Thursday, June 26, 2008
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!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Today I want to introduce you to what is probably my favourite Sherman set. Not only is it an exquisite design, but it features the scarce Alexandrite-type stones that are sought after almost as much as the Siam red and fuschia Shermans.
What's so special about Alexandrite-type stones? Well they have the same color-changing property of true alexandrite, a precious gem. True alexandrite can change from ash gray to green to pale blue to purple in minutes, depending on what kind of light it's exposed to. It's utterly fascinating to watch the color changing and it does it quite quickly. You can purchase genuine alexandrite stones HERE ... just a perfect size to set in a ring.
I look for jewelry with genuine alexandrite or costume jewelry like this Sherman set constantly. They are not easy to find and when I do get a piece, I never have them for long. I recently listed this ring with genuine alexandrite in my SHOP AT RUBY LANE. It was sold in 24 hours! I managed to acquire a gorgeous WEISS necklace and earrings that used the Alexandrite-type stones and it sold in under a month ... just last week as a matter of fact. You can see that one HERE. (Both those sold items will display for only one month from now)
And so now, we have this gorgeous Sherman set of necklace and earrings. That first photo shows you an all Lavender or mauve colored set. But now look at this other photo of the necklace:
Yes, it's one and the same necklace but as you can see, now part of the necklace is pale blue. If you click on that photo, you can see many more photos of this set showing the earrings in both blue and mauve, and also showing the backings on the jewelry. It's in mint condition. Further information on this set is provided at both SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE or in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE. Slip over and take a look at all those photos. This one is rare, beautiful and highly collectible!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Never heard of uranium glass? Isn't uranium dangerous and if so, why would a vintage designer like Gustave Sherman use it in his beautiful jewellery?
Those were the first questions that popped into my mind when a knowledgeable colleague who also sells Sherman jewellery alerted me to the fact that one of my lovely Sherman sets (shown below) looked like it had stones made with a uranium glass component.
First off, she assured me it wasn't dangerous i.e the amount of uranium in the crystals is too minimal to pose any danger. As to why would Sherman or any vintage designer use uranium glass crystals, the answer lies in the properties of those crystals. Look at the photo above of the necklace being shown under UV light. The crystals glow! That, by the way, is how you can determine if your green-colored jewelry has uranium glass crystals. Just get the pieces under UV light and watch for the glow.
Well then, so the crystals glow. So what? The "so what" is that suddenly you have a rather rare Sherman set on your hands! Furthermore, because it's rare and because it uses uranium glass crystals, your set is now a lot more valuable. As my esteemed colleague informed me, "that Sherman of yours is now of interest not only to collectors of Sherman jewelry, but collectors of uranium glass!" WOW! And I had no idea of that when I acquired this piece.
So now this set is not only pretty, not only a Sherman, but it's rare and valuable. And I tell you what: it looks awesome when you're wearing it in a darkened lounge where there's Ultra Violet lighting. It just can't go un-noticed as it glows in the dark!
If you'd like to add this set to your Sherman collection, I am currently offering it at a 15% discount. You can see more photos and purchase it through my SHOP at RUBY LANE or directly through my site at SHERMAN JEWELLERY SHOWCASE. That discount is good only until June 30, 2008. And by the way, I also have a lovely 2-row bracelet with Uranium glass stones that would go beautifully with this set. You'll find it on the BRACELET page of my site.
PLEASE NOTE: Since this post appeared, the Uranium Glass Bracelet mentioned above has been SOLD. That collector of Sherman knew a good buy when she found it!