NAJ News

First Digital NAJ Live a success as ‘the ultimate sentiment’ is celebrated

03 Aug 2020

 S Duncan the ultimate sentiment

With slightly more than an auction house themed undercurrent, the first digital NAJ Live was a hit with attendees as business leaders and employees from jewellery retailers, designers, suppliers and valuers all came together to catch up, learn and network.

Sarah Duncan, Head of Jewellery at Chiswick Auctions was the opening keynote speaker (image above) and talked to the many attendees about the ultimate sentiment, the engagement ring. At a time in business where ‘lockdown love’ is proving pivotal for many retailers, Sarah’s seminar, following on from a previous ‘lockdown’ presentation on sentimental jewellery, was well timed.

In her presentation Sarah explained to attendees about how the engagement ring was first conceived in Roman times, and how despite evolving over time with inscriptions, coloured stones and then diamonds, the key sentiments of love and connection sustain. Also highlighting successful marketing campaigns for the ‘ultimate sentiment’, Sarah closed her talk with asking what next for the engagement ring with recycled gold, coloured gemstones and mens versions all featuring heavily in contemporary trends, surmising that despite not being new concepts, history teaches us that trends do come back again, just some a little earlier than others.

Video: Replay the NAJ Live now

Helen Dimmick, with an auction background herself hosted proceedings and kicked things off at 10am with an update on how the industry is responding to the current COVID climate with some areas of England returning to lockdown. Helen presented results from the NAJ Live barometer poll (still open) which including average sale price, footfall and staffing % and commented on some of the more successful things jewellers were introducing to their businesses such as click and collect, free handbag hand sanitiser and booking by appointment apps.

Feed into the NAJ Live Barometer

Also appearing in the NAJ Live with an Auction hat on was Richard Winterton from Richard Winterton Auctioneers who updated NAJ Members and guests on their Member Marketplace benefit available; 45% off commission from the final hammer price and free pre-sale estimates for IRV members. Known to many Bargain Hunt viewers, Richard also shared his expertise on how to give jewellery a new lease of life pointing that ‘jewellery can be something again so it doesn’t need to go into the pot’.

View Member Marketplace

J knott what you didn't know about cufflinks

Image: Jenny Knott, left, talking about cufflinks appearing in movies with Helen Dimmick (host), right.

Finally, Jenny Knott another member of the auction world shared her cufflink expertise with attendees. Jenny shared how cufflinks have evolved over time, profiling some of the most historical and iconic items through the ages, explaining how they are greatly influenced by dress but again play a key sentimental role, and in contemporary society this role is for men and women.

After the winner of the bottle of champagne was announced, discussion then moved into the NAJ Bubbles where members and guests could choose to go to either more on sentimental jewellery with Sarah Duncan, learn more about the current RW Auctioneers incentives with Richard Winterton or network with other jewellery retailers, with NAJ Live host Helen Dimmick.

The next NAJ Live takes place on Thursday 27th August and registration is open. If you’d like to be considered to be a speaker at a future NAJ Live, please contact the team.

Register for the next NAJ Live!


What are NAJ Lives?

The NAJ Live ‘with bubbles’ is a simple format of presentations from 3 industry experts, introduced and questioned by a knowledgeable guest host. The presentations are then followed up with a chance to see and hear from others on the call through ‘a bubble’ discussion; a structured video conference call hosted by an NAJ representative and one of the guest speakers.


When’s the next NAJ Live?

Digital NAJ Lives with bubbles take place on the last Thursday of the month, starting at 10am and moving into bubble discussions at midday. Members can register as many employees to view and replay the webinars as they see fit, although it’s important to note you can only participate in the bubbles on the day (and to be entered into the prize draw for the bottle of champagne!).

Register for the next NAJ Live!


I can’t wait until the end of the month is there a sooner networking opportunity?

Don’t forget, every Wednesday morning at 11am, you can dial into the NAJ Coffee (and tea!) break. The call lasts 60 minutes and is for all members to share their current experiences and seek information or guidance from the Association or others on the call.

Register for the NAJ Coffee (or tea!) break


NAJ Live speaker details:

Sarah Duncan
Chiswick Auctions
020 3110 0606

Richard Winterton
Richard Winterton Auctioneers
01543 251081

Jeny Knott
Head of Jewellery
Holloway's Auctioneers

Helen Dimmick
Industry Consultant
07939 047056


Source: The NAJ