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John Benjamin Biography – John Benjamin Wiki
John Benjamin is an independent jewellery valuer, historian, lecturer and author. He is a Jewellery expert on the BBC hit show Antiques Roadshow. Formerly International Director of Jewellery at Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers, John established his own independent jewellery valuation and advisory service in 1999.
After leaving school at the age of 17, John Benjamin served a four year apprenticeship at Cameo Corner, an antique jewellery shop just 50 yards from the gates of The British Museum.
In an interview with The Arts Society, John revealed how he started his career at Cameo Corner. He said: “I was brought up in northwest London and my dad worked in fashion knitwear, but I didn’t want anything to do with that when I was leaving school, and I had little direction. So, my parents sent me to see a career advisor in Harley Street, where I was made to sit in front of endless pie charts. They uncovered my interest in colour, museums and antiques, at which point they suggested a career in gem stones or antique jewellery.
“It just so happened that my father had visited Cameo Corner and he got me an interview, where the manager gave me a tray of cameos and asked if I could identify any of the carvings. Because of my time at the V&A and other museums I recognised them all, which she thought was quite remarkable, so I got a job aged 17, and I took to it like a duck to water.”
After qualifying as a Fellow of the Gemmological Association, he went on to gain the Association’s Diamond Diploma and joined Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers, ultimately becoming International Director of Jewellery.
In 1999 he set up his own independent valuation consultancy and now lectures all over the world on a wide range of jewellery topics – from diamonds to Faberge. He is a popular speaker for both The Arts Society and the National Federation of Women’s Institute.
John is a Fellow of the National Association of Jewellers Institute of Registered Valuers, a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company and a Founder Liveryman and Court Assistant of The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars.
He is author of ‘Starting to Collect Antique Jewellery’ and co-author with Paul Atterbury of ‘The Jewellery and Silver of H.G.Murphy’.
In 2022 John was appointed Honorary Jewellery Adviser to The National Trust.
John Benjamin Age
Antiques Roadshow jewellery expert John Benjamin was born in January 1955.
John Benjamin Antiques Roadshow
Jewellery expert John Benjamin has been a member of the team of experts on BBC Television’s Antiques Roadshow since 1991. His most memorable find was in Ireland – a badly worn out Cartier watch kept in an old tobacco tin which was worth £40,000 once it had been restored.
He told The New York Times: “A favorite for me was a watch that ticked all the boxes. The owner was a marvelous woman in her 70s accompanied by her daughter to the filming in Northern Ireland. They brought a watch that had been kept in an old tobacco tin in the garage for some 50 years, in a state of complete distress.
“It had no diamonds, and the owner thought it was a piece of junk. Her reaction when I informed her it was an early platinum and gold watch by Cartier worth £40,000 to £50,000 once restored was, quite simply, off the scale.”
John Benjamin Wife
Antiques Roadshow’s John Benjamin is married to his wife Patricia Adele Ruane Benjamin. The couple have twin daughters.