National Rarities’ Employee Spotlight
Now is the time to express gratitude for the people in our lives.
As we continue to trudge through whatever life throws at us, it’s important to recognize the people around you. Remaining positive, motivated, and hardworking during these times are difficult, and we want to commend all those who are continuing to do so.
National Rarities is proud to announce our exciting new blog feature that aims to showcase our dedicated, exceptional, enthusiastic employees. They are rock stars, and they deserve to be recognized!
We will always choose to look on the bright side, no matter the situation. It’s features like these that remind us of how lucky we are to work with such amazing individuals. That being said, our first employee spotlight showcases Anne Howitt, one of our Graduate Gemologists.
Q1: Describe a brief history of yourself and your relevant training.
I’ve always loved fine jewelry and spent many days as a child going through my mother’s jewelry box. Each piece had a different story and memory associated with it.
After college, I was shopping for diamond wedding bands and hit it off with a local jeweler and gemologist who asked me to work in their store. Shortly after that, I began my gemology education through GIA (the Gemological Institute of America) followed by the Certified Gemologist Appraiser program through AGS (American Gem Society).
I spent 20 years working in retail jewelry stores as a salesperson, and as a jewelry appraiser. I was fascinated with the different jewelry appraisal markets and the different values of pieces relevant to the markets.
I joined National Rarities in January 2019 as an inventory manager and estate jewelry specialist. One of my favorite aspects of the job is working with luxury jewelers from all across the country, and meeting with people one-on-one to hear the stories behind their valuable items. I also enjoy being able to offer customers money for their items when they are ready to part with them.
It’s very rewarding to help a family go through their broken gold chains, antique earrings, or jewelry that has been sitting in a jewelry box for many years. I truly enjoy offering them a check for their unwanted jewelry items so that they can use the money for something that they really need or want.
Q2: What does a typical day look like for you when you aren't on the road?
When I’m not on the road working at an estate buying event, I work in the inventory department at National Rarities.
I have a great team of co-workers who are very skilled at knowing which items will be best for reselling in a secondhand market, and which items are most valuable for their gold or diamond content. We weigh and grade loose diamonds, then have them re-cut and sold back into the market. Our gold gets refined and recycled back into the market to be used for brand new pieces.
We grade each piece of jewelry (using GIA grading standards) for the secondhand market by testing the metals, grading diamonds, and identifying gemstones in our gem lab. The finest and rarest pieces of jewelry are chosen and added to our estate case program. With this program, we set up special estate case events with our jewelers.
Jewelry that is less rare, but still desirable and in good shape we move forward with listing and selling on our eBay store. Every morning our department answers all jewelry related questions and reviews offers made on the pieces before our eBay manager processes the packaging and shipment of all the pieces.
We also have a new office devoted to meeting with local sellers and each of us takes turns meeting with these sellers. We are able to help families sell items from a loved one’s estate so they can split the money evenly.
Additionally, while off the road we strive to offer continuing education for all of our team members. Our team is comprised of jewelry specialists in many different fields including watches, artwork, vintage and antique toys, war memorabilia, Native American jewelry, sterling silver flatware, coins, and firearms. We all buy and sell all these different items so we create presentations and take classes to offer the best information we can to our customers.
Q3: What is your favorite thing about working at National Rarities?
My favorite things about working at National Rarities is the people I work with, the variety of tasks and items we encounter, traveling to different places, and helping the people I get to meet along the way. Sorry, I couldn’t pick just one!
Q4: What is your favorite piece that you have purchased or sold? Do you have a story behind it?
We have a Federal Firearms license and purchasing my first gun was definitely a memorable experience. It was an older Winchester rifle. The gun wasn’t that rare, but I was able to use the training we receive to make sure it was unloaded and handled safely and properly.
My favorite piece we have for sale right now is this incredible classic platinum emerald and baguette-cut diamond ring. It is classic, elegant, and timeless!
Now, more than ever, it is important to be grateful for the people in our lives. Whether it be a family member, a friend, or an incredible coworker, everyone deserves some extra love during this time.
We are so appreciative of Anne and her hard work and dedication to National Rarities. Without her, and without our staff, we could not do what we do! Congratulations Anne!
Stay tuned for our next National Rarities employee spotlight. Our team of “rarities” deserves to be showcased!