A Knowledgeable Jewelry Advisor Is As Good As Gold with Jewelry Expert, Peter Shemonsky

Episode 119

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Why there are so many reproductions on the market, and why it’s important to work with a dealer who understands the technical intricacies of jewelry
  • Why young consumers are interested in mid-century modern and other design styles of their grandparents’ generation
  • Which pieces Peter considers the most memorable of his career
  • How high jewelry brands have adapted their jewels for the current market
  • Why the jewelry business is more about relationships than making a sale

About Peter Shemonsky

Peter Shemonsky grew up in New England and from a young age was intrigued by gemstones and jewelry.  His maternal grandfather was a silversmith and model maker, and by being exposed to his grandfather’s work he developed a special appreciation for jewelry and the process of making beautiful objects.

Classically trained as a designer and goldsmith, Mr. Shemonsky spent his early career working at the bench, creating custom jewelry and restoring antique jewelry. Through his work and the extensive study of the classic techniques employed in antique jewelry, he entered the auction world with Skinners in Boston, Massachusetts, and later held the position of head of the jewelry and silver department of Grogan & Company.

In 2000, Mr. Shemonsky was appointed head of the jewelry department at Butterfield & Butterfield, which was later acquired by Bonhams after which he became the director of the San Francisco and Hong Kong offices of CIRCA, an international jewelry buying company.

In 2010, he set up his own private jewelry firm specializing in fine, antique and estate jewelry as well as offering appraisal, purchasing and custom design services.

Mr. Shemonsky is a writer and instructor for the International Society of Appraisers Antique and Period Jewelry course and co-director of the West Coast chapter of the American Society of Jewelry Historians. He is a frequent lecturer on the topic of antique jewelry with the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, as well as the American Society of Appraisers. He has also made regular television appearances appraising jewelry on Antiques Roadshow over the past sixteen years.

Episode Transcript

Additional Resources:


Sharon Berman