Instead of writing about what something is worth today, we are going to take this opportunity to invite you to meet us in person at the Tampa Bay Times Women’s Expo – which will feature exhibits, seminars and education on a wide range of women’s interests (not the least of which include jewelry and fine art). Taking place on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Florida State Fairgrounds in the Entertainment Hall, we are the major Presented by sponsor of the event. Plus, admission is free!
What's It Worth by Jeff Hess
We recently were able to buy a fantastic platinum, diamond and cultured pearl necklace made by Tiffany in 2006 for one of their more exclusive lines called the Voile Collection.
This collection was undoubtedly made in response to the 21st century fascination with art deco and Victorian antiques. It features 198 perfectly matched cultured pearls, all set in platinum, with D to F color and VS1 clarity ultrafine white diamonds.
We have prided ourselves on being one of Tampa Bay’s most successful purveyors of luxury watches for many years, often mentioning our “Swiss and German” expertise. Seiko Tuna Can 6159.
But another brand, Seiko $500-$1,000 (and more specifially, Grand Seiko), really appeals to us on a number of levels.
In many countries, gold is considered portable wealth — in the U.S., not so much. While the concept may not resonate with Americans, it does in many countries including Asian and Indo-Persian countries. Gold that is 21K, 22K, 23K and 24K is often worn as jewelry. These pieces rarely sell for more than the melt value and they typically weigh in at even numbers such as half an ounce, 1 ounce and one-and-a-half ounces. Like jewelry in the U.S., they are worn for adornment; but wearers have the additional satisfaction of knowing they have something stashed away for a rainy day.
In the past, we have written about our love of fine pearls. Along with my GIA diplomas, which enabled me to get a Graduate Gemologist certificate, I acquired an obscure certificate in the study of pearls.
This week, we had an influx of rare natural pearls come through our office from jewelers around the country. While they aren’t as exciting as the completely matched, perfectly round saltwater pearls that Tiffany has sold (that would be worth over $200,000 today), these American river pearls are highly sought after.
A few years back, a Miami antiques dealer asked us to partner with him on a Breguet watch. I was skeptical about this, since 99 percent of the Breguet watches brought to us are not authentic. Breguet is the most faked watch in the world. Complicated men’s Breguet watches have brought almost a million dollars at auction. In addition to my skepticism about the manufacturer, the Miami jeweler said it had belonged to a princess.
Recently, a California dealer found a real treasure at a local Los Angeles auction. It was damaged and short and he didn’t know what to do with it, so he asked us to partner with him to purchase it because we have two Master Jewelers, one who is an expert at laser welding and another who is a trained European Master Jeweler. He was able to buy this for an advantageous price of only $5,000, and asked if we could fix the fine filigree, replace the old cut diamonds, and repair the bracelet.
When I became a graduate gemologist in 1985, we relied on three things — education, simple tools and intuition — to identify gems, especially dimaonds. The course is difficult in the beginning, with a lot of dry humdrum and specifics. While Jeffrey graduated with a GIA certificate in diamonds, I went all the way — completing my GG and taking other courses like the pearl course.
Our tools were simple: a scope, a loupe, and a refractometer. With these tools, I could be 100 percent sure what a stone was and what it was not.
While our business concentrates on expensive jewelry, fine and decorative arts, expensive antiques and high-end watches, we also are very strong buyers of scrap gold. We have bought hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of scrap gold over our 30 years and watch the precious metal market closely. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me when to sell gold, I’d be a zillionaire.
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.