Our team recently hired Allie Azrael Lopato as our Director of Estate Jewelry! Allie holds a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and will oversee all our estate buying operations, including vintage and heirloom jewelry.
We are thrilled to have Allie on our team and know she will help us continue to uphold our commitment to provide outstanding service and trustworthy quality to our customers.
To help you get to know Allie better and understand the value she brings to our company, we recently sat down and asked her a few questions. In our interview, we covered everything from how she ended up in this field, what it takes to stay successful, and her advice to those looking to sell their estate jewelry.
Interested in selling your estate jewelry?
Allie, tell us about yourself!
I’m originally from Baltimore and am a graduate of The Park School of Baltimore. I earned my B.S. from Indiana University and also have a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America.
I previously worked in New York at an international estate jewelry buyer, where I became well-versed in all aspects of estate purchasing. This is an industry I’m passionate about and I’m excited to offer our clients here at Samuelson’s an educational and transparent experience when selling their heirlooms.
“I love the excitement of evaluating jewelry and buying special pieces.”
Why did you decide to become a gemologist?
I love the excitement of evaluating jewelry and buying special pieces.
I’ve always had a passion for jewelry, even when I was a child. I used to play dress up in my mother’s and grandmother’s jewels. I wanted to become an expert in the field and that’s what led me to enroll at GIA in 2009.
Jewelry makes me happy. I love the excitement and process of evaluating jewelry and buying special pieces. You never know what treasures a client is going to bring in to sell– and that, to me, is really cool.
What qualities help you be successful as an estate jewelry buyer?
First and foremost is the ability to identify and value diamonds and colored stones.To do that correctly, though, you need to understand what makes GOOD jewelry GOOD– that’s the key.
Other important skills you need in this industry are understanding how a piece of jewelry is constructed from start to finish. You need to be able to identify the era of a piece of jewelry as well as hallmarks and signatures from famous designers.
Finally, the ability to put a value on these pieces is highly important, and it’s a skill that can only be developed through time and experience.
Do you have a specialty or favorite era of jewelry?
I love the strong designs and straight lines of Art Deco period pieces.
I love evaluating pre-owned luxury branded jewelry and watches. I’ve had a lot of experience in these areas.
As for my favorite era, all jewelry makes me excited but I do have a passion for Art Deco designs. Art Deco pieces have strong designs and straight lines. Just think of Baltimore’s Bank of America Building, a classic example of Art Deco architecture!
“I love the strong designs and straight lines of Art Deco period pieces.”
What do you think is the future of estate jewelry?
I believe the future of estate jewelry is growing and getting stronger– for both buyers and sellers!
There are incredible pieces coming across my desk every day, and we are uncovering more and more jewelry as the older population is downsizing and selling their heirlooms. This provides a great opportunity for those looking to sell their jewelry – you may have a highly valuable piece in your jewelry box right now and not even know it!
What’s a common misconception about selling estate jewelry?
I think many people don’t realize that there’s a strong market for estate jewelry right now. There are niche collectors who focus solely on estate jewelry and they want to buy your heirlooms.
Another thing many don’t understand is that estate pieces are worth significantly more than their intrinsic value, especially signed pieces by famous makers like Van Cleefe & Arpels, Cartier, Raymond Yard, Tiffany & Co just to name a few.
“Work with a trustworthy, reputable buyer.”
Do you have any tips for people looking to sell estate jewelry?
Work with a trustworthy, reputable buyer.
The best piece of advice I can give to someone interested in selling their estate jewelry is to work with a reputable jewelry buyer. This will make a huge difference in your entire selling experience…including the offer price you recieve.
Three of the best reasons to work with us here at Samuelson’s Buyers are:
- Immediate Payment– You can get your jewelry evaluated without any pressure to accept our offer. But if you do accept, we always pay you right away
- A Great Offer– Other jewelry buyers sometimes offer less because they don’t have the retail presence we have in Baltimore. We also rely on the strong relationships we’ve built, so we know what our network of collectors are looking for. We consistently offer the best prices for your estate jewelry in all of the Maryland/Washington DC and Northern Virginia area.
- Safety– Your safety is a big priority for us. We offer private, one-on-one appointments in a high-end business district.
Schedule an Appointment to Sell Your Estate Jewelry
If you have heirloom pieces and are interested in getting them evaluated and receiving an offer, schedule a private appointment with Allie or another experienced team member.
Some of the most common reasons people decide to sell their estate jewelry include:
- They don’t wear it anymore (or never have)
- They interited the jewelry and it doesn’t match your lifestyle
- The jewelry is out of fashion
- The jewelry needs repairs but they’re not worth the cost
- They’re looking to make some extra money
At Samuelson’s Buyers, we purchase estate jewelry of all origins and in any form. Allie and our team will approach your peace with the highest respect and attention to detail, regardless of its condition or value.
Have questions about the selling process?
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