Welcoming Rebecca Sheahan

We are delighted to welcome Rebecca Sheahan to the Leonard Joel team, bringing over 20 years of experience in the jewellery and luxury goods sectors. Here, we get to know our new Head of Fine Jewels & Timepieces.

18ct gold and gem-set brooch. $3,000-4,000

How did your love of gemstones begin?
I have always worked in creative, design-based fields. I have been a professional photographer running my own studio and have managed an art gallery. I developed a fascination with jewellery 25 years ago. I enjoyed the science, beauty, and rarity of gemstones so I went on to manage and design for a boutique jewellery salon and then eventually to study gemmology, diamond grading, and valuing.

What has been a proud career moment?
While working as the General Manager of Holloway Diamonds, a retail and manufacturing jeweller, I was instrumental in establishing them as the first Australian company to pass the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) process. The RJC Code of Practices is the only independently verified sustainability standard for global jewellery covering the entire supply chain, from mine to retail. Their Code of Practices 2019 is aligned with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance and the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights.

Lady Gaga wearing the ‘Tiffany Diamond’ at the 91st Academy Awards, 2019 / Alamy

What do you love about auctions?
The most exciting aspect of working at an auction house is that you never know what amazing pieces will come through the door, be it bespoke local jeweller creations made for special occasions or branded high jewellery. Working around jewellery is a happy thing as people use it to celebrate all kinds of milestones in their lives. I am looking forward to assisting our Leonard Joel clients to find that special piece.

What is something many people don’t know about you?
I am a bit of a trivia nut; I have been known to appear on a couple of television quiz shows with my specialty subject – diamonds. Fun fact – most natural diamonds are between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years old! 

You’re invited to the Oscars, what jewels are you wearing?
The Tiffany yellow diamond! The diamond has only been worn by four women during its lifetime; Mary Whitehouse, Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce. 

Do you have a favourite jewellery designer/period?
Cartier, from the King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson era. In 1987, a collection of the Duchess of Windsor’s jewels went under the hammer at Sotheby’s fetching an eye-watering $50 million!

Banner Image: Rebecca Sheahan

February 2024