New venture a rare find for Rocky business scene
A KEEN eye for the finer things is something that has followed Rockhampton’s own Jan Baker across her fascinating lifetime.
While busy raising her children some years ago, Ms Baker discovered a fascination with precious gemstones and stunning jewels – which would soon set in motion her new life’s work.
Her new independent business, Spectrum Jewellery Valuation Services, is only further proof of the qualified gemmologist’s dedication following almost a decade in the trade.
“At first I used to just muck around with gem stones, buying and looking online at some stuff,” she said.
“I went to a jeweller to have some things made up, my Dad had also given me some sapphires, so I thought to get a ring made.”
What first began as a mere hobby would soon grow into a lifetime passion; inspired by the kind words of her previous local jewellery valuator.
“As I went into the jeweller more and more, he would bring out all these loose stones and ask me what I thought. I would usually guess right, and he suggested I go study some courses,” she revealed.
With years following spent dedicated to study, Ms Baker undertook short courses in Brisbane before moving on to become a Fellow of The Gemmological Association of Great Britain.
Despite her now years of experience and continued trainings, she admittedly – like countless others – made some risky judgments during her career’s infancy.
“When I did my short introduction to gemmology, I took a piece of alexandrite that I bought online to all the valuers there and they luckily confirmed that it was a natural alexandrite,” she said.
“Of course, I got a big stick over the knuckles for buying gems online and was warned about doing it again.”
While Ms Baker’s home office is now frequented by the sight of stunning sapphires, rubies, emeralds and diamonds, she says her most memorable piece also brought with it a lesson in history.
“A while back, a customer brought in a diamond ring to value. On the girdle you’ll usually find some laser inscription of a certification number. This specific one had a kangaroo inscribed which I’d never seen before,” she said.
“I did some research on it and traced it back to a local Brisbane diamond merchant from the 1970s who used to put a kangaroo almost as a trademark to say it was their diamonds.
“They only did that for a few years before they moved on to a new form of inscribing.”
For those eager to enter into the unique trade, Ms Baker suggests using a reputable online gemstone retailer – most certainly not eBay – which offers free returns for unsatisfied customers.
“I’d also buy some place where a piece already has a valuation certification,” she said.
“If you’re going to have something valued, make sure it valued by a jewel valuer registered with the National Council of Jewellery Valuers – that’s really important.”
Ms Baker can be reached for appointment on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 0427 203 015.