Edwardian Old Mine Cut Diamond Ring

Value (2006) | $40,000 Retail$50,000 Auction

This belonged to my grandmother and she lived in California. And she gave it to my mom and then my mom gave it to me. My assumption is that her husband gave it to her and it's been in the family ever since then. My grandmother had very tiny fingers and so what was probably her ring finger it was just a pinky ring for me. It wasn't very attractive at that time. Mom had it sized, and when it became a ring finger size, it became quite attractive.

Well, this is a wonderful old mine cut, which is one of the earliest cuts of diamonds. It started in about the 16th century. How many carats did you say this was?

It's five.

Five carats.

Maybe five plus, yeah.

Now, something very interesting has happened. 20 years ago, all of the wonderful old jewels, big brooches, old diamonds like this, old mine cuts, the European cuts, and the rose cuts-- dealers would come in, they would buy them, and they would re-cut them into brilliant modern cuts. They would lose sometimes 40% of the diamond. But they would get more a carat. So, in the process, they were all very happy because they were making a lot of money, but they were destroying pieces of wonderful old diamond jewelry. About seven or eight years ago, women began to see the beautiful brilliance in these older stones. And they liked the beautiful delicate openwork mountings as opposed to what we traditionally see. In the last five years, there's been a tremendous amount of cutting of diamonds in the old cuts, like the rose cut, and the old mine cut and the European cut.

That's great.

So, the price now on those stones has gone up in value where they went down before. These are such desirable mountings. This is a mounting from the Edwardian era. It's made in about 1910. And it's made with platinum and set with small diamonds. And the stone itself could have been cut in the 19th century or even the 18th century.

Oh, wow.

I think it's cut in the 19th century because it's just so sophisticated in its evenness and in the proportion of the facets. I've not ever seen one this large cut this well. This ring, if you were to buy this today, I would estimate between $40,000 and $50,000.

That's... a fine tidy sum.

Appraisal Details

Joyce Jonas & Associates
New York, NY
Appraised value (2006)
$40,000 Retail$50,000 Auction
Honolulu, HI (August 26, 2006)

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.