Virginia Utley’s career in the jewelry business began with Fishel and Dowdy Jewelers in the Fort Myers/Naples, Florida area. Working with Jerry N. Franklin who was a master Horologist (Tiffany & Co.), Certified Gemologist (American Gem Society), and Member of the Gemological Association of Great Britain started her passion for the jewelry industry. During these early years Ms. Utley was able to work with fine jewelry, manufacturing, and estate resales. Her years with Fishel and Dowdy and their collaborative effort secured a National Diamond Design award from DeBeers. Working with Fishel and Dowdy she traveled extensively to jewelry shows, was a buyer, and returned to follow up in marketing, merchandising and display.

Ms. Utley studied to become a gemologist and starting assisting with appraisal work. In addition to Jerry Franklin, his sons, James worked in the manufacturing arm, and his son Jack was a designer, buyer, and estate specialist having completed his education with Sotheby’s in London. Working with this trio rounded her education in gemology, appraising, buying, executions, and production of one of a kind jewelry designs. Ms. Utley became a gemologist in March of 1989.

During her career, Ms. Utley was a purchasing agent for jewelry and watch lines such as: Rolex and Patek Philippe along with many other fine Internationally recognized brands of watches and jewelry.

In addition; Ms. Utley was a buyer for loose colored gem stones and diamonds, along with being an Estate purchasing agent.

Ms. Utley started her appraising career with appraisals of domestic and International silver, objects of art, china, and crystal.

After becoming a Certified Gemologist (American Gem Society) Ms. Utley worked with several stores in the Palm Beach area, doing appraisals, purchasing, and re-sales. In addition to the jewelry experience she set up boutique operations for charitable organizations to re-sale jewelry, collectables, furniture, antiques, and clothing. As owner and operator of Bottega Antica on Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, she consigned and purchased estates of antiques, collectables, jewelry, china, silver, glass, furniture, furnishings and paintings.

Ms. Utley brings with her over 40 years of experience in the Jewelry and Appraisal industry. Originally starting with the International Society of Appraisers Core Courses to todays highest honor of Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser with the American Gem Society.
The American Gem Society founded in 1934 is dedicated to Consumer Protection and the sister organization of The Gemological Institute of America.



Firm member number 108780, Individual number 206331

To maintain this title a yearly recertification exam must be passed.

Gemological Institute of America – Gemologist 1989, #291-9109

American Gem Society – Accredited Gemological Laboratory
Member Firm and titles of:
Certified Gemologist Appraiser
Certified Gemologist

Member of National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA)

Member American Society of Jewelry Historians

Palm Beach Atlantic University

  • Bachelor of Science, Management of Human Resources and Business

Florida State University

  • Undergraduate studies in psychology and communications

College International de Cannes

  • French Language Studies

International Society of Appraisers, Courses #101, #102, #103.

  • Ethics and Professional Practices
  • Terminology, Identification, Authentication, and Research Methodology
  • Federal Tax Functions, responsibilities, liabilities and report writing

Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, USPAP Compliant

The Appraisal Standards and The Appraisal Foundation is authorized by Congress as the Source of Appraisal Standards and Appraiser Qualifications.

Florida Real estate license, Referral Status with Realty Trust.

Expert witness


Twenty five years of retail jewelry sales and estate jewelry sales. Appraisals for insurance, fair market value, market value, and liquidation. Disposal of estates, including jewelry (modern and period pieces), silver, china, glass, paintings and prints, rugs, designer clothing and accessories, furs, and furniture (modern and period pieces).

Jewelry buyer and consultant for retail operations, including estate jewelry, loose and mounted stones in diamond and color, gold and silver jewelry, and raw materials.

Purchasing agent for giftware materials in silver, china, glass, and objects of art in modern and period craft.

Thirty plus years of Appraisals in all areas of fine jewelry, watches, silver jewelry, period and designer jewelry.

Appraiser for estates, corporations, individuals, banks, trusts and insurance companies, both nationally and internationally.