What it's Worth

Things change. We know that. Times change and tastes change. Sometimes we are ahead of the curve (we recognized the beauty and funkiness of old cut euro and old mine diamonds back in the ’80s) and sometimes we are behind the curve.

While not quite blindsided by the mid-century modern craze that started over 15 years ago, we were not ready for just how HOT this stuff is.

Jade valuation is determined by many factors — technical, aesthetic, scientific and historical. Jade has been used for millennia as adornment as well as for utilitarian purposes, such as cups, saucers, and buckles. Ancient pieces of jade were repurposed centuries later as jewelry. It comes in many forms, including jadeite and nephrite.

A Roanoke, Virginia jeweler, knowing our love of Art Deco, sold us this exceptional, convertible Art Deco French hallmark 18 K gold pin. It’s encrusted with diamonds on both ends and in the middle, and has a removable cut-glass ribbon design that can be changed out with other gemstones to match any outfit. We paid than less than $2,000 (gold value is $200), and contemplated having our cutter cut black jade and blue lapis lazuli stones for the piece - or selling it as is. 

Jade is difficult to understand, and values fluctuate wildly – from $3 to thousands per carat. For years, we were not able to master this multilayered gem with so many uses, definitions and colors. 

Jade valuation is determined by many factors — some technical, some aesthetic, some scientific and some historical. Jade has been used for millennia as adornment as well as for utilitarian purposes, such as cups, saucers and buckles. Many ancient pieces of jade were repurposed in the 1880s and 1890s as jewelry. It comes in many forms, including jadeite — the finest form — and nephrite. 

While we are known as Tampa Bay’s luxury watch specialists, we also obviously love fine vintage estate pieces.

Many estate jewelers and fine and decorative arts dealers, like our sister company Hess Fine Art, often tout and aspire to own items made by, sold or manufactured for the “big two” – Cartier and Tiffany.

Micromosaic art has been around for centuries. Its heyday was between the 1870s and 1920s when some extraordinary pieces were made. Every piece here is in our current inventory at Old Northeast. 

Micromosaic is an ancient art that is painstakingly crafted by hand with tiny pieces of glass called tesserae. All these creations were purchased by us in the last seven days. 

In the 1940s and ’50s, Taxco, Mexico, became the hub for national silver arts as well as for Americans who went to live, work and create in what is arguably one of the arts and crafts meccas of the world. 

Crystals such as these are some of the most misunderstood non-gemstones in the world. This unusual art form made from glass crystals hollowed out and reverse-painted is known as Essex Crystals. 

The Times wanted me to come up with something clever for Thanksgiving week, but this is all I could come up with. Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. Did you know that many rare gemstones are uniquely American as well? (See what I did there? O.K., not that clever, I get it.) Our national colors of red, white and blue are also found in the ground itself – in the soil and rivers all over the U.S.