Jeweler’s diamond chad casts unique vote

Most residents in Florida want to forget the last presidential election. Voters learned what a chad was and the effect of having one dangling and pregnant. David Hevia, one of the owners of Kiefer Village Jewels, decided this unique element in history could not go uncommemorated. He set out to design and create a jewelry version of the infamous chad. Hevia explained that “the discussion about chads was a humorous outcome from that difficult situation, when you talk about chads – people laugh and smile.” Hevia’s chad is a pendant to be worn on a chain and is made of fourteen (14) karat yellow gold. The first prototype contained a 1/14th of a carat round full cut diamond. Hevia said, “I tried to make the design historically correct. Our chad dangles from two tabs. Those are the ones that `voter intent’ had to be determined by how pregnant the chad was. Our chad is pregnant with a diamond.” Regardless of the results of the election, the chads have been a good seller for Hevia. “We have had to make more every week so far, and next week we start making a smaller version.” He also offers to make them with any size diamond or using a customer’s gemstones. Kiefer Village Jewels sits on the corner of State Road 52 and U.S. Highway 301 in downtown Dade City. The sign outside the door reads, “Come in and See Our Dangling Diamond Chad.” Hevia says that many people have taken him up on that. “We have had people calling from car phones as they drive by and many phone orders.” The chad that Hevia designed is not an exact reproduction of a ballot. Hevia stated that he called the Supervisor of Elections’ office two weeks ago and asked for some ballots to design his chad. He has not been called back yet. Hevia’s creation, though not exact, “is designed to be an attractive piece of jewelry and a conversation piece. So far, both tourist and locals have loved it.” One thing for sure, everyone is casting a big smile when they see it. Kiefer Village Jewels is located at 37850 Meridian Avenue, on the corner of Meridian Avenue (S.R. 52) and 7th Street (U.S. 301). Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday – and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. They can also be contacted at (352) 567-2378, kvillagejewels@aol.com , or www.kvjewels.com . Caption for photo attached: David Hevia’s diamond chad made of 14 karat yellow gold with a 1/14th carat diamond.