The garnet is one of the most plentiful gemstones in the world. Most garnets are inexpensive gems and are characterized as red Bohemian garnets. Other types include the tsavorite garnet and the exciting demantoid garnet — so named because its brilliance resembles that of diamonds. Demantoids are often mistaken for emeralds, but are worth far more than most emeralds. While loose Bohemian garnets can be bought for a few dollars a carat, some demantoids — especially in jewelry — can bring hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, if they are large in size and set in exciting jewelry.
Many items are worth more than their gold value. It takes an expert to know the difference — and to share that knowledge with you. This small, heavy art deco men’s Hamilton from 1936 is an excellent example. This watch was given to a St. Petersburg fire chief in the 1930s and has fine blue enamel special order decorations on the back cover and an inscription on the inside. These low-jeweled watches typically only sell for 10 percent more than their gold value, but the firefighter genre of collectibles heavily influences value.
A local dealer brought in this incredible sapphire and diamond art deco pin from the 1930s for identification and purchase. It did not fetch the amount he had hoped for because we determined that the sapphire was not natural, but synthetic. While inspecting the sapphire under a high-powered microscope, we noticed the curved striae and growth line that indicate it is a synthetic stone. We were, however, able to place another extremely important sapphire from another jeweler for $750,000.
All Rolex Daytonas are not equal. Condition, style and manufacturing date are all important when determining their worth. The three Rolex Daytonas pictured are all stainless steel, but they have vastly different values. At left is a commonplace, circa 2000 normal-dial Daytona. Depending on the condition, it is worth anywhere from $7,000 to $9,000. In the center is a 1980-era Daytona. In used condition, it is worth $15,000 to $20,000. The model on the right, however, is really special.
Intaglio jewelry can be traced as far back as 5000 BC and comes in many materials, from inexpensive synthetic stones to amethyst and carnelian.
Jade valuation is determined by many factors — some technical, some aesthetic, some scientific and some historical. Jade has been used for millennia as adornment as well as for utilitarian purposes, such as cups, saucers and buckles. Many ancient pieces of jade were repurposed in the 1880s and 1890s as jewelry. It comes in many forms, including jadeite — the finest form — and nephrite.
Pearls are one of the oldest gemstones known to man and were highly praised in ancient cultures. The value of pearls is complicated. There are simulated, cultured and natural pearls and valuation is affected by size, nacre and luster as well as color variation. While most common
smaller pearl strands are valued at $50-$200, a natural pearl strand can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Akoya pearls over 8 mm are the most difficult to nucleate because these small oysters often reject the large bead. Akoya pearls in the 9-10 mm range are extremely rare
Colored diamonds, especially pink and blue, as well as yellow (sometimes called canary), are some of the most sought-after diamonds. Natural color diamonds are often quite rare — a very small percent of all diamonds mined are natural, fancy color diamonds. We recently purchased from a St. Pete retiree a tiny 1/3-carat blue diamond for $8,000 and a fancy brownish pink diamond for $10,000 which only weighed 1.25 carats. Old Northeast Jewelers pay a premium for branded diamonds such as Tiffany, Cartier, Graff, and others.
The 1652 Massachusetts Pine Tree Shilling is one of the earliest known American coins – a colonial coin, technically. Likely to have been minted around 1670, the 1652 date may signify the founding of the Massachusetts mint. Some believe it to be a reflection of larger political events – a symbol of rebellion against English rule. A local jeweler suggested to our client that the coin was fake. We thought it was genuine, so our client entrusted us to send it to an important coin lab where it was verified.
Spring is in full effect, and with it comes many reasons to celebrate. Mother's Day, Father's Day and Graduations are just a few of the reasons we look forward to this time of year. Here at Old Northeast Jewelers we are proud to announce our new partnership with Omega timepieces. Omega has a long and rich history as one of America's favorite timepieces. From the first timepiece worn on the moon, the Speedmaster, to James Bond's most precise tool, the Seamaster, Omega has provided incredibly reliable timepieces to some of our favorite heroes.