Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Art Deco Filigree Ring with Cameo Wearing a Diamond Necklace Part One

Isn't she a pretty...14kt white gold cameo ring with diamond, just one of my finds at the auction last Saturday.

There was a fad in the 1930-40's where it just wasn't enough to wear a cameo....all of a sudden your cameo needed to wear a diamond necklace. Every now and then I have seen cameo pendants, pins and rings wearing diamond necklaces. I consider this "bling" during the art deco period.

I think this fad began due to women inheriting their mother or grandmother's jewelry and wanting to create something unique with the pieces. Somebody in the 1920's decided to take a cameo and use a diamond perhaps out of a old ring and make it into a necklace for the cameo......and the fad began. Jewelers caught on and mass produced the idea.

Next post I will fill you in on the origins of the filigree style of jewelry making. This setting is an excellent example. Off to research......

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day of the Auction

I left before sunrise ready for my trip to PA. Unfortunately I missed my exit on the turnpike and had to drive 20 miles above my designation to turn around--so I was a half an hour late. I didn't worry too much as there were over 350 lots of jewelry.

First things you do at an auction-pull out your license, get in line and register. If they have a catalog grab it.

My auction process is to do the quick walk through....just glaze over everything and if something catches your eye make a notation on your catalog to come back and get a closer look.

At jewelry auctions everybody is in your way and crowding the cases. Grab the eye of the helpers and ask them to see the item you are interest in by giving them the lot # of the item. Take your time go over the piece--it is made well, any scratches/chips, has it been repaired? I have looked at items then bought them and found issues after taking them is hard to concentrate at a loud auction so just take your time. Once you buy an item you can not return it unless it is a very unusal case where the auction company was way off their description.

Yesterday I found quite a few great antique/vintage pieces so I took notes on a lot of items. I write down the condition and most importantly how much I would pay. My gut told me that I probably would be out bid but I still took the time to look them over. This paid off as I was able to purchase all the rings and earrings that I liked at great prices.

After you looked at all the pieces you are interested in try to find a spot to sit in the front since it is so difficult to see what they are selling. Take time to listen to the auctioneer and try to figure out what the heck he is saying. Most auctioneers have a continuous cadence...after listening you get an idea if he increases his bids 5 dollars or 25 dollars...something that is important to know in the heat of bidding. For goodness sake don't scratch your nose looking at the auctioneer or you may just end up with a box lot of junk.

The auctioneer calls out the item number and quick description of the item. DO NOT BID ON THE FIRST PRICE HE CALLS OUT. Yesterday, the auctioneer kept starting at 200 he asks for that amount then drops down to 150, 100 then 50 and sometimes down to 20. Get in after someone else has bid. Raise that paddle high and once the auctioneer points to you put your hand down (you'll look like a pro). As the price increases just nod your head when the auctioneer asks you if you accept the higher price. If the bid goes over the amount you want to pay nod your head NO-don't get swept up in the moment! If you are under your amount have your bidder number handy and show it to the auctioneer.

Yesterday was the first time in quite awhile I got some really great deals at an auction....the economy must really be squeezing this is the time to buy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day Before Attending An Auction

I have worked for multiple auction companies and forget that not everyone understands how an auction works.

First how do you find an auction? Best place I know of now is This will allow you to look at all auctions by date and distance from you.

When reading the auction listing pay close attention to the terms and conditions. Some auction companies do not take credit cards so you must pay with cash or check. Most companies will accept an in state check but if you are out of state you will need to contact them and get approval. Be sure you bring your drivers license they will not register you without one.

Buyers Premiums can be confusing as well. Most BP's run between 5-15%, so if you buy something for 10.00 with a 10% BP you will end of really paying 11.00 + sales tax.

When looking at jewelry at an auction--I like to pack my loop (I tie it on my sweatshirt pull string because it is so hard to juggle everything), mini flashlight and notebook.

Tomorrow I am off to a very large jewelry auction in PA-wish me luck.

The Beginning.....

As I continue my passion of collecting and selling antique and vintage jewelry I thought it would be interesting to share my experiences. I love the thrill of finding treasuries buried in old jewelry boxes or box lots. Through the years collecting has treated me well--not only does jewelry tend to increase in value (better than stocks now) but you can actually wear and enjoy the items (try that with a stock certificate).

I welcome any questions on pieces you may own. Hope you enjoy and learn a little.