An Introduction to the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, with Gail Brett Levine, President of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers

Episode 52

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How Gail’s jewelry journey led her from the world of accounting to antiques, and then to her present career as an expert in jewelry appraisal
  • How glass and China became Gail’s gateway to her love of jewelry, and how her accounting background created an opportunity for her to become an appraiser
  • How NAJA, created in 1982, was founded with the sole purpose of focusing on jewelry appraisal
  • How NAJA’s four-day conference held every August is structured, with different focuses for each day of the conference
  • How members typically find their way to NAJA, typically from a background as graduate gemologists, and why being an independent appraiser can be challenging
  • Why Gail began attending the Bar Association meetings in Queens, and how she demonstrated her value as an appraiser
  • How NAJA offers an extensive course in jewelry appraisal theory, methodology, and processes, and why NAJA is beginning to offer the course online
  • What goals and vision Gail has for NAJA in the future, and why NAJA’s tight focus exclusively on jewelry is an asset for its continued growth
  • Why gemology and appraisal are perfect companions, and why a gemology graduate degree is necessary to be successful as an appraiser
  • Why attaining a degree as a gemology graduate is really only the beginning of learning for anyone working in jewelry appraisal

Gail Brett Levine was an escaped accountant in Washington, DC and a former shop owner in Alexandria, VA. Following on the heels of a divorce, she and her daughter moved to New York so that she could go to GIA. Gail found her passion as an appraiser H. Stern Jewelers – as their North American Appraiser.

Gail worked her way up the appraisal organization ladder at the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) – first as Chair of Gems and Jewelry then completed as the first woman President of a major appraisal organization. ISA was her stepping stone to the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA). In 2004 she became the NAJA’s third Executive Director.

The thrust of NAJA is appraisal education. In March 2019, NAJA launched the first section of the online Appraisal Studies Course. The balance of the course will be launched November 15, 2019. In addition to the Appraisal Studies Course, NAJA has two conferences a year. The upcoming conference will be February 2-3, 2020 in Tucson, AZ.

Additional resources:

Episode Transcript

Sharon Berman