#93 - Memorial Day

Posted on Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 at 10:37 am by LaLonde Jewelers

General Custer's last flag

This newsletter is coming to you shortly after Memorial Day. This is a day that we honor all men and women who have sacrificed their their lives so that we can remain free. They are a special group.

In my line of work, I purchase estates that contain numerous items from families that might contain jewelry, coins, art, and yes military items. As I go over the items, I ask questions of who wore them or how they were acquired. I am very interested in history and enjoy hearing the particulars of the items.

General Mac Arthur on the USS Missouri

When it comes to military items, the pieces can be quite fascinating. I try to research the items so that I know their value and importance. Something that has some significant historical meaning I try to see if it can be donated to the proper agency or museum so it can be viewed by interested people now and well into the future. When you understand the sacrifice that a person had to endure to achieve something making a few dollars on the Item is not as satisfying as making sure it is preserved for generations to come.

I have come across lots of things, some of the more memorable things are photos of Generals MacArthur and Wainwright standing on the deck of the Missouri signing papers ending WWII. Or the young Marine who had blood stained German Mark bills that his dad, a sniper in WWII, had taken off a German Officer.

Recently (2010), a 7th Calvary flag from Custer’s last stand at the Little Big Horn went up for sale at Sotheby’s in New York. It was originally, purchased by the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1895 for $54 dollars. The estimate was approx. $110,000 dollars. I thought to myself what a piece of history to have, there is only one of those around. Well the hammer dropped at $ 2.2 million. I don’t think I could afford the premium charge.

Some of these items need to be preserved for generations of people to come to let them view and let their minds wander.

Raising the flag on Iwo Jima

I bought a Japanese sword from a WWII veteran, Marine who fought on Iwo Jima. I asked him how he was able to acquire it. He said to me, “let’s just say the guy who owned it didn’t need it anymore.”

I left it at that.

I have noticed that a lot of military families stay military, the father and then their sons or daughters also become military.

I checked the sword out and yes, I can make a few bucks on it, but I decided to give it to a Marine and tell him the story so that he can tell his son or daughter the story. I think that history would be where it belongs.

Written by Dan LaLonde, G.G., G.I.A.
Lalonde Jewelers & Gemologists
The Gem Expert