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I am so happy to have found Mearto. Their team of seasoned professionals provide a wealth of knowledge in tandem with excellent customer care. They provided an expert valuation and advised me sell a painting that I purchased for just $10 at an estate sale for nearly $1,000 on eBay. I have used them on several occasions and have been extremely pleased every time.
Mearto provides exceptional service at an exceptional price!
I used the Mearto authentication service to develop a history of a family owned piece with little to no provenance, except being owned by my family for 65 years. They came back with a 20 page extensive report and included a full page bibliography for reference. The “Stylistic Observations” section of the report was most enlightening comparing my piece to the original, which was on public display in the 1940’s.
I’m very happy with the results!
Very polite and professional services that they provide, my appraisal involved looking into an oil painting by an artist whose work is over 400 years old. Not only did they write about the artist but also where he was from and where he was born and most importantly the value, I'm impressed. (worth every penny).
I will always use Mearto for future appraisals.
The authentication report we received from Mearto was very well researched and written, as well as detailed and comprehensive. From an examination of the artist's signature to a discussion of the figural representations in the work, Mearto's art specialists took the time to explain in non-technical terms their findings. Professional, responsive, and kind are just a few words to describe their communication throughout the process-- definitely money well spent!
We needed a watch appraised and I found this website via Google. Having never doing this before, I was hesitant to submit a payment before receiving any information, I'm glad I did. David was very helpful and patient addressing my questions, and explaining the process. He was very thorough and knowledgeable. Should I have another opportunity, I would not hesitate to contact Mearto again.
Jewelry is a cultural hallmark that has spanned the entirety of humanity’s cultural history, the earliest known jewelry having been created in prehistory. Archeologists have been known to find examples of prehistoric jewelry in the form of snail shells or bird’s eggs with holes bored out to create strung beads. Jewelry, depending on the age of the piece, can be considered archeological artifacts. Because of the durability of the materials often used (often metals and hardstones or glass), jewelry and other types of adornment are able to survive for centuries, often intact like the string of ostrich egg beads found in Kenya that was thought to be the oldest item of personal adornment ever worn. Aside from art, jewelry is perhaps the most potent and personal visual expression of a culture.
Jewelry is not restricted to adorning the physical body, as it can also be affixed to the clothing or hair. It often serves a functional dual purpose; holding clothing, accessories or hair in place. It can be a symbol of financial or societal status and be used to invest wealth. Jewelry can have religious, ceremonial, or protective purposes for the wearer. The western definition of jewelry is restricted to decorative items worn for personal adornment. Each modern age has been marked with a distinctive style of jewelry, but the rise of commercial jewelry has broadened the visibility of wearable art trends.
Types of jewelry include:
To be considered ‘antique,’ the jewelry in question must be at least 100 years old. While shops and emporiums for the sale and trade of antique and vintage jewelry dwindle, a vast inventory of estate, antique, and vintage jewelry is now online with the sale of major pieces of jewelry routinely handled by major auction houses. The Pink Star Diamond, at 59.60 carats, is known as the world’s most expensive gemstone. It was sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April 2017 for a staggering £57.3 million.
The value of jewelry lies not only in the piece as whole, but also in the sum of its parts, namely, the materials. The metals and stones that are found in pieces are principle determinators of the value of the overall piece. Other factors to consider, particularly with estate and antique jewelry, are rarity (age), condition, craftsmanship and alterations.
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. It really depends on the piece. Diamonds, particularly modern diamond engagement and wedding rings, do tend to be worth far less than their original purchase price. However, vintage diamond rings, particularly those from the Victorian and Art Deco eras, can actually increase in value over time. Gold is generally thought to be a good investment for portfolio diversification because it holds its value throughout times of political and economic hardship. It's also one of the few assets that can keep up with inflation and the rises in the cost of living. However, gold jewelry isn't necessarily a good investment because it loses value when it is melted to be more easily sold. The best way to ensure that your jewelry appreciates or increases its value over time is to invest in unique pieces from interesting periods in history and well-respected designer brands.
The magnet test is the most basic way to start determining the value of the metals in your jewelry. Neither gold nor silver is magnetic, however, even if your piece passes the magnet test, you should still consult an expert for confirmation, as many inauthentic pieces are being made with non-magnetic materials.
Another test that you can easily do at home is simply wear the piece to see how the surface of your skin reacts to the metal. If the skin underneath the piece becomes discolored, then the metal is neither silver nor gold, which do not react with the properties of skin.
Barring chemical tests, or a consultation by an expert gemologist, there are a few ways that one can gain some knowledge about the types of materials that make up your piece. Many pieces will bear a hallmark, or small impression struck by official offices for consumer protection. The purity mark is the most commonly encountered and denotes the type of metals and karat weight used in the creation of the piece. The Jeweler’s Liability Act was passed in 1906, which regulated the stamping of jewelry made from precious metals in the US. European countries including France, the United Kingdom and Germany have similar marking conventions for the same purposes. In addition to purity marks, there are maker’s marks, date marks, and town marks. Hallmarks can provide essential clues when determining the age and origin of antique pieces of jewelry.
Regarding gemstones, experts emphasize the value of imperfection, meaning that a stone which appears too perfect is often not genuine. An overly smooth appearance, may indicate that a stone is made of glass or plastic. Natural stones, like diamonds, have naturally-occurring flecks, and are easily visible with a magnifying glass.
Another quick, at-home test you can do to determine the authenticity of a diamond would be “the fog test.” Real diamonds don’t retain heat, so breathing onto a genuine stone will not cause it to fog up, however a fake stone will.
Don’t discount the value of costume jewelry! There are many vintage brands and costume jewelry by long established designers, such as Channel or Gucci, can be valuable without being made of typically expensive materials.