapped velvet boxes so the man knows which one is for his wife and which are for his two mistresses.

Giganti's pretty wholesome himself, with a beautiful wife and six kids (she wants two more). One wall of his Clayton Road store is lined with certificates from the Gemological Institute of America, but after graduate work there, he left decadent Los Angeles to come home. Rubies and pearls tumble through his veins -- his grandfather was an Italian jeweler in Cuba -- but simple courtesies flow alongside them. When a young man, smitten, decided he had to propose that very night, he called Giganti and begged him to bring the engagement ring. Giganti obliged, calling from his cell phone when he reached the apartment building. "I'll meet you out back," the guy blurted, and raced downstairs, hands shaking like fern leaves in a strong wind, to grab the ring from trusted hands and take hold of his shining future.

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Previously in Best of St. Louis