Jewelry company corrects U.P. error

IRON MOUNTAIN – Most Yoopers can probably recall seeing at some point an image of Michigan that somehow excludes the Upper Peninsula.

There are maps where the Great Lakes cover the entire area where the U.P. should be, as if the peninsula was submerged under water.

Occasionally, the boundary between the western U.P. and northern Wisconsin is erased and the regions are fused, as if the cartographer was unaware of the actual shape of either state.

Suzanne Fleury, a local attorney based in Iron Mountain, recently noticed such an oversight, and was willing to stand up for our sometimes-neglected peninsula.

Fleury came across the “State of Mind Necklace” series in a recent issue of Robert Redford’s Sundance jewelry catalog.

The series of 50 includes a design for each of the United States.

Billed as expressions of state pride, each necklace is comprised of two charms: one, sterling silver, in the shape of the state, the other a small heart dipped in 14-karat gold.

The Michigan necklace was one of five designs highlighted on the back of the catalog, and Fleury quickly noted that it depicted only the Lower Peninsula.

She said the misrepresentation felt like “a slight to the residents of the Upper Peninsula.”

“The word ‘Yooper’ is in the dictionary now,” she said. “I’m a proud Yooper.”

Fleury observed that there is a difference between a regional product that features only one peninsula, which is fairly common, and one that purports to represent the entire state.

After contacting Sundance customer service, she was assured that the artist had been informed and the problem would be addressed.

“Going forward, we will be offering the ‘State of Mind’ necklace for Michigan with a charm that features the Upper Peninsula,” a customer service representative told her via e-mail.

The image of the necklace on the Sundance Catalog website has not yet been updated.

The response from customer service was almost immediate, Fleury said, and she had not identified herself as an attorney in her first communication with the company.

Initially, she wondered whether the entire design would be redone or if a second charm would be added to existing necklaces.

After placing an order, Fleury received an updated necklace and found that both peninsulas were depicted in one charm.

“That way, people downstate can’t take it off,” she joked.

Fleury mentioned her father had once written a letter to a major magazine company when he saw that an issue of their magazine had left the U.P off the map.

“Maybe I’m following in his footsteps,” she said.

Evan Reid’s e-mail address is ereid@ironmountaindailynews.com.