Stephanie Masché, Owner
I've always had a love of gemstones, from their rough formation in the earth to the final cut brilliance of the stones you see set in jewelry.
I started collecting both rough and faceted stones about 15 years ago. My collecting bug and fascination with gemstones grew and I wanted to learn much more about them.
It was both this passion (and a bad experience with a jewelry store) that was my deciding factor to formally study gemstones.
As I scoured the different schooling options one stood out from all the rest. The schools founder had integrity and a passion for the proper disclosure of treatments in gemstones. His approach was practical and the rules were strict. No open book tests here (as is the practice with other major gemology schools). Each test was timed so you didn't have the option to look up the answers - you had to know them. The appraisal course was also the only one of it's kind written by people who have actually worked inside the insurance industry, are licensed by the insurance industry, and also hold credentials in the jewelry and gemstone industry.
This training went beyond what other schools require to be a gemologist. It also included courses in evaluating damaged jewelry, synthetic gemstones, gemstone treatments and the appraisal process.
So two years, numerous tests, and eight courses later I have finished my classes with the ISG, but not my final destination.
My association with the ISG also requires re-certification every two years. This ensures that I am kept up to date on insurance laws and the appraisal process.
The jewelry and gemstone industry is constantly evolving. Synthetic gemstones are more prevalent than you can imagine with new techniques showing up all the time. And no one is immune - not even a gemologist. I just recently purchased a beautiful 1 carat Ethiopian opal. The stone looked natural in every way until I studied it with high power under the microscope. It was sold as a natural opal but was in fact a Chatham lab created opal. Beautiful in it's own right, just not natural as the company who sold it to me had claimed.
It is this type of knowledge I am able to offer to you. I believe that you and your jewelry pieces deserve the careful and thorough attention of my appraisal services.
Stephanie L. Masché
Registered Gemologist Appraiser
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