Jul 072012

There is a saying that I picked up as a young trainee;  ”Sometimes, your best efforts can be your worst failures”.  This little story definitely falls into this genre.

Dimmers of Southsea, the jeweller I worked for on the South coast of England, had close connections with the Admiralty, indeed we were the Official Supplier of Chronometers to the Admiralty at one time.  Anyway, I digress. What follows will make your hair stand on end!

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Mar 252011

One of the most dreaded phrases ever heard in my office goes something like “I want you to have a look at this ring, my husband just paid a lot of money for it on eBay”
I always have an unpleasant feeling that the interview is going to go badly and there may be tears.
How refreshing then when today I was able to give a client some very good news indeed. The client produced a ring which looked as though it had been made from salvaged bits of pre-existing jewellery.  A rather high (for UK taste) wire claw setting with baguette shoulders on a split shank.  It did the job but without much in the way of style. However, it was what was in the central collet which made the customer’s trip worthwhile. Continue reading »

Mar 072011

David Callaghan receiving the "David Wilkins Award" from the Institute of Registered Valuers

Always on the look out for interesting talks, seminars and workshops to attend, I thumb through the trade magazines and have a phrases programmed into Google in case anything is listed on the internet.  Well, a couple of weeks ago, an email arrived in my inbox with details of a talk to be held by David Callaghan in Thatcham, Berkshire.  Now any talk by David is bound to be of interest to me and his talks are guaranteed to be good! My next thought …. ‘What was he talking about?’ ahhh …. René Lalique.  The chance to hear the great man talk about the legendary René Lalique was not to be missed! Continue reading »

Jan 312011

Admin: Dr. Jack Ogden is a Guest Author for the AIJV.
Here, Jack identifies the need to consider design and craftsmanship as value attributes.

The woman fixed me with an icy stare. The problem was a valuation – isn’t it always?   She was querying a valuation that she’d had for a ring, and I was trying to explain that there were almost as many different types of valuation as there are types of cheeses.  Was it a valuation for insurance, for sale, for probate…?  “For goodness sake” she glowered, “I just want to know its intrinsic value.”   Continue reading »

Jan 182011

Every now and then one comes across a quote by someone that continues to ring in one’s head long after hearing it.

Here is a lovely quote that we came across the other day from Paul Nilsson of Gemlab in New Zealand.

“As I see it, jewellery valuation documents are a window through which Insurance Companies, Lawyers, Jewellery Owners and others outside the Jewellery Trade look in, and as such it is crucial for the good of the trade and the standing of Valuers, that the window has a sound frame and clear transparent glass. The AIJV is set on getting the repair tools and the squeegees out.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves Paul, Thank you.

Jan 162011

Admin: Renee Newman is a Guest Author for the AIJV.
Here, Renee comments on the need to consider transparency before making ill-informed quotes on value.

On January 11th, National Jeweler, posted a story entitled “Precious gems found in Detroit fish tank.”

An old fish tank there was found to be full of faceted and unfaceted gems. A gemologist told police that three of the stones alone could be worth more than $100,000. Continue reading »

Dec 292010

blog-ringI have always considered myself extremely fortunate that I have an opportunity in my work to see things that have perhaps never had a pair of human eyes clapped on them before.

In the course of examining gemstone inclusions I see many truly wonderous things and every now and then, I find something that tickles me.  Recently, I was suitably tickled!

This orange sapphire came in for valuation and under microscopic examination something truly beautiful and very amusing was revealed. Continue reading »

Dec 062010

As a valuer and an unapologetic watch ‘nut’ I often despair when people say they can’t see the logic of owning and collecting fine timepieces because they ‘only tell the time’. My stock answer usually is that if that was true of all things then everyone would drive Nissan Micras because the only function of an automobile is to get you from A to B!

But I digress (as I often do). In order to illustrate how important watch and clockmaking is I thought I’d share with you all the story of John Harrison and his marine chronometers. This mans ability to produce a compact and accurate timepiece is probably responsible for saving thousands of sailors lives and allowed Britain to become the formost sea power in the world. Continue reading »

Dec 032010

The unique diamond set in the engagement ring

As an independent jewellery valuer I have the pleasure of appraising beautiful jewellery every day, and I meet some very interesting people along the way.  None more so than a gentleman by the name of John Alderson, who had a very special diamond ring for me to value recently. You see, the diamond was no ordinary diamond; this round diamond was cut in a way I had never seen before. When I mentioned this to John I noticed a little twinkle in his eye, ‘that’s because I designed the cut and cut it myself’ he said. Now my ears pricked, how fabulous, a unique experience for me, how many people can say that they designed and cut a diamond all by themselves? Not many for sure! So we embarked on a trip down memory lane, John remembered everything like it was yesterday. Continue reading »

Nov 202010

It is with great pride and excitement that I announce the creation of a new trade association for jewellery valuers or, if you are on the other side of the pond, jewelry appraisers.

The Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers.

A worldwide association dedicated exclusively to a very rare professional indeed – the truly independent jewellery valuer.
Whilst the need for such an association has been present for decades the decision to form such an organisation was taken within 2 minutes! Let me explain how this momentous decision came to be ……..
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