What's It Worth by Jeff Hess

Posted: 2022-01-02

On the heels of our recent whimsical article on the popularity of pearls worn by men (with included definitions of pearl beads, cultured pearls and rare natural pearls), we bought hundreds of strands of nice larger cultured pearls and 3 small strands of natural pearls from local residents (one natural strand we paid $25,000 for as it was signed, numbered and large with original paperwork from 1937).

Posted: 2021-12-26

Seems a bit untoward to write an advertorial on Christmas weekend about crass buying-and-selling stuff. But this column is about value and without a doubt, family and health are the most valuable things we possess.

When I met Katrina on an online jewelry industry “bulletin board” in the late 1990s, we sparred good naturedly via this now archaic mode of communication about a myriad of jewelry-related topics, but mostly about valuation theory.

Posted: 2021-12-19

The term “collectibles” is a broad one and today’s subject has plenty of subtext.

Anything Cartier is collectible. Just as anything Tiffany is collectible. Or anything made by Patek Philippe. Or anything that has the Corvette logo.

Valuation of such items is difficult. As we have discussed before, the IRS defines value in several legal ways. Retail value, insurance value, wholesale value, fair market value and liquidation are all values that have specific, if sometimes elastic, definitions.

Posted: 2021-12-12

In the world of watchmaking, it is sometimes difficult to sift through the blurred lines of history, promotion, folklore and outright fabrications. Many brands sold today are merely “brands” in the loosest sense. Investors find an old name, gain ownership of that name and start making watches.

Several brands stand out. Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breitling and Ulysse Nardin seem to be the big four that have had largely uninterrupted manufacturing for close to a century.

Posted: 2021-12-05

Did you know we offer no-interest financing on almost everything in our store (thanks to a cozy relationship with a large finance company), and also offer old-fashioned layaway if you put up a down payment? And this is not a new phenomenon. Here is an abridged story about a small jeweler in 1880s Rio de Janerio, Brazil, who saw a marketing opportunity and acted on it.

Posted: 2021-11-07

While it’s universally accepted among gemologists that round brilliant-cut diamonds are the only diamonds that hold their value, we at Old Northeast Jewelers favor a number of other cuts.  

My personal choice is the emerald cut, because it can be used with a variety of designs – including Art Deco and other unusual styles that lend themselves to the rectangular, streamlined look of emerald-cut stones. I personally collect for my customers more unusual shapes, like kites and rhomboids, along with other more interestingly shaped stones.

Posted: 2021-10-24

What's It Worth? Maritime Clocks and Timekeepers - 10.24.2021
Tampa Bay Times.

Christiaan Huygens, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and John Harrison are all credited with making the first “ships’ chronometers” to be used for navigation at sea, and Ulysse Nardin is credited with almost perfecting them, making them from the late 1800s until 1975, and similar watches for the wrist.

Ships’ clocks remain very popular among collectors, although all one needs to navigate today (if one were to do so with the stars and a timepiece), is a $10 quartz watch.

Posted: 2021-10-10

“I had never given much thought to a pearl belonging to a gender,” he observes at one point. “If I had to fight in a war I’d have to take off my pearls, so obviously I was for world peace all round,” says Saul Adler in the 2019 book, The Man Who Saw Everything.

Posted: 2021-10-03

What's It Worth? Whats It Worth - The Pros of Buying Pre-Loved - 10.3.2021.
Tampa Bay Times.

It has long been a subject of discussion among Rolex aficionados and collectors as to the ability of Rolex to raise their prices every year in spite of how the market is behaving, what the demand is, the state of the economy or the most-important aspect of pricing – fluctuating currency.

Posted: 2021-09-25

Previously, it was believed in the industry that millennials were not interested in diamonds. However, recently studies have shown that belief to be false. While statistics indicate that millennials prefer to shop online, diamonds are one of the few items that should never be purchased sight unseen — even if you have earned a graduate
certificate from GIA. Why? Because a diamond’s visual impact can vary considerably due to the tiniest differences in cut or polish.