By Ashley Bailey
, Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Bill “Rockdoc” Lieberum, who passed away June 20 at the age of 59, was interred in his home state of Florida today.
Well-known to internet bloggers for sharing professional opinions and advice at no charge, Lieberum was a specialist in consumer fraud and appeared as a court witness and on radio and TV talk shows over many years to expose “shady practices” in the diamond and jewelry business. He was a Gemological Institute of America Graduate Gemologist, a former American Gem Society retail store owner, and Certified Gemologist Appraiser. A music lover, Lieberum was also an accomplished pianist who enjoyed playing jazz and rock and roll.
Lieberum started in the trade in 1979 by polishing rings and working for a colored stone dealer. He closed his retail store and became an independent appraiser in the mid 1980s. Since that time he had worked to help thousands of consumers make intelligent decisions when buying gemstones and jewelry.
Dave Atlas of Accredited Gem Appraisers, a fellow appraiser, said of Lieberum, “Bill led by example in his later years. Hewas a strong advocate of consumer fairness. So much so, that he scared a lot of potential work away, but he wanted to play the game by his own set of rules and it is my belief he did this with honor. No one made more thorough reports and I sure would not have wanted him opposite me in an expert testimony situation. He was adamant about his positions and learned how to make his case and defend his territory. He fought hard for his clients and he set a good example of complete appraising and service. Bill never had quite enough time because he wouldn't rush a job out before he was perfectly content with the appraisal. I will miss his contributions and his often counterpoint views. It’s difficult to outlast your contemporaries and I am saddened to hear we no longer have Bill around to pick on us or for us to pick on him. RIP.”
Many of us at Whiteflash knew Bill personally. He was a champion for highest quality, and consumers constantly sang his praises to us. Highly regarded for expertise in both gemological and legal circles Bill was best known as a long-time contributor to internet education. More than anything, he loved to share his considerable knowledge - talking and answering questions with anyone and everyone - and was extremely generous with his time. He was a teacher, a perfectionist and above all, someone completely dedicated to the things he loved and passionately committed to sharing those things with others.
We will miss you Bill. Rest in peace.