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Did you hear the one about a little girl earlier this year who was given a box of costume jewellery to play with but it turned one of those rings was a Coco Chanel original – and worth a small fortune? This isn’t the first story like this, there are tons of people across the globe with antique jewellery that they either think it’s costume or its sat in the back of a cupboard – forgotten, and it’s worth millions.
Most people have an old ring or another piece of jewellery that they would love to know the value of. Or, even if it’s paste or not? Older jewellery, especially from 50 years ago or more, looked quite different to the jewellery we have today – the settings are different and stones might be bigger, making you wonder or worry that it’s paste. Or the piece of jewellery may have different coloured stones in it – they could be rubies or emeralds or are they just costume jewellery? Or maybe you are on your second marriage and you would love to know what your first engagement ring is actually worth!
Jewellery, especially vintage jewellery, is having more than a moment, it is THE jewellery fashion style right now – couple that with the fact that the value of precious stones, diamonds, emeralds sapphires and rubies have very much delivered investment wise, outdoing even property prices over the past 10 years, so it’s little wonder that people are having a closer inspection of granny’s old jewellery inheritance.
That old jewellery could be worth a small fortune, or it could be paste – until you pass it to someone who can tell you, you will never know. We’ve all watched the antiques road show on a Sunday night, seeing the faces of people light up or drop to abstract misery, when they hear of their items value. Because let’s face it we all secretly hope that the family heirlooms, or bundle of jewellery hidden at the back of a drawer is worth a small fortune.
But not knowing who to take it to, who to trust to give a true valuation, and worry that a valuation may cost quite a bit of money is leaving lots of old jewellery exactly where it’s been for years, in a box, drawer or wardrobe, never worn or seeing the light of day – but every now and again the family pins their future retirement plans upon them. Because you never know, it could be a Channel original, a Harry Winston one off – or paste.
For this very reason people are not getting their jewellery valued – Sotheby’s Auction House are currently offering a free valuation service, and Bonhams Auction House did it earlier in the year. Or you can come to us – we would be happy to take a look at your antique jewellery, advise you on it’s worth, discuss repair and replacing or changing stones or even completely reworking the piece.
Tell us your favourite jewellery era in the comments below, we love hearing from you!