Jadeite, Platinum & Ruby Jabot, ca. 1915

Value (2010) | $10,000 Insurance
Watch  

GUEST:
It came from my grandmother's jewelry box, and I knew nothing about it. I inherited it in 1988...

APPRAISER:
Mm-hmm.

GUEST:
And I've wondered what it is ever since.

APPRAISER:
The first thing that I think we need to do is figure out what the function is. And why don't you pick this up and take it apart and show us how it works?

GUEST:
Okay. You twist it, and it does come apart.

APPRAISER:
So you've got a sharp pin here at this end. So it's actually what's called a jabot. At the early part of the 20th century, which I believe this dates from, women would wear large shawls. And you'd gather the shawls here, because you didn't want them to fall off. And you'd have this pin that would go through the shawl, keep it in place. Now, as to what the materials are, the bright green and pale green carved spheres at either end actually is a stone that's called jadeite. Not jade, but jadeite.

GUEST:
Jadeite...

APPRAISER:
That's a different kind of composition from jade. And the type of carving that's in the stone is of clouds and some foliate devices. The carving and the size of these indicates that this was from China. And these were taken from a necklace that would have been about 17, 18 inches long. And that type of necklace is what is called a court necklace, and it was worn to indicate status within the civil service or the military service in the Chinese government.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Now, the rest of the material here, the stones-- those are actually rubies.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
And they're beautiful rubies. And then these little sparkling bits, that's not glass, those are old mine diamonds.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
And holding all this together is platinum.

GUEST:
You're kidding.

APPRAISER:
No. And as we looked at this-- and I did this with my colleague Kevin Zavian over in jewelry-- we were looking for a signature. It's not stamped.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
Which happens sometimes. However, based on the design, the style and so on, I think it has to be French, made certainly by an amazing craftsman. What I love about this is the intermixture of using Asian materials by Western craftsmen, which was so popular the early part of the 20th century. Is this something that you want to keep in your family?

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Okay, so I'm going to give you an insurance value for this. If you went to buy this today, this would be at least $10,000.

GUEST:
Ten thousand dollars?!

APPRAISER:
Ten thousand dollars.

GUEST:
Wow. I'm shocked. (laughing) I am shocked. That's great-- fantastic.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Lark Mason Associates
New York, NY
Appraised value (2010)
$10,000 Insurance
Event
Washington, DC (August 21, 2010)
Period
20th Century
Form
Stick Pin
Material
Jadeite, Platinum, Ruby

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.