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?