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.


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.

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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.