Jewelry Is In Fall Collecting Fashion

Sotheby’s is doing it, so is Christie’s, Leslie Hindman Auction House and many more, including Royal Auctioneers, Paramount Auctions and Doyle New York. Upcoming antique and vintage jewelry auctions and estate sales are slated at all these houses, and many more, while online auctions and shows continue to see steady interest from collectors and consumers.

At the New York Antique Jewelry & Watch Show, held in the end of July, attendance was up and vendor space was filled in short order, according to Andrea Canady, of DMG Auctions, operators of the show.

In addition, Heritage Auction Galleries’ Jewelry & Timepieces Signature Auction this spring featured a natural fancy intense yellow diamond, platinum gold ring, from an estate, which sold for $131,450 – a Hall of Fame sale.

Now, between the middle of September and early December eBay auctions list 17 events that prominently feature vintage and antique jewelry. In fact, Sotheby’s Sept. 25 sale of Important Jewels is said to feature 450 lots, estimated to generate $11 million, according to Sotheby’s Web site.

Warman's Vintage JewelryAlthough obviously not every piece will generate the level of attention and dollars as some, there are opportunities to affordably invest in jewelry, and in turn identify the value of family jewelry as well.

A key to this effort, as in any type of collecting, is to know what you have, what you’re looking for, and how to identify it. A great new reference to help you with assessing, understanding and identifying jewelry is Warman’s® Vintage Jewelry (Krause Publications).

This breathtaking book couples stunning close up photographs of all types of jewelry, with concise descriptions and values, plus an extensive introductory section that provides a history and how-to of jewelry collecting.

“When you are collecting vintage jewelry, you need to focus on several things: condition, price, quality, scarcity/rarity, age, and design,” writes author Leigh Leshner, in part of the introductory section.

Questions to consider include: Is the piece well made? Is it missing any stones or pieces – and if so, can the piece be repaired and at what cost? Is the piece stamped or cast? Are these stones handset?

In this book Leshner, a noted jewelry appraiser and collector, also provides background about white metal and rhinestone jewelry, history of rhinestones, a tutorial on settings, cut and color of rhinestones, and tips on caring for jewelry.

“Each piece tells its own story through hidden clues that, when interpreted, will help solve the mysteries surrounding them,” writes Leshner.

In addition to this exciting recent release, coming this fall from Krause Publications is the 7th edition of Answers to Questions About Old Jewelry, by C. Jeanenne Bell. Look for the opportunity to preorder this book in this column in November.

To help you, or your favorite collector build your antique jewelry knowledge, get your copy of Warman’s® Vintage Jewelry. When you order this book and Leshner’s Secrets to Collecting Jewelry, at you will receive Free Shipping and Save $5. Be sure to order by September 26 to receive your savings.

Antoinette Rahn

About Antoinette Rahn

Antoinette Rahn is the former online editor and content manager for Antique Trader. She has a penchant for collecting petroliana, vintage advertising items, Irish collectibles and general Americana. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Tom.