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Evaluating the monetary worth of men's antique jewelry

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Fabienne, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Fabienne

    Fabienne Distinguished Member

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    Due to a recent death in the family, my mother (based in France) and her siblings have to divide the contents of a box of men's jewelry found in a bank safe. Some want to keep items, others are not interested but might take the equivalent sum. She had the jewelry evaluated at the cost of gold and stones, but I feel the estimated value is way too high. Some pieces are a little worn, as they are over 100 years old. Where does one go/how does one proceed to have antique jewelry evaluated adequately? Any tips other than the closest antique jewelry dealer?
     


  2. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Distinguished Member

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    Due to a recent death in the family, my mother (based in France) and her siblings have to divide the contents of a box of men's jewelry found in a bank safe. Some want to keep items, others are not interested but might take the equivalent sum. She had the jewelry evaluated at the cost of gold and stones, but I feel the estimated value is way too high. Some pieces are a little worn, as they are over 100 years old. Where does one go/how does one proceed to have antique jewelry evaluated adequately? Any tips other than the closest antique jewelry dealer?

    My favorite story about this sort of thing was the lady in the USA whose father left her some pure gold american coins. She mailed them to the US Treasury for appraisal and some greedy clerk used an old law that those were to have been turned in by a certain date when we shifted off of the gold standard to justify keeping them. I know there has been an outcry about this, not sure if she got her coins back. She shouldve sent just one coin, though you should be able to trust your government too.

    That doesnt help you out much but I thought it an entertaining story.
     


  3. TCN

    TCN Distinguished Member

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    I would go to a good independent appraiser rather than a dealer. The appraisal should deal with market conditions, method of potential sale, and take into consideration the item's value as simply raw materials.
     


  4. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Distinguished Member

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    I have no knowledge either way, but to my ear that story has the flavor (forgive the mixed metaphor) of an urban legend.

    Theres stuff all over the net about it. I heard it on the radio a couple of months ago


    http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory...inage0106b.htm
     


  5. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    Theres stuff all over the net about it. I heard it on the radio a couple of months ago


    http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory...inage0106b.htm

    The next day she woke up in a bathtub full of ice and her pancreas was gone. True story. It got fed to Foodbird #981, which is the animal they had to rename Kentucky Fried Chicken "KFC" for.
     


  6. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Distinguished Member

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    The next day she woke up in a bathtub full of ice and her pancreas was gone. True story. It got fed to Foodbird #981, which is the animal they had to rename Kentucky Fried Chicken "KFC" for.

    Fascinating. I forgot the birds number too, thnx! KFC, FNB, RJC its all about alphabet soup these days, or is it Talk Soup? I know they have that playing in Freedom.

    Say, how's that exclusive photo article on Paris shops youre working on for www.filmnoirbuff.com going?
     


  7. TCN

    TCN Distinguished Member

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    The next day she woke up in a bathtub full of ice and her pancreas was gone. True story. It got fed to Foodbird #981, which is the animal they had to rename Kentucky Fried Chicken "KFC" for.

    Laugh if you want, but we've traced those phone calls and they're coming from inside your house!!! [​IMG]
     


  8. LabelKing

    LabelKing Stylish Dinosaur

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    What type of antique jewelry?

    Certain types of rings tend to be more expensive such as finely cut intaglios or signets.
     


  9. Ed13

    Ed13 Senior Member

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    I would try a higher end auction house. Most have appraisers who are familiar with current market prices. Find a place that you can check their auction results for similar items to make sure they have a good feel for the items you need valued. You will also have a place to sell them that will try to generate the highest price possible.
     


  10. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Distinguished Member

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    My favorite story about this sort of thing was the lady in the USA whose father left her some pure gold american coins. She mailed them to the US Treasury for appraisal and some greedy clerk used an old law that those were to have been turned in by a certain date when we shifted off of the gold standard to justify keeping them. I know there has been an outcry about this, not sure if she got her coins back. She shouldve sent just one coin, though you should be able to trust your government too. That doesnt help you out much but I thought it an entertaining story.
    There is some "truth" to this. See-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1933_Double_Eagle http://whatareyouwearingtoday.blogspot.com/
     


  11. Fabienne

    Fabienne Distinguished Member

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    What type of antique jewelry?

    Certain types of rings tend to be more expensive such as finely cut intaglios or signets.


    I have seen neither the jewelry, nor pictures of the jewelry. From what my mother describes: a pair of gold cufflinks with small white pearl, a few gold coins, various men's rings, including one with a 1.25 carat diamond, gold chains, medallions (one with a diamond), and a woman's silver purse. The jewelry belonged to my great grandfather and my great great grandfather, therefore dating back to the second half of the 19th century-1960's.
     


  12. Fabienne

    Fabienne Distinguished Member

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    I would go to a good independent appraiser rather than a dealer. The appraisal should deal with market conditions, method of potential sale, and take into consideration the item's value as simply raw materials.

    The jeweler who appraised the pieces had the cufflinks at 400 euros, the gold ring with diamond at 10 000 euros, which seems very high to me, even though I haven't seen what they look like. He took that day's value of gold and stones/pearls into consideration, apparently, without figuring in the resale potential.

    I'll ask her to try and locate an auction house or an independent appraiser, which may prove difficult in that region.
     


  13. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Distinguished Member

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    The jeweler who appraised the pieces had the cufflinks at 400 euros, the gold ring with diamond at 10 000 euros, which seems very high to me, even though I haven't seen what they look like. He took that day's value of gold and stones/pearls into consideration, apparently, without figuring in the resale potential. I'll ask her to try and locate an auction house or an independent appraiser, which may prove difficult in that region.
    I agree - unseen, those estimates seem quite steep to me. The basic poblem is that a dealer has to protect his own retail prices, also when doing estimates. I'd go to a reputable auction house or a specialised commissaire-priseur, and ask not for insurance (replacement) estimates, but realistic market values for selling. You could consign everything to an auction house, await their auction estimates, and then take back whatever objects you want to keep, or objects where you find the estimates and reserve prices too low. That way, you'll get a free and realistic valuation, and get rid of the pieces you don't want. Auction houses are quite used to this practice, and will normally not have any objections to it. Smaller, worn pieces of jewellery may be below the "floor minimum" of the better auction houses - that is, the value is too low for the auction house to bother with. They will probably still give you estimates, as part of their general service.
     


  14. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Distinguished Member

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    See, I told you I didn't know anything . . .

    Not at all and no biggie. It could just as easily been a legend.
     


  15. Fabienne

    Fabienne Distinguished Member

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    I agree - unseen, those estimates seem quite steep to me. The basic poblem is that a dealer has to protect his own retail prices, also when doing estimates.

    I'd go to a reputable auction house or a specialised commissaire-priseur, and ask not for insurance (replacement) estimates, but realistic market values for selling.

    You could consign everything to an auction house, await their auction estimates, and then take back whatever objects you want to keep, or objects where you find the estimates and reserve prices too low. That way, you'll get a free and realistic valuation, and get rid of the pieces you don't want. Auction houses are quite used to this practice, and will normally not have any objections to it.

    Smaller, worn pieces of jewellery may be below the "floor minimum" of the better auction houses - that is, the value is too low for the auction house to bother with. They will probably still give you estimates, as part of their general service.


    Thank you. I shared this with my mom last night, and she says she knows of an auction house within a half hour of the bank. She'll also research the independent commissaire-priseur avenue.
     


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