Oscar Heyman Jewelry Set, ca. 1955
Appraised Value: $30,000 - $70,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:10)
Peter Jon Shemonsky Fine & Antique Jewelry
GUEST: They belonged to my mother's great-aunt, who was from Dallas, and she married my mother's great-uncle, who is from Corpus Christi, which is where our family's from. And they had no children, and so my grandmother was the closest to them, and she inherited much of their jewelry, and this necklace I've had for not that long. It was my mother's before mine. I've always been told that they were diamonds and sapphires, but I don't know whether they're set in platinum or white gold. I have no idea if the jewelry was inherited by my mother's great-aunt or if my mother's great-uncle bought it for her. I really don't know much about it except what I've been told, but I don't know if even that's true.
APPRAISER: Well, what we have here is a lovely set of jewelry. This is from the late 1950s, early 1960s, and what we have here is a necklace that's composed of diamonds, multicolored sapphires and emeralds. So the blue stones are sapphires. We have a violet-colored sapphire and a yellow sapphire. And these stones also appear in the earrings as well. Most of the sapphires are from India. On the necklace here, these sapphires are a square step cut. And these can range in size from anywhere between two carats, two-and-a-half carats, up to maybe three carats with the larger stones in the center. And when I inspected the piece, I noticed that the item did bear the telltale signs of having been made by an American company called Oscar Heyman. Now, the Heyman Company goes back to 1912, when it was established here in America, and it's one of the, probably, last remaining continuous companies that is manufacturing here in the United States that's still family owned.
GUEST: Huh. Where are they based?
APPRAISER: They're based out of New York City, and they are known for this very high-end, high craftsmanship. They still make all their own metal. They mix their own alloys, they make their own wire and everything is hand-built.
APPRAISER: What also is unique about your necklace is that here we have the clasp. And there's an additional clasp on the opposite side. So not only can you wear this as a necklace, this breaks into two bracelets as well, which is a nice added feature. And Oscar Heyman really pioneered this what I call "rainbow" type effect using multicolored sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. This was sort of a trademark for their jewelry from this time period. And they would have been retailed by some of the higher-end retail jewelers. Heyman did work for Cartier as well, because Cartier America didn't have a complete workshop, so they would subcontract. So they would always go to the best. And once again, it was Oscar Heyman who was the best manufacturer.
GUEST: Is it white gold or platinum?
APPRAISER: This is platinum.
APPRAISER: And in terms of replacement value on this as a set, I would value this between $60,000 and $70,000.
GUEST: Wow! That's exciting. And you say the replacement value, but at auction is that what it would go for as well?
APPRAISER: Auction is a different value. The value at auction would probably be somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000.
APPRAISER: The replacement is higher because that's what it would cost to go into a store to buy a vintage set like this from perhaps an antique or estate jewelry buyer.
GUEST: Wonderful. Thank you.
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