Hana’s Jewelry Journey

I have always loved jewelry. My mom has a jewelry design studio in her basement and her interest clearly rubbed off on me!

As a kid, I would open my mom’s jewelry box in wonder while she was getting ready for a date night with my dad. I felt so honored when she let me pick out which piece to wear. She also humored me by wearing the handmade puzzle-piece brooch I glued together for her at school.

I went to Camp Arbutus/Hayo-Went-Ha in Northern Michigan for several summers and made many hemp necklaces and friendship bracelets and my sister and I collected beads and created our own choker necklaces in the 90s.

Needless to say, I was REALLY into it as a kid! I also loved looking for Petoskey stones on Lake Michigan beaches. I was obsessed with finding one before any of my family members.

Petoskeys are coral fossil stones with a distinctive honeycomb pattern and are only found along Lake Michigan shores.

I collected Petoskeys, shells and rocks everywhere I went, including at the rock shops we stopped at on family vacations, finding keepsakes to remind me of all the places I had visited.

Given my love for exploring new places, looking for interesting things and being out in nature (hiking in the woods and walking on the beach looking for stones are my favorite activities!), it was only natural that I would end up studying at GIA and becoming a gemologist!

I studied Art History at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and spent my junior year abroad in Bologna, Italy. I enjoyed identifying different artists and styles and connecting history with changing taste and design styles.

In graduate school at Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt, I continued with my studies and focused on jewelry design history from 1850-1950.

While in New York, I also worked for a jewelry company in the Diamond District, interned at Phillips and Bonhams auction houses and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I have spent a lot of time at antiques stores, flea markets and trade shows looking for and handling as many interesting and unusual pieces of jewelry that I could find.

This thrill of hunting and discovering more information about a piece was what I loved about working in the auction world.

Access to thousands of pieces of jewelry allowed me to learn new things about jewelry and watches every day.

I took a class on Louis Comfort Tiffany in graduate school and when I was at Hindman Auctions, I had the privilege of researching and selling a fantastic Louis Comfort Tiffany necklace that was found in a filing cabinet of all places!

When I started working at Hindman Auctions, I didn’t know much about watches. But since no one else on the team was interested in watches, I delved right in.

Cataloging and pricing two collections of over 100 pocket watches helped me learn quickly, and I put together several watch catalogues.

Doing this work, I had the pleasure of meeting many watch collectors and buyers and, lucky for me, they were not shy about sharing their knowledge. To further educate myself in this area, I took a Christie’s course on watches which included the history of watchmaking. Fascinating!

Today I am grateful to be able to combine all my passions – for jewelry, watches and objects, natural stones, gemstones and digging deeper into their history and context – into my new venture as an independent appraiser, cataloger and researcher/writer.

I hope you will take a moment to learn more about what I do and how we can work together. And, in the meantime, sign up to get stories about all things jewelry, treasured objects and more delivered straight to your inbox.

Clearly, we share a passion (or you wouldn’t be here) and I look forward to getting to know you!

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