Ruby & Diamond Necklace, ca. 1920

Value (2013) | $80,000 Auction$100,000 Auction

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.

Wonderful. How did she actually receive this piece?

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.

Uninsured... Just sitting on the driveway on the porch.

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.

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.

That's nice.

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?

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.

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.

Wow. Very nice.

Appraisal Details

Heritage Auctions
San Francisco, CA
Appraised value (2013)
$80,000 Auction$100,000 Auction
Boise, ID (June 29, 2013)

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.