I feel very blessed to be a jewellery valuer because I get to see and examine some stunning pieces of jewellery. It’s actually quite hard to single out just one item as a favourite. I love more vintage pieces such as tiaras, gem set cocktail watches and anything from the Art Deco era. As I hold them I love to imagine who has worn them and how many amazing parties they have been to. My mind always wanders to the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Holly Golightly dressed to the nines and going to countless ‘soirees’. I recently valued a beautiful old cut diamond festoon necklace and the owner sighed and said to her husband: ‘well darling I doubt I will be wearing it at any more balls at Buckingham Palace anytime soon……’
However if pressed to choose one particular item as a favourite it would have to be something set with sapphire. Sapphires are my all-time favourite gemstones, so much so that when I worked in the auction world and on the TV show Dickinsons Real Deal, I had to be really careful not to overestimate sapphire set pieces and give the clients over inflated expectations because I loved the gemstones!
I recently valued a single stone ring. It was set with a Ceylon sapphire weighing 13.73cts, measuring 12.4mm by 12.1mm. The stone came with a certificate stating there was no evidence of heat treatment, something which is becoming increasingly rare because nowadays most coloured gems undergo some form of treatment to enhance their colour. As I gazed into the gem with my 10X loupe I could see a multitude of natural inclusions. Inclusions are what I most love about gemmology. I just think it’s incredible that these beautiful gems have been formed in the earth over thousands of years, each is unique and each tells its own story through the inclusions that lie within. Examining them is like diving into another world and this particular gemstone was a real feast for the eyes, a gemmologist’s delight! I could have looked at it for hours and would have loved to have put it under a microscope. However I had to settle for a quick fix because as valuers we work under time constraints and don’t really have the luxury to truly enjoy and appreciate such magnificent pieces when they arise.
To the layperson the ring may look rather heavy and clunky. It’s set in platinum and weighs 21 grams. On the surface the sapphire facet edges are slightly rubbed. However for me, because of the magical world contained within, it was a real highlight and my favourite piece I have valued.