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Monday September 01, 2014
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Lucky 13 in Dexter



As its name and elaborate Spencerian logo suggest, D. Fitzgerald's Fine Jewelry is indeed a purveyor of fine, classic jewelry--those are diamond solitaires under glass in the display cases. But there's a surprising twist to the story.

Frequently hanging out behind the counter or in the back workshop is veterinarian Thomas Maves, whose Village Animal Clinic of Dexter is in the historic brick house a few blocks away. He's learning to be a jeweler. Teaching him is his best friend of forty years, Douglas Fitzgerald Owen, for whom the store is named.

Both are originally from Tecumseh. Owen is an award-winning jeweler who for the last few decades has been working in Arizona but who wanted to relocate to Michigan. Maves reckoned that the growing affluence of Dexter had reached a critical mass that could support a real rock shop. So he not only backed his friend but decided he wanted to learn his craft. (Maves is not giving up animal doctoring, but the practice is going so well he's mainly supervising other vets these days.)

Most of the jewelry isn't Owen's work yet--"sometimes people aren't going to go the custom route," and he "needed stuff!" He carries mounts, stones, and ready-to-wear jewelry, starting as low as $50, but custom pieces could conceivably run up to $50,000.

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