Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Expert Profile

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(Please do not send questions about hallmarks or stamps on jewelry. I am not an expert in identifying marks. Thank you.) Feel free to post questions about the process of one of a kind jewelry manufacturing, gemstones, diamonds, the precious metals, industry trends, purchasing, quality, care and maintenance, appraisals, insurance, stone cutting, jewelry repair, etc. I am NOT equipped to answer questions about age or value of a piece without seeing it in person, and even then, I am not an expert in antiques. Nor am I an expert in stamps or marks that are inside the jewelry. There are hundreds of thousands of manufacturer's out there and then you factor in the number of years a piece of jewelry can circulate, it becomes an enormous amount of possibilities. I am really not the right person to ask about such markings.

Experience in the area

I specialize in the design of hand carved, custom fine jewelry. I've been involved in the design and manufacturing of jewelry since the mid 90's and been studying gemstones my entire life. I am a certified diamond grader by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and have a Business Degree from Truman State University. I am the owner/designer of a retail jewelry store established in 1975 in St. Charles, MO.


Jewelers of America, AGTA (American Gem Trade Association), Retail Jewelers Organization (RJO), Board of United Services, St. Charles Chamber of Commerce, Grace Christian Church Worship Team.


St. Louis Business Journal, Saint Charles Magazine


Certified Diamond Grader - GIA, BS in Business/Marketing Truman State University

What do you like about this subject?

I have loved gemstones since I was just old enough to admire their sparkle. I was entranced and started to collect and learn about them since I was very young. Even after being in the industry as long as I have, I still get excited over beautiful gemstones and designs.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

There are always new things to be learned and discovered as well as advances in ways to design and build jewelry and facet gemstones. It is never dull. (no pun intended)

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Many of the "Crown Jewels" that were thought to be rubies, are not rubies at all. They are in fact a fabulous gemstone called Spinel. It wasn't until the 19th century that the structures were recognized as different and the gem was identified with it's own physical properties. Spinels come in a wide range of colors and sizes and are a fantastic choice for jewelry.

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Abi03/17/13101010thank you. They have polished the ring .....
Michael01/30/13101010full depth of understanding - Articulate and .....
debee01/20/13101010Gave me a lot of information. Confirmed .....
debee01/12/131010helps add to the puzzle!

Recent Answers from Melinda Nolan

2013-03-07 diamond tightening and scratches to ring:

Abi,    So sorry in the delayed response of getting back to you with an answer to your questions.       In any setting, regardless of how many prongs, a stone can become loosened just from a knock on the

2013-02-03 where to get silver ring to mount different size stones:

Hello Cathy,    If you go to a privately owned, local jeweler in your area, they could probably help you to measure your stones and find mountings for them.  You may want to get a list of local places

2013-01-07 crown shaped emerald stone necklace/real or fake:

Hello.  The best way to try to identify what you have is to take it to a local jeweler that has a Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) on staff.  They have the training and some equipment that may be able to identify

2012-11-29 thinnest width for gold wedding band:

Hi Jen,    In the U.S., jewelers typically work in 18K, 14K and 10K gold.  14K is used most often and is very durable, but the 10K will be a little less expensive and a tad more durable than the 14K.

2012-11-06 Care of gemstones:

Michaele,    As a gemologist, (and I asked my other, more recently trained, gemologists also) we are not aware of any gemstones that need to "breathe" and all should be just fine in plastic bags.  If anything


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