Feb 272016
 

ted film crewJewelry appraisers have ample opportunities to quash the hopes and dreams of clients expecting to feather their nest egg when we value their heirloom jewelry.  But, then mom’s “alexandrite” or grandma’s five carat “ruby” turn out to be synthetic corundum and you are the heavy. So it was refreshing to participate in a feel good story recently that got world-wide attention for a few minutes.

The Call

So, I get this call one day from a lady who had dined in a local restaurant and bit down on something hard in her seafood dish.   I have had this story a few times before and have yet to give happy news to the diner.  Well, this lady said the thing was dark and spherical so she took it home and did some research, leading her to think she might have an elusive quahog pearl.  My initial reaction, as always, was to explain that I would have to examine it, but don’t get your hopes up. Continue reading »

Nov 132015
 

insuranceIn this article Auckland Valuer Paul Nilsson questions whether jewellery valuers have kept up with changes to domestic insurance policy wordings as they apply to jewellery.

Most Valuers would agree that when they write an insurance valuation on a piece of jewellery for a consumer their primary objective is to protect the owner.
Here are two scenarios where that objective may not have been met.
Consumer A had an estate diamond brooch professionally valued at $6000 and listed separately on their insurance policy for that amount. A year later they lost it and discovered it would cost $12,000 for the new replacement their policy entitled them to. However the insurance contract meant that the settlement was limited to the specified amount of $6000. Their Valuer had unfortunately only valued the brooch at its second-hand value.
Consumer B inherited their mothers’ engagement ring and had it valued for $2,000 and listed on their policy. When they made a claim 5 years later they discovered their policy only entitled them to a $400 pay out. The Valuer had valued it for replacement with a new one but their policy was for market value (indemnity value) not replacement.
More about these two scenarios later. Continue reading »

Feb 202015
 
Figure 1: Solid opal or opal doublet (composite)

Solid opal or opal doublet (composite)

Admin: Alan Hodgkinson is a Special Guest Author for the AIJV.  Here, Alan explores a tricky opal doublet.

It would certainly make life easier for the gemmologist/ appraiser if all composite gems were claw set, or even better if loose (unmounted) – wishful thinking of course. In such situations, the doublet joint is so easy to see.

Life was never meant to be so straightforward and there are situations where the junction plane of a doublet is concealed by a collar setting (figure 1). The pendant shown (Figure 2) provides a good example of the problem.

Continue reading »

May 122014
 

Méthodes ancestrales au goût du jour.

(Voir la version Anglaise) Certaines techniques de bijouterie joaillerie sont quasiment en voie de disparition. Pourtant, elles possèdent des avantages à ne pas oublier.

Pour la réalisation de pièces purement massives, les artisans bijoutiers ont appris jusque dans les années 70 à faire des moulages avec l’os de seiche. l s’agit d’un procédé artisanal dont le savoir-faire a été préservé par José ACTIS, artisan bijoutier à Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. José nous a chaleureusement accueilli dans son atelier ce mois-ci, nous allons donc vous faire partager ici cette technique non perdue pour tous ! Continue reading »

May 122014
 

Traditional methods brought up to date.

(View French version) The techniques involved in some jewellery making processes have almost disappeared, nevertheless they can have advantages that should not be forgotten.

Until the ’70s, artisan jewellers learned to make casts with cuttlebone to create of purely solid pieces. The know-how involved in this process has been preserved by José ACTIS, a craftsman in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France. José warmly welcomed us into his workshop this month, so now we will share this technique, fortunately not lost forever. Continue reading »

Jan 192011
 

This study was developed to enhance the understanding of the various levels of the retail market.

  • There are many markets available to the consumer for purchasing jewelry and gemstones at retail.
  • There are specific and stratified retail markets available to gemologists and appraisers.
  • This article covers High-End Guild stores, Kiosk jewellery sellers and everything in between. Continue reading »
Dec 222010
 

Admin: Antoinette Matlins is a Guest Author for the AIJV.
Here, Antoinette warns of the dangers surrounding the new “composite ruby” and reflects on the trade’s responsibilities to educate.

Rubies remain one of the most popular of all the precious gems, and following the recent publicity surrounding Jessica Simpson’s ruby and diamond engagement ring, are likely to become even more so.

A few years ago this would have been good news to the jewelry trade, but today it may spell disaster for many retailers, designers, buyers and sellers of estate jewelry, and bench jewelers when serious and irreparable damage occurs to a “ruby” in the course of normal wear or, worse yet, when being mounted, re-mounted, re-sized, and so on. Shock sets in when a ruby becomes a molten glob on the workbench, or when its appearance is horribly marred by acid etching from top to bottom, around the entire stone. And some appraisers are making matters worse. Continue reading »

Nov 262010
 
Green sapphire crown and a synthetic ruby pavilion

Figure 1

Admin: Alan Hodgkinson is a Special Guest Author for the AIJV. Here is an excerpt from his soon to be released book ‘Gem Testing Techniques’

Nothing could be easier than to identify a gemstone as a composite (doublet or triplet) when confronted by a loose gemstone.  A view of the junction plane will normally reveal the dual component quite easily, regardless of the skill of the maker of such counterfeit gemstones. Continue reading »