David Wilkins Award

983 David Wilkins Award

About the Award

David wilkins

David Wilkins (1931-1994), former Chairman of the National Association of Goldsmiths (the NAJ's predecessor) Valuations Committee, had a distinguished career in the jewellery industry and was widely known and respected both for his outstanding personal qualities and great expertise. More than any other individual David sought to encourage high standards of conduct and professionalism in respect of valuations.

The award that he sponsored remains as his legacy in promoting the aims for which he strove for so long.

The National Committee of the National Association of Jewellers may award the David Wilkins Trophy if an IRV has demonstrated outstanding skill, dedication or service in respect of jewellery appraisal and valuation.

The Trophy comprises an Elizabethan-style silver dish which is inscribed with the winner's name who retains it for the relevant year. It is complemented by the award of a £100 gift token to spend with the Gem-A to supplement the winner's personal reference library and/or add to the equipment they use.

The award was first presented in 1994 in memory of the late David Wilkins who was instrumental in setting up the Institute’s predecessor, the N.A.G. Registered Valuer Scheme, and comprises an Elizabethan-style silver dish which is inscribed with the winner's name who retains it for the relevant year. It is complemented by the award of a £100 gift token to spend with the Gem-A to supplement the winner’s personal reference library and/or add to the equipment they use.

Nomination and Qualifying Criteria

An NAJ Institute Registered Valuer may nominate himself/herself or any other IRV they feel merits nomination. A nomination may also be made by an NAJ member.

Completed nominations for the 2021 award must be sent to the IRV Administrator to be received no later than 30th June 2021.

Request information/ Nominate

Nomination Criteria

There is no official list of criteria that will enable a nominee to fulfil the citation but the following examples of conduct may provide some guidance:

  1. Consistently producing valuations of exceptional standard. 
  2. Giving help and guidance to colleagues or to members of the public. 
  3. Working to promote and further the aims of NAJ Institute Registered Valuers. 
  4. Providing information/resources for NAJ Institute Registered Valuers. 
  5. Achieving exceptional results in training and/or examination. 
  6. Demonstrating high integrity. 
  7. Showing diligence in research and information gathering. 
  8. Displaying general conduct likely to enhance the reputation of NAJ Institute Registered Valuers.



  1. Nominees may include members of the Valuations Steering Group.
  2. Nomination must be by either an NAJ Institute of Registered Valuer Member/Fellow, an NAJ Member or someone qualified to make an informed judgement as to the merits of the nominee.
  3. Self-nomination must be seconded by some such person as in point 2 above.
  4. Past IRV winners can be nominated.
  5. When considering nominations the Valuations Steering Group may call for further proof or particulars to support a particular nomination and may at its discretion exclude a nomination without stating reasons.
  6. The Valuations Steering Group shall seek nominations annually by written notice to all NAJ Institute of Registered Valuer Members/Fellows and NAJ Members.
  7. The selection from the nominations received will be by ballot of the NAJ Institute Registered Valuers.
  8. These rules may be amended at any time by the Valuations Steering Group which has an absolute discretion in all matters to do with the award of the Trophy.


The 2021 Winner

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2021 David Wilklins Award is Barbara L Leal FIRV.  Unfortunately, Barbara was not present to collect her award when announced during the Valuers' Conference Dinner at the NAJ Summit held at the De Vere Staverton Estate on the evening of Saturday 11th September 2021 but it is now in her possession.

We invited her to say a few words:

"Hello Fellow NAJ Registered Valuers

"It has taken me a while to thank everyone for voting me the winner of the prestigious David Wilkins Valuer of the Year Award 2021.

"I thought I should firstly wait for the trophy to arrive to check out that it was not just a rumour, and my name was actually engraved on it.  Thank you so much!

"Attending my very first NAG Valuers Conference, many years ago, on one hand, I was hugely impressed by the UK valuers overall gemmological knowledge, plus their enviable appraisal talent, particularly with the methodology in the second hand market.  On the other hand, I was most surprised to see that many valuers were either already using, or talking about using, very basic equipment, and/or inappropriate appraisal aids.   

"Such as, only very few possessed microscopes and it seemed as if a refractometer and a 10x loupe was all the equipment required.  Instead of any gemstone colour grading systems or nomenclature, flower seed charts, coloured thread samples, and paint colour cards were all being advocated.  Everybody kept their valuer’s methodology close to their chest.  As to recommended mark-ups, most of the retailers in attendance were scared stiff that theirs would be revealed.

"Discussing all this with a fellow Conference Delegate, I was asked how valuations in the USA differed and after I responded, my new friend started off by saying, ‘With respect’, which I first thought was a compliment.  I soon learned that it was anything but and, since watching on TV the Houses of Parliament in action, I now know that I should have ‘ducked.’

"I am very proud to have been part of CAT, which was introduced in 2014 and has been a magnet with many current members and aspiring newcomers to the jewellery industry wanting to become professionals.  Taking the programme can be daunting to start off with, but the tutors guide the participant through it until they have the satisfaction of learning the ‘theoretical’ worth of the piece they are seeking to appraise.  The subsequent practical classes offered then teach the aspiring valuer how to turn theory into practice and they are then firmly on the path to eventually becoming a proficient valuer.

"If the NAJ Institute of Registered Valuers continues to uphold the professional standards originally conceived and implemented by David Wilkins, and maintained and expanded upon over the years and continued by dedicated individuals, it will maintain its status as being one of the insurance industry’s recommended ‘jewellery valuer of choice’ for policyholders and it will then be on course to becoming the watchdog of the industry."

The other nominees were:

Heather Callaway FIRV

Rosamond Clayton FIRV

Simon Johnson MIRV

Susan Pennington FIRV

Avril Plant FIRV

Jacqueline Sanders FIRV

Joanna White FIRV

Previous Winners

Since the Award was first presented in 1994, the winners have been as follows:

  • Terence J Watts - 1994
  • Alan J Smith - 1995
  • Roy V Huddlestone – 1996
  • J Louise Butterworth – 1997
  • Peter J R Jackson – 1998
  • Brian R Dunn – 1999
  • Michael S J Norman – 2000
  • Philip L Stocker – 2001
  • Rosamond S Clayton – 2002
  • Paul Templeton – 2003
  • John S Harris – 2004
  • Heather McPherson – 2005
  • David J Callaghan – 2006
  • Alan Hodgkinson – 2007
  • Peter Buckie – 2008
  • Steven Jordan – 2009
  • Adrian S Smith – 2010
  • Michael S Inkpen – 2011
  • Jonathan Lambert – 2012
  • Shirley Mitchell – 2013
  • Peter Hering - 2014
  • Graham Price and Barry Sullivan (joint) - 2015
  • Geoff Whitefield - 2016
  • Tim Bicknell - 2017
  • Michael Inkpen - 2018
  • Shirley Mitchell- 2019
  • Barry Sullivan - 2020