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HELP antique vintage broach on Ebay European cut diamonds

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JohnClovin

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Please help...I am clueless. My wife found this broach on Ebay and the seller is local. We looked at it last night under a loupe and the diamonds are very cool european cut and the turquoise is about 2 inches long. The problem is I do not have any idea how much something like this should be? I do not want to overpay and the seller has a make offer button. PLEASE PLEASE HELP! The gold is 14k but she said it might be 18k. It looks 18K.
 

JohnClovin

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I tried to attach a pic but can''t....It is under vintage diamond European turquoise broach if you want to pull it up and look at it on Ebay. Thank you!
 

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
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Is this it?

Sorry, I have no idea how you would price something like this. Hopefully someone else on here will have some advice for you.

turquoise broach.jpg
 

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
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Oh, that was small. Hopefully, this one shows up larger:

As far as pricing, I think I''d try to find something similar elsewhere. What they are asking does seem quite high, but that is just me guessing. I''m no expert.

a turq broach.jpg
 

JohnClovin

Rough_Rock
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THANK YOU for posting the picture. I couldn''t for some reason. There are 1.70 carat of diamonds and they are white and bright.
 

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
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I noticed that she listed the time period as 1800's. Did she say how she knows this?

Also, I think there are 36 diamonds total, so that would make them .05 a piece, right?

Do you think the seller would allow an independent appraisal?
 

JohnClovin

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She is very nice and local so I do not thing she would mind. What period is your guess? I think she was going off the cut of the diamonds. European with HUGE culets.
 

Loves Vintage

Ideal_Rock
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I really can't say because I simply do not know enough, but it seems much more modern, like the mid-1900s??? But, please take this with a grain of salt. This is just an uneducated guess on my part. I am really hoping an expert will chime in soon!!

Maybe oldmancoyote will be able to shed some light? I've only seen him post in Jewelry Pieces, so I will try "paging" him there.
 

glitterata

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To guess the age of the piece, you need to look at the back. Here's a direct link to the listing.

The back has the right pin hinge and clasp for the 1890s-1910s. I can't tell how the diamonds are cut from the picture--it's not big enough--but if you saw it in person and are satisfied that they're old, that's another vote in favor. However, I've never seen a brooch that big from that period set with veined turquoise like that. Turquoise was popular at various points in the 19th century, but usually it was small round cabochons of unveined "Persian" turquoise; if they wanted to cover a large area they would do a sort of turquoise pave.

The diamond brooch frame is the right size and shape to have held a painted portrait, a hairwork memento, or a photograph under glass. It's possible a picture or hairwork was removed and replaced with the turquoise, maybe sometime in the 1950s-60s when that stone was popular. That would be my guess, though of course I could be wrong.

The price seems high to me, but it's really about what you feel it's worth.
 

oldmancoyote

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Why ask for a Coyote when you have a Glitterata to help?


I agree; very typical late 1800s baskets on the diamonds, too - I''d also add that the turquoise is not the best I''ve seen, and it seems fairly expensive for what it is (she''s basically pricing the diamonds at $1000/carat - which is fine for new stones of that spec/size, but not for an estate piece). As far as making an offer goes, do you have another eBay ID you can use? I''d test the waters making a fairly cheeky offer (-40%?) and see where you go from there; if there is an automated limit/reserve price on offers, you''ll see pretty quickly where you stand.
 

JohnClovin

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Thank you so much for your help. If i might ask...and I know this is a personal question as value is in the eye of the beholder on these things but what is a fair selling and buying price for something like this. It is very unique from what we have seen but I want to be fair to both parties. I am glad to hear the time-frame seems to be right.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/25/2009 11:04:04 AM
Author: JohnClovin
She is very nice and local so I do not thing she would mind. What period is your guess? I think she was going off the cut of the diamonds. European with HUGE culets.
John have you actually seen this broach? I''ve blown up the photos until they''re huge and there''s no way I could see the cut of the diamonds. What I could see what that there are some that are not the best in terms of clarity or colour.

IMVHO the broach is extremely overpriced. However a piece of jewellery is only worth what somebody is willing to buy it for! If you do go ahead I would urge you to make sure that a full refund will be made if the item has been misrepresented in any way. The buyer herself says she doesn''t know anything about Turquoise and that would ring alarm bells with me.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
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I''d want to know that the turquoise was real.

The man-made stuff can be incredibly realistic - but is worth next to nothing.
 

JohnClovin

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I saw this in person. My jeweler verified the diamonds as real and the turquoise and gold too. i looked at the diamonds under a loupe and most of them are SI1 or Si2 and VERY white. The broach is a bit dirty so maybe this is what you see in the photo? The seller is local. The diamonds all have huge culets and very steep crowns. How much would you pay? 1100.00? Still too much?
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/25/2009 3:45:39 PM
Author: JohnClovin
I saw this in person. My jeweler verified the diamonds as real and the turquoise and gold too. i looked at the diamonds under a loupe and most of them are SI1 or Si2 and VERY white. The broach is a bit dirty so maybe this is what you see in the photo? The seller is local. The diamonds all have huge culets and very steep crowns. How much would you pay? 1100.00? Still too much?
Why don''t you ask your jeweller? If he/she has seen this piece in person then they''re the best person to ask. Did they test to make sure the Turquoise is real and not synthetic?
 

JohnClovin

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My jeweler seemed hesitant to make any comments about value. He did not seem to know much about the turquiose but he did have all the info on the diamonds. Is there a test for turquoise? He said "in his opinion" everything seemed to check out as genuine and stated correctly.
 

oldmancoyote

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Aug 22, 2008
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A pretty simple test for plastic/resin reconstituted turquoise (apart from the fact that it will feel warm to the touch) is a red hot needle - it will mark the plastic but not the stone, and it will smell of burnt plastic if it is! However if it is dyed turquoise to enhance the colour, or turquoise-like ceramic (Gilson), or a.n. other turquoise simulant (e.g. dyed fossil bone), it''s tougher to suggest fool-proof tests that can be done without a lab and/or a lot of experience in handling real turquoise.

I think you should try to discount the turquoise from the equation - focus on the gold and the diamonds, how much could they be worth? Would your jeweller be prepared to give you an idea of that? Then count the turquoise as a bonus if it is genuine.

To get an idea of how much it could cost (the turquoise), take a look here: http://www.cabbers.com/cabs/turquoise/index.shtml - pick the stone set that looks the most like the one in the brooch to get an idea of price per carat.
 

JohnClovin

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Funny, but I did remember the turquoise feeling really cold like my granite counter top. Thank you for the link to the turquoise.
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
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I agree about discounting the value of the turquoise and offering what you feel the gold and diamonds are worth, with perhaps a little extra thrown in for the visual appeal of the piece.

If I''m right that the turquoise is a replacement for some earlier centerpiece, then that destroys the value of the brooch as an antique. So any value it retains is in the materials, workmanship, and visual appeal.
 

JohnClovin

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How would a person know for sure if the turquoise is original to the piece or if it came after? I would love for it to have the antique value as well. Thanks!
 

glitterata

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An appraiser with a lot of experience with antiques from that period might be able to tell. A jeweler might be able to tell whether the setting has been reworked to hold a new center piece. And someone who knows enough about the history of turquoise might be able to tell whether stones like that were available during that period.
 

oldmancoyote

Brilliant_Rock
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As Glitterata says, it all boils down to expertise. Unfortunately, for a piece of this type, the cost of the required expertise is likely to be disproportionate to the value of the item.

There is one pending offer with three days to go. If it''s yours, leave it at that, and get back to the seller if the item isn''t sold at the end of the auction. If it is not yours, put an offer in and get back in touch with the seller; the fact that you are local may count for something - I wouldn''t go very high on this type of thing, but I can understand your wife falling in love with it.
 

oldmancoyote

Brilliant_Rock
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John - any updates?

In my endless browsing, I found this. It's nothing to do with your brooch except that it has a largish (and to my eyes nicer) turquoise in the middle, and about 1/3 of the diamond content (plus significantly more gold), so it can be useful as a comparison. Bear in mind that small melee (0.1 ct and less) in G-H VS would be about $800/ct retail. Also, I would not expect a semi-private seller on eBay to have the same prices as a "full blown" business in the diamond district.

Hope this helps. Let us know how you get on.

ETA: seller relisted piece as chrysocolla. Kudos to her for honesty and clarity. On the other hand, it does solve the problem of the value of the centre stone.
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
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I too strongly suspect this piece is an example of a marriage as well. The frame for the brooch is very like what often had portraits set in it, or a mourning piece (hair under glass etc), or something like that. A big hunk of veined turquoise like this is nothing I''ve ever seen in a brooch from that time period. The veined turquiose is something that was wayyy more common in the 1960s/''70s.

Many, many, many estate items were altered over the years. Some well, some not so well.
 

JohnClovin

Rough_Rock
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The seller took the piece to a dealer who deals only in vintage items. The time frame is late 1800''s as she previously listed. She seems to know a lot about diamonds but not familiar with other uncommon stones. She said it was bothering her because the turquoise did not look like any other she had seen and she did not want to mislead anyone. The center stone is original to the brooch and it is 18k gold. (according to the vintage dealer) The center is a stone called chrysocolla (sp?).
This seems to make more sense as the turquoise seemed to be throwing everyone off. I admit it did look like turquoise to me too. I guess it is a common mistake. I will let you know how it turns out.
 
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