Vintage Jewellery- A great addition to your investment portfolio

ON Sunday 22nd January the Mail on Sunday ran a two page feature on why investing in vintage jewellery can be a winner for the investor and the wearer. In essence the feature suggests that over the last decade some vintage jewellery has risen in price by up to 80%. When compared to many other investments this is outstanding, even against the price of gold, which is volatile.
Art Deco continues to rise the fastest at the moment and features bold forms coming from France in the early part of the 20th century. These geometric designs are so popular that there has been a steep rise in price over the past for or five years.
The Belle Epoque era, being the late 1800s is also popular, the ‘Beautiful Era’ as it translates covers the period up to WW1 from 1871.  A time of affluence in Western Europe when platinum and gold with diamonds were mounted in lace like settings, giving the appearance of weightlessness. We have seen a rise of almost 90% in this type of jewellery, a £2000 item in 2006 being worth nearer £4000 today.
Other jewellery periods include the ‘Hollywood Glamour’ retro period from the 1030s to the 50s, including large cocktail rings or sculptural jewellery.
Designer names are always popular, Cartier, Chanel, Van Cleef and Arpels are the leading houses, and jewellery from these houses from any period is a worthwhile investment, although check authenticity as fakes are common. There is also a growing list of British designers, from the 1960s and 70s, including Andrew Grima, John Donald, and Stuart Devlin, designers that use jewellery to enhance sculpture rather than show off the precious stones. They would say they are creating ‘works of art’ rather than pieces of jewellery.
Part of their article also mentioned that those selling gold should beware of sending to online ‘gold dealers’ as rarely offering the best prices, and this is true of some pawnbrokers too. They suggest using a reputable independent jeweller that can be found on the National Association of Jewellers website, as they will invariably offer the best price.  Our sister company, Charles Hart ( based in Frome, Somerset have good advice on this subject and will often give the best price to purchase directly are on commission, and almost always outweigh other methods of selling ones jewellery, as they will often purchase it resell- not scrap!
They also suggest that you should make sure these items are adequately and properly insured, that means All Risks insurance. Do not rely on just your house insurance, rarely does this give you very much cover. Also, many insurers say you do not need a written valuation, but if you need to claim, they almost certainly will require some evidence of value and if you do not have this, then you may well lose out on your claim.  IF your items have not been valued for say ten years, the the above article should suggest that any vintage article could well be under insured by up to 50%.


Movie Vintage

The Heart of the Ocean of ‘Titanic’
Titanic with Kate Winslet wearing that necklace is probably one of the most iconic of necklaces worn in recent years. Titanic has been watched by millions of people raising over $2billion dollars, and this necklace, the Heart of the Ocean played an important role in the story. Supposedly the blue heart shaped diamond belonged to Louis XVI but was actually based on the Hope Diamond now on display in the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution donated by the jeweler Harry Winston, who sent it by regular US mail in a brown paper envelope. Of course in the film, the gem was only imitation. Asprey & Garrard made a copy using real gems. A sapphire measuring 170 carats, and 103 diamonds.





Peridot- the birthstone for August

August is around the corner, so if you wish to give someone a birthday gift, then their birthstone is Peridot. There is a lot of mythology attached to birthstones and whilst Peridot has been seen as the traditional stone for the month, Leos can also wear Diamond, Tourmaline and Ruby. So the choice is a little wider if olive greens are not the preferred option.
However, as peridot has officially been designated to be the stone for August, we will show that this stone has been around for a very long time. 1500-2000BC was the earliest record for the mining of the stone, and was connected very much to Egypt, and indeed in was thought that Cleopatra’s emeralds, were in fact- peridots, no tests in those days.

Most gems are formed in the Earth’s crust, with the exception of diamond and peridot, which are formed much deeper in the Earth’s mantle. Peridot is formed in magma about 20-55 miles deep and brought to the surface by volcanic or tectonic activity. The main source was known as Topazes Island, also known as St John’s Island in the Red Sea, only the stone may have originally been known as topaz. Oddly the exact location of the island was lost for several centuries and only rediscovered in 1905.  Today Burma, Pakistan, China, and the USA are main sources.

Peridot it has been said will protect the wearer from evil spirits, and was thought to cure asthma.

If you go to our other website, you may well find some vintage and pre-owned peridot items.


New Rolex Daytona launched

Rolex Release The New Cosmograph Daytona

Cosmograph Daytona
Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona

As expected, iconic Swiss watchmaker Rolex announced a myriad of new updates to their classic collections, including a perfected Datejust and a distinctive 40mm Air-King. However, it is the Cosmograph Daytona reference 116500LN, the new addition to Rolex’s collection, which has to be seen to be believed! The new stainless steel Daytona has been introduced as a replacement for the reference 116520, which was introduced in 2000 and was powered by Rolex’s first ever in-house chronograph movement, the caliber 4130.

Rolex have stayed true to the iconic model and it is remarkable to see just how similar the new Daytona is to the previous models in the collection. The 40mm 904L steel case, the polished centre links on the bracelet, the Superluminova hour markers and the caliber 4130 all remain, yet there is one distinctive feature that truly sets the new Daytona apart from its predecessors.

The Daytona is now presented with a black cerachrom bezel, and save for a few tweaks on the dial, this is the only development that the new Cosmograph Daytona has seen. It is also the reason why there has been so much hype and extensive publicity surrounding the timepiece. Although there can be no doubt that the new bezel will improve the durability of the Daytona no end, the fact that a relatively minor change to the watch has generated so much discussion can be attributed to Rolex’s exquisite brand management.


According to research conducted by the Reputation Institute, Rolex remains as the most reputable brand in the world, so it comes as no surprise that a modification to arguably their flagship collection has been met with universal acclaim.  The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona reference 116500LN will retail in the United Kingdom for £8,700. If you are wishing to purchase a Daytona Vintage, we can obtain a Rolex Daytona from around £10,000.00


Here is some more Rolex History……..


1953 Rolex Submariner ref.6204

 1953 Rolex Submariner ref.6204
1953 Rolex Submariner ref.6204

Continuing the innovative thought process that Rolex would become famous for, the watchmaker would again push the boundaries of water-resistant watches. 27 years after the release of the Oyster, they showcased the 1953 Submariner ref. 6204. Bearing the Oyster Perpetual inscription that is seen on all watches released by Rolex today, the 37mm Submariner was the world’s first watch to have water-resistant qualities of up to 100m.


Sporting a unidirectional bezel so divers could measure their immersion time, the Submariner would go on to become one of the world’s most recognised and emulated timepieces, and it would certainly be interesting to see how many Submariner clones there actually are!
Whilst there can be no disputing the fact that the 1953 Submariner was a great achievement by Rolex, it is quite amazing to see how quickly they progressed with their water-resistant watches, and by 1960 they were in fact reaching the lowest depths imaginable in the oceans of the world.





1960 Rolex Deep Sea Special

ROLEX Deep Sea Special 05
ROLEX Deep Sea Special

The deepest part of the ocean is referred to as Challenger Deep, which is a depression that can be found in the Mariana Trench in the Western Pacific Ocean. In 1960, a Swiss designed, Italian built manned vessel called the Bathyscaphe Trieste descended to the Challenger Deep and reached the maximum depth of 10,916 metres. However, the two men on board, US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard, were not completely alone during the expedition. Never missing an opportunity to showcase their expertise, Rolex attached a specially built “Deep Sea Special” to the outside of the Trieste, and it returned, along with the men, in perfect working order.
The Rolex Deep Sea Special that reached the deepest point of the world’s ocean was actually in fact the third model produced by Rolex. Throughout the 1950s, Rolex were conducting rigorous tests on experimental Deep Sea Specials, and they used the results to perfect their production process that resulted in the now world famous Deep Sea Special that accompanied Walsh and Piccard. Until 2012, this was the only manned dive to the deepest point in the Earth’s oceans.



2012 Rolex Deepsea Challenge

2012 rolex deepsea challenge
2012 Rolex Deepsea Challenge

In an expedition that echoed the 1960 voyage to the depths of the ocean, film director James Cameron became the first person to descend to Challenger Deep on a solo mission. Cameron, who is known for his record-breaking films Titanic and Avatar, undertook the historic “Deepsea Challenge” expedition in 2012, and like Walsh and Piccard before him, he too was accompanied by a specially designed Rolex. This time, the watch was christened the “Rolex Deepsea Challenge”.
The Rolex Deepsea Challenge, that was waterproofed to a staggering depth of 12,000m, took its name from historical factors that paid homage to Rolex’s diving legacy, such as the 1960 Deep Sea Special and the 2008 Rolex Deepsea, and the name of James Cameron’s expedition of the Mariana Trench. The watch was an even bigger technical achievement when you consider that it was designed, engineered, manufactured and tested in just over 4 weeks. For example, just 17 days before Cameron set off for the Challenger Deep, Rolex were testing the Deepsea Challenge in their hyperbaric tank that is capable of creating pressure that would theoretically be experienced at 15,000m, deeper than any point in the Earth’s oceans. The 51mm watch, which set a record as the deepest diving watch in the world, was attached to the robotic manipulator arm of Cameron’s submersible, and as you might expect it emerged in fully working order at the end of the expedition, which confirmed Rolex as the leading watchmaker in waterproofness.


2014 Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller

2014 Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller
2014 Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller

James Cameron would go on to produce the 3D film “Deepsea Challenge 3D” in 2014 that documented his journey down to the Challenger Deep, and to commemorate both the release of the film and the expedition itself, Rolex released a special Deepsea Sea-Dweller timepiece.
Whilst the majority of the specifications are identical to that of the existing Deepsea Sea-Dweller, there are a few notable innovations that can be seen on this 44mm watch. The dial is a visual representation of the depths of the ocean, as it changes on a gradient from a dark blue to black, with the lowest points of the ocean being devoid of any light whatsoever. Rolex also added a “Deepsea” insignia on the dial in chartreuse, a shade of luminous green, which was the colour of Cameron’s submersible.


Diamond- THE birthstone for April!


The word diamond is thought to originate from the Greek word agamas- means invincible.


Thought to date back to biblical times when priests would wear twelve gemstones on his breastplate and these became associated with the zodiac and the months that this represented, and this started a tradition of wearing one’s birthdate to bring luck to the wearer and derive its greatest benefit, and many would then wear this stone in jewellery for the entire year, and a tradition still strong in with today’s jewellery wearers.
However it was not until 1912 when a list was created by the American Jewellers Association and this list would show various stones that could or should be worn by those born in any particular month. A little controversial as many did not agree with their findings, but it seems to have now been widely accepted.

The Birthstone for April

As told through the Encarta, Sanskrit texts dating back before 400 B.C. found that people associated significant value and wonderment with crystals. There is also significant research dating back to 1330 showing diamond cutting in Venice. The diamond trading business flourished towards the 15th century with the opening of Eastern trade routes.

Ancient theories touting the magical powers of diamonds were prevalent: some thought lightning bolts formed diamonds, while other theories asserted that diamonds were the tears of god. In the Middle Ages it was thought that diamonds held special healing powers stemming from the pituitary gland and the brain. By hearing the crystals and taking to one’s bed it was thought that this would draw out any harmful toxins. It was also thought that the powers could help one’s balance and boost energy.

But mostly it is thought that a diamond is the king of all jewels, and once given it is ‘forever’ and fosters a long a loving relationship



Rising demand for coloured gemstones

There has been a surge in demand for coloured gemstones prompting rapidly rising prices, according to Bonhams.

The auction house said sapphires have seen a particular rise in popularity, with consumers purchasing sapphire engagement and wedding rings. Bonhams said its clients are looking for something “a little bit different” from a diamond engagement ring.

It said classic diamonds remain popular, but there is a growing trend for people choosing coloured ‘statement stones’ like sapphires, rubies and emeralds.

Sapphires, which come in a variety of colours including pink and yellow, are in demand from serious jewellery collectors and investors, meaning the stones are experiencing increases in their value.

This has demand has been helped by celebrities such as Hollywood actor Javier Bardem – who presented a 3-carat sapphire ring to actress Penelope Cruz – and Victoria Beckham, who has added a large oval cut sapphire to her collection of engagement rings.

Traditionally, sapphires symbolise truth, sincerity and faithfulness – so they make the perfect ingredients for an upcoming marriage.

Bonhams said part of the growing interest in coloured stones is due to the renewed supply of material along with rejuvenated mining activities in traditional areas. While the older material typically achieves the higher prices at auction, the auction house reports the price for new material is also increasing.

It said it is seeing “superb” examples of coloured stones coming on to the market due to the rising demand, with new mines opening in countries such as Mozambique, Madagascar and Zambia.

Examples of price increases at auction include the recent sale of a pair of 19th Century earrings set with Kashmir sapphires – which previously belonged to a European princess – and weighing a little less than 8-carats, each sold for £1,538,500. The price was more than triple its pre-sale estimate of £500,000.



Emerald cut diamond rings

We at Vintage Tom have today purchased a most beautiful gem ring set with an almost perfect diamond. The stone, set into a platinum setting is an emerald cut. That is a stone which is also known as a step cut and has a broad flat plane with truncated corners.  It resembles stair steps when viewed from above  and has 57 facets, 25 on the crown and 32 on the pavilion.

Its true that an emerald cut does not have the brilliance of a round brilliant cut diamond the broad flat plane of the stone does highlight its clarity. Therefore it is usually the better stones that are cut this way, and this is an exceptional example of just how an emerald cut diamond should look.

The history of this cut  has been traced back some 500 years, but it is the Art Deco period that saw it first used in commercially available pieces. It was called the emerald cut as stone cutters were used to cutting emeralds in this fashion. They liked to cut emeralds in this fashion as it would lessen the pressure on the stone.

see full details on



Just in- A 2015 model Omega Seamaster watch


OMEGA’s sporty Seamaster collection is a tribute to the brand’s maritime legacy. This exquisite example of our renowned watchmaking pays homage to OMEGA’s dive watch heritage and our adventurous pioneering spirit.

This model features a black dial with a date window at the 3 o’clock position. The distinctive dial is visible through a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The black ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel is mounted on a 41 mm stainless steel case with a helium-escape valve at 10 o’clock.

The watch is presented on a stainless steel bracelet. This OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M is powered by the Co-Axial calibre 2500.