14inch long Vintage watch chain with t-bar. Marking “F.14K” and unknown marking inside the hoop.
Thank you for sending in this gold T-bar watch chain to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that today.
Retro-Victorian, 14 inch, ornate, 14k yellow gold, watch chain with T-bar using fenestrated ‘box’ and ‘lantern’ type links, marked ‘F.14K’ on clasp.
Maker unidentified (possibly Friedman Inc. Jewelers-see History), but attributed to American origin, circa second quarter of the 20th century.
This is a beautiful T-bar pocket watch chain in a design that one does not often see. Watch chains are usually in a more simple form, yet also beautiful especially the true Victorian Albert single or double chain examples. I would more closely associate this crenelated and skeletonized box design to have been made during the Art deco years but inspired by Victorian jewelry. The markings on the clasp, ‘F.14K’ indicates to me that the gold is solid 14k gold while the ‘F.’ would likely be the touch-mark of the jeweler. At the other end there is some type of mark which I cannot make out clearly, although when looked at lengthwise may be another ‘F.’ marking. The lack of gold hallmarks suggests that this bracelet was not made in England, nor on the continent of Europe where hallmarking was required by law, and that is what points me towards the American gold and jewelry market. There is some suggestion online that the F in combination with the 14k was thought to be a mark used by Friedman’s Jewelers. I remain uncertain about that.
Friedman's Inc. was an American company that owned and operated fine jewelry specialty stores. The company was established in Savannah, Georgia in 1920. Friedman's Inc. was headquartered in Addison, Texas. They were the third largest jewelry company in the US. They developed numerous outlets across the country under the names Friedman's Jewelers and Crescent Jewelers. The company declared bankruptcy in 2008 and had shuttered all stores by June 2008.
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/81648984_victorian-yellow-gold-box-form-watch-chain (Weighing 33.6 grams this 14K gold Victorian box style watch chain sold in 2020 for $1200.
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/79283477_antique-victorian-14k-gold-pocket-watch-fob-chain (Victorian 14k gold watch chain weighing 33 grams sold for $900 in 2019)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/79038046_retro-victorian-14k-buckle-and-tosca-watch-braceleth (called a retro Victorian heavy watch chain with tiny Tosca watch, all weighing 72 grams sold for $1700 in 2019)
Vintage gold jewelry is coming to auction quite regularly. The design of your chain is quite elaborate and heavily shaped. I doubt it is Victorian, but it is more likely retro--Victorian, indicating a looking back to earlier times. Unlike ladies necklaces this pocket watch chain has little use today except by collectors of early pocket watches who might actually wear a vest and use such an ornate chain. The weight of the gold is 29.5 grams, a fairly significant weight for a watch chain, but it is the styling that I believe would attract possible buyers. The estimate provided is for a well-advertised specialized online jewelry auction, where I believe the chain has the best chance of realizing its fullest potential. Retail "asking prices" can be higher and vary. The fair market value for this item at auction today would be in the range of $800-$950, which is not far from the value you would get if you sold in the gold market. Here is the calculation for that:
Determination of Gold value as scrap:
29.5 grams of 14k gold X 0.583 (14K/24K is 0.593%) = 17.19885 grams of 24 Karat pure gold = 0.606671580477 ounces of pure gold X $1,844 =
$1120 value X average retailer fee is 15% = $950 to you as the client.
Good luck with your watch chain, and I hope you found this appraisal of interest. Thank you for choosing mearto.com for you appraisal.