What's It Worth? Mid-Century Modern Redux

Publish Date: 

11/2018

Publication: 

  • Tampa Bay Times

What’s It Worth? Mid-Century Modern Redux

Often when we write a column about a particular subject, it generates interest in our two stores for both buying and selling. Last month’s column about mid-century modern enticed a forward-thinking Tampa resident to bring us perhaps the mother lode of mid-century modern.

Why the mother lode? Because these two rings are a couple of the heaviest and most unusual rings we have ever seen. Additionally, he retained the original artist paperwork (Barry Merritt) outlining the original cost and signed by the artist.

The ladies’ butterfly ring is 3.5 inches wide and has huge wings that move. It has a one-carat diamond on one wing and a one-carat yellow sapphire on the other wing.

The men’s ring weighs a whopping 42 grams and has a large citrine mounted in the center.

Barry Merritt was one of the leaders of the mid-century modern jewelry movement. He owned galleries in upstate New York in the Rochester and Fairport areas. Many of his pieces are in museums. The artist himself appraised the ring for $8,000  in the 1970s. The butterfly ring is worn on the middle finger, and when you move your hand it moves like a butterfly in flight. Because of the one-carat diamond and provenance, it is available in our store for the same value it cost new in the 1970s – $8,300 . The men’s ring is available for $1,850 .

These oversized designs were once melted for their gold value but now are seeing a resurgence of interest.

If you have any mid-century modern jewelry, please give us a call. You have seen us in Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. All rights reserved.

JEFF HESS, Owner & Appraiser
Comments, questions or suggestions for this column, please send to jeffreyphess@aol.com.
St. Petersburg 1131 4th St. N, St. Petersburg FL 33 701. 727.898 .4377.
Tampa International Plaza, 813.875 .3935.
Contact Us Old Northeast Jewelers, Fine Jewelry and Watches, Buying and Selling since 1984
Whats It Worth - Mid-Century Modern Redux.PDF