This week we’re doing something a little different from a blog. We’ve lined up an interview with our manager and expert jewellery valuer, Rachel Smith, who’s going to answer some of our burning questions about jewellery valuation, as well as telling us about some of her incredible experience in the industry and at Hatton Jewels, so without further ado, say hello to Rachel!
How did you get into the jewellery business?
Unsurprisingly, I have always loved jewellery and anything with a sparkle, so when it came to starting in the working world, I was over the moon at getting my first job at a local jeweller. I started as a junior member of the team, getting a real idea of the everyday preparations and behind the scenes work that goes making jewellery and providing customers with lasting experiences. I adored the work and knew it was something I wanted a career in, so after college I started gaining industry accreditations from the Institute of Registered Valuers, a GIA Diamond Graduate certification and gemstones accreditations from GIA and GEM-A. Now, after 10 years in the jewellery industry my love has not faded and I am fortunate to be able to work within a company with a fabulous team here at Hatton Jewels!
Any favourite pieces of jewellery?
That is such a tough question to answer, seeing so many beautiful pieces each day you fall for a new piece almost every week! Having said that there are some styles I am particularly fond of, Cushion cut Diamonds are one of my favourite Diamond cuts and I am loving the revival of rose gold jewellery going on. Hatton Jewels also sees many older Diamonds such as old mine cuts from the Victorian era which I love to see be given a new lease of life being made into a new piece of jewellery for our Revival collection or for a commission that someone that will cherish the Diamonds touch of history.
How do you value jewellery?
Valuing jewellery can sometimes be a lengthy process depending on the piece, every piece has to be viewed and examined individually. I start by assessing each piece to identify the stones and cuts, looking at the individual characteristics it possesses, noting down every intricacy about the item from the metal, Diamond clarity and colour, estimated circa, and what would be needed to re-create or replace each piece. We use many sources to determine its value and take into account unique designs, brands, age and any illustrious history that can be attached to an item of jewellery.
Do you have a favourite piece you’ve valued?
There are many pieces I’ve seen over the years that have really stuck in my mind but I think it’s more the story and history that you hear with a piece of jewellery that makes it stand out for me. I was once fortunate enough to examine a collection that had been commissioned and owned by Ernest Hemmingway, including two ornate bracelets that were especially rare. The entire collection was beautiful and it was fascinating to hear the history of it all.
Tell us something about yourself...
Outside of work I adore ice skating and have recently found a love for bouldering, although neither of which I have mastered the art of by any stretch of the imagination, but still thoroughly enjoy throwing myself into nonetheless!
My interview also can't go without mentioning my love for my gorgeous Labrador Fergus and my feisty but adorable cat Bella, both of which have become common talk of the Hatton Jewels office!
If you have any jewellery that you would like valued by Rachel, whether you’re looking for valuation for insurance or you’re looking to sell your jewellery, just book an appointment online and visit our boutique shop in Hatton Gardens at your earliest convenience and Rachel will be happy to cast her expert eye over it.