Sitting at the green marble tabletop, Patti Geolat, appraiser/ estate jewelry buyer, chooses a diamond ring from the tray of recent buys and slips it on. After considering its visual appeal, she and Judy Asa, vice president of operations, begin the evaluation process by quality grading the gems and circa dating the item. The next step is to research comparables so they can determine an asking price.
“Part of playing dress up as a child,” explains Geolat, “is that the imagination is so rich. You’re pretending that you’re a princess, or that you’re old enough to go out to fancy parties. In a way, you are experimenting with what your style is, which continues throughout your life. That is the beauty of playing dress up with jewelry from bygone eras. Fashion is cyclical.”
“You may remember playing in mom or grandma’s jewelry box, seeing her when she was getting ready, watching her put a piece of jewelry on and walking out the door. I think those are all tied together—you want to be like Mom, you want to dress up like Mom. But you have learned to trust your own style, which you have been developing since you were a small child.”
“We give people room to say, ‘I remember this piece, but it just isn’t for me,’” adds Asa. “Knowing that we try to find a new home to adopt the jewelry is very important. That is why Patti created a ‘no melt shelter’. When we get inscribed jewelry, or lockets with photographs inside, we gain a fleeting glimpse into history that we try to preserve.”
Geolat agrees, “Our clients want to know that a piece will be loved again. We help people to get past the idea of selling something that is not right for them. They may feel guilty because they inherited it, and they might feel sad because they don’t like it enough to keep it. There is nothing wrong with that. I imagine, though, that whoever they inherited the item from would probably want them to utilize the asset portion of the jewelry. Perhaps their relative would be pleased with the thought of selling it and making new memories with the money.”
Between the two of them, Geolat and Asa have over sixty years’ experience in the jewelry and appraisal business and invite you to call or email with questions about the jewelry you remember wearing when you played dress up.