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What makes a good jewelry appraiser?

Not the sort of question you might ask, but you should. If you are considering having jewelery appraised, don't you want someone qualified?

The simple fact is, having a Gemologist Degree isn't everything. Obtaining that degree teaches how to identify and grade diamonds and gemstones. Of course, just like getting a degree in almost any subject, it makes a difference how that degree was obtained. The Gemological Institute of America is the standard that everyone else lives up to. Even within that institute, there are two distinct differences in how one is taught. They offer both a resident and correspondent course. You end up with the same degree, but the educational level is a stark difference in what is taught. I hold a Graduate Gemologist Degree, earned in residence, from the Gemological Institute of America.

It doesn't end there. Gemological training doesn't teach about what holds those gems in place, to make jewelry. That is not something that is 'taught,' but rather learned through exposure.

I have written appraisals for over 30 years. I have been a jeweler longer than that. My introduction to jewelery making was 37 years ago. In those years I have worked in many capacities within the jewelery business. Those varied positions have enriched my ability to facilitate creating better appraisals.

Bench Jeweler: repairing and constructing all forms of jewelry in silver, gold, and platinum.

Custom Designer: working with customers directly to create one of a kind pieces: Working with the northern California Nordstrom Fine Jewelery department to create unique pieces: Recipient of a coveted Spectum Design award, internationally recognized for color stone design.

Repair Manager: at Shreve and Co. Jewelers in the main San Francisco store, supervising five employees and overseeing hundreds of jewelry, watch, and clock repairs weekly.

Jewelery Sales: at small independent, chain, guild, and department stores: The range of duties took me through the gamut from strict sales to management: Training programs of great interest for my appraisal work were in the arena of estate and antique pieces, historical importance and construction methods.

Just as every part of the jewelry industry has changes over the past 30 years, professional appraisals have become more standardized and refined. For the past twelve years I have been using a computerized appraisal system. The software is constantly updating, bringing the best advantages of technology available. Digital photography allows me instant detailed pictures to use. The pricing guidelines that I use are updated online, giving me up to date information at my fingertips.

This allows me to do something that is unique in the appraisal business; 'while you wait' appraisals. Most appraisers don't have the facilities to do this, and many do not have the proper training.

You can be assured of the best service from California Independent Gemological Laboratory. Fast, professional, convenient.