What is your jewelry telling you?
We often have people come to us with mysteries about their jewelry (hoping for insights into the mysteries of their jewelry)
-Is this real?
-Why did my jewelry break?
-Did I get what I paid for?
-Will this hold up to my lifestyle?
-What is this stone?
If you need to have your jewelry appraised for insurance reasons, dissolution of marriage, are settling an estate, or just for resale, call Barbara and Randy. Their combined 80+ years of experience in the jewelry industry has made them experts in these types of appraisals.
Barbara Hight-Randall, CGA, GG
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What exactly is estate vs. antique jewelry?“Estate” is a broad term referring to any jewelry item which has been previously owned. There are several main categories, including: --MODERN: These are newer pre-owned pieces, from the 70′s to the present. --COSTUME: Jewelry produced without the use of precious metals or gemstones. --PERIOD: Jewelry reminiscent of a particular era in history, such as Retro, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian, etc. ---REPRO’S: Reproductions of period pieces; copies or newly made from original molds or patterns. ---ANTIQUE: Historically refers to items over 100 years old; however, this term is often used to describe jewelry which is more than 25 years old.
I’ve seen “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS. I just might have a fortune locked away in my safe deposit box! How do I know what I have?The best way to determine the value of estate jewelry is to consult with a Certified Gemologist Appraiser (CGA) of the American Gem Society (AGS), or a qualified estate jewelry dealer. Value is based upon many things, but usually revolves around three factors: collectability, condition, and craftsmanship. Collectability is based upon supply and demand. For example, platinum Art Deco diamond rings are currently in high demand. The condition of the piece is very important; as a buyer you may not wish to invest a large amount of money in repairs. Quality craftsmanship is always in vogue; estate and antique jewelry collectors are always interested in well-crafted, high quality pieces.
I inherited my great Aunt Millie’s giant diamond cluster ring 20 years ago, and I’ve never worn it. It’s just not me. What can I do?"You may wish to redesign the ring into a piece you would wear and enjoy. That way, you would preserve the sentiment of the original piece by using Aunt Millie’s diamonds. Other options may include consigning the item with an estate jeweler, trading the piece in for something entirely new, or selling it outright for cash.
Can I reuse the gold or other metals from a sentimental piece of jewelry?Metals can be reused, but usually with less than satisfactory results. When old gold is melted down and recast, the alloys tend to “clump” together which causes porosity in the finished piece. The end result will have tiny pits; the potential of a “high polish" is not obtainable. It is best to use new metal when possible; accurate compliance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) karat stamping guidelines can also be properly maintained.
Should I have my estate or antique jewelry appraised?Estate and antique jewelry appraisal is a highly specialized field. There are many gemstone “look-alikes” from glass to sophisticated synthetics. The first synthetic emeralds appeared in 1848 with sapphires and rubies close behind in 1885. We tend to think of synthetic gems as recent technology, but they have been with us for several generations. Glass has always been the deceiver of the uneducated eye. We recommend you consult with a Certified Gemologist Appraiser (CGA) who can review your situation and advise you of the best course of action.