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Thursday, October 23, 2008

BUYING & SELLING DESIGNER VINTAGE JEWELRY THAT'S BEEN REPAIRED

Tonight's post has been prompted by a reader of this blog who wrote to me after reading about my headaches with an ebay scammer who sold me some Schiaparelli that wasn't Schiaparelli.

This reader went on to tell me about a Schiaparelli bracelet that he/she has and would like to sell but is afraid that now it has been very much devalued because of a small repair. I can only say I sympathize because of my own experiences with things like this. Take the gorgeous JULIANA bracelet shown on the right. This is a magnificent piece with fabulous colors and large clear stones. I'm selling it from my RUBY LANE SHOP for only $95 including shipping, but so far, while folks have put it on their wish lists, no-one has purchased it yet. Are they waiting for me to lower the price? Probably. Why? Because somewhere along the line, someone has removed a link from this bracelet (maybe it was too big or maybe it broke) and where they've fixed it, instead of using an original Juliana link, they're using something else.

Is this enough to stop a buyer? If that buyer is a collector, probably, because collectors want their designer vintage jewelry to be as close to perfect as possible. But someone who simply loves Juliana and wants to wear it, may not be nearly as fussy.

Here's another example. On the left is a wonderful Schiaparelli demi consisting of bracelet and earrings that is for sale from my RUBY LANE SHOP. This set is outstanding: gorgeous large aurora borealis stones in deep, dark shades and fantastic condition ... except for one thing: just after we got the set and were taking photos, one of the links came loose. We could have left it that way and it would have worked fine but didn't want to risk further damage. So I took it to my jeweler and he did a fantastic job of soldering the detached link. The soldering is not visible at all except on the underside. He smoothed it down and you wouldn't know it was there except I've told you so. BUT, this splendid set has been sitting in my shop now for months with no takers. I can't understand it: except for that soldered section, this is in near new condition and it's so very "Schiaparelli"...signed on both bracelet and earrings. I'm now selling this beauty for what it cost me BEFORE the repair. If you're not a super fussy collector but would love to own an authentic Schiaparelli, now's your chance.

I'd be very interested in hearing from others who buy, sell and/or collect designer vintage jewelry on this topic. I hope you'll comment and share your experiences and thoughts on buying, selling and collecting repaired vintage jewelry.

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