Mallams Auctioneers: How to spot if your jewellery is valuable

Ever wondered if you have a hidden treasure in an old jewellery box? Here's how you can tell the very valuable from the everyday-wear in your jewellery collection.

Knowing more than a thing or two about how to spot a gemstone from a diamond, Mallams Auctioneers shared their knowledge about how to see if you’ve got something worth digging out for auction.

Here, Jewellery Specialist Louise Dennis FGA DGA reveals her insider’s knowledge about how to spot valuable items. With a wealth of experience in the industry, Louise talks all things jewellery with SoGlos.

For more information, visit mallams.co.uk directly.


So, let’s cut to the chase, what exactly can indicate a valuable item of jewellery?

Origin is very important for jewellery that may be a good or rare example of its type, so items that have been inherited or acquired from an important family or estate can be of higher value.

The market for period and antique jewellery in good condition is especially strong at the moment, and iconic pieces by celebrated jewellery houses, such as Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels are particularly desirable at auction. Good news, if you find one of those in your jewellery box!


What other things should you look out for with jewellery?

The list is quite endless: precious metals including gold and platinum, rare gems and coveted diamonds of course all mean that you could have a valuable piece on your hands, as well as jewellery that’s currently in vogue. But, then again, some items may appear to be of low value, but can in fact by highly collectible or rare, and so we would suggest that anybody with jewellery or a collection of items should seek a professional valuation before dismissing it!

When is the best time of year to sell jewellery?

It really does depend on market trends and fashion. It’s important to keep up to date with these trends as this has a direct impact on saleable value and when might be the best time to sell a piece.


What is the most valuable item you have dealt with?

It was a gold and enamel pendant necklace in a fitted case by Liberty & Co. The client has inherited it from a Viscountess who was one of the first female MPs to be elected in the 1920s.

With research we were able to trace the design to Archibald Knox, incorporating the sinuous Celtic-inspired motifs that are typical of his work from c. 1900-1904. The necklace sold to a collector for £31,000 at our Oxford saleroom in December 2015, setting a world record for a piece of Knox-designed jewellery sold at auction.

And, whether or not we have a Knox in our collection, how would we go about getting our jewellery valued then?

It’s simple! We have offices in Cheltenham, Oxford, Burford and Abingdon which anyone can come along to. We can also come to your home to give advice about selling at auction.


For more information call (01242) 235712 or visit mallams.co.uk directly.

© SoGlos
Wednesday 20 June 2018

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