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About the Appraiser


Heather E Burleson is a Graduate Gemologist and Graduate Jeweler, graduating from the resident program at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California in 2000.  From the age of 10 and an Earth Science unit covering rocks, minerals, and gems, she knew she wanted to be a gemologist, even going so far as to think she'd made up the word.

After graduation, she spent several years working at an online jeweler becoming the gemologist/appraiser on staff who worked with the programming team to implement appraisal codex as well as the website development team to create the online educational content. 

After family pulled her across the country to Kentucky, she worked on the sales floor of an independent jeweler in concert with writing appraisals both for pieces sold by the store and for clients who needed insurance or other valuations. A brief stop at an independent jeweler in Tennessee gave her even more operations experience, adding inventory control and diamond and jewelry buying to her repertoire.

She has spent the last thirteen of her twenty years of experience here in central Kentucky not only appraising but buying, selling, and contributing to operations and marketing at Shelia Bayes Fine Jewelers. 

Now dedicated to appraisals and other types of valuation, she hopes to see you and your jewelry soon!



Experience & Expertise

Director of Fulfillment, Procurement & Education-- Shelia Bayes Fine Jewelers, Lexington, KY

August 2007-November 2020

I was the person tasked to find whatever was needed, teach whatever was questioned or work with the CAD designers to have something made. I was the gemologist on-staff, performing appraisals, identifications, and anything else gemological needed, while also working on the sales floor as necessary. During my tenure there, I was able to perform valuations for the FBI, DEA, local law enforcement, the Commonwealth's Attorney, and the store's clientele.

I was happy to act as appraiser, gemologist, sales associate, buyer, designer, marketer, content creator, and everything in-between for 13 years.

Staff Gemologist & Appraiser/Quality Assurance Manager/Procurement Manager-- Kimball's Jewelers, Knoxville, TN

April 2006-August 2007

I wrote appraisals, managed inventory, and sourced diamonds, as well as managed the work flowing into the shop-- ordering parts and pieces as necessary and ensuring pricing was correct. I also served as associate buyer for jewelry lines and primary buyer for stock and long-term memo diamonds, keeping track of trending and margins and helping build to a 30+% growth in diamond sales during my tenure.

Staff Gemologist & Appraiser/Sales Associate-- Shelia Bayes Fine Jewelers,
Lexington, KY

April 2004-April 2006

I wrote appraisals, became a top-producing sales associate, and served as the primary quality control associate.

Staff Gemologist & Appraiser/Quality Assurance Inspector-- Blue Nile, Seattle, WA

November 2000 - February 2004

I inspected incoming and outgoing merchandise, wrote appraisals, and was the gemologist/appraiser on the development team for internal programming, assisting in creating the codex for appraisals as well as education.

Gemological Institute of America-- In-Residence Program, Carlsbad, CA

August 1999-October 2000

Graduate Gemologist (GG) Graduated March 2000
Graduate Jeweler (GJ) Graduated October 2000

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM



I am skilled in many types of appraisals and valuations (see the Services page for more), and you are more than welcome to call, email, chat, or set up an appointment to talk about what you need if you don't see what you're looking for; chances are I can accommodate you.


2011 Rambler Rd, Suite 3, Lexington, KY 40503


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