Annabel Zarandi BA (Hons), GA Cert

Head of Valuations London


Annabel is our Head of Valuations London, and no stranger to the auction world. Indeed, her parents first took Annabel to an auction at an early age, and she loved everything about that first experience so much that she has forged a career in the industry.


Whether you are looking to buy or sell Fine Jewellery, Watches, Art & Interiors, Annabel and the Team in London look forward to welcoming you to our Hampstead office.


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Why are you working within the auction world?

I remember going to an auction years ago with my parents and loving every aspect of our day. From going through the catalogue, to registering and finally the thrill of bidding in the auction room – I found it fascinating.  On a day-to-day basis, you really do not know what is going to come through the door and you learn so much about different disciplines outside of your speciality, there really is no other industry like it!


Within your career to date, which item would you class as your favourite? 

I was fortunate to assist a client with the valuation and sale of a Victorian diamond set hinged bangle, it was set with 11 old-cut diamonds weighing just over 15cts – it was stunning! I haven’t seen one so heavily diamond set before, and in such good condition.  It was such interesting valuation to work on for the client, and to see it exceed the reserve and hammer for £24,000 was an amazing feeling.

What first attracted you to your speciality?

Studying Classics at university, I completed a project on Roman women, and part of that was what their jewellery said about their status – after that I was hooked. I love the symbolism behind historical and antique pieces – what message was the wearer trying to convey about themselves. From superstitions to power and status, I think it’s fascinating.  From a gemmological perspective, I love any gemstone with an optical illusion and understanding the science behind this.

A French Art Deco platinum and multi gem Egyptian revival pendant
A French Art Deco Egyptian revival pendant

Sold for £39,500

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What aspect of your career do you find most satisfying?

Definitely the customer journey. From the initial inquiry to the valuation and finally the sale of the item – there is nothing more satisfying than see an item you have worked on go through auction and hopefully achieve a great price for our customers.

"I would always say if you are looking to buy jewellery do not overthink it – just buy what you love and you know you will wear. ."

If money were no object, what would you most like to buy?

One of my favourite jewellers is Andrew Grima. I love how diamonds were not the focus of his designs, but more unusual stones would take centre stage – he really was quite revolutionary. A boulder opal necklace he made in 1972 went through auction back in 2017 and hammered for £60,000 – I think I would settle for that!  

What should a potential collector/buyer look to purchase? Why?

I would always say if you are looking to buy jewellery do not overthink it – just buy what you love and you know you will wear. In terms of gemstones, I would avoid things that have had any sort of treatment – a certificate from a reputable laboratory should confirm if the stone has been subjected to any enhancements. Look for quality and good craftsmanship.


What are the best items to sell via an auction house?

Art Deco jewellery always commands a strong audience at auction, especially those by jewellery houses such as Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels and René Boivin. Antique pieces remain popular due to their rarity. I have noticed that old-cut diamonds are becoming more in demand – especially those set as stud earrings as again, these are difficult to come by.


A Cartier Kashmir Sapphire & Diamond Flower Brooch
A Cartier Kashmir Sapphire & Diamond Flower Brooch

Sold for £340,000

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What are your valuables worth?

Request a free auction estimate from our team of specialists, or contact us to book an appointment. If your item is suitable for auction, we will provide you with a valuation and further details of how to sell with us.