Independent centre of excellence

This week's 'Spotlight on the Valuer' sees Craig O'Donnell, Valuer and Curator at Assay Office Birmingham tell us about jewellery valuations.

Craig O’Donnell BA FGA has been a full time valuer with SafeGuard Jewellery Valuation Sevice for over 14 years. He is passionate about jewellery and silver, which is backed up by his personal library of over 2000 books on these subjects.

As well as being a Valuer, Craig is a silver specialist and Curator of the oustanding Assay Office Birmingham silver collection. He has given talks on many subjects including the history of Assay Office Birmingham, Hallmarking, antique jewellery and gemstones and is also one of the tutors lecturing on the one day commercial training courses run by the Assay Office – “‘Understanding Hallmarking” and “Understanding Antique Jewellery”.

He has had several articles published both in the trade press and internationally recognised journals, and in his spare time is writing a book on Birmingham Makers’ Marks 1890-1920.

Craig comments: ‘Every day introduces a new challenge whether valuing a diamond solitaire for insurance replacement, a mayoral badge of office for facsimile replacement or a Georgian snuff box for antique replacement. The variety and complexity of the items keep me interested and alert to things like fakes, new gemstone treatments etc. whilst the education side imparts some of my knowledge accumulated over the last 25 years to the next generation or to my peers.’

Craig has appeared in several expert witness cases and has arbitrated on several disagreements between dealers through LAPADA, as well as providing advice and information to organisations such as the V&A and the BBC. He is a member of the Silver Society, the Society of Jewellery Historians and the Gemmological Association. Craig also undertakes retail store jewellery valuation event days as well as carrying out home visits for individuals with sizeable collections.

VIP Jewellery Valuations and SafeGuard can value items such as rings and watches to diamond necklaces and silverware.

An up-to-date valuation of your most precious possessions will give you peace of mind and protection, ensuring that any necessary insurance claim for loss or damage is simple, straightforward and satisfactory.

VIP Jewellery Valuations expert jewellery, watch and silverware valuations and SafeGuard are recognised by all major UK insurers and can also be provided for probate or private sale.

If you would like to find out more about submitting your items for a valuation, please get in touch with us today on 0871 423 7922 or e-mail

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