TIFFANY & CO. , FRENCH HALLMARKING, + SYNTHETIC DIAMONDS – NAJA 2016

Three years ago, I attended a NAJA (National Association of Jewelry Appraisers) conference in Pittsburgh. It was my first appraisal conference + I had no idea what to expect but I was excited.

OMGGGG There’s a 2PM talk about Counterfeit Watches!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously, I said that.

I remember that I was just in awe of all the information I learned and was definitely reminded that I had a long way to go in becoming a true expert. That conference was exactly the kick in the butt I needed to get serious about appraising. Since then, the appraisal conference rotates around the country so when I found out that they were finally coming to Southern California, I was beyond stoked. In a brisk no-nonsense tone, I informed Jenny that I wo
uld be going + that she was coming with. Geeking out over synthetic diamond testers and the newest UV lamp is way more fun with a homie.

She was like “uhhh.. but we can’t close the store.” And I told her that this was for our future. She said, “Okay, I’ll go on Sunday”. With great disappointment, I agreed.

So last week, Jenny + I attended the conference in Newport Beach. I made it to every session despite the beach being 10 minutes away. I don’t know why I wanted to share that but I did. For four days, we learned not just about appraisal practices + what’s happening in the jewelry world, but also about French hallmarks + antique jewelry. We were so blown away by how much knowledge + expertise the presenters shared + just humbled by their dedication to their craft.

The jewelry appraising community is small compared to other niches in the jewelry world. It was so beautiful interacting with other appraisers + learning how they got into it and why they decided to pursue this career. Everyone was so supportive and told us to call them if we ever had any questions. They encouraged us to keep pursuing our education and to take Gem-A (the super scientific study of gemology in London), which we start in September (YAYYYY!).

Another thing we loved was the focus on the ethical responsibilities of appraisers.  We know the jewelry industry has gotten a lot of heat over the years for being unethical but it was so positive to see people who truly want the public to be fully educated about jewelry + want to help them make informed decisions.  This really is a community of support, collaboration, and good times.

 Here are a few super fun things that we learned about:

  • To see if a diamond is synthetic, check to see how it fluoresces under UV shortwave light. Some synthetics will fluoresce green!
  • Since 2003, Tiffany has stopped using rubies in their jewelry due to Myanmar’s human right abuses
  • France’s platinum stamp is a Penguin!
  • France introduced hallmarking to Portugal, Russia, Denmark, and Southern Italy.
  • Graff in London has their own assaying office, the only design house that has one.
  • One of the biggest reasons brooches aren’t popular anymore is because the clothes we wear today wouldn’t support its weight.

Continuing education is really important to Diamonds Forever. We believe that in order to better serve + protect our clients, it’s our responsibility to know what’s going on. If you’re looking to have your jewelry appraised, feel free to contact us!