What's It Worth by Jeff Hess

Posted: 2020-03-01

Patek Philippe has long been considered the best watch in the world. In the 30 years we have been buying in Tampa Bay, we have unearthed real gems including a Patek Philippe wrist chronograph that we paid over $225,000 for.

Posted: 2020-03-01

Recently a jeweler from Troy, NY, contacted us about an Edwardian-era, circa 1910 butterfly brooch. He sent a photo and we were skeptical that it might be a reproduction.

At first, we had said no — as we thought the condition was too good for it to be an original. At his insistence, we let him send us this magnificent emerald, ruby and diamond pin.

Posted: 2020-03-01

Some call Paul Nettler Lackritz a genius. Some say he was an artist, and some say a trendsetter. But most say, “Who is Paul Lackritz?”

Little is known about him except that he was born in Russia in 1872, growing his business as a silversmith and jewelry designer into a three-store “chain.” First in Chicago, then opening in New York and then Beverly Hills.

Posted: 2020-02-01

What do successful men do with all that money? Why, the same thing most men of any means do – collect shiny things.

We spend a lot of time (and effort) writing about shiny, expensive things for women. Diamonds, colored gemstones set in rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. But what about men?

I can attest with assurance that manly men also like shiny things and can be even more distracted by them and inclined to excess, as evidenced in today’s tale of a local billionaire who had a taste for the “big five” of male distractions – pens, knives, firearms, watches and cars.

Posted: 2020-01-01

A few years back, we received a furtive and anxious call from an elderly woman living in an upscale assisted living facility that we obviously won’t reveal. She sounded distressed and requested we come immediately.

Posted: 2019-12-01

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.

Posted: 2019-12-01

Brown diamonds have typically been unsellable in the marketplace, but in the 1980s, diamond sellers saw an opportunity to market them as champagne colored — and suddenly they became sellable. One company actually trademarked them as chocolate diamonds. Traditionally, if the word brown is included in the GIA report, it kills the value of a stone.

Posted: 2019-12-01

We’re not really disappointed, but this watched received so much publicity, we expected more.

We buy from dealers all across the United States. and a jeweler in Washington, D.C.,called with an extraordinary Patek Philippe watch that was one of a kind. Her customer was a direct relative of the watch’s original owner.

Posted: 2019-11-01

Recently, a Philadelphia jeweler offered us this platinum tiara — with over 25 carats of fine white diamonds — for purchase. While the appraisal value is likely $75,000 to $85,000, the jeweler was asking $25,000.

Posted: 2019-10-01

Tiffany had many designers over the years, and in fact some of the early pre-Tiffany and Company days utiliilized the talents of women who weren’t allowed to be credited. Scores of talented women designed windows and other art that ultimately was signed by Tiffany Studios, a precursor to today’s Tiffany. Later, however, some women — like Elssa Peretti and Paloma Picasso — were given the credit they deserved.