Niamh Thomas GA Cert DGA

Jewellery Expert


When one considers that Niamh has always had a fascination with gemstones and a keen interest in history, it is no surprise that she has found her way to working here at Dawsons Auctions.


Niamh makes a welcome addition to the Jewellery, Watches & Silver team and she would be delighted to provide you with sales advice on any jewellery you may be thinking of selling.


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Why are you working within the auction world?

My interest in all things’ gemstones led me to pursue a career in fine jewellery within the auction world. Not only do you get the opportunity to observe some of the highest quality gemstones, but you also get to see the range of different cuts over the centuries. The additional history and stories wrapped up in each piece add layers of interest! 


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

A Cartier platinum emerald solitaire ring with channel-set diamond shoulders. The setting of the ring itself was not particularly unusual but the emerald was just incredible; it had such a deep luscious colour and amazing life! I had seen beautiful emeralds before, but this was the first time I remember being mesmerised by one.  

What first attracted you to your speciality?

I first started working in the trade at a small family-run jewellers which specialised in repairs and design. One of the most exciting aspects of the job was perusing the gemstone collection in the back of the shop and taking in all the different colours, cuts, and optical effects. I wanted to pursue a career in gemmology. I enjoy working in an auction house as I'm able to see a wider variety of gemstones and jewellery than you might in a Jeweller’s.

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?

I love the combination of skills and interests that the jewellery trade incorporates. Gemmology takes a scientific approach and provides endless learning; you can easily fall down a rabbit hole researching any one particular stone. It's more than just science though; curating a collection of items from across the decades for a modern audience adds a creative element.

"If you love a piece, then you're guaranteed that you'll wear it. It won't be hiding in a jewellery box for years to come.."

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

I've recently been drawn to some of the larger vintage gold and enamel ear clips from jewellery houses like Cartier and Fred of Paris. They're quirky and can add such style! I also am loving the JAR Paris enamel and gold earrings; these are works of art!

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

This really depends on the individual but ultimately something that resonates with them and brings them joy. If you love a piece, then you're guaranteed that you'll wear it. It won't be hiding in a jewellery box for years to come.


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

The best thing to sell at auction would be something that has a timeless beauty but that you wouldn't necessarily find today. Fine jewellery from brands such as Van Cleef & Arpels that are valued for their quality craftsmanship will always attract interest.


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.