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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A SPECIAL GREETING TO ALL WHO FOLLOW THIS SHERMAN JEWELRY BLOG: THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS

It's been hectic the past few weeks with lots of sales of my Sherman jewelry which has left my site at SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE looking a bit ragged. So much has sold and I've had no time to update the site and add all the wonderful new pieces that have arrived. I have the best intentions of getting that site back up to date over the Christmas period, but if you can't wait that long ie. if you still have money to spend and want some Sherman, please visit our SHOP AT RUBY LANE for the latest additions to the collection.

And BOXING WEEK SALES start December 27th. We're open to offers on all our regular priced Shermans. So why not try your offer?

In the meantime, I'd like to extend warmest seasons greetings to all who follow this blog and I also invite you to enjoy the video posted here. It's called THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS and is a video I put together for our family back in 2006, starring members of our family and other people we don't know, like our military spending Christmas far from their homes. As the video, plays, please keep your speakers on so you can enjoy a little known Christmas song, called THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS. It was written by one of my songwriter friends, Billy Morgan, and is performed by my daughter and partner at Ruby Lane, VICTORIA BOLAND. When Victoria is not helping me with jewelry, she's onstage somewhere in the world as a singer/songwriter, entertainer and tribute artist.

We hope you enjoy THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS. All the best to all who read this blog!


video

Friday, November 28, 2008

EXTRA WIDE SHERMAN BRACELET IS ONE FOR SHERMAN COLLECTORS


Have you been trying to find one of those extra-wide Sherman bracelets that are so hard to find? I sure have! I've been looking for over a year, watching and losing ebay auctions, searching websites and feeling defeated because the prices were always more than I could afford, and ultimately giving up on the idea that I'd ever acquire one of the "biggies". Then I found this one! It still cost me a pretty penny but at least I didn't have to pay in US dollars as is usually the case on ebay, and with the huge difference in the US and Canadian dollar, well quite honestly buying Sherman on ebay is becoming more expensive than ever! But more about that below...

If you follow this blog, you've seen me refer to Valerie Hammond, author of "All That Glitters" on several occasions. Valerie states that Sherman bracelets were not made in the same abundance as his other pieces of jewelry. If that is so, then all Sherman bracelets are highly collectible, regardless of color (nice for a change!). But then, even more collectible are the wide Sherman bracelets like this one.

This "Jewel of Excellence" by Sherman features the hidden clasp (as shown on the left), and is a full 1 1/4" wide. It's comprised of 7 rows of glittering Swarovski crystals: 3 rows of aurora borealis marquise cuts alternate with smoke grey or charcoal round-cut stones. It's a marvellous piece of work and looks just fabulous despite a good deal of wear to the AB wash on those marquise stones. The glitter is still totally incredible.

Any by the way, dare I tell you that this signed Sherman wide bracelet also weighs over 55 grams! Yes, you'll definitely notice it when you're wearing it and so will everyone else!

This extra-wide Sherman bracelet is available in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE now and if you order before December 15th, you'll get it in time to wear at Christmas or on New Year's Eve. Just click the photos above to go there now.

Speaking of purchasing Sherman jewelry, whether on ebay or on private sites like SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE or OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE, I'm often asked why I don't list my Shermans in Canadian dollars since most buyers of Sherman are Canadian. By way of explanation, in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE, we cannot list in 2 currencies. We have to choose either the US or Canadian dollar for all items at once. Since the majority of our buyers are American and we also have buyers from around the world, it's easier for most of our buyers to work in US dollars. From a personal viewpoint, I'm often quite uncomfortable when one of my Sherman buyers needs me to give them the price in Canadian dollars: it seems so much higher. But if you are going to shop online, I think it's something you have to live with while currencies are so out of line with each other. I know... I hate it too when I buy items in US dollars. It can be brutal.

But I bring this up now for those buying Sherman on eBay. It's a favourite place for collectors to buy Sherman but as you bid higher and higher, unless the seller has listed that item in Canadian dollars, you need to keep the exchange in mind. This past week I saw a Siam red set of bracelet, earrings and brooch go for just over $900 US on ebay. But when you do the maths, that was well over $1100 CAD!! That might not matter just now, but if you ever decide to sell that Sherman and the currencies have come closer together as they were some months back, you might not be able to get the same money in Canadian dollars that you paid now. At least, when you buy your Sherman from a non-auction seller, such as OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE, at least you're not being bumped higher and higher and just maybe too high in the long run. Think about it!

Why not slip over and see that bracelet above now. It most likely will cost you much more on ebay. And while you're there, take a look at some of the other gorgeous Shermans we carry.

"Black Friday" is over and "Cyber Monday" is just ahead. We're ready for you to visit us on Cyber Monday, December 1st, and everyday after until your Christmas shopping is done: we're listening to your offers, on Shermans and other items. So come visit and make an offer now!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

RARE SHERMAN SIGNATURE ON THIS SHERMAN BRACELET

When I first acquired this Sherman bracelet, I was thrilled with how lovely and unique it was. Then I turned it over and looked at the signature. My face flushed. My blood pressure shot up. Oh no! Had I been duped? Had someone sold me a Sherman with a counterfeit signature?

My concern was prompted by a couple of very noticeable things about the signature. For one, it was cut off! That's right. The signature was missing the "an" at the end of the name. Secondly, the slant on the signature seemed wrong: it was too upright. Most of the Sherman script signatures I've seen are slanted strongly to the right. Thirdly, the capital "S" in the signature didn't extend as far over the remaining letters as it usually does. Take a look at the photo below to see what I mean. It shows 3 pieces of my Shermans with their signatures. The difference is noticeable:

The signature closest to the top is from the bracelet I'm describing. The other two are from other Shermans. The differences are obvious.

Of course, I panicked. But then I slowed down and started to compare other elements of this Sherman bracelet: the silver rhodium-plate backing, the clarity and quality of the crystals, and the clasp itself. I'd seen that identical clasp on many older Shermans. So I got busy looking up Sherman signatures on the net. Lo and behold, I did come across the same kind of signature listed as a sample of Sherman's signature. It was more upright, the "S" didn't go as far over the letters and it even looked kind of shaky. I could only draw one conclusion: my bracelet is one of the very early Shermans stamped before the signature was perfected or the actual script of the signature perfected. The fact that the last 2 letters were missing might be indicative of wearing from age, or just improper placement on the clasp. If all that were true, I was holding an even more collectible Sherman bracelet from a historical point of view, not to mention that it is downright pretty!

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else who may have come across this type of signature on other Sherman pieces. And if you are interested in adding this beautiful figure 8 design Sherman to your collection, you can buy it now from my SHOP AT RUBY LANE for only $150.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

SHERMAN SALES STILL HOT .. AT LEAST ON EBAY!


Tonight, in my other blog at THE VINTAGE JEWELRY BLOGGER, I got talking about how difficult those selling designer vintage jewelry are finding sales lately. After all, this is the time of year that sales of glitzy rhinestones start going through the roof as everyone brings out the glittery adornments for those festive get-togethers. Yet, I'm finding many of my sales associates are struggling to get sales, so much so that some are selling off huge lots of lovingly collected designer vintage jewelry on ebay, meaning they often get $5 - $10 a piece that way for items that might have cost them 10 times that.

But that doesn't seem to apply to Sherman Jewelry, at least not if you go by sales on eBay lately. Take that rigid cuff bracelet set shown here. Just for the heck of it, I took a look at recently completed sales, beginning with the highest, and that set above came at the top of the list. It sold for $922.65!! I tell you, I'm floored every time I see designer vintage jewelry which after all, doesn't use real gemstones or precious metals, fetching prices like this! Why I just sold an incredible diamond/sapphire 14k gold necklace recently appraised at over $4400 CAD to a lady in Greece for $900 US. Now that I understand. We're talking diamonds and sapphires, not crystals and gold plate! And yet, that's the value of Sherman for some people: it's more valuable than gold, silver, diamonds and gemstones.

And that's why the message of this post is that Sherman sales are still hot. Even when other designer vintage is suffering some setbacks, Sherman isn't. And what's selling? As always, bracelets, especially cuff bracelets like the one above. Secondly, sets. Sherman collectors want sets i.e. necklaces with earrings, brooches with earrings, or better yet, full parures i.e. those having necklace, earrings, brooch and bracelet. Of course, those are the hardest to find.

That's why my mission for the balance of this year and over 2009, will be to acquire as many Sherman sets as I can find and afford. Those readers who haven't visited my SHOP AT RUBY LANE may not yet have seen this incredible faux alexandrite 3-piece parure below:


That's the same set in both photos. Being faux alexandrite, it's blue/green/mauve in one photo and fully mauve in the other. This set is magnificent, with semi-rigid bracelet, earrings and a most unusual brooch to round out the parure. Click the photos above to see more views in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE.

We have some other recently added, exquisite necklace/earring sets in that shop as well. Why not slip over now and take a look around. Some are even on "Clearance" right now so you can pick yourself up a bargain. As temps cool down, one thing is certain: Sherman is still hot!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

INTERESTED IN BUYING SHERMAN & OTHER DESIGNER VINTAGE & GOLD JEWELRY

I'm keeping today's blog short as I have way too much to do, but this post was prompted by having someone contact me yesterday asking for advice about selling Sherman jewellery i.e. how much could they get etc. etc. As usual, this is such a difficult question to answer as so many factors are involved:

1) what is the condition of the set, front and back i.e. wear to plating, loose or replaced stones, repairs if any?

2) what color is it? Is it one of the popular ones ie. siam red, fuschia, purple?

3) is it a single piece, 2-piece set, 3-piece set

4) is it an original set and not a marriage of similar pieces

5) is it signed "Sherman" on all pieces

6) is the design a common one or rarely seen?

These are all the considerations a buyer will make. But there's more. Selling a Sherman or any designer piece and what you'll get for it, depends on the buyer. Why do buyers want Sherman? Are they collectors, wearers or sellers? A collector might be willing to buy your Sherman for more money than a seller will. A seller always has to keep cost in mind. If they pay too much, they may not be able to recoup their investment. If they cater to a wealthy area of a city where folks are prepared to pay more, that seller can take a bigger risk on buying from you. If the seller regularly displays and sells at shows, they can generally get more for a piece than someone who doesn't. All these factors will be a part of what a seller will offer you as opposed to what a collector might pay for your designer vintage jewellery.

In the end, of course, it's your decision to accept what a buyer offers you. If this piece has been in the family for some time and didn't cost you anything to start with as it was handed down or was a gift or whatever, then you will most likely to be happy to accept a reasonable offer ... and you should. If it's a piece that you paid a lot for, then obviously you need to recoup your investment. In that case, scour the net. Visit sites like ebay and see what comparable pieces are selling for. Search for sites selling Sherman Jewellery and see what price is being asked. Bear one thing in mind: a seller can ask what they like. It doesn't mean they'll get it LOL! Many a time I've sold a Sherman for a mere $10 profit. Other times I get lucky and make double what I paid. It always comes back to the buyer and what they feel a piece is worth to them.

And on that note, since more people are contacting me lately asking if I'm interested in buying their Shermans, the answer is a resounding "YES!". I'm always keen to buy Shermans in good to excellent condition. If you can send me some photos, I'll tell you what I'm prepared to pay. I don't lowball but I do have to always keep in mind what I think I can get for the piece. After all, I'm in business to make a profit, even if it's only a small one. If you'd like me to look at what you have, whether it's Sherman, Weiss, Kramer, Juliana, D&E, Schreiner, Miriam Haskell, Antique, Victorian, Art Deco or gold of any vintage, contact me either via MY SHOP AT RUBY LANE or my sites at SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE or VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOWCASE.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

WOULD YOU PAY THIS MUCH FOR THIS SHERMAN?


There's a Sherman choker currently listed on eBay with a "buy it now" price I find a little hard to believe. You can take a look at it HERE. The reason I'm having trouble with the seller's asking price of $275 CAD or best offer is that I am selling the exact same Sherman choker shown on the right from my SHOP AT RUBY LANE for only $95 including Free Insured Shipping! So which one of us is missing something here? Am I, in my usual way, asking too little for a Sherman or is that eBay seller asking too much?

You know I'm finding it harder and harder to price Shermans these days. When it comes to the Siam red Shermans, you know the price is going to be sky-high, whether you're trying to win it on ebay or just trying to buy one. And I sometimes think that each such auction just pumps the prices of Shermans up and up so that sooner or later, like the stock market, there'll be a bubble and when it bursts, watch out for the fallout!

Everyday new people are writing to me asking about Shermans. They're in love with the designer, want to collect but like anything one collects, you still have to be careful to not overpay. Maybe it won't matter today if all you're doing is collecting, but if for some reason, tomorrow you have to sell a piece, it sure can hurt if you overpaid in the first place. I had that experience just recently when I listed the lovely book piece necklace shown below on Ebay and foolishly started

the bidding at $9.95. Never did I dream that the most anyone would bid for this beauty was $37. To my horror, I watched myself lose over $60 on this one because I had obviously overpaid it when I bought it. It was my first Sherman purchase and I was thrilled to later find it listed in Valerie Hammond's "All that Glitters" book. Valerie put a price on it of $195 - $225. I congratulated myself for buying it for only $110. Later, I listed it on my site at SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE and also in MY SHOP AT RUBY LANE. Months went by and no-one bought it. I kept dropping the price till it was listed at what I'd paid and still no takers. So I sent it to eBay. The rest is history.

I'll never understand why a lovely necklace like that garnered so few bids. I'll never understand why a Sherman authority valued it for twice what I paid and 5 times what my winning bidder paid. But there's a moral in all this: when you're buying Sherman or any collectible designer vintage jewelry, shop around. Get savvy before you start buying up. Watch ebay auctions. Visit websites selling Shermans. Compare prices. Only then will you know whether you would or should pay this or that for a particular Sherman.

Friday, October 10, 2008

NEW ADDITIONS TO OUR SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE

We've had a huge run on the jewelry we have for sale in our SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE and in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE over the past few weeks and suddenly I find my stock seriously depleted. Now mind you, that's not a complaint, but it's suddenly put the heat on me to get some more Shermans pronto and unfortunately, I haven't seen too many lately that I'd want to invest in.

But I have managed to score a few more lovely pieces and want to invite you to take a look at them at THIS LINK. I haven't even had time to upload some of these to our Ruby Lane shop or set prices on others but I'll be getting around to it next week.

In the meantime, I just have to tell you about that magnificent set shown in the photo above. I've often found that too many Shermans out there have the same design but in different colors. So it sure was nice to acquire this incredible set with what I call its "overlap" design. Just how different is that! I've never seen one like this and we snapped it up as fast as we could. You can see more photos of it in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE. However, if you think this is one you'd like to have, the bad news for you is it's already sold!! Yes, this was our second fastest sale and it went to the same lady who snapped up that red glass crystal parure that was our fastest sale about 2 weeks ago. This is one lady who knows what she wants and acts on it. Truly, that's the way to go when you find a piece that you know is unique and worth collecting. If you don't act quickly, you can bet while you're thinking "should I or shouldn't I?" someone else is putting through their order.

So sorry it's too late for you to buy this gem but check out THIS LINK to see what else is new and available and contact us via our SHOP AT RUBY LANE or the CONTACT LINK at SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE before someone else does!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

SHERMANS ON AUCTION AT EBAY THIS WEEK


I've given up! Well at least for now. I've given trying to score Siam red Sherman jewelry at Ebay auctions. I watched another set this week. This time it was the necklace/earring demi shown on the left. I bid all the way to $351.99 and was the high bidder till the last 3 seconds when it went for $356.99. That does it for me. These Siam red Shermans are just going through the roof! So I've given up trying to get one for now. But it's okay because I've been buying up a storm of vintage designer jewelry lately and my Visa account is taking a beating. So maybe it's just as well.



So on that note, because I need some dollars to pay some bills, I've got a couple more pieces of my beloved Shermans up for auction myself this week and want to tell you about them. They could be gone by the time you read this as they finish on Thursday night, October 9. The bidding has already opened on the gorgeous blue aurora borealis brooch/earring set shown on the right. If you click the photo, you can go straight to the auction. This set is pristine! All the stones are original and clear and glitter like crazy. The back of both the earrings and the brooch is shiny silver and looks as if it were never worn. Definitely one you will be happy to add to your Sherman collection.


The outstanding two-tone green demi above is my other ebay auction this week. This one's a real beauty and the colors are lovely with the light green contrasting the dark green pear-shaped drops in the necklace and earrings. I've started the bidding at $149. Ebayers hate that. They want all the auctions to start at $9.99 but I made the mistake a couple of weeks back of putting up 4 of my Shermans, including a book piece valued at $225 in Valerie Hammond's book "All that Glitters" with the bidding starting at $9.99 and wanted to die when the auction had ended. The winning bid was $37!! I paid $110 for that piece 2 years ago! Now that really hurts. Guess it's been too long since I last sold on ebay and I've forgotten how it can really work against you, especially after you pay ebay and PayPal fees. So with that thought, I've decided to take my chances that no-one will bid. But someone will. Someone will see that to get a gorgeous Sherman demi for $149 is almost stealing it. Maybe you should go look and read more. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

SIAM RED 3-PIECE PARURE ELUDES ME AGAIN!

Wow...what a busy few days it's been for me. I think the Christmas shopping has begun, despite the terrible mess in the stock market and all that stuff. We've been so busy with sales in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE and on our SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE site that I haven't had any time to get over here to post! Not that I'm complaining of course: I've sold 3 Shermans this past week, along with some lovely vintage gold pieces.

But there's one danger when I have a good selling week: I immediately start looking at what else I can buy and add to our line. And it was with that in mind that I got fixated on winning the ebay auction for that gorgeous Siam red Sherman 3-piece parure in the photo. I've been wanting to acquire one of these for the longest time. It would have rounded out my Sherman collection beautifully. But despite my decision to go for broke and spend more on this piece than I've ever spent on a Sherman, I failed! My disappointment was acute, especially since at 15 seconds before the auction closed, I was the highest bidder at $751.99. That's such a heap of money for me. Well darn, someone else could afford it better than I could I guess. They won it for $761.99!

So I find myself wondering if I'll ever be able to get my hands on a Siam Red Sherman. Oh sure, I guess if I shell out a fortune, I will. But in the meantime, I'll have to sell a lot more of what I currently have, though I must confess that stock is dropping quickly right now. But I do have a new piece for you today and while it's not Siam red, it's a beauty!

This glorious 6.5 inch Sherman bracelet of clear swarovski crystals is absolutely dazzling with its sparkle and is now available from our Ruby Lane Shop for only $165 including insured shipping in the US and Canada. Click the photo above to learn more about it and see lots more photos. It's 3/4" wide and I've never seen an old Sherman bracelet where the stones are still so crystal clear...just another kudo to Sherman for the fact that he was known to use only the best swarovski crystals in his jewelry. That is certainly evident here.

If you could use a gorgeous bracelet to set off your gown on New Year's eve, you can't go wrong with this one at this price. You'll light up the room more than any lights will. Check it out now!

Friday, September 26, 2008

FAUX ALEXANDRITE SHERMAN DEMI DAZZLES WITH ITS COLOR CHANGES



I get really excited when I acquire Sherman jewelry in any of the popular colours like red, fuschia or purple because they are the most sought after colors. But I get even more excited when I manage to snag any vintage designer jewelry that makes use of those gorgeous faux alexandrite or what many simply call, color-changing stones ... like the fabulous brooch & earring set shown here. I'm so in love with these crystals that I find myself hunting them down more than any other kind of stone because it just fascinates me how they change from pale grey to light green to pale lavender to mauve and sometimes to deep blue depending on the light source, with the result that when you own a set like this, it's almost like having 2 sets of Sherman!

And going by how quickly I manage to sell these faux alexandrite sets, looks like I'm not the only one who loves them. That stunning Weiss necklace on the left was sold within a few days. Its change from blue/green to lavender was just magical.

The same thing happened with 2 of my most prized Sherman necklaces. If you visit this LINK which shows Shermans I've sold, take a look at photos #5 and #8. Those were both faux alexandrite necklaces and if memory serves me correctly, the same buyer bought both! (You can read my earlier post on the baguette demi at this LINK )

So seeing how popular vintage jewelry using faux alexandrite stones is, I've been on the scrounge to find as much of it as I can and I now have several wonderful pieces to share with you in the next while. But right now, the superb color-changing brooch and earring set featured at the top of this post has just been listed in MY RUBY LANE SHOP. Slip over and take a look at all the photos. Watch how many transitions in color we've been able to capture just by altering the lighting. The changes don't happen in an instant but they're pretty quick. In a darker room, the set appears mauve, but the instant we turn on a warm incandescent light, it begins its change to blue, then green. Faux alexandrite stones: truly, truly fascinating and because it's hard to come by, very, very collectible. Think about it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

SHERMAN JEWELRY AT AUCTION ON EBAY

Okay. This week I've broken down and for the first time in many, many months I've decided to list some of my Sherman pieces on Ebay. Two reasons: Ebay offered Canadian sellers a 5 cent listing day yesterday and I need to move some stock to make room for new additions and to pay for my purchases. Yeah, I've been over-spending bigtime on vintage jewelry, and when my Visa bill arrived I knew it was time to do something drastic. Ebay! That's drastic as far as I'm concerned but it's the fastest way I know to top up the coffers when you need to.

So I'm keeping this blog post relatively short and showing you some photos and links to where you can go bid on these Shermans of mine on Ebay. I've started all the auctions at $9.99 and the watchers are mounting quickly. I suppose that's half the fun at ebay though I'd much rather sell for a lower dollar than give ebay part of my take in fees. But whatever... !

So that lovely clear swarovski crystal demi in the photo abover is in great condition and you can bid on it HERE (or click the photo). All the stones in the necklace are bright and sparkly. This is a lovely set for a bride, that final elegant touch of "something old" that remains valuable long after the day.

If you're looking for one of the more sought-after Sherman colors, why not have a crack at winning this root-beer and clear stone demi shown on the left? This is a very early Sherman and has even had a small repair, but that's only visible on the back and not at all from the front. If you click on the photo, you can see more pictures of this one, including the repair, and from there link through to the auction at Ebay. If you want to go directly to that auction now, CLICK HERE.

Moving right along, we come to a necklace that I really hate sending to auction on ebay. I've been baffled since I got this gorgeous necklace shown below as to why no-one has purchased it yet. After all, this is a book piece, actually pictured in Valerie Hammond's book, "All that Glitters" on page 95. I think it's one of the prettiest Sherman necklaces I've ever had the privilege to own. It was also one of my first Sherman purchases. Perhaps the problem is people think it's clear stones, but it's not. These stones have a lovely honey-lavender aurora borealis wash and depending on how the light catches them, one minute they appear purple, another lemony. The glitter in this necklace is fabulous. Again, it's lovely for a bride or for a young girl to wear to the

prom. It's elegant, graceful and in superb, nearly unworn condition. If you'd like to bid on this one, CLICK HERE. To see more photos, including how it looks on your neck, click the photo above.

The last Sherman necklace I have on auction on Ebay this week, again starting at only $9.99, is the delicious aurora borealis necklace on the left. This one is such a beauty i.e. great condition front and back. This one, like the book piece above, is very graceful thanks to those long slender navette stones alternating with shorter marquise cuts. As is so typical of aurora borealis, this one was hard to photograph, as sometimes the stones look silvery clear and in other light, they emit every color of the spectrum. This is a lovely Sherman necklace. You can see more views by clicking on the photo itself or you can go straight to bidding on it by CLICKING HERE.

LATE ADDITION TO THIS POST: I have just added a pair of earrings to the last necklace shown just above. I remembered their colors are a nice compliment to this necklace. So when you slip over to check out that auction, scroll down and look for the notice I've added. There's a photo of the FREE earrings there.

All of these auctions end on Sunday night, September 28, 2008 between 8 -9pm EST or 5 - 6pm PST. If you bid, I hope you win and look forward to being in touch with another Sherman addict like myself. Good luck!

Friday, September 19, 2008

SHERMAN'S LESSER KNOWN RIVAL: CONTINENTAL

If you've been following this blog, you will remember me telling you in my last post about the fastest Sherman sale I've ever had. It was for a stunning red crystal bead 3-piece parure. Well this time, I'd like to share with you a very similar set but it's not made by Sherman. This one comes to us courtesy of one of Sherman's main competitors, CONTINENTAL. This company manufactured its jewelry in Montreal from1947 - 1997 and produced some of the most gorgeous vintage jewelry of a quality to rival Sherman and many of the famous vintage designers. Yet, so little information seems to be available on Continental. I've scoured my many books and poked around on the net and really can't find much at all. It's strange given that there is quite a lot of Continental jewelry available on eBay and independent jewelry sites.

So that's one of the reasons I wanted to draw your attention to this fabulous set that I have just listed in my SHOP AT RUBY LANE. Yes, we all love and covet Sherman jewelry, but we can't always afford it. Well I'm going to tell you now, having owned both that killer red Sherman and now this royal blue Continental, that I thought I'd come across another Sherman when I found this at the Christies' Antique Show a couple of weeks back. That's how favourably it compares to a Sherman in its workmanship and quality. You can read the full details about this set by clicking on the photo above but I want to assure you that if you were to add this beauty to your vintage jewelry collection, you'd be making a smart move. Not only will it look gorgeous when you're out on the town, especially now with the festive season not all that far off, but I truly believe that in time, Continental jewelry will be placed on the vintage pedestal to stand alongside Sherman. It belongs there. Do a search for Continental jewelry and see what lovely pieces you'll find. You'll think they're Shermans, just as I did when I first saw this one.

And here's one really nice thing about this set: you can buy it for 1/3 of what I was charging for that red Sherman set. You see, Continental is still relatively affordable. Why not slip over to my RUBY LANE SHOP now and take a closer look at the other great photos of this royal blue set that's fit for a queen!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

THE FASTEST SHERMAN SALE I'VE EVER HAD!

Okay, I just have to tell you about this one as it relates directly to my last post HERE. I wrote that post within an hour or so of uploading that delicious red crystal bead parure to my SHOP AT RUBY LANE. Then I went to cook dinner, watched America's Got Talent (love that show!) and came back online to check my email. To my shock and joy, I'd already made a sale on that red parure! We're talking a space of about 4 hours here. Doesn't that prove what I've been saying all along: when it comes to collecting Sherman jewelry, red is one hot color! Drives me crazy in a way because I no sooner get one of the popular colors and it's gone. But that's what you want in sales, so who's complaining? Not me.

I tried to win another red Sherman necklace on ebay about an hour ago. I needed that one to complete a set of Siam red Sherman earrings that I have. Well I missed it. Even though I bid over $150 US for the necklace, I still missed it. I'm really getting the impression that prices for Sherman are climbing higher and higher these days and the closer we get to Christmas, the worse it is. Makes me think the time to buy Sherman when it's on Ebay is definitely not now! You're going to pay a lot more than you will say, in April!

Say, it's funny how the Sherman buying and selling goes round and round. I was checking ebay today to see what new listings there are for Sherman and guess what I found: a gorgeous purple set that I sold to a lady last year. Yep! She's listed it and there are already 2 bids on it. It's now sitting at $260US and she started the bidding at $9.50! Oh, you want to know where it is? Here's the LINK. Should you go for it? Yes ... because it's purple, it's a 3-piece set, it's in mint condition and it comes in a box. Gosh, I'd buy it myself but I know I'd end up paying more than I sold it to her since Shermans are getting such big dollars right now. By the way, her photos aren't all that good so if you want to take a better look at it, visit my SOLDS page at SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE. You'll find it on there. It's photo #2. Cheers!

Monday, September 8, 2008

BUYING SHERMAN JEWELRY AT DEALER PRICES

Well this past week I really got an education about Sherman jewelry ... or rather about the prices I'm asking for Shermans on my site at SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE and in my SHOP AT RUBY LANE. Seems I'm selling my Shermans to the public at dealer prices! Some business-woman, aren't I LOL!

Why do I say that? Well here's what happened. I had a lady who is a Sherman seller contact me about one of my pieces. I usually groan when they email me because invariably they want me to really drop the price on a piece for them so that they can take it and sell it at a profit. Well sure. After all, we sell to make some profit right?

So I replied with the usual explanation ie. I mark up my Shermans so little that I can't afford to give dealers special prices. Well lo and behold she came back and offered me only $10 less than I was asking on one piece. I was floored ... and I accepted. Then, it got even better. She asked about two other pieces. I gave her my bottom figures. On one of them, she said I'll pay you $10 more than you've asked! Huh? I thought I hadn't heard right. On the other, she offered again to pay only $10 less than I was asking ... that's $10 less than I'd sell it to you for! I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe a Sherman dealer would pay me fair value for my items.

We agreed to meet and make the exchange at the annual Christies Antique Show on Saturday. She was there selling her Shermans and other vintage jewelry. So were many other vendors selling Shermans. That's when the second part of my education came: there were vendors selling Shermans for 2-3 times what I ask ... and buyers were buying! I had to ask myself what on earth am I doing selling my Shermans for so little? Of course there is an explanation: I sell online. I don't do shows so I don't get to dazzle people with my gorgeous Shermans. There's nothing quite like seeing the actual item twinkling and glittering away under the sun or under lights. Even though I have superb photos, there's no match for seeing the real thing with your own eyes.

And of course, there's more explanations: my buyers come from around the world ... the online world. They come from varying economic backgrounds. They don't necessarily live in the ritzy areas of Toronto, Canada (e.g. Bayview, Rosedale) where buyers expect to and will pay huge prices for Shermans. Since I don't do shows in those areas, those buyers don't buy my items. But the dealers who sell to them would! HA! They will then take that piece, mark it up 2-3 times and walk away smiling.

So where does that leave me? Well it's got me thinking about my website at Sherman Jewellery Showcase for one thing. If my prices are that low, then maybe I should promote my site for what it is : a chance for you to purchase Sherman jewelry at dealer prices! Eureka. I think I'm onto something.

By the way, if you don't believe I'm selling my stuff too cheaply, please visit THIS SITE. When you're there, click on "SHOP" and then scroll down to "Sherman". Take a look at the prices this famous seller is asking and getting for her Shermans and compare those to my prices. What an eye-opener! I've just purchased her book. I need to learn more about all this stuff LOL!

Well, while I have you, I've got to tell you about that fabulous Sherman shown at the top of this post. It's my latest acquisition and I'm thrilled to have it. What a gorgeous Sherman red crystal bead demi-parure this is! It's in fantastic condition. All pieces are signed and just look at that color! The red aurora borealis Austrian crystals are superb. I'm offering it at $395. Now I wonder, if I were one of those other Sherman dealers I saw at the Antique show what I'd sell it for? Most of the items I saw at one stall started at $200 for a single brooch. One 3-piece set was $995!! What on earth am I doing selling my Shermans at dealer prices???!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

SHERMAN JEWELLERY OR NOT, THIS DEMI IS HOT!


The battle rages on: is it a Sherman or isn't it? I listed this gorgeous set in my SHOP AT RUBY LANE yesterday. Now those of you who follow my blog know that I'm a bit of stickler for buying only Shermans that are signed "Sherman" for the simple reason that you don't have to prove whether it is or it isn't! Given that according to members of the Sherman family, no Shermans were ever unsigned (see Valerie Hammond's book, "All that Glitters") what do you do when you come across a set like this, fresh from an estate sale of a lady who was an avid Sherman collector, sold to you by a reputable estate seller's firm, and then you discover only the earrings are signed! So is it a Sherman or isn't it?

Well a blind man at midnight can see when you look at this set, that the earrings are a perfect
match to the necklace. The photos are one thing: screens can have different colors. But when you look at the actual items with the naked eye, there's just no way they didn't come together in the first place.

Just after I listed this yesterday, a fellow Sherman collector emailed me and asked where did all this talk of signed and unsigned Shermans originate. I told her what I knew. Now she's been collecting Shermans for years and here was her response to my explanation:

"This is fascinating, Viga. We all know Sherman quality is distinctive. The stones are superior, but I think the metalwork is even more telling. So few manufacturers equalled the quality of Sherman"s metalwork, including most of the really high-end companies. Boucher did, for example, but Boucher designs were so different from Sherman, it's hard to imagine the two being confused. So when you find an unsigned piece that is equal in quality and exactly matches a signed Sherman piece, it's hard to imagine they're not part of a true set, especially if it's one of the more unusual Sherman designs. I have one unsigned piece that has a really distinctive stone and an unusual setting for Sherman. But I have a signed set with the same unusual setting and another signed piece with the same unusual stone. And when I say unusual, I don't just mean for Sherman - other than these two pieces, I have never seen this stone in any other jewellery. Nobody will ever convince me the unsigned piece isn't Sherman. I can believe their intention was to sign all pieces, but mistakes happen, and it's harder for me to believe that they were 100% successful than it is to believe that some pieces made it through without the signature.

I don't know of any Canadian company that came even close in quality to Sherman - certainly not Jay Flex/Jay Kel, Triad, or Continental. Not even their very best equals Sherman. And the Americans STILL don't know Sherman, so it's hard to believe an American company was producing unsigned look-alikes. So who was creating these pieces that are identical in design and equal in quality, if it wasn't Sherman itself?"

Well what do you think of my associate's comments? I found myself agreeing with her. I can no longer hold my rigid stance on this topic. What I have for sale above is a true Sherman, even if only the earrings are signed. I've heard and read that some later Shermans had one piece in a set signed while a hang tag was attached to the other piece. That makes sense. And of course, over the years, if the owner was wearing that Sherman, the hang tag would have been removed and lost ages ago.

Do you own a Sherman set where only one piece is signed? Why not leave a comment for us here and tell us how you came across your Sherman and how you feel about this very controversial subject. And if you're not too busy, do stop by my site at SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE and take a look at some wonderful new additions to my collection. More coming soon too!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

SHERMAN SALES ON EBAY ARE FETCHING HIGHER & HIGHER PRICES LATELY


Have you been watching any Sherman on eBay lately? I have. I put watches on everything to see what the items will go for, and lately, they're going for higher and higher dollars. I just had a customer call this morning asking about unsigned vintage rhinestone jewelry and was explaining to him what difference a signature, like Sherman or Schreiner or Weiss can make to the value of a piece. He was amazed and said from now on he and his wife will be looking for signatures on everything. Wise idea.


But I digress. I watched that fabulous blue Sherman set shown on the right go on Ebay yesterday for $330 US ie. $345 CAD. I'm not suprised. Just look at that design. It's exquisite. And now, there's a similar one being offered on eBay by a colleague. She's had 5 offers so far but none have been accepted. She's asking $499 US but what makes hers even more desirable is again, the color: it's fuschia! It's that gorgeous piece shown
on the left, and if you click the photo, you can go straight to her page on eBay and make her an offer. This is one definitely worth buying and adding to your Sherman collection.

Now if you've got the money to afford pieces like these, then more power to you. But if you don't and you still want to collect Sherman, you might visit my site at SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE where I have very reasonably priced Sherman necklaces, sets, brooches and bracelets.


In fact, I've just added the dazzling Sherman Aurora Borealis necklace shown below that rivals the others in this post for its beauty. I've called it a "waterfall" design because of the way the drop cascades down. This one shimmers with gorgeous colors of red, green, blue, olive and yellow. Except for missing the long extender that you usually get on a Sherman necklace so you can adjust it to fit all necks, this one is in beautiful condition. The Aurora Borealis coating on the stones is still excellent and the gold-plate backing shows little wear. I'm offering this beauty for the very reasonable price of only $150 US and that includes insured shipping. Click on the photo to read all the details. You'll also find it in my RUBY LANE SHOP with several other views.

Bottom line: investing in Sherman jewelry doesn't have to cost you the earth if you take time to search the net, watch items on ebay, visit flea markets and garage sales or buy from reputable, honest and reasonable sellers like myself who know we all love this stuff but we can't all afford to pay a fortune for it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

SHERMAN JEWELLERY WITH UNIQUE STYLING


I haven't had time to post in this blog for a few days as I've been busy editing photos of new Shermans that have arrived and adding them to my Sherman website, SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE. One of these new additions is the fabulous 3-piece demi-parure shown above. If you click the photo, it will open in a new window so you can see more views. I'm really excited to show this set off for the first time as it's one of the daintiest and prettiest sets I've acquired (from an estate sale) but even more because it has a design is not as common as what I often see in Sherman jewelry ... and I'm always on the lookout for "different" Shermans.

This is the first set I've seen where the necklace sports 5 lovely rosettes as a centerpiece. And take a close look at the brooch: it's shaped like a heart. The lady who owned this set really looked after it. It's in top shape with its gorgeous aurora borealis stones that emit hues in many shades of blue, purple, pink and green. The necklace is 17" long with the usual Sherman extender that hangs down the back of your neck and lets you adjust it to how you want to wear it ie.. as a necklace or as a choker. The matching earrings are 1 1/4" long while the brooch is 1 3/4" wide across the "heart".

Remember what I've often said about Shermans and indeed, all designer vintage jewelry: if you can purchase sets, 2-piece, 3-piece etc., the jewelry is infinitely more valuable than just a necklace or just a brooch. You can pick this one up from SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE for $250US ... very reasonable for a Sherman set of this style and in this condition.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

MULTI-COLORED SHERMAN PARURE IN HIGH DEMAND


Well, did you miss bidding on this beauty on ebay recently? I had put a watch on it and even entertained the thought of bidding. That was when it was sitting on around $200. Of course, I knew it wouldn't stop there. Sherman sets that have just 2 pieces are in demand. But when you get a Sherman set like this one, with all four pieces matching, in superb condition, and all signed, well you up the ante bigtime. Then when the set is one of the rare color combinations that everyone wants, the value goes up again. I'd read about the multi-colored Shermans being enormously popular and highly collectible but hadn't come across one ... until this one.

So I dreamed of winning it. Ha! Yeah right. The bidding was fierce. I bailed when it hit $700 and just sat back and watched. Final dollar for this set? $1636.00 US!! Well it was fun dreaming....

Next time one like this comes up for grabs, I'll try to let you know early so you can get in there and bid - if you can afford it! I can see that seller smiling from ear to ear right now :))

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

BLACK SHERMAN BEADS STILL VERY MUCH IN VOGUE!


Tonight I'm really excited to tell you all about one of my most recent Sherman acquisitions. It's a stunning faceted black crystal bead necklace that I've combined with a pair of japan-backed black beaded dangling earrings ... and what a set these make together!

The reason I'm so excited about this set is that it's darn hard to get a great black set of Sherman. I've been looking for one ever since I found one at an auction that was in my possession for less than a week. You can see that one HERE. It was totally awesome, so awesome that when a friend came to visit, before I knew it she'd begged to buy it. We had only just taken photos of it and I never even got them up on my site!

So I've been looking for another interestingly styled black Sherman ever since and was thrilled when I found the one in the photo above. Then I went on the scrounge for earrings to wear with it. Lady Luck must have been smiling on me because I located that fabulous pair of dangling earrings quite quickly. They were just begging to be put with my necklace LOL!

Now black beads may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there are some people who are willing to spend a big dollar on Black crystal beads by Sherman: the set on the right just sold for $510 on eBay! I couldn't believe my eyes! Maybe it was the fact that this is a "collar" or "bib" designed Sherman and not just that it was black. Regardless, that's one of the highest bids I've seen for any colored Sherman on Ebay.

I've generally found that black Shermans sell well on eBay but you don't come across them very often. That means they are scarce. Well, now you have a chance to pick up the gorgeous set in the top photo from my SHOP at RUBY LANE and guess what? It won't cost you anywhere near $510!

Please click the top photo to see more views and read more about my gorgeous Black crystal bead Sherman.

Friday, August 8, 2008

WEARING SHERMAN TO CASINO NIAGARA


Christmas Day, 2007, was a strange day in my house. Believe it or not, except for my husband and adult daughter, we had no-one to spend that very important day with. My other daughter, her partner and my grand-daughter, had all come over 2 days earlier to celebrate Christmas as they were flying to Punta Cana on Christmas eve. The daughter who was at home with us was pining for her partner, who had flown home to Australia to spend Christmas with his family. So there we were, the three of us (we have no other relatives in Canada) with nothing to do on Christmas day ... until my husband suggested we go to Casino Niagara for Christmas dinner. It seemed ridiculous at first but then, why not? So off we went!

Being Christmas Day, it was appropriate, I thought, to dress up. Since I don't frequent many places where my bigger, glitzier Shermans are suitable, I opted to wear the gorgeous smoke-toned set in the photo above. And boy did it sparkle under those casino lights! This is a superb set with swarovski smoke-grey navettes positioned between lightly coated and complimentary aurora borealis stones. The screw-on earrings aren't original to this set but they are an excellent match. The monochromatic colors in the set were the perfect compliment and contrast to the warm reds in my blouse. As I cashed in my chips later, the ladies behind the counter asked me about my jewelry and were amazed to learn that it was probably 40 - 50 years old and yet hadn't lost a bit of its luster or beauty.

And that's the beauty of superbly designed and maintained vintage Shermans. They're eye-catching and timeless and make wonderful conversation pieces. You can buy this set for only $125 at SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

PUTTING A PRICE ON SHERMAN JEWELRY ... IF INDEED IT'S A SHERMAN!


A lady wrote to me recently regarding the glorious set of vintage jewelry shown in the photo above. She was given this set by her mom and believed this was Sherman. The 3 pieces are a perfect match in color and in the cut of the stones used, but unfortunately, only the brooch (on which the pin is broken) bears the distinctive Sherman signature. Neither those fabulous dangling earrings nor the divine 7 inch bracelet are signed "Sherman".

What this lovely lady wanted to know was whether I could put an approximate value on this set. As someone who loves this kind of jewelry, I'd say the set is priceless as an example of aurora borealis vintage stylings. But as a Sherman, this was one tough piece to evaluate. Below is my answer to her and I welcome any comments from other Sherman lovers and experts out there:

"Thanks for your email and for your trust in calling on me to answer your questions. Unfortunately, I find them very hard to answer for one simple reason: 2 of the pieces aren't signed, and the one that is is "broken".

While someone might be able to replace the broken pin, the minute anyone repairs a signed vintage piece, it loses value as the seller should state the piece has been repaired. Of course, you can sell it "as is", and some will buy it to do just that i.e. repair it or use the stones for repairing
other Shermans.

The issue on "unsigned" Shermans is a really touchy one. Personally, I just about never buy a piece, whether it's Sherman or some other designer, if it's not signed as there's no way to prove to a hesitant buyer that the piece is an authentic designer piece.

This issue is so "sticky" and fortified in the book published by Valerie Hammond where she states she interviewed the Sherman family and they swore no unsigned pieces were ever released by Sherman. So how then does one explain the obvious match in your pieces? Valerie herself has located my blog on this subject and left a comment repeating what is in her book. You can read that blog and Valerie's comment HERE.

I must confess, that for the sake of safety and not having arguments with customers, I tend to stick with Valerie on this subject and avoid "unsigned" Shermans, even though ebay sellers will say "everyone knows not all Sherman pieces were signed" and that "some came with hang tags that have been taken off over the years". That may well be true but the Sherman family vehemently denies that possibility.

So what are the pieces you have i.e. Sherman or not? I don't know. They sure look like a matched set. But there were other designers at the time who copied Sherman's designs; there was also talk that Sherman's moulds were stolen and hence a pile of unsigned pieces, Sherman look-a-likes, have surfaced.

So now to answer your question: I can't. If you wanted to sell these to me, I could only offer you a price on the bracelet and earrings based on their being "unsigned beauties" and not "unsigned Shermans", meaning I couldn't offer much because I couldn't sell them for much.

As for the brooch, because of the broken pin, the value is down too. As an unbroken Sherman brooch, you could get $45 - $60 for the brooch. As it is, maybe someone would pay $20 - $30. Sets are worth more than individual pieces. Those earrings are gorgeous. If they were signed, you'd probably get up to $30 - $40 for them. Unsigned, $10 - $15. The bracelet is stunning. Signed, it could get $75 -$150. Unsigned, you might not get more than $30.

Another thing: your jewelry is mainly aurora borealis. It's pretty, and many pieces made by Sherman featured aurora borealis. But AB is not as valuable as Shermans made with swarovski crystals ie. no aurora coating."

I hated saying all this to this lady but I was as honest as I could be. I think her set is magnificent. She understood what I was saying and has since decided to keep it in the family for a younger member who might one day appreciate just how fabulous even unsigned vintage jewelry can be.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN SHERMAN JEWELRY SETS

Today a customer contacted me about two of my Sherman Jewelry sets. She loves them both but can't afford both just now. So how does she choose which set to invest in?

She asked me to answer that for her. Well that's not an easy question to answer. Buying Sherman is like buying any piece of jewelry: it's a very personal choice, isn't it. So I could only approach the answer from one other angle, the one I choose when I'm looking at Shermans and my budget is limited: I go for the Sherman that isn't like so many others. I look for
DESIGN: Is it different? How many others like this one have I seen?

COLORS: Some colors are definitely more in demand than others. Blue Shermans are everywhere but red, fuschia, purple, deep greens, even root beer ... those we don't see as often. Then there's color combinations: some Sherman pieces have lovely combinations of colors e.g. grey and pink; purple and green.

What about clear-stoned Shermans? They don't seem as popular amongst collectors as colors are but then, a unique design can make a piece far more outstanding than even a colored Sherman. Take the gorgeous Art Deco "X" design shown on the right. This is definitely not the kind of Sherman you come across very often. We were delighted to find this one at an estate auction and bid fiercely (and high!) to get this piece because we knew there weren't too many other Shermans like this one out there.
CONDITION: The condition of any piece of vintage jewelry is always important. Above all, one needs to consider the stones themselves: are they clear? Any dulling in any stones? Any stones that look like replacements? Any loose stones?

As for the back of the piece, the shinier and newer-looking the better. But bear in mind that most Sherman jewelry we buy has been pre-loved, some more loved than others. Wear on the back of a piece simply means someone really loved that piece and wore it often. Does it detract in terms of value? It might for some collectors but if you buy Sherman to wear and not just collect, then as long as what you and others see when you're wearing it looks fabulous, what's on the underside doesn't really matter much does it. After all, who sees that? But if the piece you're considering is still bright and shiny on the underside, then that's a plus for sure.

So in the end, what did I advise my customer? I couldn't do it without bias. I love both sets and both have their strong points. I've posted their photos here. Both fit the criteria above to greater or lesser degrees i.e. they both have wonderful color combinations; they both have clear stones and are in great condition from the front. But one has a more interesting and less common design than the other. However, it also shows more wear on the reverse! So how does she decide?

Take a look at the photos below. If you have time to leave a comment and let us know which one you'd choose and why, that'd really be appreciated. Either way, she'll have another gorgeous Sherman to wear ... and she does wear her Shermans. Do you?


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

VINTAGE SHERMAN JEWELLERY FOR A BRIDE!

"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue ... " So goes the adage so often heard in relation to a bride's wedding day attire. Well not every bride has access to, or even wants to wear her mom's wedding dress or her grandmother's gown, but today's bride can still easily add "something old" when it comes to her jewelry. And beautiful sets by vintage designer, Gustave Sherman, can be the perfect finishing touch!


Consider the exquisite Art Deco set by Sherman pictured above. We call it "Sherman Diamonds" because of its incredible sparkle that rivals real diamonds. Sherman's use of brilliantly clear Swarovski crystals in a fabulous design guarantee all eyes will be on the bride. The matching earrings are clip ons that will catch the light regardless of how she wears her hair.

And there's another reason why a bride should opt for a set like this as opposed to the glittery stuff found in so many of the stores: those are often vintage reproductions whose rhinestones don't even come close to the quality of the stones in a set like this one. And the mass-produced jewelry of today rarely matches the quality of workmanship in a Sherman. Nor will it last as long. Consider that the gorgeous set shown here is probably 40-60 years old, but still looks new. Most of today's jewelry will never last that long because of the workmanship, unless of course, you buy a very high end item in a high end store. For most of today's brides, spending a fortune on her jewelry isn't an option.

Most importantly, when a bride chooses a signed vintage set by a designer like Sherman, she's making an investment. 50 years from now she can pass it on to her daughter and, as long as it's been looked after, it will be worth even more than it is now.

You can see more views of this beautiful set by clicking on the photo above. It's available via our site at SHERMAN JEWELRY SHOWCASE and through our SHOP at RUBY LANE . You'll find more Shermans suitable for a bride on both sites, some with color if you want "something blue" and some other elegant ones with simpler designs like the one below:

Friday, July 11, 2008

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY AN UNSIGNED SHERMAN?


I was recently very pleased to have Valerie Hammond, author of the book "All that Glitters", a reference and value guide to Sherman jewellery comment on one of my posts. In her post, Valerie reiterated her comments about the authenticity of unsigned jewelry that is purported to be Sherman. Here's what Valerie wrote on this subject:

I was recently assured during conversations with members of the family that there were absolutely, never, ever any unsigned pieces of Sherman produced by the company at any time. The family is most emphatic about this point. That means no unsigned earrings with signed brooches, no unsigned bracelets with necklaces. There are dealers who sell "unsigned" Sherman, believing that only part of a Parure may have carried that distinctive signature."

If that's truly the case, then how on earth do we explain sets that are obvious matches like the one shown in this post? The earrings are signed "Sherman". The necklace is not! Yet they are a match! I own this set. It's the only set I have where one piece is not signed Sherman since I make it a rule to never buy unsigned Shermans. I didn't realize the necklace in this piece wasn't signed until I got it. It came from an estate of a Sherman collector! And there's no denying the pieces are identical.

I've mentioned elsehwere in this blog that supposedly some Sherman sets came with a hang tag on one piece of a set. Could this be true? Many believe this is true. Yet the Sherman family has told Valerie Hammond that this cannot be. Who are we, the buyers and collectors to believe?

In her book, Valerie also states that conjecture is that "at some point during the company's life, designs, moulds and findings were removed from the building and used elsewhere for the manufacturing of copies." If this is true, then perhaps that "unsigned" Sherman is a copy and not authentic and is now coupled with a signed piece. Gee I wish someone besides Valerie knew more about this subject and could help us clarify this issue which is such a sore point between buyers, sellers and collectors of Sherman jewelry.



So while we're on this subject, on the left is another supposed set of Sherman currently being auctioned on eBay. (Click photo to visit the auction) The vendor states: "Earrings are signed Sherman, necklace is a definitive match (and is as expected, not signed)"

As expected??!! Oh boy! Now look what's happening: now we are having sellers claim this is "expected"! I don't think so! Quite honestly, this makes me mad. It's one thing for sellers to say one piece is signed and the other isn't but they're an obvious match. It's another to say we should expect that one of the pieces not be signed. Rubbish! We should expect both pieces to be signed if it's authentic Sherman. This auction will be very interesting to watch.

And by the way, do yourself a favour if you're serious about collecting Sherman jewellery. Buy Valerie's book!

Monday, July 7, 2008

PRICES OF SHERMAN JEWELRY

Like any webmasters who care about traffic to their sites and want to know how surfers find them, I like to track my traffic. My tracker not only tells me how many people visited my site or blog today, but where they came from and what search terms they entered to bring them to my site.

Well if there's one search term that comes up time and again it's "prices of Sherman jewellery" (whichever way you choose to spell "jewelry". The frequency of searches for that term tells me an awful lot of people are wondering how much they should pay for Sherman jewelry i.e. when is a price too much, or conversely, is the piece they're considering worth what a seller is asking. And I must say I sympathize: I have found searching through sites, that prices for Sherman jewelry range from reasonable to ridiculous, though I'm sure the higher priced sellers would never agree with me on that statement. In fact, it's really just like real estate: it's worth whatever a seller is prepared to pay. And just like real estate, a lot of buyers paying more and more for Shermans are pushing the prices up.

Take the piece shown in the photo in today's post: it's gorgeous! The design is unique; the color is one of the most in demand colors for Sherman: fuschia; it's a matched set and most importantly, all pieces are signed Sherman. The buyer paid $612.50. But that was at an eBay auction. Find a similar piece on a private website and don't be surprised to see it listed for several hundred dollars more than that!

A fascinating site to visit for Shermans, or for many other pieces of signed vintage jewelry, is Carole Tanenbaum's Vintage Collection.

Carole is a well-known seller of Sherman jewelry and supplies major elite stores in Toronto. She is also a reputed speaker on vintage jewelry. If you visit the Sherman section on Carole's site, you might be knocked back a bit by her prices, but obviously people are prepared to pay that kind of money for Sherman jewelry in top condition. That should give you some idea of how high prices can be for Sherman Jewelry. And Carole isn't the only one selling Shermans for this price. There are many others.

So you, as a buyer or investor in Sherman jewelry really need to search around and compare. Find as many sites as you can that sell Sherman jewellery. See what prices the sellers are asking. But don't conclude that just because some sellers don't charge nearly as much for their pieces that there's something wrong with the jewelry. As in all purchasing and selling, some vendors are content to make a little less. As long as the pieces are signed, in great condition, with no loose or replaced or dull stones, you can still get Sherman at a bargain price.

And of course, this blog wouldn't be complete without a pitch for the many lovely Shermans at a very reasonable price that I sell via my site at SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE and via my SHOP at RUBY LANE. Ruby Lane is a great place to look, by the way, because there are several of us who sell Shermans there. Ruby Lane is an excellent place to start your research on prices for Sherman jewelry or any vintage jewelry. Have fun!

Friday, July 4, 2008

SHOULD YOU BUY JUST A SHERMAN BROOCH or SHERMAN EARRINGS or a SHERMAN SET?


Recently a colleague of mine who buys, collects and sells Shermans like I do, was telling me about one of her customers who is hell-bent on investing in Sherman jewelry but is still rather new at it. She apparently knows what to look for in terms of color and condition, but because she loves to wear Sherman brooches and bracelets, she's been busy buying up just brooches or just bracelets.

Well while there's absolutely no reason a buyer shouldn't do that if that's what she likes to wear, if you are an investor in Sherman or plan to sell it down the way, you should ALWAYS be looking to acquire sets. A Sherman brooch with matching earrings will always be more valuable than just the brooch or earrings. If that brooch and earrings are also paired with a matching bracelet, as in the photo below from my site at SHERMAN JEWELRY SHOWCASE, or if you can find a set that includes a necklace with the brooch and earrings, or even better yet, a 4-piece set of brooch, earrings, bracelet and necklace, then you have found a super valuable Sherman parure and it's definitely worth buying because then it has become a true investment. Incidentally, this applies to all the famous vintage

designers: wherever you can, try to get sets by Schiaparelli, Shreiner, Weiss, Miriam Haskell, Kenneth J. Lane ... the list goes on.

Why are sets so much more valuable? After all, you might not like wearing clip-on earrings but you love necklaces or bracelets. Part of the reason, as is common with vintage jewelry, the sets have become separated over the years. People have sold off a bracelet to one person and the matching brooch to someone else. Bottom line then is 2, 3 and 4-piece sets are much harder to obtain, and as you know, the rarer something is, the greater its value. That's why my colleague has now counselled her eager buyer to look for sets where she can. She doesn't have to wear all the pieces at the same time if she doesn't want to; she just needs to have as many sets as she can get!

But here's something you can do (and it's kind of fun) if you have only piece of Sherman ie. a brooch or necklace. You can become a hunter! Attend estate auctions in your aread. Online, scour eBay, Ruby Lane, Trocadero, eCrater or Cyber Attic. Or simply just type Sherman jewelry or Sherman Jewellery into Google or Yahoo and see what you can find. If you're really lucky you might find earrings that are a perfect match for that brooch or necklace you love.

Is it impossible? Not at all. I have found wonderful matches that way and have been able to turn a 1 or 2-piece set into a valuable 3-piece parure like my Sherman fushia set of necklace, earrings and brooch shown below. Because of the color, fuschia, each of the pieces alone is valuable, but as a set, it's value is many times greater.