A Bracelet on the Ten Commandments is the first of Carl Scarlata's Precious Metals With a Message

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The Ten Commandments bracelet will be the first of many pieces from Authentic Biblical Concept Designs, which was created by Carl Scarlata, the former owner of Orlando Jewelers

I approached jewelers around central Florida and told them I could do repair work that was too complicated to be performed in house

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Carl Scarlata asks a question. Quick, he says, name the Ten Commandments. Not just one, like "Thou shalt not kill," or another, such as "Honor your father and mother." How about all 10? Even for most Christians, he admits, this often draws a blank.

Found in two places in the Bible - the 20th chapter of Exodus and the 5th chapter of Deuteronomy - the Ten Commandments are no longer just a symbol of God's law. They represent a battle between separation of church and state, as there are conflicts in many communities across the United States about keeping or removing Ten Commandments monuments from courthouse lawns among other public sites.

An internationally renowned jewelry designer and the former owner of Orlando Jewelers, whose signature pieces include the Life Ring and commissioned rings for Vietnam and Desert Storm veterans, Scarlata is taking a stand to spread the message about the Ten Commandments. His new jewelry design company, Authentic Biblical Concept Designs (http://www.abcdjewelry.com), has introduced its first piece - the Ten Commandment Bracelet. The stainless steel and 18 karat gold bracelet has ten links, each separated by a replica of a Torah scroll. On the front of every tablet is the Roman numeral representing each commandment, with the corresponding commandment written on the reverse side.

To Scarlata, the bracelet is more than a piece of jewelry. It represents his commitment to spread the gospel and to remind Americans of the moral values espoused in the Ten Commandments.

"The Ten Commandments are the basis for the laws we have today, yet there is a fight to keep them on courthouse lawns and other locations," Scarlata said. "We are not looking to reach only Christians with this bracelet, and subsequent pieces that we are designing. We are creating precious metals with a message of salvation and life."

Scarlata is a devout Christian who has evangelized around the world. He donated many of his assets - which included Orlando Jewelers, and a Christian television station - to a non-profit ministry in 2000 and moved to Sedona, Arizona, where he is helping revive Christian Churches in the predominantly New-Age community.

ABCD Jewelry (which features an assortment of pieces Scarlata has already designed but has not introduced, along with items that he is in the process of creating) is based in Orlando with an office in Sedona. A master jeweler and designer, he has designed pieces for jewelry manufacturers, celebrities, and individuals for more than 30 years.

"Over the years, when he owned Orlando Jewelers, Carl found that many of his customers were Christians who were interested in Christian jewelry," said Marvin Couch, who is president of ABCD Jewelry (http://www.abcdjewelry.com) and is based in Orlando. "These items represent more than just beautiful pieces of jewelry; they serve a purpose. We consider it a ministry as much as a business."

Scarlata's story is one of determination and perseverance. Now 51 and living in Sedona with his wife, Jamie and their two children, Johanna, 2, and Vonette, who is 5 months old, Scarlata was born in the Bronx and was raised in Queens. His first job was shining shoes at La Guardia Airport when he was 6.

"I worked with a friend, and we each made $15 on weekends and on breaks from school. Our families were poor, so we eventually started working during school hours," Scarlata said. "It was a different world then. I couldn't imagine children doing that today."

When he was 9, Scarlata was introduced to working on automobiles at his uncle's body shop, and as a child he also worked in New York City with renowned jeweler, David Webb. Scarlata worked at a body shop in Winter Garden and attended a technical school when his family moved to the Orlando area when he was 16. He did jewelry design part-time as well.

"I approached jewelers around central Florida and told them I could do repair work that was too complicated to be performed in house," Scarlata said. "It wasn't long before I had a network of clients across Orlando."

Still, jewelry design did not fully appeal to the teenage Scarlata. He opened a body shop in Kissimmee and built custom cars for magazines and movies, including Oscar, which starred Sylvester Stallone. He continued his jewelry design in a backroom at the shop.    

When he gave his life to Jesus Christ in 1980, Scarlata sold the shop and continued his jewelry design work, and eventually became involved in helping to fund ministries worldwide. He bought Orlando Jewelers when he was 24 and after one year was well on its way to success.

A long-time supporter of Christian organizations, Scarlata has donated millions of his self-made fortune over the years cultivated from jewelry manufacturing and retail outlets, exotic car development and sales and ownership of the high-powered independent television station that he donated to a non-profit Christian organization. ABCD Jewelers (http://www.abcdjewelry.com), is the realization of a dream for Scarlata. "I have wanted to create this company for a long time, but I was so involved in other adventures that the timing was not right until now," Scarlata said. "ABCD has more than 500 copyrightable designs that I have worked on since 1980. They all have a Christian purpose and message."

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Jeff Louderback


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