Gold, Diamond & Turquoise Necklace, ca. 1960

Value (2011) | $8,000 Auction$15,000 Retail

My daughter was born 25 years ago, and I was working a very difficult job at that time that was 60 to 80 hours a week. Quit the job, went to another job, and this was my gift to myself at that time.

What do we know about this?

Well, I had a paper that came along with this, and I was going to bring it today but was unable to locate it. The paper said that it was made in approximately 1905 in Italy. It contains Turkish turquoise, I believe, is gold and has about nine carats of diamonds in it. And I think that's as much as I know about it.

What did you pay for the piece?

Close to $20,000, something like $19,995 or something.

Well, I have good news for you and I have bad news for you. You bought this piece of jewelry because you wanted something very nice, and it's really nice. It's gorgeous, it's sexy. Turquoise is a very hot color. The form of it is very good, it's very, very wearable. But there are a couple of signs here that show me that it is not quite as old as you were led to believe. The first tip-off is the diamonds here. These diamonds are brilliant-cut diamonds, and the brilliant-cut diamond isn't developed until around 1919. The form of the necklace is newer than that. This piece of jewelry appears to have been made in around 1960 to 1965. It is probably Italian. It is 18-karat gold. It's got a significant count of diamonds and very nice bright turquoise. They're Persian turquoise. It's the best of the best. The diamonds come around all the way to the clasp, and every link that connects the lozenge links is set with clusters of diamonds. We were talking at the table as to its value, and I'd give it a current auction estimate in the neighborhood of $8,000 to $12,000, which is somewhat less than you paid for it.

Significantly less.

If it were a 19th-century turquoise, gold and diamond piece, which are out there, it might sell for something approaching what you paid for it in a retail shop. At top retail, this might sell somewhere for around $15,000. The good news: it's totally gorgeous and we love it.

I like it. (laughs) You win some, you lose some, I guess.

Appraisal Details

Rago Arts & Auction Center
Lambertville, NJ
Appraised value (2011)
$8,000 Auction$15,000 Retail
El Paso, TX (June 18, 2011)

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