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Thursday, August 14, 2008

THE VALUE of DESIGNER VINTAGE JEWELRY


Ebay is a great place to keep an eye on the value of designer vintage jewelry. After all, the folks who buy on ebay are usually looking to get an item for as little as they can i.e. they're looking for bargains. Ebay is also a popular choice for vintage jewelry collectors to sell off their jewels quickly as there is truly a huge market for signed designer vintage jewelry pieces. Your husband might be like mine: he looks at some of this "old stuff" and calls it junk because it's not made of diamonds, gemstones, gold or silver. But to those who love this "junk", it's worth as much as the real thing. And that's the point of today's posting.

I want to share with you some of the pieces I've been watching on ebay over the past week to see what kind of dollars folks are willing to pay for designer vintage jewelry. The first one is that fabulous multi-colored Sherman parure (parure refers to a set of 3 or more pieces). That set sold for a blistering $1636 US!! That's more than I can get for some of my weightiest true gold pieces!
Why did it fetch $1636? It's a) a fully signed Sherman b) it has multi-colored stones i.e. rare c) it's a 4-piece set. All these factors make this one a terrific investment piece...not to mention it's simply gorgeous!

As I write this, the auction for the Miriam Haskell necklace shown on the right below has 25 minutes left to go. The bidding is already at $357. As there's always a sniper who bids at the last moment, it'll be interesting to see where this one ends up. But just for comparison sake, the lovely blue Miriam Haskell shown on the left below recently sold for $690 US! Doesn't that blow your mind? It does mine.













What's so wonderful about that piece of "junk"? Miriam Haskell jewelry was famous for its ornate use of beads, seed pearls, baroque pearls, not to mention its intricate and superb design and craftmanship. Every single piece was hand-made. Even today, the Haskell company continues on and each piece is still made to order, keeping up a prized and revered tradition that's missing in so much of today's mass-produced jewelry.

If you subscribe to or read my SHERMAN BLOG, you're aware of how popular jewelry made with fuschia colored stones is, and it's not just limited to Shermans. Case in point the two less expensive but still coveted sets I'll discuss next.

The set shown on the right is half a Weiss i.e. the earrings are signed Weiss, but the necklace is unsigned. The seller calls it a match. I'd dispute that but nonetheless, it's a very lovely set. I wanted to buy this one but missed out. I wanted it for its gorgeous design and color. However since both pieces weren't signed Weiss I didn't mind losing out. Despite my feelings, it still sold for $67.51 US. Not bad for a half signed piece!

Similarly, the set shown below left fetched a pretty good dollar for an unsigned piece. It sold for $35. Again, it had a lot going for it: it used Austrian crystals, is a dazzling combination of red and fuschia stones, is in mint condition for a vintage piece and best of all, is a 3-piece parure. Those who love vintage jewelry love sets!


But now, just as a comparison, let's take a look at a fully signed parure by Weiss on the right below. While the colors aren't that popular fuschia, its bib styling and the fact that it's a set fetched its happy seller a whopping $152 US! It reminds me of something Cleopatra or a movie star in the old films might wear. My husband thinks it's gaudy and awful. Well someone out there thought it was beautiful or valuable enough to spend $152 on it LOL!


And that brings me to the last piece I want to share with you today. It's by the very famous and highly sought after vintage designer, Schreiner. I've been watching Schreiner selling on Ebay for about a month now and the prices it gets are mind-boggling. Consider the lovely Schreiner necklace shown below and bear in mind that this is a necklace only i.e. no earrings, no bracelet, no brooch ... just a necklace. What did it sell for? Ready? $610 US!


So much for that "old junk jewelry" my husband scoffs at. If I show him a diamond ring or a lovely sapphire/diamond necklace I've just purchased, he sees value in those. I'm sure he's not alone. But there are thousands of women who love and collect designer vintage jewelry and would pass on my rings and gold jewelry for a Weiss, Sherman, Haskell or Schreiner. So what's the value of Designer vintage jewelry? A lot if you know what to look for.

Oh, by the way, that auction for the Miriam Haskell that I mentioned when I started this has just ended. What did it sell for? $471.66 US. Junk eh? Hardly!