Malaysian Jewelry, ca. 1865

Value (2003) | $15,000 Retail$20,000 Retail

This jewelry-- the pins and the hairpins-- came from my mother, and she received them from my grandfather, her father-in-law, when I was born. And this was in Malaysia about 40 years ago. This photo is from 1923, and it shows my grandfather and my grandmother, who died before my mother married my father. So I never saw her and my mother, of course, never met her either, but this is her jewelry-- she's wearing it in this picture.

Yes, so if we look here, we see this pendant. And she's wearing it around her neck here. The center is empty. This piece in here is in the form of a cicada bug. We think she's wearing it here. Now, this jewelry is in high karat gold. You know, normally something's made in 14-karat or 18-karat. This is fine gold, 22-karat. And this jewelry also tend to be handed down in the family. It wasn't meant to be worn and then somebody sells it. It's passed down generation to generation. The diamonds in here are rose-cut diamonds. They have a flat bottom, they're very crudely cut. The technology just wasn't there to cut them like we do today.

And this would have been made in Malaysia, probably? Not in China, right?

They were probably cut in India, the diamonds.

Oh, really? Okay.

But the gold work's Malaysia. They didn't do work like this in China.

Yeah, I see.

Now, if we look at these hairpins, they're holding some type of ornamentation she has in her hair. All totaled, we probably have about 20 carats of rose-cut diamonds.

Wow, oh my goodness.

So, 20 carats total weight with the high karat gold, we'd put a value on this somewhere around $15,000 to $20,000.

Wow, oh my goodness. Yeah, that's amazing.

Yeah, it's very nice, but what's nice to see is that the jewelry was handed down in the family. The picture's dated 1923, but this jewelry probably dates to about 1865.

You're kidding?!


Really? Wow, I had no idea.

Appraisal Details

Doyle New York
New York, NY
Appraised value (2003)
$15,000 Retail$20,000 Retail
San Francisco, CA (August 16, 2003)
19th Century
Diamonds, Gold

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