Tiffany & Co. Brooch, ca. 1937
My parents bought a dry cleaning business and this brooch was in an envelope in the extra-button drawer.
Well, it sort of looks like a button.
Well, kind of.
When you opened it when you got it from your mother, what did you discover about it?
That it's Tiffany & Company on the back.
Terrible, terrible news, don't you think?
Oh, yeah, right.
That name "Tiffany" means an awful lot. It was made in New York probably around 1937 and it is sort of late Deco, if you will. And it has two things going for it. Circle pins are very in at the moment because you can wear them with different fabric and it will show differently each time. And the other thing is-- which is unusual-- is that it has two little rows of emeralds on either side of the baguette diamonds. Part of its interest, of course, is the fact that it has the original clasp, all the original fittings, and everything. Do you have any idea what it's worth?
I really don't, I have no idea. It's never been appraised, never been looked at. I have no idea.
Retail value, I think you're talking $65,000. Not bad to find in a button drawer.
No, it's not. It is not. Ooh. I can't wait to get it home.
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.