Tuesday, July 22, 2008


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?


Deb said...

Hi, thank you for writing this lovely article about Sherman Jewelry. I have just started my own Sherman Jewelry blog to document and share my own growning collection. I have Valerie Hammond's book as well and agree with you that there are NO UNSIGNED Sherman pieces. I plan to do a post on that soon.

As far as the lady who is torn between two Sherman sets, my best advice to her would be to chose the one she loves the most. My own preference would be for the top set with the center drop but everyone has their own taste. For me, the bigger and bolder the better! Condition is a huge consideration if she is interested in it as an investment piece.

I wear my Sherman every chance I get. To weddings, parties and even wear a pair of smaller earrings for just a simple dinner out. The bracelets and over-the-top pieces are reserved for formal occasions but do get their share of wear.

I agree with your advice to the woman seeking an appraisal on the pieces that belonged in her family. No signature to me means not Sherman and not as valuable.

I plan to check back often. If you get a moment, please visit my Sherman site. I will be adding to it almost daily and have enough jewelry to go on for months, maybe years!



Thanks for commenting Deb. I agree with your statement that a collector should "choose the one she loves most". People buy for different reasons and a collector who buys as an investment will look at a peice differently from one who collects because they simply love that designer. But yes, each has her own taste. Incidently, the lady who was the subject of this post opted for the green/purple with the more unusual style ie. flip over pendant.

As for the lady who wanted an evaluation on her family pieces, I'm not at liberty to say much but she did sell it for more than I would have expected on unsigned pieces. So just proves you can never tell what a buyer will pay.