Topaz Diamond Brooch, ca. 1900

Value (2004) | $7,000 Auction

My wife and I got it about 25 years ago from my mother, who lives in Massachusetts, and she got it probably about 1950s, maybe 1960, from her mother-in-law, my grandmother. And beyond that, I don't know too much, other than possibly it may have come from my great-aunt, who, with her husband, had no children. They traveled a lot, all over the world, and accumulated a tremendous amount of items: jewelry, furniture, paintings and just collected it.

Well, what you've brought in today is this circa 1900, very delicate diamond and precious-topaz brooch. And this lovely diamond-set platinum mounting is called a millegrain setting. The platinum wires are so delicate that they're really specifically set to showcase the diamonds, and in jewelry from the 1900s, that's really what they wanted to do. They just wanted to show the stones specifically. The pink stone and the white combination was very big around 1900. It was also used by Tiffany and Company, and a lot of other firms followed suit with that color combination. I was hoping it would be signed on the back but...

Nothing there?

No. Could be done by a number of fine Boston firms. There's a lot of nice turn-of-the-century jewelry in Boston.

Yeah, I thought it might have been a little older. It's around the turn of the century, then.

No. They didn't have the right equipment to work with platinum prior to 1900. It would have been silver or something like that type of material. Do you have any understanding of its value?

When we acquired it from my mother, we had a lady who dealt some in jewelry, but was not an appraiser, give us an estimate of about $2,400. That was about 25 years ago.

Well, that's not that bad of an estimate, actually, but this style of jewelry has gained popularity throughout the past decade. If this were to come up at auction today, I would say that you probably would see it fetch around $7,000.

Oh, wow. That's quite a bit, yeah.

Yeah, that's really nice.

Appraisal Details

Freeman's Auctioneers
Philadelphia, PA
Appraised value (2004)
$7,000 Auction
Portland, OR (August 21, 2004)

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