True Value

Paul Shikhvarger of Pacific Jewelry – Watch Appraiser & Buyer Works With Locals to Protect Valuables

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Paul Shikhvarger has been in the business of appraising and buying jewelry and watches for 18 years—seven of which he has spent in Pacific Palisades, running Pacific Jewelry – Watch Appraiser & Buyer. 

“It’s my passion,” Shikhvarger explained to the Palisadian-Post. “When I was young, I studied a lot about watches and then I became interested in jewelry.”

Originally from Ukraine, Shikhvarger shared that he studied Ukranian jewelry design. And now, Shikhvarger, a Graduate Gemologist who studied at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, does appraisals for insurance and estates.

“Especially now, with the fire in Malibu, people lost a lot of their valuables,” he explained, “and they were not insured, so they just lost them.”

Shikhvarger explained that though people are sometimes reluctant to pay an appraisal fee, it is worth it to make sure that their valuables are protected.

“My appraisals are very comprehensive,” he added. “They have to follow certain standards.”

Shikhvarger is a member of NAJA (National Association of Jewelry Appraisers) and an ASA (American Society of Appraisers) trained appraiser, and he is always learning new skills.

“I invested a lot of money into education because every year, I have to do re-accreditation,” he added. “I have to learn new skills, I have to learn about new technologies.”

In fact, when speaking to the Post, Shikhvarger had recently attended a workshop in San Francisco. He attends conferences and work seminars to study new technologies and new techniques, including how to distinguish fake watches.

“Synthetic diamonds are big things now—really big,” Shikhvarger added. “So the company who makes synthetic diamonds, they try to convince the buyer to buy synthetic diamonds because they’re cheaper.

“It’s OK if the business discloses that it’s a synthetic diamond, but a lot of companies don’t disclose.”

Buyers are left paying premium prices for what they believe to be a natural diamond, but in reality it could be a synthetic diamond. 

Though Shikhvarger has an office on Via De La Paz, he also travels around Los Angeles County for house calls.

“I go to people’s houses, I go to bank vaults because some valuables are kept in the vaults,” Shikhvarger said. “I go there so they don’t have to worry that [valuables] will get lost in transition.”

The other aspect of Shikhvarger’s business is buying.

“I buy jewelry, watches, sterling silver items and coins,” he explained. “I’m a strong buyer … I pay fair prices and I have local references in the community.”

Shikhvarger, a member of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce, is happy to work with customers, no matter the size of their collection.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a single piece or a large estate,” he shared, adding that he has worked with customers who believed they were bringing in something that would be worthless and thrown away.

“It was $10,000. Because they inherit it, they didn’t pay. They have no idea.”

Shikhvarger’s Palisades office is located at 845 Via De La Paz in Suite 5. For more information, visit jewelryappraiserla.com or call 310-684-2862.