Ruby & Diamond Necklace, ca. 1920
Appraised Value: $80,000 - $100,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:59)
Peter Jon Shemonsky Fine & Antique Jewelry
GUEST: Well, it was given to my mother probably about 15 or so years ago after the death of one of her really good friends, and it was given to her by the husband as a remembrance, and so she's passed it down over time to me, so then I brought it to find out a little bit about it.
APPRAISER: Wonderful. How did she actually receive this piece?
GUEST: Well, the funny thing is my mother lives in a condo complex and the post office will just deliver things to the door. Instead of going to the front door, she usually went through the garage door, and this package was sitting there and she doesn't know for how long.
APPRAISER: Uninsured... Just sitting on the driveway on the porch.
GUEST: Uh-huh, and so she went out to water the plants one day and there it was. She had no clue. I don't think that would happen nowadays, but that's pretty risky.
APPRAISER: It is. Well, I'm glad nothing happened to it. First off, I would date the piece around 1918, 1920, thereabouts. We refer to these as transitional pieces. From a design standpoint, we have baguette diamonds, which are very much indicative of the Art Deco period, but we also look here and we have this sort of scrolling motif, this nice, openwork design going up to the central portion as well, which we associate with the Edwardian period about 10 or 15 years earlier. So this is really a nice transition piece, moving through the Edwardian, some little details there as we move into the Art Deco period.
GUEST: That's nice.
APPRAISER: The piece is made of platinum. It's set throughout with diamonds, both round diamonds and baguettes, but the real star of this piece is this stone right in the center, this red stone. This is a ruby. On close inspection, I determined that the stone is actually a Burmese ruby, and that it also is not heated. In the world of colored gemstones, sapphires and rubies in particular, an unheated stone from Burma is going to command a very strong price in the marketplace. And we calculated the weight being approximately three carats. What has happened in the last few years is that the market for Burmese rubies has skyrocketed, and because of that, we just see prices going up and up and up. Have you ever had this item appraised before?
GUEST: No. I know it's a nice piece because the lady had grown up in New York City, I assumed it was probably made by a major designer, but we never could find any signs or any initials or anything, so I don't know where it was made or who made it.
APPRAISER: Well, the piece does not have any marks or hallmarks on it, so I can't really say for sure where it was made. It is a really fine piece of jewelry. I would say more likely than not, it probably was made in New York by one of the better wholesale manufacturers and then it was probably retailed by another firm as well. In the marketplace today, at auction, this item would carry a pre-sale estimate of between $80,000 and $100,000.
GUEST: Wow. Very nice.
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