Articles

Posted: 2017-12-20

Have you ever heard of a stomacher? Stomachers were very popular in the Georgian time period (circa 1730-1830), and continued into the early 20th century in some circles.

We’ve only seen a few stomachers in our 25 years in business, but last week, a local antiques dealer came in with a rather nice one. Stomachers are sizable pins to adorn the lower torso, hence the name. They are also called placards or plackets, and are meant to cover the mid-to-lower torso on fancy gowns.

Posted: 2017-12-20

... and sometimes a woman’s touch can be firm. As we have discussed in the past, valuation is legally variable. Retail, wholesale, fair market and liquidation value are all legal definitions with differing results.

Recently, a woman came into our St. Petersburg store to obtain a valuation for her jewelry. The reason was sad, and one of the least favorite parts of our business. A divorce was underway and her attorney had advised her to get a valuation so the couple could untangle their finances and end their marriage.

Posted: 2017-12-20

Over the past 20 years, identifying genuine diamonds from non-genuine has become a landmine of possible tragedy or disappointment. The reason you need to know your jeweler is because there are so many variations of diamond misdirection, scams, and confusion. In the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, all you had to worry about were fraudulent certificates from less-than-stellar labs.

Posted: 2017-12-20

The collecting community has fixated on Rolex and Patek Philippe as the most collectible watches – however, one comparatively overlooked, highly collectible watch is the Omega Chronograph.

In the past 10 years, scholars have been able to identify short runs and odd variations of this stainless steel Speedmaster Professional that are worth as little as $800 and as much as $50,000. It takes a real expert to know the subtle differences because they often look identical at first glance.

Posted: 2017-12-20

When we first went into the antique business in the 1980s, no one wanted that ugly 1950s and ’60s modernist design; the bizarre clock in your mom’s kitchen or the odd Danish-designed table in your parents’ den was not so much collectible as old hat.

Posted: 2017-12-20

As we have discussed in the past, “worth” is a multifaceted and often confusing word. (As a previous president famously said, “It depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.”)

Posted: 2017-12-20

Just like last week, some things are more valuable than you might expect. Vintage ring mountings without center stones are currently in high demand because of the interest among millennials for old-cut, mine-cut and Eurocut diamonds, as well as their desire for more traditional jewelry.

Posted: 2017-12-20

Often, when asked to appraise an item of value, visitors in our stores or offices seem a bit befuddled and sometimes even annoyed at our resulting follow-up questions. When we ask “What kind of appraisal value?” we always explain that the conventional definitions of appraisal often differ from the official meanings of the word. Here I will share a condensed version of the various definitions and uses of the word.

Posted: 2017-12-20

Another jeweler from California called a few months ago about an amazing Tiffany diamond and needed guidance. From the photos, we suspected that it might be an incredible historical find. We urged him to allow us to send it to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), after we noticed its incredible color. We felt this was a rare, so-called Golconda white, type IIa – known not just for their D color, but whiter-than-D color. It was set in an amazing Victorian-era, signed Tiffany mounting and the brilliant whiteness of the stone was almost blinding!

Posted: 2017-10-05

We recently purchased three extraordinary examples of midcentury modern aquamarine jewelry.

GIA, Gemological Institute of America Inc IWJG, International Watch and Jewelry Guild NAWCC, National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Inc DDC, Diamond Dealers Club New York ISG Global Network