New Online Group Dedicated to Period Jewelry

A new organization dedicated to antique, estate, and vintage jewelry has launched a Web site designed to provide “an ever expanding repository of information, useful and arcane, related to the subject of period jewelry.”

Antique Jewelry University is an on-line organization made up of scholars, educators, jewelry professionals, and interested individuals from all over the world who share a passion for antique, estate and vintage jewels.

Its Web site ( provides a Wiki-style encyclopedia of historical data, definitions, in depth articles and related information. In addition, AJU will host two online forums: one for the general public to have their questions answered by experts, and a second one restricted to qualified members only for the exchange of information, ideas and industry gossip. The site will also include book summaries and reviews (with direct links to the purchasing site of the author’s choice), a photo gallery/archive, an extensive bibliography to assist in scholarly research, and a calendar of jewelry related events—including shows, exhibitions, lectures, and conferences.

AJU is fully sponsored by, in response to an overwhelming amount of general queries we receive on the company’s Web site.

The organization is looking for people, professionals or enthusiasts, to join its “faculty” as writers, bloggers, and advisors. Members will be given editing privileges to AJU’s Wiki portion of the site to correct, update, add, or suggest changes to certain articles. Contributors will have a choice between publishing an article ‘as written’ or to submit it for peer review by means of the Wiki program. Writers will also have the opportunity to share and publicize other complimentary information (including books, publications, Web sites, and organizations) appropriate to its mission.

Initially, AJU charter membership will be limited to professionals, credentialed individuals, and published writers. However, submissions from newcomers, hobbyists, and anyone unknown to us will be “graciously received and reviewed case by case.”

Founding Members are:

Suzanne Martinez, GG, NAJA, AGA, president of Lang Antiques in San Francisco and and now, the founder and president of AJU. Suzanne is a Graduate Gemologist in residence from GIA (1978), a charter GIA Alumni member (1981) and has been an active chapter officer for the past 15 years. She is a Senior Member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, Senior Gemologist with the Accredited Gemologists of America and a member of the American Society of Jewelry Historians, American Gem Trade Association and the International Colored Stone Association

Alain van Acker, FGA, is a Dutch gemologist, appraiser, and gold and silversmith who also has a passion for computer programming and acts as the Webmaster/consultant for various gemology related Web sites. He is the key writer and co-founder of the Gemology Project. In addition to writing many articles, he is spearheading the Web design and programming aspects for AJU.

Barbra Voltaire FGG, GG, has received a Graduate Gemologist diploma received from the Deutsche Gemmologische Gesselschaft in residence at Idar-Oberstein, Germany, and Graduate Gemologist Diploma received from the Gemological Institute of America in residence at Santa Monica. He is member of many gemological, jewelry appraisal, and jewelry historian organizations.