Victorian Period hand-painted minature

Victorian Grand Period (1860-1885) gold brooch with hand-painted miniature in the style of Gainsborough and Cosway, quartz crystal cover, and natural (Persian Gulf ?) pearls; a real gem recently submitted for valuation. Want to solve your family riddles or insure a valuable heirloom ? Just click the contact link

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Samuel’s customers, take heed:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Selling your jewelry

If you are interested in selling your jewelry, I have an article on this website that you can access by clicking on a link just below the banner on this page. ALSO, this very good article just appeared and I do recommend reading it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seven People Defrauded in Fake Diamond Scheme


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Diamonds International, Caribbean cruises, Crown of Light™, and other vacation realities: The Incredible Jewellery Selling Machine

The incredible jewellery selling machine – Part 1

It swallows consumers by the thousands, storing them in its belly while it traverses the seas in search of places for its captives to spend money as rapidly and efficiently as possible. Teams of well-trained pre-sales cheerleaders prime the consumers for the feeding frenzy while gently steering them to the sellers willing to pay for targeted customer delivery. After processing the customers through several shopping feedlots they are disgorged back to their original capture point happier, fatter, and over-burdened with new purchases.

Welcome to the world of cruiseships in the Caribbean; floating palatial resorts designed to make the passengers feel wealthy and spoiled. For the last twenty years I worked as a consultant to the Caribbean jewellers serving the multi-billion dollar cruiseship market. I recently took a cruise and had a chance to see it from the passenger’s point of view. It was an eye-opening experience.

From the moment you book your cruise there are two things that are stressed in their communications more than anything else: We are here to guide and protect, you are here to enjoy and consume. Onboard there is constant entertainment, never-ending food, and free-flowing alcohol to trigger the self-indulgent gene that hides in all of us. Every slightest wish is fulfilled instantly by the helpful and friendly crew. And underneath all of the luxurious splendour, the gluttonous consumption of food, fun and frolic is a constant message delivered both blatantly and subliminally: “You must buy jewellery!”

Ads for jewellery stores at each scheduled port grace almost all onboard media. There are port lectures extolling all the wondrous delights that await at each stop including selected fine jewellers. Professional “Shopping Experts” give workshops on how to buy a diamond; briefly touching on the 4C’s while promoting the hand-picked, trusted stores where you will save at least 70% over back home prices. The Shopping Expert will even meet you onshore and hold your hand through the entire purchase process…just to be sure you get the best deal. On-board contests often have a jewellery item as a prize.

Tapping into people’s emotions it triggers their greed and instils a small amount of fear. That fear drives the customers to the trusted businesses where the cruise line guarantees the purchase through a US based service centre. Buying at any other store carries the risk that you might get ripped off in a foreign country with no recourse.

There is a fee for a jewellery store to be on the list, along with product donations for prizes, a gift of a nice watch or pendant for the shopping experts to wear, and last but certainly not least…a commission on each sale made to a passenger on that ship. This is for each ship visit. In some ports there may be six or seven ships per day.

And the whole scheme works remarkably well. Customers are primed and pumped. Featured stores and products experience a feeding frenzy of buying that you must see to believe. The cash registers keep ringing. Individual stores may sell more in a day than many hometown jewellers do in a month…or several months.

Next week: The retail side of the machine, the view from behind the counter.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Diamond octahedron included in another diamond.

Diamond crystalizes in the cubic system and octahedra are one of its most common forms. But this photo is an EXCEPTIONAL view of an octahedral diamond crystal inside another diamond. Photo used by permission is ©Sherlene Bradbury – 2017 – All Rights Reserved. Sherlene is a NAJA appraiser in Rockville, Maryland.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EGL Revokes License for Israel lab

About a year back, but current in the sense that I just had one of these reports come across my desk and can’t verify the information or report due to closure of this laboratory. Just add this to the sum total of info on EGL.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why use an “Independant Appraiser ??”

An independent appraiser is one that is hired by and works directly with the consumer and whose only allegiance is to his or her client. Independent appraisers have no specific reason to inflate, devalue, or otherwise conveniently apply values to any of the items they appraise. In addition, independent appraisers are characteristically more thorough, competent and provide the customer with substantially more specificity and detail on their jewelry purchases. An independent appraiser only appraises and values jewelry, gemstones, diamonds and watches. He or she neither purchases, sells nor brokers these items. Neither are they employed by a jeweler, jewelry company, insurance company or any other industry related agency. Nor do they accept referral commissions from jewelers, insurance companies, auctions, or any other agencies.

This is important to the consumer because only an independent appraiser can give you an unbiased and disinterested opinion of value on your item. Insurers and judiciary authorities are well aware of abuses and insurance frauds based on inflated “appraisals” issued by jewelers, brokers or others anxious to show that their clients have received a super deal or have purchased an item well below its “actual” value in the market. A document issued by the maker of an item is not an appraisal — it is a claim of retail value and if it does not match what was actually paid, it may be deemed fraudulent.

In the context of estate and probate related appraisals, the issue of independence becomes even more critical. Courts may and frequently do reject so-called “appraisals” issued by the seller or maker of an item and order a report issued by an independent valuer.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Collector’s Handbook: free at Heritage Auctions website

A downloaded copy is free. All you have to do is register as a potential bidder/buyer with Heritage. I can tell you from personal experience that it’s painless. They don’t pester you with undersirable spam and don’t share your information. If you collect, this is a useful and desireable item of literature.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Alert: Shopping and GemTV Spinel (treated)


Caveat emptor – let the buyer beware. Diffusion treated spinel is showing up the TV shopping and GemTV type networks and, as usual, they are giving them the hard sell and hype that “really blue Spinel” is worth $____ per carat !! and that they were just lucky enough to get this stock from a contact at the Hong Kong Gem Fair etc., etc. ”


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment