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In 1993, after 17 years in the jewellery trade, I developed a visiting valuation service for retail jewellers.

There was no internet at the time and reaching out was extremely difficult. Therefore, I literally went door to door. In the course of the first two weeks I presented my services to over 70 retail jewellers and auction houses. The reception was rather mixed, including being manhandled by security from one jewellers in Newark.

On entering Eric A Bird Jewellers, however, I was greeted by Stephen and the late Eric in a very friendly manner. Old-fashioned gentlemanship – the same as I experienced from the recently closed and lamented Searle and Company in London.

They listened and agreed it was a service that they would be interested in. Stephen Thompson was the first client to say yes. I would like to offer him my sincere thanks, through the pages of this publication, for having the confidence in me.

After which my business and career blossomed rather well. It just takes that one person to say yes.

The coincidence is that today I am completing my last jewellery valuation. My work now is with museums and other institutions. I have no doubt that without Eric A Bird I would not have had such a wonderful career.

I would like to wish Stephen and Maria a very happy and well-deserved retirement.


Managing director, Hawksworth Valuations Ltd