Gemmologist Richard Slater FGA DGA has joined the team at Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s antiques saleroom in Taunton.

Richard, who has over 20 years experience in the antiques business, is a keen enthusiast of coloured stones. He is also a well-regarded watch and silver specialist.

He has had a lifelong interest in gems and as a youngster used to find fossils in local quarries. His interest was piqued further when a trip to Zambia began a career in gems.

He is a founding member and now Chairman of the South West Branch of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.

Richard said: “I am lucky to deal with the things I enjoy on a daily basis. I don’t see myself ever retiring!

“There is always something out there to admire – the ingenuity of jewellery.”

He is fond of all types of jewellery, particularly the sentimentality of Victorian forget-me-knot pieces. Jewellery often has a story to tell.

The market for good coloured stones is very strong.

“It always is for the best,” he said.

The middle market is holding up well and there is a demand for costume jewellery.

“Expertise is key. There’s nothing worse than finding out after the event that your clear glass was actually a diamond!” said Richard.

He will be at The Octagon Salerooms, East Reach, Taunton, every Monday to provide advice on all types of jewellery, watches and silver.

Previously he has worked for auctioneers Dreweatt Neate at Newbury and Fellows in Birmingham.

Welcoming his appointment Dr Peter Rixon said: “'We are delighted to have secured the services of such a widely respected and knowledgeable specialist and look forward to the continued expansion of our Jewellery Department with Richard at the helm.”