What's It Worth by Jeff Hess

Posted: 2020-08-02

Sometimes, valuation is almost impossible to determine with unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. This pendant encompasses an incredible amount of influences and materials. How do you value something that is both art deco and Greco-Roman in style? Something that has enamel and diamonds and platinum and gold? Something that has a child and cherubs in a musical scene made by Wedgwood? Something that has a chain of platinum and gold with Wedgwood stations and natural pearls? Something that was handcrafted in the 1930s for Verger Frères – one of the most celebrated jewelry houses in Paris?

Posted: 2020-08-02

Cartier is one of the most sought-after and collectible brands, even when it comes to items that most people think are common or unattractive.

Typically, a very heavy gold item that is rather plain will bring only the gold value. In the case of this large 50-gram chain, we paid 15 percent more than the gold value of $2,200 at the time of purchase, or $2,530. We were able to achieve a profit above that because people love the name Cartier on any piece of jewelry, attractive or not.

Posted: 2020-07-01

The 1950s to 1980s are the hot trend today.

When we first went into the antique business in the 1980s, no one wanted that ugly (at the time) 1950s and ’60s modern-ist design; the bizarre clock in your mom’s kitchen or the odd Danish-designed table in your parents’ den was not so much collectible as old hat.

In the grand spirit of “everything old is new again,” from around 2005, these mid-century modern pieces started to enjoy a renewed hipness, especially among twentysome-things.

Posted: 2020-06-01

No, it doesn’t. In the beginning, Scott Rothstein of Fort Lauderdale thought he was getting away with murder. His Ponzi scheme was the third-largest in U.S. history.

When the federal courts needed to liquidate close to $10 million in expensive jewels, diamonds and watches, they chose us. Barely worn, extraordinary items were to be liquidated for the benefit of those who were ripped off.

Posted: 2020-06-01

What's It Worth? Tiffany's - Sifting The Facts From The Fiction
Tampa Bay Times
In the early 20th century, Tiffany’s sold a range of items. Imported glass, dishes, soaps – even firearms – plus pottery and furniture made by their own artisans, as well as diamonds, expensive watches of their own make, made and cobranded by others; and other fine and decorative arts pieces.

Posted: 2020-05-01

Recently we attended a trade show, a get-together of 150 jewelers. Events like this are not open to the public and we were a bit late in arriving. Most of the good deals had already been snatched up quickly by other attendees. Thankfully, many in the group saved under their tables a “Hess bag” with things they knew we were top buyers of.

Posted: 2020-05-01

Opals are probably the most misunderstood gem in the world because they come in such a wide variety of color, clarity, size and price ranges.

Department store opals that are very white (a.) with little play of color have a very low resale value of between $5 and $10. Jelly opals (b.) look like they are suspended in jelly and have a better resale value, a.but still are relegated in fair market terms to $5 to $50.

Posted: 2020-05-01

I have often said that the biggest diamond mine in the world is the jewelry boxes of American women. We have bought millions of dollars worth of diamonds each year from people just like you. We buy from jewelers and dealers across the country, and last week, a jeweler from Texas sent us this beauty.

These odd-looking diamonds are called “rose cuts.” They were popular in Russia and Middle Eastern countries centuries ago and are highly sought after today, and not just because of their unusual shape — but because they are rather inexpensive!

Posted: 2020-04-01

A California jeweler offered us a long David Yurman tiger eye necklace in 18k gold that retailed originally for $10,000 (Today, it would likely retail for $16,000 or more).

He only wanted a bit over the gold value so we speculated, buying the almost 60-gram necklace for $2,400.

The San Francisco seller said he bought it for scrap value and had “no market” for tiger eye and “no market” for Yurman.

Posted: 2020-04-01

We have decided, for the time being, to continue with our Sunday informational column. We hope you are staying safe and are at home in good spirits.

Need to talk about something? Antiques or jewelry oriented? Email us. We have decided to focus this week on something pretty. And whimsical.