Art Deco Bracelet is a Marriage of Two Items

June 16th, 2009 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG
Art Deco Bracelet-NOT!

Art Deco Bracelet

We just completed an estate appraisal for a client which included this nice looking white gold bracelet. During the take-in process, we noticed a missing stone and a broken hinge. And, somehow the bracelet just didn’t look quite right.

When we turned the bracelet over, we immediately noticed some remnant parts that were out of place– see the photo below. We also noted a subtle difference in the metal color between the sections and in the workmanship of the added hinges and the attachment rings. Further examination and some thought led us to the conclusion that the bracelet was a “marriage” of two items- the center section appeared to be an Art Deco clasp, buckle or pair of clips, the outer two parts, a bracelet that had been added.


Appraising an item like this presents a few issues. It’s an old piece that is an assemblage, so you can’t really value it like a vintage item that is totally original. While it is attractive and can be restored to wearability, as an assemblage, it may not appeal to a connoisseur of vintage jewelry, so its saleability might be affected. Then again, it might appeal to someone who loves the style and would appreciate a good value. Saleability is an important part of the equation when establishing a fair market value for an estate appraisal

In our opinion, the item was not so far gone that it only had scrap value, so we placed it’s fair market value at the low end of the retail estate market for similar bracelets less the cost of the necessary repairs.

In our estate department, we often see married or modified items like this. Because fine jewelry is made of very durable materials, it can last for a very long time. Also, it’s value means that fine jewelry may be handed down from generation to generation. As time passes and styles change, it’s not unusual for jewelry to be modified or restyled. One of our estate jewelry suppliers pointed out that this modification may have been done by the original seller– overstocked on clips, he decided to convert one into a bracelet.

When you visit our estate department, you’ll see items relatively new and very old– they are all previously owned and are in good wearable condition. We take every opportunity to learn about our estate pieces, we refurbish them if needed and will be glad to discuss the details of quality and desirability. Take advantage of our many connections in the jewelry business if you are looking for a special estate piece. And remember our expert appraisal services when you need documentation of age, value, and condition.

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