Estate Appraisals

February 2019

Pearls: The evolution of a classic

You might look forlornly at your showcase of pearls as you polish the glass, perhaps noticing there are fewer pesky fingerprints on that particular ...

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June 2018

Alloys through the ages

As I refine and polish this column, I reflect on the metals that have been used in the production of jewels throughout the very long history of ...

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June 2018

Time and tide: Men’s jewellery through the ages

We don’t tend to think of men and jewels at the same time, except for the stereotype of the hesitant and terrified young man headed for a ...

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February 2018

Understated beauty: Diving into mid-century modern design

All that furniture we moved into the basement, shipped out to the cottage, or dropped at the curb, hoping someone would take it away. The ...

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May 2016

Being cute: Whimsical jewellery captivates and charms

Although they may be diminutive in stature and composition, designs featuring a whimsical motif have broad appeal in jewellery, especially since ...

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October 2015

Leaf motifs: Perennially popular and always in vogue

They’re seemingly everywhere—underfoot and overhead. You may find them ‘flavouring’ a stew pot or on a salad plate. Perhaps they are a topic ...

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May 2015

SHE SAID YES - Now say yes to the jewels

Major newspapers publish dry factual lists of statistics on their front pages indicating cohabiting without the benefit of legally sanctioned ...

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December 2014

Jadeite Jade

JADEITE JADE Fit for an emperor and as fitting for today 'Icy,' 'mottled,' 'mutton-fat,' 'greasy'. No, your freezer doesn't need defrosting, ...

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July 2014

Culture of the supernatural

Organics are cropping up everywhere‚ at your local big box supermarket, at the neighbourhood farmer's market, on the menu of your favourite ...

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July 2013

Timing is everything

Timing is everything A couple of fine watchmakers So exactly what is it that makes a nearly 200-year old pocket watch worth the price of a ...

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May 2014

Silver Linings

The idiom that every cloud has a silver lining may have been inspired by that bright element. This shiny metal has been much beloved of ...

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December 2013

Industrial Chic

There's been a noticeable resurgence in popularity lately of mid-century modern furniture, and suburban realtors are rejoicing now that those ...

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August 2013

Put some thought into it

Gift giving used to be a much simpler task but its myriad complexities are being tackled by respected social psychologists. Motivation, perception ...

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May 2013

Romancing the stones

ROMANCING the stones True love wrapped up in one neat little package the stones True love wrapped up in one neat little package Scientific ...

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December 2012

Orange you happy?

Always an attention grabber, the colour orange is particularly hot, hot, hot right now and if you can actually remember the acid-drenched 1970s, ...

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October 2012

Cocktails anyone?

In the 1920s and early 30s, while Prohibition was dampening spirits in America and parts of Canada, European high society was openly enjoying a ...

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August 2012

World events shape design

  Jewellery designs over the past few centuries have been influenced by myriad events‚Äîsome international, some local. Changes in ...

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June 2012

And the bead goes on

A bid for ubiquity Ask any kindergartner to draw you a picture of a necklace and what you'll see most likely is a simple series of round beads. ...

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April 2012

The state of estate sales

Someone once said there are no new ideas, just reinterpretations of the old ones. With an upscale twist and a tweak, sales of the yard, garage, ...

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February 2012

An endearing and enduring motif

Want to ward off bad luck, the evil eye, and bewitch a potential lover, all at the same time? The all-purpose heart motif, in ever-changing ...

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December 2011

Production evolves as it revolves

Next time you light the charcoal briquettes on your barbecue or plug in the kettle to make yourself a soothing cup of herbal tea, consider the ...

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October 2011

Wearable Art

How many times have you overheard the phrase, "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like?" Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the ...

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August 2011

Neither faux nor faux pas

The surprising reality of synthetic gemstones If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck, right? ...

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June 2011

World of Watches

Units of time are measured for a reason–to keep the chaos of daily life at bay and at a minimum. Consider the extent of disorder if ...

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April 2011

Queen for a day

Diamonds, pearls and other gemstones chosen by the bride and groom to wear on their special day can be the stuff of fairy tales. Many of these ...

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February 2011

Future Connections

Whether you're located in a small community or a large metropolis, your regular base of customers probably consists of a mix of professionals, ...

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December 2010

Function follows form

Trends in jewellery design are so closely linked to changes in fashion that it's well worth recalling the age-old question: Which came first, the ...

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October 2010


For untold eons, human being have had the primal urge to make a visible mark on their surroundings and possessions. Imagine the ...

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June 2010

Convertible Creations

Across the board, buying practices and attitudes reflect the current culture and the prevailing mood of the times. Removing clutter, downsizing, ...

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August 2010

Gemstones A kaleidoscope of choice

In her infinite wisdom with regard to our planet's carbon-based existence, Mother Nature created only three primary colours: red, blue, and ...

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February 2010

Gifting: the vintage advantage

Every sentimental or momentous occasion deserves special recognition that can be marked with the giving of gifts. However, when an item of ...

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December 2009

An eye for detail

With Baby boomers entering their retirement years, good period pieces are springing up everywhere. As a dealer of estate jewellery, you need a ...

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October 2009

Evolution in White

During the 19th century, diamonds and other precious stones were set in either gold or silver. However, when the setting was silver, gold always ...

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August 2009

For the boys

Since the earliest recorded history, there is plenty of evidence men adorned themselves with jewellery of some form or fashion to convey a ...

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June 2009

A case for the watch

Mechanical timekeeping began in the 15th century in the form of clocks powered by variously configured internal springs. For greater accuracy, ...

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April 2009

Vintage value

Confronted with the looming economic crisis, bidding at recent jewellery auctions has been measured. Secondhand dealers have been more ...

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February 2009

Gold: A standard of adornment

From the dawn of time, man’s natural fascination with lustrous objects has driven the desire to acquire them, at times at great risk or ...

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December 2008

Portrait of an auction

Imagine an event combining the spine-tingling intrigue of a spy novel, the heightened excitement of a major sports event, and the subdued ...

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August 2008

Platinum period

  The discovery of new sources of diamonds in the latter half of the 19th century brought with it designs that utilized a profusion ...

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April 2008

Demistifying auction values

Demystifying auction values As an appraiser for nearly 30 years, and in the auction industry for 28 of those years, I have met with countless ...

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February 2008

A magnificent tiara

As the ultimate symbol of the highest form of jewellery, tiaras carry a special aura with jewellery collectors the world over. These impressive ...

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December 2007

Appraising the appraisal process for period jewels

APPRAISING THE APPRAISAL PROCESS FOR PERIOD JEWELS One of the trickiest challenges in the jewellery industry is providing clients with appraisals ...

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August 2007

The story of the Asscher cut

The story of the Asscher cut It's always been hip to be square As with fashion, everything old is new again. Witness the renewed interest in ...

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June 2007

The Timeless Elegance of Art Deco

The Timeless Elegance of Art Deco Little did the organizers of the 1925 Paris Exposition des Arts Decoratifs know that what they were about to ...

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April 2007

If jewels could talk... What stories they'd tell!

If jewels could talk... What stories they'd tell! Retailers of fine jewellery often have customers come in to inquire about selling jewels. Their ...

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October 2006

Solving the puzzle of period pieces

Solving the puzzle of period pieces With the growing popularity of period pieces, there has been a corresponding rise in the manufacture of ...

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August 2006

The jewellery of 1918 to 1939

The jewellery of 1918 to 1939 Jewellery production, like most non-essential work, came to a virtual halt during the First World War. Jewellery ...

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June 2006

The Magnificence of Micromosaics

The magnificence of micromosaic The burgeoning tourist trade between England and Europe, particularly Italy, triggered a neoclassical revival in ...

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April 2006

Jersey Jewellery

Jersey Jewellery Several historical and social events converged in the mid-19th century to create a jewellery manufacturing centre in Newark, ...

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February 2006

Love, Victorian style

Love token jewellery, with its elaborate symbolism of affection, was abundant during the Victorian era, particularly during the romantic period ...

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December 2005

Fabergé: Jeweller to the Czars

Fabergé: Jeweller to the Czars In 1870, at the age of 24, Carl Fabergé took over his father's quaint St. Petersburg jewellery store. By then, ...

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October 2005

Untouched jewels retain their value

Untouched jewels retain their value Throughout history, jewellery pieces have been remodelled and updated to reflect current designs. As a result, ...

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August 2005

'50s design full of optimism, exuberance

'50s design full of optimism, exuberance The 1950s were characterized by a quest for stability following the turmoil of the Second World War. The ...

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April/May 2005

Cameo Appearance

Cameo Appearance While the majority of cameos are made of shell, and have been since the 15th century, these miniature sculptures were also ...

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February/March 2005

Diamond aristocrats: a history of cut

Diamond aristocrats: a history of cut A few years ago, on a warm day in early May, a fur-wrapped woman attending one of my previews walked ...

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June/July 2005

Cufflinks with the Past

Cufflinks with the Past Despite the fickle fluctuations in fashion, a handsome pair of cufflinks, whether antique or modern, still denotes ...

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November 2004

Estate jewellery as a source of rare and fine gems

Estate jewellery as a source of rare and fine gems Most of us have heard the expression "hidden gem." In the case of estate jewellery, the phrase is ...

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September/October 2004

The beauty of authentic Deco

The beauty of authentic Deco The organizers of the 1925 Paris Exposition des Arts Décoratifs declared with great exuberance that only works ...

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