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Sept. 4 auction showcases luxe array of antique to modern jewelry

Whether you’re looking for a classic diamond tennis bracelet, a head-turning emerald necklace or an antique heirloom, you’ll find it in Jasper52’s Antique to Modern Jewelry auction on Tuesday, September 4. Bid absentee now or live online on auction day exclusively through LiveAuctioneers.

1920s Art Deco bracelet, platinum-topped 18K gold with mine-cut and rose-cut diamonds, sapphire accents. Est. $9,000-$11,000

View the auction.

Learn more about the auction on Auction Central News.

Birthstones: What Does Yours Mean?

When shopping for a birthday gift, it’s hard to go wrong when you choose jewelry that includes a birthstone. For centuries, various gemstones were associated with months of the year. Then, in 1912, a standardized list was developed by the American Association of Jewelers. It is the most widely accepted guide to months and their birthstones option for the month of December, according to the American Gem Society.

Let’s examine birthstones, their history and symbolism, month by month.

 

January: Garnet

This gemstone is not just one mineral, but a combination of several similar minerals. Although the most common version of garnet is a dark red specimen, garnet also appears in yellow, orange, brown, gray, purple and green. Archeological exploration has unearthed portions of garnet jewelry daring back to 3100 B.C., and the popularity of garnet jewelry among the elite of the Middle Ages is well documented. The garnet represents peace, health and wellness; weal, and great happiness, while also providing an additional measure of safety for the wearer during their travels.

Tip: The rarest of all garnets are green and blue, so expect to pay a premium for either.

 

February: Amethyst

Amethyst, diamond, platinum and gold brooch designed by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., features cushion-shape amethyst weighing approx. 56.00cts. Sold for $25,000, Heritage Auctions, Dec. 5, 2016. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Heritage Auctions

The name of this striking quartz mineral hails from Ancient Greece and the word methustos, which means “intoxicated.” This gave way to the storied belief that if one were to wear an amethyst, they could avoid drunkenness. Although that may be up for debate, what isn’t is the amethyst’s durability, which is a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. They’re found in North America, regions of South America, and Zambia in southern Africa. The availability of amethyst gemstones has increased since the late 19th century, when significant deposits were discovered. As supply increased, the gems became more affordable. Perhaps owing to the legend of amethysts warding off drunkenness, it is said that the gemstone helps the person wearing it to be clear-headed, courageous, humble and loyal. Leonardo da Vinci wrote that the amethyst was useful for sharpening the mind and ridding oneself of evil thoughts.

Tip: Amethyst stones often appear to contain layers of color, which develop naturally as the stone is formed. However, the manner in which a gemologist or jeweler cuts the stone can even out the layers of color.

 

March: Aquamarine

Aquamarine is a variation of the mineral beryl, and gets its name from the Latin word aqua, or water, for its calming color reminiscent of the sea. Aquamarine gemstones vary in intensity – the larger the stone the more intense the color – but are consistently green-blue to blue-green in color. Most aquamarine gemstones are mined and exported from Brazil, however some specimens have reportedly been mined in Nigeria and Mozambique, as well as other parts of Africa. Legend and lore affiliated with aquamarine is extensive. Early adventurers and sailors were said to wear the gemstones to gain protection during a voyage and to bring about calm and clarity. It’s not hard to imagine how a clear head might be helpful when navigating uncharted oceans. History reveals armies of ancient societies had soldiers who believed wearing aquamarine would bring them victory. In addition to these benefits, there are also reports of the aquamarine being used as a cure for a variety of infections. The gemstone in powder for is said to help heal eye infections.

Memo: The bloodstone is regarded as an optional birthstone for the month of March.

 

April: Diamond

Edwardian-style sapphire and diamond 18K white gold jewelry suite with a bib necklace and pair of matching ear pendants. Sold for $32,500, I.M. Chait, March 2016. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and I.M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers

The formation of diamonds from carbon atoms, in a high-pressure and high-temperature environment about 100 miles below the surface of the Earth, is a fascinating scientific process. It results in one of, if not the most, sought after of all gemstones. The formation process involves diamonds breaking the surface following a course of volcanic eruptions that occurred centuries ago. The diamond lays claim to being the hardest entity in nature – 58 times harder than any other substance. Its durable quality makes it the ideal choice for engagement rings, and it has been the subject of many songs and motion picture themes. While the colorless diamond is perennially desirable, diamonds also come in other colors, including yellow, pink, blue, and others. The recent upsurge of interest in colored diamonds has prompted the development of color-treated diamonds in laboratories.

Tip: Recent diamond-buying trends reveal a preference for Art Deco designs that incorporate scrollwork or flower shapes with diamond elements.

 

May: Emerald

Highly important platinum, emerald and diamond ring with fine 9.00ct green emerald flanked by two pear-shape diamonds totaling approx. 1.20cts. Sold for $9,250,000, Bruce Kodner Galleries, Dec. 19, 2010. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers Archive and Bruce Kodner Galleries

This deeply hued gemstone shares a history like that of the aquamarine, as it, too, is a variation of the mineral beryl. The intensity of an emerald’s color is one factor in determining its value, with the rarest emerald being dark green-blue. Emeralds are mined in regions around the world, with the majority coming from Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia. Some of the earliest emeralds are estimated to be nearly 3 billion years old. Emeralds were sought out after by various ancient societies as fashionable adornments in life, as well as in death (burials). One of history’s greatest fans of emeralds was Cleopatra. They were among the gemstones harvested from mines near the coast of the Red Sea during Cleopatra’s reign. Ironically, or not, Elizabeth Taylor, who famously portrayed the fabled vamp in the 1963 Academy-Award film, was known for her sensational collection of jewelry. In 2011, an emerald and diamond brooch designed and created for Taylor by Bvlgari sold for $6.58M at Christie’s auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection. The brooch was one of 14 lots of the movie legend’s jewelry that included emeralds. The gemstone is a symbol of new beginnings, peace, security and loyalty.

Tip: A quality emerald should have an even distribution of color and a deep, but not too dark, green-blue hue.

 

 

June: Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone

18K yellow gold necklace with 245 round, brilliant-cut diamonds and 34 pearls; and a pair of earrings containing 40 round, brilliant-cut diamonds and six pearls. Stamped 18K HAMMERMAN. Sold for $15,000, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, April 18, 2010. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

People born in June have the good fortune of being able to select from three birthstones. The pearl is unique in that it is made by a living creature that relies on an irritant to form the creamy gemstone. Clams deposit layers of calcium carbonate around the irritants to create the pearl, which is among the softest of all gemstones, posting a minimum of 2.5 and maximum of 4.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. In addition to natural development of pearls, the process of freshwater culturing of pearls is a growing market operation. Natural harvesting of pearls is confined to an area of the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. The most common characteristics associated with pearls are purity and innocence.

Did You Know: One of the rarest types of pearl is the Black Pearl. However, its color is more often dark green, purple, or even blue.

Another June birthstone, the alexandrite is a “youngster” among birthstones, said to have first been discovered in the mid-19th century in Russian mines in the Ural Mountains. The gemstone’s most fascinating quality is its changing color. Due to a rare chemical composition, alexandrite appears green in daylight and with a purple-red hue when placed under incandescent light. After the Russian supply of alexandrites dwindled, so did interest in the stone – until the discovery of alexandrite in Brazil in 1987. Despite this current source, alexandrites are scarce.

Moonstone is said to have been named by a natural historian who thought the gem looked like the shifting of the moon’s phases. Tiny layers of the feldspar create the effect in moonstone. It is found in India, Australia, Madagascar and the United States. It’s said to aid in balancing energies and rendering tranquility, thus making it useful in the treatment of insomnia. It is also fondly referred to as the “traveler’s stone” due to the belief that its properties help keep adventurers’ safe during the evening.

 

July: Ruby

Platinum and 18K gold Art Nouveau-style cocktail earrings with 4.75ctw old, European-cut diamonds and 1.50ctw near-flawless Burma rubies. Sold for $13,500, GWS Auctions Inc., July 29, 2017. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and GWS Auctions Inc.

The power of this gemstone, as believed by ancient civilizations, is to keep evil at bay. The luxurious red color of the ruby comes from the element chromium. The same element provides this gemstone with the appearance of an inner glow, but it also leaves it more susceptible to cracks. The most common regions where rubies exist include Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, India and East Africa. It is also second only to the diamond in terms of hardness, according to the Mohs scale, which ranks it as a 9. The ruby is said to heighten awareness, increase energy, and encourage love and strength. Throughout history, leaders of various cultures believed in the power of rubies, including Chinese noblemen. Ancient Hindus seeking status as emperors in rebirth would offer rubies to the god Krishna.

 

August: Peridot and Sardonyx

The peridot was described by early Egyptians as the “gem of the sun.” They also believed it could protect people from nighttime dangers. A deposit containing peridot was discovered in Pakistan in the 1990s, but more than 80% of the global supply of peridot is located in a deposit in Arizona on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. Peridot is a variation of the mineral Olivine, and the amount of iron within the gemstone determines the depth of green color.

Sardonyx is a combination of sard and onyx minerals. Depending on the level of oxide within the composition, the color of the sard can be yellowish red or reddish brown, while onyx presents as white. India has produced the finest examples of this gemstone, which is said to render courage, clear communication skills, and genuine happiness.

Tip: A popular type of cut is cabochon, and in addition to its use with large, individual gemstones, it is also carved into cameos and brooches.

 

September: Sapphire

Harry Winston 18K gold necklace featuring an approximately 24ct rectangular-cut sapphire surrounded by diamonds on a multi-strand of cultured pearls. Sold for $110,000, John Moran Auctioneers, May 21, 2013. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and John Moran Auctioneers, Inc.

Most commonly seen in blue, sapphires can actually come in a variety of colors, depending on the elements that are present in their composition. In the gemological world, sapphires that are not blue are referred to as “fancies.” Like the ruby, it measures 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, which opens the door for sapphires to also be incorporated into the production of watches and electronic instruments. In ancient times, it was believed that sapphires could help avoid poisoning.

Tip: Clarity among sapphires is usually greater than that of rubies, often due to the presence of rutile (a form of titanium dioxide). While this might lower the value of other gemstones, in some form of sapphires it increases value.

 

October: Opal and Tourmaline

Necklace composed of 25 oval, bluish-green tumble polished indicolite tourmaline beads, 418.0ctw, interspaced with diamond and 18K gold rondelles. Sold for $5,000, Clars Auction Gallery, Nov. 15, 2015. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Clars Auction Gallery

Both of October’s gemstones are revered for the way they transform in varying degrees of light, and symbolize faithfulness and courage. In fact, the word opal has its origins in the Greek term opallios, which means “to see a change in color.” It wasn’t until the 1960s that the scientific community was able to explain the reason for the change, which is due to intricate silica spheres diffracting light. The climate and geography in Australia are said to be the most conducive to the creation of opal.

Tourmaline also presents in a variety of colors, and according to legend, this is due to its passing through a rainbow during its journey from creation below the Earth’s surface to the top.

Tip: One of the most sought-after types of tourmaline is the rubellite, which appears in varying degrees of red and pink. Dark-toned tourmaline often appears black in color, and they typically sell for less than more brightly colored variations.

 

November: Topaz and Citrine

Once believed to be only yellow in color, topaz is colorless, and depending on impurities, can take on various colors, including the most popular variation – imperial topaz – which is orange with hints of pink hues. Another storied variation of this gemstone is the blue topaz, which is said to rarely appear naturally. Citrine also ranges in color from yellow to brownish orange and is a variety of quartz. The yellow hues are the result of the iron within the gemstone’s quartz crystals. Most of citrine today is mined in Brazil, but Bolivia and Russia also mine citrine, as do the U.S. states of Colorado, North Carolina, and California. Citrine has also been called a “healing quartz,” with reports that the gemstone fosters optimism and helps cultivate prosperity.

 

December: Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise

David Webb earrings with pear and oval-shape turquoise cabochons enhanced by full-cut, baguette-cut and marquise-cut diamonds. Sold for $36,000, Heritage Auctions, April 3, 2017. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Heritage Auctions

As the name suggests, tanzanite hails from Tanzania. It is a variation of the mineral zoisite first discovered in 1967, making it another of the more modern birthstones. While shades of blue ranging from pale to ultramarine are the most common color of tanzanite, depending on the cut of the stone, additional colors may evidence themselves. Zircon is sometimes erroneously confused with the synthetic but unrelated cubic zirconia, simply because of the similarity in names. Since the Middle Ages zircon’s qualities have been linked to peaceful sleep and prosperity.

Turquoise varies in color from powder blue to robin’s egg blue with a hint of green. The name turquoise originated in 13th-century France and the phrase pierre turquois, which means “Turkish stone.” Most prevalent in arid regions, five U.S. states are the sources for most of the turquoise on the market today. It is said that the turquoise was used to adorn ceremonial masks and equipment used in battle because of its ability to bring power and protection to those wearing it.

 

6 Fine Jewelry Pieces Waiting For You

Quality and beauty form a gleaming partnership in this week’s auction of fine jewelry and gemstones. The 67-lot selection comprises a mix of loose gemstones and jewelry – antique through contemporary – with that unmistakable look of superiority that can only come through astute connoisseurship.

Pendants are among the most versatile of jewelry items. They’re equally at home when suspended from a long, sleek chain or added to a charm bracelet. An irresistible example is this late 1940s 14K yellow gold pendant with four cabochon-cut lapis lazuli stones in a setting that recalls Faberge’s fine work. With a total weight of 6.8 dwt, the pendant is expected to attract a winning bid of $300-$350.

Mid-century 14K yellow gold and cabochon lapis charm pendant, .585 gold, 6.8 dwt total weight, est. $300-$350

 

Another eye-catcher is a 14K yellow gold, diamond and ruby-encrusted lobster slide pendant. The fancy crustacean is fully articulated, a testament to the workmanship that went into its design. Even the antennae are mounted on springs, allowing them to move. There are 12 full-cut diamonds in each claw, 10 full-cut diamonds in the tail section, as well as two full-cut diamonds under the eyes and 12 in the thorax carapace. The cabochon rubies serve as its eyes, and 4 more adorn the antennae. Additionally, there are 48 pave-set diamonds and 34 channel-set rubies. Truly, this is a modern masterpiece that should easily reach or surpass its $825-$925 estimate.

14K yellow gold, diamond and ruby lobster slide pendant, est. $825-$925

 

There’s no mistaking a fine tanzanite, with its blue/violet coloration. Offered in this collection is a 4.02-carat loose tanzanite gemstone that has been certified by a reputable European laboratory. Faceted to show off its rich hues, the stone is the perfect size to set in a ring.

4.02-carat tanzanite stone, 22.75 x 8.54 x 638mm, est. $650-$750

 

This 14K yellow gold brooch and drop-earrings suite, set with pearls and natural sapphires is stunning. The total sapphire is weight is .36 carats, and the AAA Akoya pearls are 5mm in diameter. This ultra-chic offering is estimated at $750-$850.

Ladies 14K yellow gold brooch and drop earring set with Akoya pearls and .36ct natural sapphires, est. $750-$850

 

Simplicity is the keyword defining this pair of gentleman’s mid-century 14K white gold and diamond cufflinks. Each cufflink is styled as a flat oval and accented with a central diamond. Total diamond weight: .14 carats. Quietly elegant and suitable for daywear or evening attire, this pair of cufflinks is expected to attract bids in the $500-$550 range.

Pair of mid-century gentleman’s 14K white gold with diamonds cufflinks, .14ct total weight diamonds, in New York jeweler’s case, est. $500-$550

 

Diamonds will always be a girl’s best friend, especially when set in a 14K gold antique ring of timeless design. This piece fits that description, and features a .80-carat G/VSI diamond. This stunning sparkler is a size 4-3/4 and is estimated at $2,700-$3,000.

Ladies antique 14K yellow gold ring with .80-carat, G/VS1 diamond, size 4-3/4, est. $2,700-$3,000

Expert Tips for Buying Jewelry Online

Whether you’re seeking wearable accessories to enhance a wardrobe, looking to add new pieces to an established collection, or searching for beautiful treasures to give as gifts, you’ll find that antique and contemporary jewelry is plentiful online.

Once regarded as items that required in-person inspection prior to purchase, contemporary, vintage and antique jewelry items are all part of a growing segment within the e-commerce realm. Global jewelry sales are expected to achieve $250 billion by the end of the year, with online purchases accounting for 4-5%, according to Forbes. While that may not seem like an overly impressive statistic, just wait. Within the next three years, it’s anticipated that purchases of jewelry via online platforms will account for 15% of total sales.

A current fashion-jewelry trend, according to an article in the Robb Report, is chunky vintage jewelry. A few of the 65 lots featured in Jasper52’s July 16, 2017 Loose Stones, Sterling & Silver Jewelry Auction fit this bill. This circa-1970s Italian silver bracelet by UnoAErre measures 9/23 cm when locked and has an affordable estimate of $70-$90. Jasper52 image

A significant factor behind the anticipated spike is increased consumer confidence. “If you’re buying from a trusted seller, it should make no difference how the transaction is accomplished. Buying online is just a more convenient way to acquire the same merchandise that ordinarily would be purchased from a traditional venue,” said LiveAuctioneers Senior VP Product and Marketing Phil Michaelson.

As the jewelry market continues to evolve, the opportunity to obtain jewelry from sellers around the world, regardless of one’s locale, is greater than ever. With that being the case, to paraphrase a quote from Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man, “With great opportunity comes great responsibility.” Research and ask questions before you make any online jewelry purchase, not afterward.

Scully & Scully 18K white and yellow gold owl brooch with ruby eyes and criss-cross design of diamonds, handmade in England, with original box. Entered in Alex Cooper’s July 20, 2017 auction. Estimate $1,000-$2,000. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Alex Cooper

Buying Tip: Look for diamonds that have been graded by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). This world-renowned nonprofit institute issues laboratory reports with their opinion of a gemstone’s color and clarity.

Robert Kadet, a member of the jewelry industry for more than four decades and a graduate gemologist, says the credibility of the company offering jewelry should be a foremost consideration. “Find out how long the company selling the piece has been in business and make sure they have an upstanding reputation,” he advises.

Art Deco Burma sapphire, Colombian emerald and diamond brooch, estimated total diamond weight 1 carat. Offered in Fellows’ July 13, 2017 auction. Estimate £5,000-£7,000. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Fellows

The Better Business Bureau and sites like Yelp are among the sources where consumers can obtain information on a business, but when it comes to online auctions, it is important to bid through a platform where quality jewelry sellers conduct their sales. Check how many auctions they have run in the past, what sort of merchandise they carry, how long they’ve been in business, and most certainly, what their Terms and Conditions are.

Buying Tip: Pay close attention to the auction-catalog details for any item of jewelry you’re considering to bid on. When buying a piece of jewelry, you want to know what karat gold it is, the carat weight or total weight of diamonds or colored stones, and whether it contains precious or semi-precious stones.

A cushion-shape diamond in a claw-set mount, 26.29 carats, with a clarity grade of VVS2 sold for $847,667 at auction on June 7, 2017. It had been purchased for only 10 British pounds sterling ($13) in the 1980s. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s image

Nothing does more to inspire buyers to add a new sparkler to their jewelry chest than a high-profile sale of a dazzling gemstone, especially if it has a good story behind it. There was quite a buzz in jewelry circles recently when Sotheby’s held its Fine Jewelry auction. Leading the lots in their sale was a recently discovered diamond ring referred to as the “Tenner” diamond. The ring features a cushion-shape diamond weighing 26.29 carats in a claw-set mount reportedly dating to the 19th century. It was originally purchased by the consignor in the 1980s for just 10 British pounds sterling (US $13), hence the name “Tenner” – British slang for a 10-pound note. The ring had been misidentified as costume jewelry and was sold at a car boot sale, a market where individuals gather to sell household and flea market goods from the “boot,” or trunk, of their cars.

Buying Tip: Pay attention to the presence of photos, or lack thereof, within online jewelry listings. Photos of jewelry should be clear and represent all angles. Take the time to inspect each photo. If you aren’t satisfied with the photographic representations provided in an auction listing, contact the seller or auctioneer and ask for additional images of a specific angle. — Gemological Institute of America

Jewelry listings with photos of multiple views provide the possibility to inspect a piece closely, which can reveal important elements, including makers’ marks, as shown in this photo. This sterling silver ring with an oval-shape cabochon green agate, created by Georg Jensen circa 1910-1925, is included in Jasper52’s July 16, 2017 American, European & Mexican Silver Auction. Estimate: $650-$750. Jasper52 image

Discovering a wonderful piece of jewelry online, bidding on it, and winning it, is an exciting way to add to a collection. When the package containing your purchase arrives at your door and you discover that the piece is even nicer than you had initially thought, you’ll be glad you took the time to do your research before buying.


Rodger Kadet grew up working many aspects of his family’s jewelry business, Rogers and Hollands Jewelers, which has been in operation for more than a century. In 2009, he began doing business as Roger Kadet Ltd., operating as a private jeweler specializing in custom-made jewelry, as well as watches and other types of jewelry. He is a buyer of gold, diamonds, silver and coins. He currently serves as the president of the Chicago Jewelers Association (CJA), which was founded in 1874. In addition to serving as a resource and a forum platform for retailers, wholesalers/manufacturers, and sales representatives serving the jewelry market, the organization provides educational seminars, and operates a scholarship fund for college-bound students.

A Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Fabergé Pendant Eggs

Fabergé’s miniature pendant eggs are an exceedingly enjoyable area to collect. In what other area can you purchase a Fabergé egg that you can also wear everyday?

Perhaps no country is better known for its Easter eggs than Russia. From the jeweled creations of Fabergé to humble woodcarvings, the holiday could not be celebrated without the decoration and exchange of numerous eggs. With the tradition dating back to the 15th century, by the 1890s wealthy families presented each other with precious miniature eggs each year. Eggs could be decorated with symbols of the season, family professions, or love tokens. Strung on gold necklaces, a lady might have multiple necklaces by her later years.

Jeweled pendant eggs can range from affordable to quite expensive, so where should a novice collector begin? Read on for 5 key tips to beginning your Fabergé pendant egg collection.

1. It’s important to begin with an established and trustworthy seller who is willing to guarantee authenticity.

Fabergé gold-mounted carved purpurine miniature pendant egg, St Petersburg, circa 1908-1917. Lot 109. Estimate: $8,500-12,000

Fabergé gold-mounted carved purpurine miniature pendant egg, St Petersburg, circa 1908-1917

2. Consider the materials you prefer: the translucent guilloché enamels for which Fabergé is famed or a more unusual material like the matte purpurine, a rare and unusual glass that is so opaque it resembles a carved hardstone. Do you want an egg with an elephant or clover, symbols of good luck, or perhaps your birthstone? Eggs are available in every style and color, and designs can be surprisingly modern.

A Fabergé amethyst and gilded silver miniature pendant Easter egg, St. Petersburg, circa 1898-1908. Lot 98. Estimate: $4,000-6,000

A Fabergé amethyst and gilded silver miniature pendant Easter egg, St. Petersburg, circa 1898-1908

3. Examine the egg or photos of the egg carefully. It should show some signs of wear. When strung together on a necklace, the eggs often bumped into one another and tiny chips or bumps can appear on enamel surfaces. Large areas of loss and repair negatively impact price while an important provenance will increase it. The Red Cross egg (featured below) has a small area of discoloration that is fairly common with enameled eggs, and the estimate reflects the tiny bit of wear as well as the desirability of the subject matter.

A Fabergé gold and guilloché enamel miniature pendant Easter egg, workmaster Andrei Adler, St Petersburg, circa 1900. Lot 105. Estimate: $2,500-4,500

A Fabergé gold and guilloché enamel miniature pendant Easter egg, workmaster Andrei Adler, St Petersburg, circa 1900

4. Spend a little time familiarizing yourself with Russian hallmarks. Pendant eggs are mostly constructed on a frame of gold and are marked on the bale, the small suspension ring from which they can be attached to a necklace or bracelet. The bale is a small space for the relatively large maker’s marks and hallmarks, especially if we compare them to the diminutive marks used in France! Russian jewelers stamped items with the numbers 56 (equivalent to 14K) or 72 (equivalent to 18K).

Detail of the 56 mark (equivalent to 14K). Lot 109.

Detail of the 56 mark (equivalent to 14K)

5. If your budget doesn’t extend to a Fabergé pendant Easter egg, consider buying a Russian pendant Easter egg. Prices are significantly cheaper and the pendants can be just as lovely, if a bit less complex.

A Russian gem-set gold pendant egg, circa 1900. Lot 107. Estimate: $1,500-2,500

A Russian gem-set gold pendant egg, circa 1900

This week’s Fine & Decorative Arts Auction features beautiful Fabergé style pendant eggs. Take a look here!


Written by Karen Kettering, Vice President at John Atzbach Antiques in Redmond, Washington.