Monday, February 1, 2010
The Worst They Can Say is "No"
My mother may not be Einstein, but she did have a few "gems" of advice that have served me well over the years. One that has worked for me across the board in my antiques hunting has been her simple directive: "Ask. The worst they can say is no."
That's how I managed to acquire one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. I simply walked into a run-of-the-mill modern jewelry shop and asked the proprietor if he had any "old" pieces for sale. He pulled out a little box of stuff he had bought off of people who came into the shop to trade in their old jewelry ... usually for the gold melting price, and sometimes as trade-ins for newer pieces. He showed me a few odds and ends, and I picked out a few choice items. One of them was this amazing 22K gold ring, set with small pieces of black diamonds and a little star ruby. To him, it was just another old ring. To me, it was something that made my mouth water and my palms sweat! I'd never seen anything quite like it. And I knew instantly that it was a real treasure.
According to the experts at Sotheby's in Geneva, it is Spanish Colonial - 15th or 16th century. Whether they are right or wrong, it doesn't really matter. I won't even say how much I paid for it. Suffice it to say, it was a real bargain. So, to elaborate on mom's advice: Don't be shy; inquire about "old jewelry" at a modern jewelry store. You never know what treasures are sitting around waiting to be melted, or waiting for someone to just "ask."