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Romanov Russia site: duplicates of “antique” pieces? Trustworthy?

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
1,055
Hi all,

I came upon a gorgeous pair of amethyst and demantoid earrings on Romanov Russia’s website, but remembered that somehow these look familiar...after some sleuthing, I found out that they sold a very similar pair a while back (slightly bigger with diff initials for maker). IMHO, finding two pairs of rare Siberian amethyst and demantoid earrings that look almost identical is like hen’s teeth.

Here are the links to each:


What makes me hesitate is that otherwise the two pairs of earrings are almost identical in type of setting, gold, etc. I would also say many of their other pieces have a similar “style” and feel and makes me question where the heck are they getting these pieces???

What do you all think? Real antiques or possible reproductions? Anyone bought from them before?
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,646
Well, the vendor does offer an unconditional guarantee as to authenticity, with lifetime return privilege for authenticity ... that policy makes me lean towards believing the items are as represented ... it has a Better Business Bureau score of A- ... however, if I were to purchase anything from Romanov Russia, likely I would try to obtain an appraisal and evaluation as to authenticity within a reasonable time after purchase.
 

PreRaphaelite

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
3,036
But fashionable people (and their jewellery) always existed within the zephyr of trend. It's reasonable to expect to find very similar styles of accessory in any given era, just as you'd find benches producing Tension settings or Mokume now, for example.

Also, sometimes designs get copied when it sells well.

I think they are legit. I've never bought from Romanov Russia, though. Just thinking out loud, really.
 
Last edited:

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 22, 2014
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5,289
I’m confident they are legitimate. They have been around a while and have beautiful items which from their quality photos and detailed descriptions are relatively easy to assess. Apart from it being illegal and fraudulent to misrepresent antique Russian hallmarks (they are a US based company not based somewhere away from the long arm of the law) it would be expensive and difficult to re create such fine workmanship. There’s a reason why antique Russian jewellery is revered, it’s exquisite.
 

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
7,571
I don’t know anything about them. I don’t doubt the settings, but as to the age of the stones, I usually have my questions for all such items. Not necessarily this company, but in general. It wouldn’t matter much to me, I would be more concerned about lack of treatment of the amethysts.
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
1,055
@Arkteia Thank you—I too wonder if the stones are original. They are often pristine across the website and especially for softer stones like amethyst to have survived 100+ years without any facet wear, either the pieces were hardly ever worn or replaced.
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 19, 2013
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3,577
I don’t know about the authenticity of RoR’s items or what paperwork they provide as proof
Nor that amethyst with demantoid is only a recent pairing choice
But I do think some Argentina pieces are put together nicely - some not so much, lol.
3B735039-F286-431F-9B7B-FD5DD598E1ED.jpeg
But I guess this horizontal gap between the center stone mounting and the halo could be considered ‘authentic period mfg method’ who knows? :roll:
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
3,577
likely I would try to obtain an appraisal and evaluation as to authenticity within a reasonable time after purchase.

Out of curiosity

I wonder if any of the PS approved appraisers that participate in this forum ever commented on their ability or willingness to differentiate between true antiques and the (well done) repros?
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
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Apr 10, 2017
Messages
1,055
“How likely is it that there is a steady source of massive gems and fine settings coming out of Russia now (after the Oligarchic Nineties). Somehow there are rich people selling off their heirlooms now? I don’t buy it.”

THIS. This is how I feel as well. Again, not trying to poo poo any online vendors without having seen the pieces in person. I just personally am doubtful when I see pristine pieces being put up by the same seller with similar stones (especially rare stone like alexandrite, etc) or similar degree of workmanship that look like they could have been made by the same bench.

Is it possible that sellers like Romanov Russia have exceedingly fortunate connections in order to acquire true antique Russian jewelry? Of course. But I agree that maybe odds are low in my humble opinion.

Part of me really wants to buy, but part of me says “if it’s too good to be true...”
 

ROMANOV RUSSIA LTD

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
4
Hi all,

I came upon a gorgeous pair of amethyst and demantoid earrings on Romanov Russia’s website, but remembered that somehow these look familiar...after some sleuthing, I found out that they sold a very similar pair a while back (slightly bigger with diff initials for maker). IMHO, finding two pairs of rare Siberian amethyst and demantoid earrings that look almost identical is like hen’s teeth.

Here are the links to each:


What makes me hesitate is that otherwise the two pairs of earrings are almost identical in type of setting, gold, etc. I would also say many of their other pieces have a similar “style” and feel and makes me question where the heck are they getting these pieces???

What do you all think? Real antiques or possible reproductions? Anyone bought from them before?

If you asked us directly via our website RomanovRussia.com, you would have received an immediate answer: These two pairs are different pairs. The design is typical for the period - a principal stone is surmounted by a smaller accent stone. Purple/green combination is also typical for late tsarist era Russian jewelry. One pair is set with extremely rare Siberian amethysts (11 ct + 11 ct). Russian amethysts of this quality and size are especially rare as a pair. This is the only pair of this size we have ever seen. The other pair has much smaller stones (3 ct + 3 ct) and is not as rare.
Although the settings look alike (as they come from the same period), these are different pairs of earrings, produced in different cities, with different assayers' initials.
As stated on the website, we unconditionally guarantee authenticity of every item we sell. We are the major experts in Russian antique jewelry and Faberge with over 25 years of experience.
 

ROMANOV RUSSIA LTD

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
4
“How likely is it that there is a steady source of massive gems and fine settings coming out of Russia now (after the Oligarchic Nineties). Somehow there are rich people selling off their heirlooms now? I don’t buy it.”

THIS. This is how I feel as well. Again, not trying to poo poo any online vendors without having seen the pieces in person. I just personally am doubtful when I see pristine pieces being put up by the same seller with similar stones (especially rare stone like alexandrite, etc) or similar degree of workmanship that look like they could have been made by the same bench.

Is it possible that sellers like Romanov Russia have exceedingly fortunate connections in order to acquire true antique Russian jewelry? Of course. But I agree that maybe odds are low in my humble opinion.

Part of me really wants to buy, but part of me says “if it’s too good to be true...”

Regarding pristine condition of antique stones: It is customary in this trade to re-polish scratched or chipped stones when needed.
 

LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 11, 2013
Messages
996
Regarding pristine condition of antique stones: It is customary in this trade to re-polish scratched or chipped stones when needed.

Note, you might want to wait before re-polishing stones as it can offer buyers a hint as to authenticity and age. Diamond (and sapphire) patina for example is very telling, and some customers prefer it. Your inventory is astonishingly beautiful, however.
 
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ROMANOV RUSSIA LTD

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
4
Note, you might want to wait before re-polishing stones as it can offer buyers a hint as to authenticity and age. Diamond (and sapphire) patina for example is very telling, and some customers prefer it. Your inventory is astonishingly beautiful, however.

Thank you for the compliment on our inventory. Patina is a result of material oxidation. Unlike metals and wood, gemstones (diamonds, sapphires, emeralds etc.) don't develop patina at all. They don't oxidise. When antique paintings or furniture are sold, most customers would prefer restored pieces. Same with antique jewelry. When you re-polish an old diamond or sapphire, the cut of the old stone remains intact. It's still an old cut stone but with refreshed surface as if you polish with wax an old wooden table. The polishing process doesn't make it new.
 

ROMANOV RUSSIA LTD

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
4
Note, you might want to wait before re-polishing stones as it can offer buyers a hint as to authenticity and age. Diamond (and sapphire) patina for example is very telling, and some customers prefer it. Your inventory is astonishingly beautiful, however.

The majority of antique jewelry dealers simply don't have access to gemstone cutters who are very rare these days. For instance, there is only one colored gems cutter in Chicago area. That's why we see a lot of badly worn old stones on the market. We don't re-polish every stone we sell, only when needed (it's mostly softer stones like emeralds or demantoids). That's why you wouldn't see any bruised stones (like on many other websites) on RomanovRussia.com
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
11,443
@Pinkmartini87 that's really nice the vendor replied
they do have beautiful things

One thing that would put me off asking such a question directly is once on an auction site i asked an overseas seller (UK based so i didn't know who they were ) if something was genuine - i asked politely- and i got such a rude reply I'll never ask any one directly that i don't know ever again
 

MjK1

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
361
If you asked us directly via our website RomanovRussia.com, you would have received an immediate answer: These two pairs are different pairs. The design is typical for the period - a principal stone is surmounted by a smaller accent stone. Purple/green combination is also typical for late tsarist era Russian jewelry. One pair is set with extremely rare Siberian amethysts (11 ct + 11 ct). Russian amethysts of this quality and size are especially rare as a pair. This is the only pair of this size we have ever seen. The other pair has much smaller stones (3 ct + 3 ct) and is not as rare.
Although the settings look alike (as they come from the same period), these are different pairs of earrings, produced in different cities, with different assayers' initials.
As stated on the website, we unconditionally guarantee authenticity of every item we sell. We are the major experts in Russian antique jewelry and Faberge with over 25 years of experience.

It may not have been your intent, but this reply sounds definitely snippy.
@Pinkmartini87 that's really nice the vendor replied
they do have beautiful things

One thing that would put me off asking such a question directly is once on an auction site i asked an overseas seller (UK based so i didn't know who they were ) if something was genuine - i asked politely- and i got such a rude reply I'll never ask any one directly that i don't know ever again

^ this.
 

LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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Mar 11, 2013
Messages
996
I think I used the word patina incorrectly. I meant to refer to the aged appearance of something that is used over time. I am one of the outliers on Pricescope who are okay with marks of wear on old stones (diamonds and sapphires) as long as they are minimal.
 

LilAlex

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
1,140
i asked an overseas seller (UK based so i didn't know who they were ) if something was genuine - i asked politely- and i got such a rude reply I'll never ask any one directly that i don't know ever again

The best defense is a good offense. They know what they are doing when they insult you. It's all part of the strategy. Clearly worked...
 
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