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Bradenton jeweler finds niche repairing Olympic medals

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Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014 10:49 am

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - A Bradenton jewelry shop has fixed not one, but two internationally recognized items.

Jess Jewelers is a hidden gem in Bradenton that works on more than your average jewelry. Olympic gold medalist Demetrius Pinder had his gold medal stolen by thieves last September. "Through the great work of the Bradenton Police Department, they recovered it, arrested the man, and brought it to Jess Jewelers," says jeweler Steve Dangler.

Just recently, American skater Eddy Alverez gave his silver Sochi medal to his 10-month-old nephew to play with. "He, according to Eddy, like The Hulk, was picking it up and smashing them on the floor. And he was doing that to the medal and it was severely banged up," says Dangler.

Eddy has a meeting to show President Obama his medal very soon, so when he Googled "olympic medal repair" and Jess Jewelers came up, he knew they could fix it.

"We sent the silver medal out yesterday. He received it this morning," says Dangler.

Steve even got a phone call Thursday morning from Alvarez saying it was better than new.

Steve has eight degrees in Gemology, and has been making rings since he was just eight years old. But he says he has never felt more pressure than working on the Olympic medals.

"They are tied to that medal, like it’s something more precious than a piece of gold. They have earned it with blood sweat and tears. And you know that and feel that. When you work on something like that, there is a lot of pressure -- but it's euphoric."

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