Our in-house Institure Registered Valuer (IRV), Sammantha Maclachlan IRV96816 MIRV PJDip CertGA,is a member of the National Association of Jeweller’s (NAJ) Institute of Registered Valuers, ensuring that all of the valuations carried out are handled professionally and to the highest standard.
Here we meet Sammantha and find out a little more about her Valuations journey!
When did you first become interested in valuations?
I have always had an interest in all things jewellery related and could never flick past an episode of The Antiques Roadshow or Bargain Hunt! Around 5 years ago I took the idea of us bringing our valuations service in-house to Joe Walsh, our now CEO. Joe thought it was a great idea and immediately got me enrolled on the courses which would enable me to become an IRV.
What does a typical day as a valuer involve?
The beauty of my role is that every day is different! As well as valuing, I also look after buying for our beautiful second hand and vintage jewellery collection. This is a really interesting part of my role and I love hearing the history of the items that I’m buying. I also help with diamond and gemstone training for new staff to the business and can sometimes find myself on the sales floor assisting customers.
When valuing, I may have up to ten pieces that I work on each day and as I value both jewellery and watches it can be a varied selection. I often have appointments with clients to assess why they need certain items valued. This leads on to carefully and thoroughly researching the items before presenting them to the client in a bound folder on completion.
What’s your favourite part of your day-to-day role?
My favourite part of my role is the people I work with, many of whom I’ve worked with since I started in 2007! The other really enjoyable part of my role is seeing some utterly amazing pieces of jewellery that I could only dream of owning. I love seeing customer’s faces light up when something is worth so much more than they had expected!
Tell us a little about your journey to becoming a valuer?
When I began looking into becoming a valuer, it quickly became evident that if I wanted to be the best I could, I should study to become a National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) Institute Registered Valuer. I began studying CAT (Certificate of Appraisal Theory) with the NAJ and alongside this, I studied gemmology with Gem-A. On completion of my CAT and gemmology certificate I submitted a large amount of work to the IRV committee who then approved me to become an MIRV.
What level of education have you now achieved and what support did you have along the way?
Over the 12 years that I’ve spent with Laings I have had a huge amount of training. This started out with my JET 1 and 2 courses to build a solid foundation of jewellery knowledge. From there I travelled to Antwerp to study diamond grading with IGI. Further down the line in order to become a valuer I studied for CAT and my gemmology certificate. In July last year I gained my practical gemmology endorsement from Gem-A and last month I sat my final diploma exam. I am awaiting my results and hope for a pass grade so that I can become a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, the most recognised gemmological qualification worldwide.
Laings have shown me a huge amount of support from day one, which I’ll always be grateful for. My General Manager, Claire Ross has also been so supportive and hearing that she’s proud to have me as part of the team means a lot to me.
What was the most difficult part of the journey?
Being a full-time working mum to two little boys whilst studying has been very difficult at times, but I feel that showing my children that hard work really pays off is a good lesson in life. I want them to be proud of their mummy.
What did you enjoy learning about the most?
I have hugely enjoyed my gemmology training. The field is so vast that every day there is something new to learn. There are always advances in gem testing and synthetic techniques that we have to keep ourselves up-to-date with. This is why I travel to conferences throughout the year on gemmology and valuing.
Sammatha will be holding IN-STORE VALUATION DAYS in Glasgow, Monday 18th March and Cardiff, Monday 25th March.
Valuations are a way to offer you the peace of mind that should anything untoward happen, your treasures and heirlooms are protected and fully insured.
Thank you for taking the time to meet our valuations expert! Follow our latest news on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, or if you have any questions please pop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.