Thursday, June 26, 2008
The DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SIGNED & UNSIGNED SHERMANS IS DOLLAR VALUE!
Today some interesting auctions finished on eBay. I had put watches on them, as I always do, because it's generally on eBay that folks pay the least for Sherman jewelry and also take the biggest risk that what they have won is an authentic Sherman. Like I've said elsewhere in this blog, if a Sherman isn't signed, how can you be sure it's a Sherman?
Well obviously from today's auctions, that uncertainty impacts very much on the price bidders will pay. Take the gorgeous wide aurora borealis bracelet shown above. It's absolutely awesome and this style is in demand for collectors. Now most Sherman bracelets on ebay go for in excess of $100 and some, big ones like this one, depending on colors, will even go for $1000 or more. Well imagine my shock when I checked back later to see what this sold for and found it had gone for only $88!! Gosh, had I known it'd do that, I would have bid on it myself! I re-read the ad, and there it was: the explanation for that low dollar: this bracelet is unsigned. Even though the seller included a photo of a brooch she claimed came from the same set but which she was selling separately, bidders put on the brakes and stopped at $88. Yet, recently, the very pretty but clear rhinestone Sherman bracelet sbown on the left sold for over $150! (If that bracelet had colored stones and not clear, it might have gone for another $100 on top of that.) Why did this one go for nearly twice as much? It's a signed Sherman of course.
Now here's another example from recent eBay auctions: the very pretty fuschia "set" below immediately caught my eye. I had to watch this one, knowing how much Sherman collectors will pay for fuschia, especially when it's a set.
Well again, I was stunned to see this set sold for a mere $125. That's really cheap for a Sherman set, even one that's not fuschia. Something had to be wrong ... and it was. While the earrings shown in the set were signed Sherman, the necklace was not! Several photos were provided, but a statement provided in the description indicated it was the seller's opinion only that the earrings and necklace were a set. There was no other proof. Now, it has been stated that not all Shermans were signed i.e. you might get signed earrings and an unsigned necklace that originally came only with a paper tag. But if the tag is gone, how do YOU know? The only thing you can go by, if you're buying online, or once you receive the item, is to closely compare the construction, the stones, the layout and if you then conclude they are identical and belong together, then yes, you most likely have a full Sherman set.
But to the point here: whether you invest in Sherman as a collector or as a buyer who wants to sell down the way, it's obvious buyers hesitate to bid on or buy unsigned pieces. If they do buy, they won't pay top dollar. They'll buy the piece as an "unsigned beauty" because that's what it is ... lovely but not as valuable. For my money as both a buyer and seller, I look for only signed pieces. A set like my fuschia set below, with necklace, earrings and brooch is "safe". All the pieces are signed Sherman.
And one more thing: if you're shopping on Ebay for your Shermans or any designer vintage jewelry, for heaven's sake READ THOSE ADS CAREFULLY. Even I missed the fact that those pieces mentioned above weren't signed pieces! But then I wasn't buying. And beware the person
who uses SHERMAN in the title to catch your eye. The seller of the necklace shown on the right used SHERMAN in the title. The colors in this piece are awesome and the style is very much like a Sherman. Maybe it's a Sherman and maybe it isn't. Bottom line is it's another "unsigned beauty" but the seller led you to believe it was a Sherman right in the headline! Fortunately, most bidders did read the ad and this very pretty necklace went for what is was worth: $39. But if an unwary bidder had missed that, they might have spent another $100 on this one!