Demantoid, Diamond & Ruby Brooch, ca. 1890
My grandmother received it when she was 18 years old, in 1910. She got it from her boyfriend, she's cherished it all these years, and when I turned 18, she handed it down to me.
Did she marry the boyfriend?
No, unfortunately, she didn't. I really don't even know what his name was. I wish I would have known that, but...
Poor guy. (both laughing) Have you ever had it looked at and examined?
Yes, about ten years ago, I had it appraised from a jewelry store and they had told me it was about $5,000.
Well, to start off, the stones are not emeralds, which most people think they are. They are what you call demantoids, which is a green garnet. The demantoid has a wonderful history to it. It was the first of the green garnets discovered in Russia. The stones are Russian. It was made in England around 1890. Generally speaking, the English and the French were the only ones who wanted the demantoid of that particular color, which is the best. This brooch was hand made. It had to have been at the time. And what they did is they carved out the gold frame for it, and they set it with the green garnets and the diamonds, and of course it has a little catch so it can be worn as a pendant. But one of the things that really kind of sets it off is the little ruby eyes. And it's probably either 15 or 18 karat. The fact that it's a turtle, and a brooch and a pendant, it's really quite a something piece. It's got a lot of things. First of all, the turtle is very good luck. And the animal form brooches makes it a double. And you've got a triple whammy because it's got demantoids, which are very, very much sought after and it's not a fad. Demantoids have been sought after for decades. These are worth more than emeralds are. As a retail value today, you're talking about $12,000, $15,000 and possibly even $18,000.
I mean, it's really quite a wonderful thing and a very saleable thing.
I plan on continuing the history and giving it to my granddaughter, and hoping she will do the same with her granddaughter.
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.
Last Tango in Halifax
Enjoy the third season of this award-winning series that celebrates life and love