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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Finleon, GIA GG

Student Spotlight: Ashley Nicklaus

Ashley Nicklaus is one of NAJA’s newest Certified Members, having completed the Appraisal Studies Course in September of 2021. As the owner and operator of The Pawn and Jewelry Exchange in Greensburg, Pennsylvania since 2005, Ashley sees a broad variety of gems and jewelry in her daily work. She received her Applied Jewelry Professional credential from GIA in 2011 and became a Registered Gemologist Appraiser through the International School of Gemology in 2019.

Seeking to pursue professionalism in appraising, she joined NAJA in 2020, enrolling in the Appraisal Studies Course soon thereafter. Her enthusiasm for learning and dedication to becoming a better appraiser propelled her through the coursework and led quickly to her Certified Member status.

Not only does Ashley maintain her busy appraisal practice - in addition to running the Pawn and Jewelry Exchange - but she is also very active on social media, frequently sharing informative posts about jewelry and gemology. Here, she shares her thoughts on her appraisal journey:


"Owning and operating a pawn shop has provided me with a plethora of tools - literally and figuratively.

I’ve learned from a very young age that having the right tools (and knowing how to use them) in your tool belt will help you succeed.

The worlds of Gemology and Appraisal writing are no different. I quickly learned that identifying gemstones, diamonds, and metals wasn’t as black and white, as one may think.

The school of hard knocks (life), the GIA Applied Jewelry Professional program, followed by obtaining a Registered Gemologist Appraiser designation through the International School of Gemology provided essential tools to help me be successful. NAJA membership followed by Certified Member status was a natural next tool to add. I am eager to obtain more!"


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