Our President

Hello I’m Stephen E. Lott Sr. the president and founder of Heritage Appraisers, I have over 40 years of experience working in the jewelry industry and I want to share with you my story and the love and passion that I have for the work I do.

I love everything thing about jewelry and I appreciate what makes each piece special.  As a child, I first discovered my passion for jewelry after seeing a beautiful diamond-cross necklace that I promised myself I would buy for my Mom one day.  Little did I know then, that would be the catalyst for me heading the largest independent jewelry appraisal company in the nation.

I spent my early years working as an apprentice on Jewelers’ Row in Philadelphia, learning to repair jewelry for customers and also designed several well-crafted custom pieces.

I later went on to attend the Gemological Institute of America, and earned my graduate gemologist degree. In the pursuit to learn everything I could about the jewelry business I worked in a variety of areas. Over the years I worked as a salesperson, store manager and district manager for many notable jewelry retailers. The more involved I became in the jewelry industry, the more attention I paid to the appraisal process.

What I observed was that many factors affected the quality of appraisal service. Appraisers would come and go and when customers needed to update their jewelry report, the appraisal company would often no longer be in business. If the client moved away, they would have to use a new appraiser and start all over again, incurring unnecessary fees, which took away from the joy of owning the jewelry.

I wanted to resolve and improve the method in which appraisers did business. My vision was to offer fair and reliable service to customers, making sure that when their jewelry was appraised, they would always have access to their information. For me, it was about making sure that their jewelry was not just protected for the moment, but for a lifetime.

In 2006, I established Heritage Appraisers and began to move forward to accomplish my dream of providing clients with comprehensive and fair appraisals choosing the name “Heritage” because of its association with longevity and the ideology that jewelry values can last forever. Currently, Heritage Appraisers operates in 155 locations nationwide.

You may wonder, did I ever buy that diamond necklace for my Mom?  As my love and appreciation for jewelry grew, as well as experience in evaluating precious gems, I would later discover that the necklace I first eyed as a child was just a good-looking piece of costume jewelry!

Although that necklace that first won my heart as a young boy was not real, the seed it planted is real beyond compare.

Thank you for listening.