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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SPARKLE & SHINE IN VINTAGE COSTUME JEWELRY THIS FESTIVE SEASON



There's no better time than Christmas and New Year's to bring out the glitz and put on the ritz! This is when we don't need an excuse to dress up and no-one minds if we do. In fact, they expect us to be sparklier and shinier. The stores already have their new line of evening and cocktail dresses out to tempt us. And for many of us, vintage costume jewelry is the best way to accessorize that new gown. Heck, New Year's eve is only one night of the year. Why not make the most of it and your looks!

In our SHOP AT RUBY LANE, we currently have some gorgeous glitzy costume jewelry for you, like the one shown in the photo above. This is an "unsigned beauty" as they're often called. Featuring tons of brilliant golden-colored rhinestones with a smattering of light topaz crystals, this dazzling necklace is worn choker-style but dangles down the bodice to a finished length of 10 inches. The shine is out of sight. Below, just for the sake of showing you how wonderful this one looks with evening gear, is a shot of me wearing it last year when I appeared in a stage show.



See how it sparkles! I had members of the cast, all of whom were wearing fabulous jewelry, ask me where I got this one from.  Well I purchased it at an estate sale with several Shermans. The original owner really had a great eye for beautiful costume jewelry, didn't she! See more photos of this necklace HERE.

If you're into colors in your costume jewelry, you must take a closer look at this magnificent necklace from Delizza and Elster's "Juliana" line:




No photos, no matter how good they are, can do this one justice. What our eyes see isn't picked up by a camera lens. After all, the camera uses only one eye but we see with two. Measuring 15" long, this necklace is a marvellous assortment of colors: fuschia-toned aurora borealis round-cuts lead to a dazzling centerpiece that is 7 3/4" long and is comprised of slender charcoal gray/olivine navettes played against brilliantly red 1/2" marquise cuts offset by clusters of clear white rhinestones. Do women wear this kind of jewelry every day? Well most don't but at Christmas, wouldn't this look amazing as you cosy up in front of the fireplace while the children are opening their presents? See more photos of this gorgeous necklace HERE.

Keeping with the colored stones, and just perfect for Christmas or New Year's, is this fabulous 3-piece set by vintage designer, BERGERE (shown below). I've reduced this set to an almost ridiculous price, given its quality workmanship and the fact that you get a bracelet, earrings and necklace. No trying to find something that matches your necklace or a bracelet that adds the finishing touch. I wore this set during that same show (it ran for 6 nights so I alternated my jewelry) and just like the golden beauty up top, this set caught the lights and reflected beautifully from the stage.



Quite honestly, I'm really surprised this one hasn't sold since I listed it. It's beautifully made and designer signed. The glass crystal beads are in wonderful condition and their color is unique: a kind of red/purple. The clasps on the necklace and the bracelets are so classy.  At $135, I'm giving this one away LOL. See more photos and learn more HERE.

I'd be remiss if I didn't finish this post with my favourite designer, Sherman. Sherman's designs truly amaze me. I never get enough of looking at the pieces, the designs, the choice of stones and the variety. Just when you think you've seen all the Sherman you'll ever see, you come across something unlike any you've seen. That's how I felt about this one shown here:



Now first, I must clarify: the dangling earrings shown in the photo above are not Sherman. They're by Kramer, another top American vintage costume jewelry designer. But I thought they went perfectly with this unique and dazzling clear Swarovski crystal necklace. Just look at the art deco influence in that necklace! Honestly, to see this one with your own eyes and not on a computer screen is to appreciate the beauty of Sherman jewelry. You'd swear you were looking at diamonds! The sparkle is incredible. No question about it, wear this Sherman necklace and every eye in the room will be on YOU! See more photos of this masterpiece of vintage design HERE.

Well there's plenty of other lovely pieces of vintage costume jewelry in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE, along with some of the finest of fine necklaces with real rubies and sapphires if you prefer the real thing. In my next post, I'll be featuring some of those necklaces. Now is the time to buy them if you want them in time for Christmas. Remember shipping takes time and the while the mail must go through, it often doesn't go through fast enough, does it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

LOOKING FOR A VINTAGE JABEL RING? COME AND BE "JABBLED"!

Have you been "jabbled" yet? That's the term I've coined to describe those addicted to locating jewelry by the highly regarded JABEL company. If you don't know about JABEL, it's an American company that began operating and manufacturing its exquisite die-struck jewelry back in 1916 and has earned a reputation for its superb quality and beautiful workmanship.

On the JABEL website, if you want to take the time to learn more about JABEL, you'll read that despite all the modern techniques available for manufacturing jewelry today, JABEL still hand-assembles, sets, polishes and finishes all its pieces. The company has not traded its integrity or attention to quality and detail for faster, cheaper methods. Nor do they farm out their work overseas. It's all made in the USA. The result, of course, is quality through and through.

But of course, such quality doesn't come cheap, and even second-hand or pre-loved Jabels are going to cost you a bit more, just because they're JABEL. But are they worth it? You bet! That's why my site stats are always showing people searching for Jabel jewelry: it's not easy to acquire vintage pieces because owners hold onto their Jabels.

Now all that said, I keep searching and have accumulated a lovely collection of Jabel rings. The one shown at the top of this post is one of our latest finds and definitely one of the most beautiful. While the carat weight of the diamonds is only just over 1/2 carat, what sets this Jabel ring apart is its design: I've not seen one quite like this! It's a cocktail or dinner ring with a design reminiscent of Art Deco. It has 9 top quality, brillliantly clear diamonds and typical of Jabel rings, is fashioned from 18k white gold. Isn't it gorgeous! You can see more photos or purchase this one from OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE.


Now while you're in our shop, if you like sapphire and diamond rings, take a look at the one on the left. It's a JABEL too!

It's simple, elegant and perfect for those who want understated quality on their fingers. Like the cocktail/dinner ring, it too is set in 18k white gold with 2 little diamonds nestled either side of that lovely central sapphire.

The price on this one is a little less than our cocktail ring, so if your budget is tight, maybe this is YOUR Jabel. Just click the photo on the left to see more pictures and purchase this sapphire/diamond ring.

Then there's the incredible JABEL wedding set shown below. What a knockout!


Dating to the 1950's and made, in this case, from 14k yellow gold, this darling set features a large, high-clarity central transitional-cut round brilliant cut diamond adorned on either side by more crystal clear single-cut diamonds. Soldered to the engagement ring is another ring - a glistening diamond band that is a near perfect match to the Jabel. You're looking here at diamonds of VS1 and VS2 quality. Again, the Jabel quality is second to none. Check out more details and photos by clicking on the photo above.

And we still have that fabulous Jabel eternity ring shown below that's appraised at over $5000 for the person who wears a size 6.5. This is definitely one of a kind. Your purchase of this 1.20cts of diamonds Jabel ring comes with the appraisal. Take a closer look by clicking on the photo below and be "jabbled!"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2.4ct DIAMOND RING by CARTIER FOR SALE ON EBAY (??) ... WAIT A MINUTE ... BUYER BEWARE BIGTIME!



My post a few days back related to one of my recent shopping experiences. Now, here's one I want to share with you and hope you never become the victim of a "seller" like this.

We were perusing the site, KIJIJI, when we came across an ad for the ring above. Don't go searching for it. You won't find it now. But we did find a link under Kijiji (Toronto) warning shoppers not to fall for this as it was a scam. You can see that notice here: http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-jewellery-watches-SCAM-Cartier-2-4ct-Diamond-Platinum-Wedding-Ring-SCAM-W0QQAdIdZ164545195

But before we saw the scam notice, we contacted the seller. This person wrote back promptly saying she (might be a he) had to sell the ring quickly for financial reasons and $5000 US was the lowest price she could take for this incredible Cartier ring. The ring has a single 2.4ct diamond and the band is stamped "Cartier" as shown below:

She also indicated she couldn't meet with us to show us the ring as she was in the US at this time and that the ring was already with a shipping company, packaged and ready to ship. If we were interested, all we had to do was hit BUY IT NOW at a link he/she provided on eBay. We were unable to locate the ring at all on eBay, so we wrote again. The person sent us this link below in an email:

http:/cgi.ebay.com/Cartier-2-40ct-Diamond-Platinum-Wedding-Ring_W0QQitemZ310157683485QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Fine_Rings?hash=item4836d6ab1d&Item


Well, as you'll see if you click that link now, you'll get an error reading i.e. page not found. But before that, it "redirected" you to the link below which I cannot enable as a link here (you can try copying and pasting but it'll produce an error message now)

http://754654554444554566565.limewebs.com/W0QQitemZ2802163510QQihZ018QQcategoryZ50029QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZVehiclesListingItemListings/


So you might ask me why put all this here for us to read now if neither link brings up a web page? Answer: please compare the two links:

In the first one, you see "ebay" and "cartier 2.40ct diamond platinum wedding ring" etc. That is that url looks legit doesn't it.

So you click on it and get redirected, as we were, to the second url. Now take a close look at that one. Notice, there's NOTHING about ebay on it; no mention of a Cartier diamond ring. In fact, it re-directs you to a site at www.limewebs.com. And notice the last few words again in that url: "vehicles listing item". Vehicles? What's that got to do with diamond rings?

We have since reported this to ebay which is perhaps why you can no longer access anything about this "Cartier 2.40ct Diamond ring) but how very sad all this is! First of all, some scammer has hijacked a legitimate seller's page/identity, set up a page that looks so much like a legitimate ebay page that the unwary can easily be fooled, then actually corresponded with a potential buyer, using the legitimate ebay seller's name, and urged us to BUY IT NOW! Imagine if we'd fell for that!! After all, they were asking $5000 for the ring. Ay yay yay!

I wanted to share this with you, if you're a buyer of anything online, not just jewelry: be very cautious of anyone saying they need the money as they're in financial distress. If they also say they can't meet with you when the item costs this much, and their location is in easy commute of where you live (as this supposedly was), then something's up. Furthermore, become just that little bit more net savvy: study the url, the link you are being sent. Does it look right? If you then click the link out of curiosity (caution here as you never know where it's going to take you ie.. could be a porn site, a phishing site, anything) look at the url showing in your browser to see if it's the same one you were sent (After all, there's no similarity between the two urls above!) If not, you know you've been "redirected" and some scammer is out there just dying to take your money!

Incidentally, this one even told us we were covered up to $10,000 by eBay/PayPal. Yeah right! Under payment, however, they said only by "wire transfer"... another red flag especially given ebay's latest policy of payment only via PayPal. I hate that new ruling as legitimate sellers are happy to take cheque or money order (we do at Ruby Lane) and some buyers prefer to pay that way too. But in situations like this one, eBay's new rule might just prevent heartache.

Saying you can never be too cautious is an under-statement!

And by the way, this same scammer still has the ad running on Craiglist HERE!!!

Someone report this NOW!

While I have you, if you really want a gorgeous diamond ring, top quality diamonds, designer signed too, why don't you check out the latest additions to our Estate Jewelry Showcase HERE
That spectacular ring by COAST, shown below, appraised at over $6900 USD and is being offered on sale now, with the appraisal included, for only $1835! Click the photo to learn more!


Or how about the one below with 1.30cts of incredible diamonds?

It doesn't get better than this at our reasonable prices for truly valuable vintage rings. And you're buying from a reputable seller with hundreds of very happy customers who'll be happy to give us a referral...and do, all the time!



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SOME SELLERS WILL TRY ANYTHING TO AVOID A REFUND!

Today I want to fill you in on one of the most unpleasant buying experiences I've had lately. It left me wondering to what lows sellers will stoop to avoid issuing a refund to a dissatisfied customer.

I purchased an unusual ring from a seller. I'd never seen one like this before. The photos looked good and the description left me little to worry about in terms of quality. The ring was described as "mint", free of any scratches or problems and a size 5.5. The ring contained a combination of rubies, diamonds and sapphires and was originally purchased, at great expense (so I was told by the seller) from Bailey, Biddle and Banks years back when the seller was a child. I asked if there were any receipts or proof the ring came from BBB but was told no, they were long lost. Well no problem. It looked lovely and I wanted it. So I paid the BUY IT NOW price and eagerly awaited my ring.

When the package arrived, we all stood around breathlessly as I opened it and removed the bubble wrap. We opened the ring box and it looked great, just like what we'd seen in the photos. It was way too small for my swollen fingers but my daughter who wears a size 5.5 tried to put it on. Not a chance! She got it on her pinky finger, barely. We grabbed the ring-sizer and it showed it as a size 3.5. Ouch! Oh well, maybe we could get it re-sized.

Just as we were discussing if there was enough gold in the band to do that, my daughter noticed a small crack or break in the band where one would normally re-size. We grabbed the loupe to be sure. Yes, there was a crack, perhaps from a previous re-sizing. This was bad news. No way could we risk re-sizing this ring. I checked the seller's ad: yes, she'd said it was a size 5.5 and she said it was in mint condition. Well now, it was neither, and worse yet, I'd paid a lot for it and didn't want it because of these issues.

I immediately contacted the seller, who had stated "no refunds" (should have seen a red flag right there!). She wrote back saying she was in shock. The ring had left her in perfect condition. She'd even had it polished and her jeweler hadn't seen any "crack". So we grabbed our camera and did close-ups of the flaw. Again, she couldn't believe it and started to insist it wasn't there when she shipped it. I asked her about the size too: We sent her a photo of the ring on the ring-sizer. Now this time she got mad and said no way: our ring sizer must be defective or we have different ring-sizers in Canada. I wrote saying I'd purchased the sizer from the US but said, either way, I don't want the ring and wish to return it.

She then offered me $50 to have it repaired. I declined. I just wanted my money back and would ship it back the next day by Express mail, about $30, for insurance and tracking. I asked, since the ring was 'not as described" that she cover my return shipping costs. That's what I'd do for my customers if in some way my ad was inaccurate and the customer wanted a refund. Well, didn't she hit the roof! No way would she cover the return cost because as far as she was concerned, I was merely suffering buyer's remorse and she doesn't cover shipping for buyer's remorse. When I read that, I knew I was in for a battle.

Well I shipped it back in the exact same box next day, at my expense, meaning I'd be out over $60 with original and return shipping costs. The tracking showed it was delivered successfully about a week later. I waited a couple of days to hear from her expecting her to say she'd refund the cost price. Nothing came. So I wrote and asked. Another 2 days went by and she wrote to say she was out of town but her office did confirm the package had been returned and that she'd check to see the ring was the one she'd sent when she got back. Oh really? So now, she was insinuating I'd returned something she didn't send me. Whatever! I waited. Several more days passed with no communication and no refund. I emailed to say if I had no response from her in 48 hours, I'd open a dispute in PayPal. Still nothing. So I opened the dispute. She didn't respond. 3 more days went by and suddenly I got a note from PayPal saying the seller had escalated the dispute. HUH? The seller had escalated the dispute?? I logged in and read what she'd told PayPal. Now it was my turn to be furious.

According to her account, I waited 3 weeks to inform her of problems with the ring! (Remember, I contacted her the day I got the ring). Further, she claimed I must have somehow damaged the ring as the break wasn't there when she sent it but was there now. She said her jeweler looked at it and said it looked like someone had tried to stretch it to fit and that cracked the the ring. HUH? How could I stretch 14k gold? Besides, if I did, how come the ring had shrunk from the size 5.5. she claimed it was to a size 3.5? And her last claim was I was suffering from buyer's remorse and that was my only reason for returning the ring. It was now up to PayPal to decide.

Well I phoned PayPal as I'd had no chance to rebut her comments since she'd now escalated the dispute and got a nice gal who listened to and wrote down everything from my side of the story. I also informed her that I had an earlier email from the woman (when I'd tried to resolve this amicably) in which she said she used to have another shop on this site but closed it because people were always buying stuff, suffering buyers remorse, damaging the item and then returning it to her for a refund. Oh really? So this had happened to her on many occasions had it? Funny 'bout that.

Well in the end, I'm happy to say PayPal did rule in my favour and issued a full refund, including my return shipping costs. That must have upset her again as she immediately filed an appeal. To my satisfaction, she lost the appeal. Justice had prevailed.

Now, one last thing: after all this happened, I went back to her photos of the item. We found one that showed some of the band. While the detail wasn't as clear as we make our photos, all of us could see that break! There was no question. It had been there all the time. That she or her jeweler didn't see it means nothing. It's easy to miss such things ... isn't it...?

Point of all this sad tale? As a buyer, we need to look very carefully at anything we buy online as soon as it arrives. We don't have the luxury of close scrutiny as we do in the real world in the jewelry store. So, a word of caution when you're buying: read the ad carefully; study the return policy and when the item arrives, examine it immediately, under good light. Invest in a loupe if you need to. Magnifying glasses are limited. And before you return the item, take photos of it as you got it. Even take a photo of the re-sealed box with date of returning stamp so there can be no questions that you sent it back. And, according to PayPal, always return the item with tracking and signature required. No signature and a seller can claim they never got the item. It could be left in a box, on a doorstep, whatever. The tracking will show successfully delivered, but without a signature, how do you know the right person received it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

BEAUTIFUL DIAMOND & GEMSTONE RINGS AT VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOWCASE at RUBY LANE

video


I've decided to do something a bit different in this blog post. I was looking through all the gorgeous diamond and gemstone rings we currently have listed in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE, as well as those tucked away in our safe and yet to be shown on our site, and thought why not create a video of our jewelry? This is a first attempt at something like this and I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out. Don't be afraid to play the video: it's safe! And do turn on your speakers to hear the lovely guitar playing in the background. It's very soothing. It's a pretty little tune that one of our favourite musician colleagues, BILL BRUCE wrote and named after me some years back. It's called simply, "Viga's Song". I find it restful and appropriate to looking at beautiful rings like these.

I've organized the video to showcase our diamong rings first, and they're grouped by era or occasion. Then we head into the various gemstones: sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and assorted other beautiful stones. I'm very proud of our collection and hope you enjoy looking at this and sharing it with your friends and family. I think I might even do some more videos like this as time permits. I really hope you'll take a moment to comment on this effort. It was hard work but a lot of fun putting it together. Sometimes you just have to challenge yourself, don't you!

And with the exception of the magnificent cornflower blue sapphire and diamond ring shown first under sapphires, all the rings in this video are currently available in our shop. But you never know for how long. Our rings are our biggest seller, so check them out now. Thanks for watching!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

ARE YOU REALLY GETTING THE BEST DOLLAR FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL VINTAGE GOLD JEWELRY?


I don't care what others say but there's something perverse about those gold parties where you bring your beautiful real gold pieces, your mom's diamond's rings, your grandmother's unique pendant, or that gorgeous gold bracelet your hubby purchased for your anniversary and offer it up to a 'gold buyer" for the "best dollar".

For me, it's gross and it's been spawned by the greed generated by the surge in gold prices over the past 2-3 years. When you couple that greed with the dreadful downturn in the economy over 2008, with all the job losses, the defaulting on mortgages, and families desperate to make ends meet, you create a money-making situation for those fast enough to capitalize on your distress: the gold jewelry buyers. They promise you top dollar for your family heirlooms ... except ... are you really getting what that piece is worth?

Most of these buyers are not buying these beautiful pieces, like the one shown at the top of this post and available from OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE even as an investment. Truth is, if you know anything about buying gold as an investment, you know it's gold bars, ingots and coins that are the investment, not gold jewelry! So what's the deal with these gold-buying parties? What do these buyers want? They want your gold to sell to a gold refiner, that's what! They'd sell a gorgeous old bracelet like the one above (which happens to weigh 87 grams of 18k gold) to refiners for the best dollar they can get from them.

Now think about it: on the current market, with gold at 1,053.70 USD / Troy Oz, that bracelet is worth $2211 USD today (October 8, 2009) just to melt down! Wow, that's a lot of money. But wait a minute: the gold-buyer won't offer you that because after all, he/she wants to make money on your bracelet. They can't pay YOU what the gold-refiner will pay them. So they'll offer you less, sometimes much much less. After all, they want to make as much as they can on the bracelet or ring they buy from you. So they'll give you as little as they can.

So if you're hell-bent on getting some money for your wonderful heirloom gold jewelry, you might try to locate a gold-refiner directly yourself. At least you'll get more for your pieces than if you attend a gold buying party.

But that said, now let me say what I really feel: how could you sell a bracelet like the one up top to a refiner so he can just melt it down? That gorgeous bracelet was given to the mother of one of my friends by her husband over 50 years ago during a trip to Spain. When mom passed on, she left the bracelet to her daughter. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw this piece: I'd never seen any gold bracelet that even comes close for quality, design and overall beauty. And just look at that construction:

How could you let something like this be destroyed?

Well, if you feel as I do, that gold vintage jewelry is very special and worth keeping in your family, take a closer look at this bracelet in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE. Granted, this one is expensive but well worth it if you can afford it. And if not, while you're over at our shop, do look at some of our other gorgeous gold necklaces, some with rubies, some with sapphires, and some with diamonds. Jewelry like this will be around longer than any costume pieces, is less subject to damage over time, and will always gain in value that no refiner or gold buyer will pay you.

From Waxahachie, Texas, to France for $5.00 Round Trip!!!!

I'm doing something I rarely do in my blogs i.e. sharing with you a great story sent to me by one of my customers. This was so good I really thought it deserved to be read by anyone who hunts down and collects jewelry. Thanks Cynthia for sharing this gem with me and my followers. Enjoy!


Sounds like one of those old fashioned "come-ons" doesn't it? Well, read on!

Anyone who knows me, knows I love "antiquing," especially for vintage
jewelry treasures. But for me, purchasing the item, is only the start of
the adventure. In this case, my purchase of $5.00 was for a completely
blackened bracelet. It was so blackened,it was impossible to see what
designs were on the tiny disks comprising the bracelet.

Why on earth buy something covered in the blacks, browns and/or greens,
encrusted by time and neglect? I hope that can I try to restore as many
pieces as possible to a condition where they can carry their beauty down
through further generations. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not.

Cleaning a piece takes patience, but I feel such a thrill at what might be
under all the gunk.

Three cleanings latter, my little bracelet, had turned into a tiny
treasure. Each of its 10 disks were stamped on one side with a flower,
and the other side with a cathedral, or an image of the Virgin Mary. There
was no writing on any of the disks, but luckily, a small charm matching
the others, but hanging from the bracelet was marked ""Cathedrale de
Reims."

Thank heavens for the Internet! It makes research sooo much easier. Reims,
is another spelling for Rheims, France. It was on the sight of the
cathedral that Clovis, the French king, was converted to Christianity by
St. Reim. The church built to commemorate that event was built in 496
A.D. When this church burned, a cathedral was built on the site. It is
one of only a triad of churches built in the "High Gothic" or "Classical
French" styles of the 13th Century. Latter, it became the traditional
place where the Kings of France were crowned. The center portion is
dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and dominated by a a stained glass window of
a rose.

My little bracelet was yielding up its secrets! Each of the pictures of
the cathedrals on the bracelet exactly matched the photos on the Internet.
And I felt the presence of the images of the rose and the Virgin Mary
were explained by the center portion of the cathedral itself.

But what of the other flowers? The little bracelet can be worn so either
only the flowers show, or only the cathedral and the images of the Virgin
Mary show. In addition to the rose, I identified a pansy, a sunflower, and
a daffodil. In the "language of flowers" a rose symbolizes love and
purity; a pansy, loving thoughts; a sunflower, pure and lofty thoughts;
and a daffodil, chivalry.

My guess is these flowers were a prayer, the wearer asking through the
symbolism flowers to embody the virtues they represent. I could of course
be totally off the mark, but this somehow feels right.

My little bracelet lies on my desk beside me as I write this. It will
never make anyone gasp! on Antique Road Show. It won't make my fortune.
But it did take me to France and back for $5.00!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

14K & 18K VINTAGE DIAMOND, AQUAMARINE & MULTI-GEM JEWELRY SELLS FAST!

For our SHOP AT RUBY LANE, we go out of the way and spend many hours, days, weeks, searching for fine vintage jewelry that is out of the ordinary, because that's what we find our customers want. They aren't drawn to the contemporary, mass-produced, run-of-the-mill pieces you can find in the real world shopping centers or online. They want the unique, the one-offs, the pieces they won't see others wearing. And they know that most of the time, buying vintage, antique, or if you dare to call it what it really is i.e. "pre-worn", "pre-owned" and "pre-loved" is the only way to acquire jewelry that is really special and different. And if what has happened in our shop at Ruby Lane in the past 2 weeks is any indication, when they find that special piece, be it a ring, bracelet, necklace or set, they act fast. And so they should, because there's never more than one of any particular item.

Take that gorgeous multi-gem set shown at the top of this post. It's made from 18k yellow gold, and features a lovely blend of pearls, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds in 3 pieces: a necklace, earrings and ring. Do you know how hard it is to find a full parure like that in gold these days? No wonder this unique set had only been up on the site 3 hours when a lady came in to buy it. She was worried sick that someone else would beat her to it and that does happen a lot in our shop. More than once 2 people have been eyeing one of our new listings at the same time, and it becomes a case of "act fast or be last". I feel so bad when that happens, especially to some of our regular, repeat buyers who stop into our shop daily to make sure they don't miss something new. Sometimes, just taking a few hours to think it over is too long!

It was much the same with this magnificent aquamarine/diamond necklace shown below:


Even though I'd mentioned this piece in this blog a few weeks back, and some of my regulars had seen it, when it finally got listed, it sold too fast for some. But we did expect that to happen with this one because the necklace has such a gorgeous design and after all, contains the incredibly popular gemstone, aquamarine, accompanied by lots of glittering diamonds. We knew we had a very special necklace in this one so we had it appraised. It came in at over $2800 USD. I've seen similar, but never the same, being offered for twice that appraisal price, but our lucky, quick-acting buyer put it on layaway for just over half that appraised value. And sometimes, that's what you have to do if you really want something: ask if you can put it on layaway. If it means you can lock up a piece of jewelry for yourself before someone else buys it, then just ask. We are receptive to layaway on very easy terms in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE.

We have other fabulous & valuable necklaces in our shop in both 14k and 18k with diamonds, sapphires and rubies. Many come with appraisals, as do our more valuable rings. With Christmas coming, now is the time to secure those pieces that will make the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one, like this incredible tension-set bangle and ring duo with 1.6 carats of super high quality diamonds and an appraisal of over $8000 shown below. Our jeweler wants to buy this one to sell in his shop but we want our customers to buy it. Layaway available. Check it out by clicking on the photo below. It's being offered at less than 1/3 its appraised price!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

ROCK CRYSTAL "POOLS OF LIGHT" JEWELRY

I was mildly amused last night while watching the TV show, "Law and Order" with my hubby. The villain in this episode was a female. I immediately noticed her necklace but it was my husband's comment that made me smile. He said "Notice what she's wearing on her neck"? Indeed I did. It looked like a double strand of rock crystal "pools of light" necklace. I was amused that he noticed it and even more so, that he recognized it. But then, he's always asking me what's so special about these clear "marbles". Now there's a guy for you LOL!

But yes, I must admit, true "pools of light" beads do look like clear marbles. And if you don't know, they are currently enjoying quite a revival amongst collectors. What's more, they're not easy to get and when they do come up on places like ebay for instance, they're sold quickly... and expensively! I cannot believe how high the bidding goes on necklaces. Buyers are bidding upwards of $400 and $500 for a genuine Rock crystal "Pools of light" necklace! But here's the thing: you really need to know what to look for if you're after one of these pieces or you could end up overpaying big-time.

The key thing about "pools of light" jewelry is to go for undrilled spheres. The gal in the TV show was wearing drilled ones. How do I know? You could see the thread going right through the spheres. Now the problem with drilled "pools" is they lose the marvellous refractive quality they are famous for! Undrilled "pools", when held up the light, reflect beautiful colors from any light source nearby. Once drilled, that ability is lost to some degree. So what you want to look for when buying "pools of light" rock crystal jewelry are those either bound in sterling silver or gold plate i.e. the sphere sits inside a wired case so to speak, as shown in the photo below:


The other intriguing thing about genuine "pools of light" is that items viewed through them e.g. print or anything, appear upside down and reversed. Amazing! The photo below shows this fabulous characteristic:


This characteristic is one you must look for. If the seller doesn't tell you it does this or doesn't have a photo showing it, ask. If they don't know, then maybe you should just pass on that one.

There's lots of other rock crystal jewelry out there. I have one, a bracelet, that I'll be uploading to my Ruby Lane site in the future. It's a very pretty and charming vintage piece and quite valuable. But it's not a "Pools of Light" bracelet like the one shown at the top of this post. That one is currently available in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE and as I guessed it would, it's already landed on 6 wish lists. No surprise there. My bracelet is the genuine thing. The spheres are glued onto gold-plated sterling silver bezels attached to a sterling silver chain. The spheres are not drilled. And items viewed through them appear back to front and upside down. Why not slip over and take a look at it now while it's still available. It's a real collectible! Click on the link above or the photo below and see more views of this wonderful, sought after jewelry.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

AQUAMARINE GEMSTONE JEWELRY IS VERY POPULAR & COMMANDING HIGH PRICES!



My latest love affair in gemstone jewelry is with AQUAMARINE. And, from what I'm seeing on the net and in the real world, I have lots of company! But boy, can it be expensive!

I've been raiding antique shows and agonizing at estate auctions trying to acquire affordable aquamarine jewelry and it's just not happening. Prices for necklaces, bracelets and rings, with that lovely blue/green stone that conjures up visions of paradise islands and sunny seas are sky high! I did manage to snag the aquamarine and diamond ring shown above, and now available in my SHOP AT RUBY LANE, but I paid plenty for it. I've listed it as low as I can for my visitors to be able to afford a piece of what is, without doubt, a highly collectible gemstone. Do take a look at it. It's gorgeous. It's currently being appraised and that appraisal will be added to the description of the ring at our shop. So be sure to bookmark the page if you're looking for aquamarine jewelry.

And I must tell you this: if you fancy some aquamarine jewelry, don't sit and think about it too long if you find a piece at a good price. I've found bracelets on ebay and elsewhere priced in the thousands. Some time back, I sold a magnificent aquamarine necklace in 14k for around $799 USD. I now realize I gave that one away! It should have been listed for twice that price. But that buyer was smart. She knew the value of aquamarine and made sure she got it before I smartened up LOL!

Just recently, I listed the gorgeous aquamarine/diamond tennis bracelet shown below in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE. It was gone within 3 days of listing it. I'm not surprised. Even at my asking price of $1095, it was a steal compared to what others are charging for similar pieces.


And what made that bracelet even better was the fact that it contained both diamonds and aquamarine ... about 14cts. of aquamarine and nearly 1/2 ct. of diamonds. So if you see another one like this somewhere and the price is good, grab it! Come to think of it, I have another similar one coming into our shop within the next month. It's a set, i.e. bracelet and earrings, and does have some diamonds. So be sure to check our shop often to see if it's been added. I'll make the price as reasonable as I can, just as I always do.

While I have you, shown below is a piece you won't want to miss if you are a serious collector of rare and beautiful pieces of Victorian jewelry with diamonds and ... aquamarine. This glorious necklace is currently at our appraiser's. But even when we dropped it off, the jeweler sighed, turned it over, looked at the construction and commented "they just don't make pieces like this anymore!". How true. This is one of the most gorgeous pieces of jewelry I've ever acquired and dare I say, it cost me a small fortune. Both my daughters just drooled over it. My husband was knocked out by both the quality and design. As for me, I don't think I'll worry if it doesn't sell as this is the kind of jewelry I'd be happy to keep in the family heirloom box. Of course, there's one problem with that: which one of my daughters will get it?! I don't want to think they'll be squabbling over this one ... but who could blame them if they did? Watch for it ... coming soon!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

ANGEL SKIN CORAL NECKLACES & CARVED PENDANTS CONTINUE TO BE POPULAR

Why does coral jewelry continue to be so popular years after it first came into vogue? Is it because, as some suggest, that coral immediately brings to mind summer, sun and oceans? Is it because, as some cultures believe, that wearing coral is protection against evil spirits? Or maybe it's simply because the look of coral on bare skin, be it your neck or your wrist, is just irresistably attractive.

Whatever your reason for liking coral jewelry, I do know it's one of the more popular items in our shop at Ruby Lane. I've been acquiring pieces for the past few months and they never last very long before they're gone. We have 3 lovely necklaces still available in our shop. The delightful necklace shown on the right is 20" long and alternates smooth angel skin coral beads with genuine amethyst beads and gold-plated spacers. Apart from the beads themselves, it's the fabulous carved pendant that really catches your eye. It's 1 1/2" X 3/4", with a super pretty pink blush color. You can read more and see more photos by clicking HERE or on the photo itself.


Just added to our lineup in the last 24 hours is the outstanding and unusual necklace shown on the left. This one alternates between 8mm angel skin coral beads, 8mm opalescent rose quartz beads, and real 10k gold beads. What an unsual combination! The strands measure 15" and 17" long.

The quality workmanship in this necklace is one of its other attractive features: the beads are threaded onto rose colored silk which is knotted between each bead for added strength. Beaded jewelry is definitely making a comeback right now: the first lady of the US is fond of wearing them and maybe a lot of ladies out there are following her tastes. This is one that any lady, first or otherwise, would be happy to wear and add to her collection of angel skin coral jewelry. Click HERE or on the photo to see and learn more about this one.

We have one more yummy angel skin coral necklace in our shop

at this time that's a little less expensive than the other two but no less beautiful. In fact, the carved coral pendant on this one is one of the loveliest I've ever seen. The detail is superb and the colors of pink, blush and white playing against each other is so eye-catching. It's different from the other two in another way i.e it isn't heavy on beads. It's more like a necklace with its 1/20th 14k chain giving way to a small selection of various shaped beads leading to the pendant. There's really no good reason why this one is priced lower than the others but if price is important to you, and you'd like a piece of angel skin coral for your wardrobe, this is a good chance to get one at a very affordable price. Bear in mind that angel skin coral necklaces and jewelry often fetch prices in the high hundreds, even over $1000. So quite honestly, all three of the necklaces shown here are a good buy. Click HERE or the photo above to learn more about that one.

I'll have more coral for you to consider in the future, but that's it for now. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ART DECO DIAMOND WATCHES ARE ALWAYS IN DEMAND: THINK FAMILY HEIRLOOMS

What is it about the Art Deco styling that so attracts buyers of today. After all, we're talking about the designs that were popular in the 30's and 40's. And yet, if there's one style or period of jewelry that sells well from our SHOP AT RUBY LANE, it's Art Deco. We just recently sold a superb art deco diamond bracelet to a gentleman in the Netherlands. He purchased it for his wife who is expecting twins in November. As he wrote to me, this gift is more than just about the dollars it has cost him ...the bracelet appraised for over $10,000 ... it's about buying jewelry that will be loved and cherished by his wife and their children as the years go by because of the significance it bears as a gift on this joyous occasion.

And yes, that's what the better pieces of jewelry are all about: something that is timeless, something that gains value both dollar-wise and as a family heirloom over the years. Perhaps that was why someone years ago purchased the gorgeous Hallmark Art Deco Watch we now have for sale in our Ruby Lane shop. This magnificent watch with its 21 jewel movement is still ticking away perfectly although it's a good 60 years or more old, thanks to its Incabloc movement which is guaranteed for a lifetime. This particular watch, is fully 14k gold and has over one carat of top quality diamonds, not just around the watch face but also throughout the entire band. It's in marvellous shape with a very secure clasp. But what I love best about it is its slightly ornate, totally art deco design. This is more than just a watch: it's a bracelet!

Sadly, we purchased this one for one of our customers. However, times have been rough economically as we all know and she's now not able to proceed with this purchase. So we've put it back in our shop. We've priced it by comparing it to others available online, at Ruby Lane, on eBay and elsewhere and feel it's very competitively priced. We hope you'll slip over and take a closer look at this glorious watch. We are receptive to offers and yes, you can put it on layaway.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

WEISS IS NICE - ESPECIALLY AT THIS PRICE!


One of the more affordable vintage designer pieces has always been Weiss. Over the past year, I've had some beautiful jewelry from Weiss and sold most of it very quickly, probably because it's so pretty and so inexpensive compared to Sherman, Schiaparelli and others I could name.

At this point, I have very little Weiss left. Shown above is one of them which I've just listed in my SHOP AT RUBY LANE at a ridiculously low price since I've decided to get out of costume jewelry altogether. Click on the photo to see more and read all about this one, which I'm giving away for only $59 + shipping. That pink color is gorgeous, and always popular whichever designer it comes from. So here's your chance to add a truly lovely Weiss necklace to your wardrobe at a truly reasonable price.

So while I have you, if you haven't read about it on my Sherman blog, as I said above, I'm liquidating my vintage costume jewelry stock, both signed and unsigned. My signed items include pieces by Sherman, Schiaparelli, Alice Caviness, Miriam Haskell, Kramer and more. Most are shown in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE and have been marked down already. But we're also running a true clearance sale on this stuff, in that we're giving you the chance to buy these pieces at our cost.

We're inviting you to MAKE AN OFFER on any vintage costume jewelry ... necklaces, bracelets, sets. IF YOUR OFFER MATCHES OR BETTERS WHAT WE PAID FOR THE PIECE, IT'S YOURS! You have nothing to lose. All you have to do is email us from the page of that item in our Ruby Lane shop and tell us what you'd like to pay for it. Make us an offer on this incredible Schiaparelli set shown below:

You might be surprised what you can get it for but you won't know if you don't MAKE AN OFFER! Or what about this lovely JULIANA bracelet set on the bottom left?

It has large amethyst colored cabochons and is in beautiful condition. Our price on this one is already only a few dollars above our cost, but if you match our cost, it's yours. MAKE AN OFFER!

There's also a lovely multi-colored JULIANA brooch that is the ants pants. Check it out here.

Or maybe you'd like the elegant set of Miriam Haskell beads shown below. We've listed them at our cost already so we can't take offers. But Miriam Haskell in superb condition for $135? Wow!

Well there's lots more. You'll just have to go over to our SHOP AT RUBY LANE and poke around. Don't be shy. MAKE AN OFFER. You won't insult us. And yes, there are still some Shermans left too!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

COBRA/SNAKE & OTHER STERLING SILVER BANGLES

Some time back I ran a post on the popularity of snake jewelry as I was mystified by its popularity. Since then, I've been amazed at how quickly we sell snake bangles when we list them in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE. I had the rare Egyptian sterling silver bangle shown on the

left listed for less than 24 hours and it was sold. Of course, the price was right and the piece was a collector's delight. You can still read up on that one by clicking on the photo.

The same has happened with all my snake bangles i.e. listed today, gone in no time. So the lure and appeal of snake bangles is obviously timeless and ongoing.

That's why I'm thrilled to have come across the fabulous sterling silver COBRA bangle shown at the top of this blog. This isn't just another snake bangle: this one is different! That cobra head is upright, ready to strike. It's very flexible so it can fit any size wrist or be worn high on the arm. While I've never personally been a fan of snake jewelry, I warmed to this one immediately because it was so unique. Weighing just under 20 grams of sterling silver, it's a slender 1/8" wide, keeping it feminine and sexy! You can read all about it and see more photos by clicking on the photo at the top of this blog or HERE.

If snake bangles aren't your thing, but you love sterling silver bangles, you might like to take a closer look at the lovely FORSTNER Sterling silver bangle shown on the right which we've just listed in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE. We acquired this one at an estate auction about a month back. It's in wonderful condition with beautiful etchings. Complete with safety chain, it weighs 19 grams of sterling silver and opens to a full 3 1/2" to accomodate even a large wrist. It's 1/2" wide and very, very pretty. At only $49, it's a steal!

We still have our beautiful BIRKS Sterling silver bangle on sale in our booth at BONANZLE too. It's only $50 OBO and includes shipping! WOW! A signed Birks original for such a low price? Click on the link to check it out now too.

We'll have more sterling silver items to list in the next while, including a TIFFANY charm bracelet and an unsigned Sterling silver multi-link charm bracelet. So be sure to subscribe to our blog to stay on top of any new additions to our online shops. HAPPY CANADA DAY everyone!

Friday, June 19, 2009

WHY THE WEDDING RING IS WORN ON THAT PARTICULAR FINGER ...



Life has been insanely busy for me over the past 2 weeks and I've had little time for this blog and jewelry-related business. But thanks to one of my best customers who has purchased many rings from OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE, I have a very interesting video to share with you. So sit back, relax and enjoy this fascinating viewpoint on why the wedding ring is worn on the wedding ring finger. And when you're done, if you're looking for a lovely ring for that special someone, whether it be a wedding, eternity, or other special occasion ring, please visit us at VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOWCASE at RUBY LANE where rings, like the gorgeous ART DECO wedding set shown above are our biggest sellers. You can read all about that one and see more photos of it by clicking the photo at the top of this blog. It's a real beauty!


video

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ART DECO JEWELRY IS ALIVE & WELL & ENJOYING A RENAISSANCE IN 2009

Back on January 5, 2009, while browsing through our local newspaper over breakfast, I was delighted to come across an article headed "Retro Rules: The appeal of Art Deco design endures after almost 100 years". Accompanied by several photos of jewelry currently being made by the likes of Cartier and Kwiat, the article pointed out how today's collectors are seeking retro pieces and how those straight lines and geometric designs continue to please jewelry lovers everywhere.

This didn't really come as a surprise to me as I've noticed the art deco jewelry we have offered in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE always attracts buyers and quickly. And not all of it is expensive kind with diamonds and real gemstones. Some have been inexpensive paste or rhinestone bracelets.

According to the article in the paper the roots of Art Deco were formed in the 1800's, but "it is now largely defined as the period between the 2 world wars." And Art Deco didn't just apply to jewelry: "the Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building and even the Empired State building are all Art Deco Style." What makes a piece "art deco"? Art Deco jewelry blends straight lines with circles, rectangles ... geometric shapes. You can see that in the gorgeous art deco bracelet featured at the top of this post and available from OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE. That particular bracelet is made of 14k and has 3.55 cts of brilliant diamonds and was appraised in February 2009 at over $10,000. You can see more photos of this bracelet and read all the lovely details by clicking the links or the photo above.

On the left is another gorgeous example of Art Deco jewelry, this time in one of our currently available rings. It contains about .75 cts of VS diamonds nestled in 14k. And just look at that fabulous design: triangular shapes and slightly curved lines housed in a circle. It's exquisite, don't you agree? Again, you can click on the photo to see more shots of this one and read all the details in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE. This ring is very reasonably priced. Can you see yourself flashing this one at that next cocktail party?


A representative from Cartier says (in that article) that art deco continues to be an inspiration today because "it's abstract but it's concrete. It's complicated geometrics ... but not frou-frou" as perhaps some of the jewelry from the Art Nouveau period was seen to be. "Frou - frou" is another word for "fussy". And yet, finding genuine Art Nouveau jewelry is also of great interest to collectors. We have one ring in RUBY LANE SHOP that harks back to Art Nouveau:

Note how different it is from the Art Deco pieces above: the stones are set in pretty little 'buttercup" bezels and the overall design is much "fussier" or more complicated than the art deco pieces. And yet, in its own way, it's very lovely ... just not everyone's cup of tea. But it's certainly a rare ring and very much worth collecting. As our ad reads:

"Circa 1910, this ring features all the classics of the Arts & Crafts period during the Art Nouveau movement: Bezel set gems (diamonds & rubies in this case), dainty gold leaves & flowers, a large, high setting, and intricate, heavy gold work (14k yellow gold for this piece). And when we say "large", we aren't kidding! This knock-out antique ring weighs 10.32 grams, measures 24.90mm by 24.30mm wide, and the top of the ring (from finger to top diamond) sits 11.56mm tall."

The opal/garnet ring on the right most likely belongs to the Art Nouveau period, rather than Art Deco, too. Again, the setting is fairly complicated and if you click on the photo to see more of this one, note the detailing in the band and the overall construction. Quite complex. This ring, by the way, is SALE-priced right now, and contains 4 beautiful, fiery opals and 5 garnets, all set in 14k.

If Art Deco appeals to you, we have more rings in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE along with the paste clamper bracelet shown below that is just stunning. That one is very affordable as it isn't made from real gold and the stones aren't diamonds. Why not slip over now and take a closer look at it too! It's only $75!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

IS THAT JEWELRY ANTIQUE? VINTAGE? PERIOD? DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE?


Time for a break from talking about designer vintage costume jewelry ... especially when I have so many superb pieces of period jewelry to share with those who visit this blog. "Period jewelry"? If you're wondering what that term means, well here's what I learned a few weeks back about the difference between "vintage", "period" and antique jewelry:

Antique is that jewelry, costume or fine, that is 100 years old or more.

Vintage is that jewelry, usually costume, that is at least 20 years old.

Period is that jewelry that is both at least 20 years old and is made of fine materials i.e. gold, silver, genuine gemstones, diamonds etc.

I never knew that! I just called anything that I knew wasn't antique, but was at least 20 years old, "vintage". So tonight I want to share some of the fabulous "PERIOD" pieces we currently have listed in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE, like the gorgeous 14k white gold necklace shown at the top of this blog. This one is something else: it's made in Italy and stamped both 14k and 585. It contains .60 cts of sparkling top quality diamonds, hangs to a finished length of 20", and weighs 11grams. But what I just love about this necklace is its workmanship and design: it's superbly crafted with intricate filigree-type work surrounding the diamonds. And for some reason, it reminds me of lace. It's reminiscent of art deco but it most likely does not date to that era. I'd say it's from the 70's or 80's. For me, this necklace merges old world styling with contemporary tastes. What a way to dress up your best evening gown or your blue jeans!


Shown above is another of our recent "period" additions to our SHOP AT RUBY LANE, and wow, do I love this one! This one is an opal lover's delight. It's both a brooch/pin and a pendant i.e. there's a loop in the back through which you can insert a chain. I am currenly showing it at VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOWCASE on an 18k choker length chain which may not suit you if you like your pendants to hang lower on the chest. The chain I'm supplying is only 15" long so the opal pendant sits in the hollow of your neck. I like it like that but if you don't, you can purchase just the pin. Details are on the ITEM PAGE.

This pin/pendant is fashioned from 14k yellow gold and has a diameter of 1 1/2". The opals in this pin are outstanding, full of fire and not a nick in them anywhere. And yet, this brooch dates back to the 30's or 40's. The condition is amazing. Those who collect opal jewelry should definitely add this one to their collection.

Last but not least tonight, I'd like you to take a look at this art deco ring featuring 14 square cut genuine rubies and 5 glittering diamonds. Again, what a beautiful design in this ring. How many do you see like this? I guess that's one of the reason I'm so keen on vintage, period or antique jewelry: the designs, the craftsmanship and the quality so often surpasses what we find in the shops today. And because you are buying something that has been pre-worn or if you prefer, pre-loved, you can often buy it for so much less than you would a similar brand new piece today. Oh sure, when it comes to rings, bracelets etc, expect that there'll be signs of wear, some scratches to the gold, and sometimes even chipped stones, but then, you're not paying megabucks either. But what you're getting is unique and beautiful and often, in remarkably good condition, as is this ring: it's 14k, a size 6 and plenty of gold for re-sizing if needed. Do click on the photo to see more and learn more about this ring and the other pieces I've shared with you tonight. Happy shopping folks!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

WHY DO BUYERS BUY VINTAGE JEWELRY? TO COLLECT? TO WEAR? OR MAYBE IT'S JUST "JEWEL THERAPY"



Ornate? Over the top? Old-fashioned? Or maybe, for you, it's beautiful. Or since it's by ART, a vintage designer, it's collectible? Or maybe you just love to wear this kind of jewelry: it's YOU!

Why do we buy vintage jewelry? Are buyers still buying it? A recent article about eBay in the Wall Street Journal got members of our jewelry group talking about buying and selling on ebay, who's doing it, who isn't, why and why not. There were several insightful comments by our members but this one pasted below (with permission), really made sense to me. So I thought my readers might enjoy Adrienne's thoughts on this topic and invite your comments. What she has to say will be of interest to both buyers and sellers. So thanks Adrienne for allowing me to post this and I hope you'll all go visit GARDEN PARTY COLLECTION. She has some awesome items there. Enjoy!

“While there are certainly 'important jewelry' collectors out there, they are way more in the minority than the majority. The pool of people with vast amounts of money to spend on 'important' jewelry is much, much, much smaller than the pool of people who like vintage jewelry in general, or better yet, just like jewelry, new or old.

I sell to everyone. I think a lot of web sites and long time collectors have become elitist. And that's fine for their own collections and tastes. If one has been collecting for years and years, one's preferences do get refined.

There are old collectors new to online shopping, there are new collectors just discovering vintage, there are people shopping for special occasions and there are people who just plain love jewelry, but are looking for more unique pieces and vintage gives that special difference.

As a seller, if you choose to limit your market, that's certainly your option. But there are an awful lot of people out there who buy jewelry, even in hard economic times. In fact, for a lot of people, vintage is a great way to save some money. Its frequently cheaper than the local Nordstroms, or whatever. People are into fun, fashionable and/or affordable jewelry. What better way to perk up a tough week? Jewel therapy.

I don't sell much on ebay, but have begun to do so a bit lately and have done OK with what I have listed. I wouldn't dream of listing my 'good stuff' on ebay though, haven't for years, not a good venue for me. But that doesn't mean it doesn't work well for someone else. I am not buying on ebay, but then, I'm not really buying right now, having amassed a huge inventory over the years. And, it's just good business sense to reduce inventory during a strong recession.

As a dealer, I certainly appreciate you serious collectors, and love it when you throw some of those big bucks my way on a higher end piece. But I've got somewhere between 1500-2000 pieces currently on the web store and every single one is important, at least it is to the person who falls in love with it, regardless of price point or collectibility or rarity. But, I've been an antiques dealer for nearly 25 years now, and an online store owner for nearly half that. And if I had to rely only on serious collectors over that time, I would never have made it through this long. And, if I cut off my own nose to spite my face by limiting my own market, I wouldn't be here either.

The trick in selling online, in my opinion, is not be be the most expensive or carry only the most important, but to offer the unique, the interesting and the desirable, none of which is necessarily synonymous with high-end or important. I hope you will all visit my store from time to time, as you never know when something important winds up in my possession, I hope you don't take offense if I also cater to the billions of other people who wouldn't know a Farhner if it fell on them screaming TF.” (Adrienne, Garden Party Collection)

So, what about you dear reader? Are you still buying vintage jewelry? If so, why? Jewel therapy? Collector? What about the current prices of collectible jewelry? Is it getting too high? Let's hear from you!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

BRACELETS: CARTIER VS SHERMAN - WHICH WOULD YOU PAY MOST FOR?




I've been watching a lot of Sherman cuff bracelets lately on ebay and have done a double-take more than once on just how high a dollar buyers are prepared to spend on them. There's no doubt in my mind that right now that Sherman cuff bracelets are amongst the "hottest" vintage designer pieces you should add to your collection if you can afford one.

This was driven home even more when I watched the auction for the outstanding signed Cartier bracelet shown in the photo above. Talk about a collector's piece of jewelry! It's authentic vintage, with real AAA quality pearls measuring approximately 7.5mm each. That fantastic Cartier clasp is not only stamped 18k gold, but it comes with a patent number. And it has an interesting history too ie. it was purchased from an actress' estate in Florida. The actress' son said it was custom-designed for his mother in the 1970's. Finally, it has a retail value of over $12,000! What I'd give to be able to afford this one!

Well you can imagine my shock when on the same day that this auction ended, so did the auction for the Sherman cuff bracelet below:




Now, for sure, this is yet another magnificent cuff bracelet set by Sherman and came in a nice color combination of champagne, amber and blue stones. It was in superb condition with no stones missing and all original...definitely a top buy for a Sherman collector. But if you check back through my Sherman blog, you'll notice several cuff bracelets similar to this one. So the design isn't all that unique, unlike the custom-designed Cartier above with real gold, real pearls and an interesting history.

Well, what do you think: which one fetched the bigger dollar? For me, it was a bit like what happened last night on American Idol: the Sherman sold for nearly $400 more than the Cartier! Incredible. The Sherman sold for $1631.96 USD. The Cartier sold for $1227.00. Whatever has happened to the value of real pearls and 18k gold over the years to make them so much less valuable to buyers than those fabulous fake stones in vintage costume jewelry? Our husbands will probably never understand this: as I've mentioned before in my blogs, as much as he admires the workmanship and beauty of designer costume jewelry, in his books they'll never compare to real gold, real diamonds and real gemstones. When I see outcomes like this, I tend to agree with him. But then, I was rooting for Adam, the real superstar on Idol last night. So what do I know about people's tastes LOL!