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Saturday, May 24, 2008

WHITING & DAVIS: MODERN VINTAGE

Today I'd like to introduce you to one of my favourite vintage designers, WHITING & DAVIS.

The first piece of Whiting & Davis I ever purchased is the one shown on the left. When it arrived, I was blown away. I couldn't believe vintage could look this good and could be so "today"!

My daughter's in her mid-20's. She'd giggled a bit when I got into vintage jewelry and then she saw this piece. Like me, she was blown away by its superior construction, new condition, and very trendy look.

This classic example of Whiting & Davis features a fabulously strong double 28 - 30 inch chain from which hangs a superb pendant. The pendant bezel is filigree style, measuring 1 3/4" long and it houses a gorgeous clear piece of smoky quartz. The stone itself is 1 inch long by nearly 3/4" wide.

Whiting & Davis were famous for their use of only the best metals and while it's not silver or gold, these metals just really take a beating and show none of it. This necklace looks brand new and yet it most likely dates back to the 50's. It comes complete with the Whiting & Davis hang tag dangling near the locking clasp.

You can see more photos of this necklace by clicking on the photo. It will take you to our SHOP AT RUBY LANE where this necklace is currently available for only $40!


This is only one of several excellent Whiting & Davis necklaces I have. I also have some of their clamper bracelets, a reverse glass cameo set you can see HERE, and even an old, very vintage design locket that opens to house a small photo. I'll add them to this blog over time so do come back and see them in the future.

And by the way, it really tickled my fancy when that daughter of mine asked to wear one of my Whiting & Davis necklaces with her black turtle neck sweater about a month back. It looked marvellous. She certainly got a charge out of folks asking where she bought it!

Friday, May 23, 2008

VINTAGE JEWELRY from KREMENTZ - DELIGHTFUL!

There's just something so incredibly appealing in a necklace like the one pictured here. What a delightful piece! It's by vintage designer, Krementz.

Dating back to the 50's - 70's or thereabouts, this 12" - 14" choker isn't solid gold (you'd pay a pretty penny for it if it were since it weighs over 14 grams) but it is finished in solid gold overlay, something that wasn't used by many vintage designers apart from Krementz. The result is an absolutely stunning piece that looks as new as anything on the market today as it shows next to no wear.


And just look at that pretty design: Krementz has used a combination of yellow gold and rose gold to bring the flower and leaf motifs to life. From where the leaves meet the solid chain, the pendant area measures a full 3". The centerpiece itself is 2" wide and the perfectly shaped rose is over 1/2' in diameter.

You know, I can just see a young teen wearing this one with a cute spaghetti strap top under a demin jacket. Yes, I did say 'teen'. There's been a huge resurgence of interest in vintage jewelry and the entire vintage jewelry look. I didn't realize that until a youngster of 23 (well young compared to me) came to look at some of my jewelry and just flipped out over some of my rhinestone brooches and long dangling pendants on heavy chains. Somewhat incredulous, I said to her "You really DO like this stuff?" "Oh yes!" she enthused. "It's so cool!" She even purchased a 60-year-old brooch to dress up her coat!

Well live and learn. It feels good to know young people think my vintage jewelry is "cool" and not just "old". And each time I look at this delightful choker signed "Krementz USA", I have to agree. If you'd like to see more photos of this piece, just click on either photo above to see it in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE: VIVI JEWELS

Do you own any vintage jewelry? Why not share your thoughts or photos with me in this blog? I'd love to read your comments!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND

Well that's what Marilyn Monroe sang about and it must be true because here we are running several jewelry websites, and you want to know what is the one thing we sell most of? Rings, especially if they're diamond rings.

There's no doubt about it: people are always searching for diamond rings. Go to eBay's ring section and you'll see pages and pages of them. It's exhausting. But here's the thing: does the average shopper know what to look for i.e. how to tell if the diamonds are great quality or just average? Pictures can lie. If you're drawn to the pretty design, but the stones are cloudy, just how good a ring is it? This is one area buyers need to educate themselves on before they put down their dollars.

About a month back I was selling a second-hand diamond ring for only $150. While browsing one of the jewelry shops in our local mall, we came across the exact same ring. Sure it was brand new. But knowing our stones, we could tell the quality of the stones was nowhere near the price tag, well over $600. But someone will pay that rather than buying a pre-loved ring of the same or better quality, just because it's new. But you know what? Diamonds and gold don't lose value over time. So why pay so much more? And when it comes to vintage rings, well, one thing is sure: they aren't cookie-cutter or mass produced. Just like antiques, they appreciate in value.

Let's look at some examples of rings we have for sale. This fantastic Edwardian, European cut diamond ring with .80cts of diamonds and set in 14k gold, has diamonds of VS2- Si2 clarity. What on earth is that you ask? Well the very best diamonds are graded VVS, VS, VS1, VS2 and so on. The diamonds graded Si-1, Si-2 are pretty good too. But then you get to what many stores are selling for megabucks: stones graded I1, I2 or even I3. Buy one of these rings, look through a loop and be prepared for disappointment when it comes to clarity, carbon deposits etc.

Other terms that are important have to do with the color of the diamonds. Those described as G-H or even G-I are top quality for color. Bottom line: if the ring you have your eye on has lots of sparkly stones that are not of the clarity and color described in this blog, well it might be a pretty ring but it's not worth what another identical ring would be with top stones. Wherever you're buying that ring, be it at a store, or on eBay, or from a friend, ask about the quality of the stones. If they don't know, then hold onto your money if the price is really high. Make sure you're not paying too much for too little.

We have a very informative site at BUY GENUINE GEMSTONES (INFO) where you can learn so much about gemstones and diamonds. It's linked to our other site by the same name but different url: BUY GENUINE GEMSTONES which has superb photos and descriptions of the many gemstones we carry. And, by the way, if you're interested in knowing more about that lovely ring in the photo above, just click that photo to see lots more photos and details. You might also enjoy seeing our wonderful collection of rings at VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOWCASE. Just check out our "SOLDS" page: we sell lots of rings, of varying quality, but at least the quality is always stated and the price is in line with the quality.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

MIRIAM HASKELL ALWAYS IN DEMAND



So I missed adding something yesterday. That's because I was tied up all day shifting two of my most important websites to another server. What a job! The one at VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOWCASE went smoothly, but in shifting SHERMAN JEWELRY SHOWCASE I decided to use an alternate name and url I own i.e. SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE and now poof, no-one can find my original Sherman site ... though they're both the same. Argghhh! What a way to slow down traffic and lose ground in the search engines. Not to mention I then had to change all the email addresses and links that were pointing to the wrong place. I hate shifting websites ... and I have several more to move. Why do I do this to myself!

Anyway, today I want to talk about vintage designer, Miriam Haskell. Talk about popular! I've been watching eBay auctions for Haskell jewelry and well, the winning bids are often incredibly high. Of course, that depends on what kind of Miriam Haskell one is selling. Her most popular pieces seem to be those made with the baroque pearls she is famous for, and if they come in a set, then expect to pay big dollars. Mind you, that's true of most vintage designers with a following: a designer-signed single necklace or brooch will fetch a good price but if it comes with other pieces, ie. necklace & earrings, brooch and earrings (2-piece sets are called a DEMI) or if has 3 pieces, say a bracelet (3-pieces are a PARURE), then watch the value skyrocket.


I recently sold the one shown in the photos here to a customer in the US. She wore it to a wedding and one of her friends immediately asked to buy it. No wonder! It's an exquisite Haskell. My client said she wanted to wear it a few more times before selling it but her friend would have to pay $1000! And you know what, she could probably get that dollar. That's because it's not just beautiful: it's a full parure and all pieces are signed "Miriam Haskell". Look for them where you can. Just make sure it's an authentic Haskell. There so many fakes going around now and in a future post, I'll tell you how I got caught, not just on a Haskell, but also on some Schiaparelli. Bottom line is there's a wealth of information on the net on how to spot fakes and what constitutes an authentic Haskell or Sherman or Schiaparelli etc. Make sure you know what to look for and you won't get caught as I did. But that's for another day.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

FUSCHIA SHERMAN JEWELRY

Pictured above is one of my best sets of Sherman. It's a magnificent 3-piece demi consisting of necklace, brooch and dangling earrings in one of Sherman's most sought after colors: fuschia. You can see more photos of this set in my SHOP AT RUBY LANE or on the website from which I sell only Sherman jewelry: SHERMAN JEWELRY SHOWCASE.

What I wanted to chat on about in this blog is the astonishing prices folks will pay for fuschia colored Sherman jewelry. Some may think the price I'm asking for this set is huge i.e. $750. But recently on Ebay, I watched an auction where a fuschia necklace and fuschia bracelet was sold for over ... are you ready for this ... $7,000! Have collectors gone insane? Or were the two pieces really worth that much. What was most interesting to me was the fact that while the two pieces were very elaborate and gorgeous, and despite the seller saying they were a match, they weren't. There were similarities for sure, but my family and I studied the photos very closely and noticed differences in both the color and style of stones used in each piece. So yes, they worked well together but they were not a perfect match, not to mention the bracelet was signed but the necklace wasn't.

Now at this LINK is another very pretty fuschia Sherman being sold for $900 or best offer. It's a lovely piece with a stunning design, but it's just a necklace i.e. no earrings, bracelet, brooch etc. Doesn't this just boggle the mind that someone can ask, and will most likely get that kind of money for a fuschia Sherman necklace alone? Bottom line is, if you're a collector of Sherman jewellery, you should be on the lookout for any Shermans in fuschia, especially if it has a japanned backing (mine above does) or Shermans in red, especially if it's Siam red. I'll tell you now they are hard to find. Their owners hold on to them. And if someone is selling them, be prepared to bid high if it's on auction. The prices I've seen for Shermans in general make mine look cheap. Hmmm .... maybe I'm asking too little .... Interesting thought as I move into a new week of selling Sherman jewelry.