How much is vintage jewelry worth?
Maria, I have an exciting story for you. It’s almost unbelievable but I have to tell you how it happened that I became the owner of vintage jewelry. I often join tag sales, garage sales or estate sales and sometimes also auctions. I’m limited on budget because I’m a retired teacher but nevertheless it’s a lot of fun for me and my friend to rummage in antiques and I always hope to get some affordable accessories or decoration for my home. Some weeks ago I’ve made a wonderful find in an antique dresser. I bought a small box full with jewelry. I thought it was costume jewelry but it turned out that I got some very valuable vintage jewelry pieces, hopefully. I sent you some photos I made and hope that you can tell me how much my vintage jewelry is worth!
Nicole from Jacksonville in Florida
Dear Nicole, I fully agree. Joining antique sales is a lot of fun. It’s a lot of time involved to hunt and sort but its worth for folks like you. Collecting jewelry is an age-old hobby and Americans love it up to the present day. I have heard some really crazy stories how it came that someone has accidentally become ownership of very valuable merchandise. I’m excited to hear your story and to help you with an estimation of your vintage jewelry.
reDollar expert, Maria Tait
How much is vintage jewelry worth?
Maria: I’m very happy that you’d like to share your thrilling story with our readers. Can you please tell us more about your lucky discovery before we start talking about the value of your pieces?
Nicole: Of course Maria, it’s a pleasure for me. You already know that I love to hunt for decorative collectibles, dolls and vintage accessories for my home. Normally I rather buy things like lamps, paintings, pots or vases than jewelry. Usually, jewelry is priced over my budget. A couple of weeks ago, I went to an estate sale close to my neighborhood. I was surrounded by a mass of people because the sale was well announced. I decided to look around until the crowd’s bulk disappeared. In an upstairs study, I found a small box with jewelry in a drawer. I thought it was costume jewelry because the contents didn’t appear worthwhile to me. Nevertheless I bought the whole box spending $50. I did that because there was a really nice looking bracelet included. On the day after the sale, I went to a jeweler to ask for the bracelet’s repair. There was a clasp missing and I thought that they can help me out with a simple repair for a reasonable price. But my jeweler told me that I have to expect costs around $150 for that repair. Normally, this guy makes good prices for a regular customer like me. I asked him what’s going on and why there is no way to get this fixed for 10 or 15 bucks. He seemed to be very confused and asked me about my intentions. I told him the story of how I became the ownership of this bracelet followed by his explanation that my piece is hallmarked being platinum. I asked him how much it’s worth but he refused to provide me with an estimation of my bracelet. It was his idea to consult you because he isn’t familiar with the value of vintage jewelry. But he weighed my item and mentioned that the weight is important to you. So it turned out that also 2 other pieces of my alleged costume jewelry are made of platinum and white gold. So, now I’m the lucky owner of some very valuable vintage jewelry. I’m short on money and would like to sell 2 or even 3 pieces to your company. How much is my vintage jewelry worth? And would you buy my pieces?
Maria: First, it’s a really nice and exciting story. I’m very thankful that you share it with us. I’ve checked your photos and your jeweler’s kindly notes concerning the metal and the quality. Your platinum bracelet, the platinum ring and also your white gold brooch look really good. All pieces are valuable and interesting for vintage jewelry collectors. Especially your heavy bracelet has a significant value. I discussed your case with a second expert and we think that the value of the bracelet is in the range of $2,000. Our company would pay you $1,700. It’s a vintage Art Deco piece and was presumably made between 1920 and 1930.
Nicole: Wow, you’re very skilled. How could you find this out? And how to you calculate the value of vintage jewelry like my bracelet?
Maria: Every piece of jewelry we appraise goes through an estimation process. We check all pieces for a designer, for the manufacturer, for the material, for the motif, for the theme, for the workmanship, series, sets, period, provenience, and for gemstones. It’s more complex from afar but thanks to new media and to your jeweler it’s possible to calculate the approximate value. If gemstones are involved, we need to have the jewelry in our laboratory or we need to see a copy of a certification to do a reliable estimation.
Nicole: Now I understand that this is a real challenge.
Maria: Yes, that’s true. Let’s talk about your ring and your brooch. Both items are made in the same time period between 1920 and 1930. They are also vintage Art Deco jewelry but from a different source. The ring has a small diamond set. I asked you to measure me the diameter of the stone what was very helpful for me. The stone with a diameter of only about 2 millimeters does not affect the value of your ring substantially. I would call it small-scale because of the uncommon small diamond for an Art Deco dinner ring. But it’s a very charming piece, surely handcrafted and worth about $700. We could pay you $525 for this ring.
Nicole: I can’t believe it. I really hit the jackpot by buying this box.
Maria: You are a very lucky treasure hunter. Finally, let’s talk about your gold brooch. Many people associate solely platinum and white gold with Art Deco but also yellow gold was used in this period. Your brooch is a very unique piece with a nice center pearl. It’s shaped like a dragon and supposedly made in France. We couldn’t find very similar brooches in our archives or literature. Nevertheless it’s a very nice vintage piece and worth about $1,000. Thus we are able to offer you $750 for this jewel.
Nicole: I’m so happy that I joined the estate sale and that your company was recommended to me. I’m very satisfied with your estimation and will sell all 3 items with you. Please let me know how we proceed to bring things forward. I’m so thankful for your efforts.
Maria: It was very nice to work with you. To proceed, click start now and fill in some basic information. I’ll do the rest for you after your order arrives.