Virginia Salem, graduate gemologist, is director of the Jewelry department of the international auction firm Bonham's, New York, and is a consulting expert at many jewelry events around the country.
After earning her graduate gemologist diploma in 1986, Virginia Salem worked in retail as a top sales associate at the Precious Jewelry Salon of Neiman Marcus in Boston before moving to E.B. Horn Co. as a gemologist and buyer of colored gemstones. She joined the leading Boston auction firm of Skinner in 1992 as a jewelry specialist and cataloguer, and in 1997 was named head of the Jewelry department at Phillips Auctioneers in New York City, owned by the luxury goods firm LVMH. At Phillips she directed four major jewelry auctions a year, concentrating on period and estate jewelry. In 2002, she started Virginia Salem Fine and Period Jewelry and worked as a private jeweler until 2005, when Bonham's invited her to open their Jewelry department on Madison Avenue.
Ms. Salem is a member of the American Association of Appraisers and is a frequent contributor of articles on period and estate jewelry to trade publications. In addition to remaining active as a buyer and seller of fine jewelry, she is also sought after as a lecturer and consulting appraiser throughout the United States. She lives in New York and Massachusetts.