Frederic Boucheron Necklace, ca. 1875

Value (2004) | $20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction

GUEST:
This was a gift to me, about 1950, from a friend. I didn't know anything about it. I remember seeing it in the window of an antique jeweler in New York City, and later my friend bought it for me. And I just remember seeing the name.

APPRAISER:
The name?

GUEST:
Boucheron.

APPRAISER:
And what do you know about Boucheron? Do you know anything?

GUEST:
Well, except that I still see the name today...

APPRAISER:
Oh, really?

GUEST:
...as perfume.

APPRAISER:
Oh, really?

GUEST:
I have often wondered if they were still making jewelry.

APPRAISER:
Well, I can tell you a little bit about Boucheron. Boucheron was actually one of the high-end jewelers in France during the 1800s and they are still in existence today. They competed with companies like Cartier, all the top jewelers in Paris. It's interesting that it says "F. Boucheron," Frederic Boucheron. It also tells about all the awards that they received, these medals for wonderful jewelry that they produced. The piece is the style that's called Etruscan revival, and the most popular time it was revived was in the 1800s, from about 1850 to turn of the century. The most famous jewelers were Italian that did this type of style, like Castellani, like Pierret, so it's unusual to see that the French are really working in that fringe necklace style. So I was quite taken aback. But then I looked for a hallmark right on the tongue, and sure enough, it had French navette makers' mark and also had the French gold marks. So that corroborated that this, in fact, was French and retailed by Boucheron. The other thing that was curious to me is that you can see this tarnishing. I mean, most people think gold doesn't really tarnish. Where did you keep this?

GUEST:
In a safe.

APPRAISER:
I knew it.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
When jewelry is locked up in a safe closed up with possibly coins and other metals,

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
it tarnishes. Now, because this is so rare, by a French maker, because it's in the box, and the condition is actually very good-- it's got one little dent-- in the market today, I'm going to say $20,000 to $30,000.

GUEST:
Ah.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Skinner, Inc.
Boston, MA
Appraised value (2004)
$20,000 Auction$30,000 Auction
Event
Portland, OR (August 21, 2004)
Period
19th Century
Form
Necklace
Material
Gold

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.