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Helen Murray ,of Bonhams in Knowle, looks at how you could make money on the jewellery you never wear.

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Helen Murray ,of Bonhams in Knowle, looks at how you could make money on the jewellery you never wear.

Have you inherited items of jewellery that you don't wear and which are lost at the bottom of your jewellery box or hidden away in the bank? If this is the case have you thought about selling jewellery at auction? Did you know that the auction market is currently very strong for good antique jewellery?

The styles of the early 20th century such as belle poque, art nouveau, art deco and arts and crafts are highly sought after at auction. These styles have transcended time and progress and can been worn as easily today as the day they were made. The simplicity and elegance of the belle poque is highlighted in the diamond and sapphire panel brooch, illustrated, circa 1910, which sold for £2,600 in January. The introduction of platinum in the early part of the 20th century allowed for fine delicate pierced mounts, which flattered the brilliance of diamonds and other coloured gemstones.

Also illustrated is an art deco diamond bracelet, by Cartier, circa 1925, set throughout with old brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds, totalling 13.50 carats. The piece sold for 36,000 in at Bonhams' New Bond Street saleroom last year. Cartier, is synonymous with a premier brand of jewellery, and whether the item in question is early 20th century (as illustrated) or a modern piece, prices continue to remain strong at auction. Signed pieces are increasingly popular, and other premier jewellery brands such as Boucheron, Tiffany, Garrard, Bulgari are keenly contested.

The bracelet illustrated was not only a popular piece due to the signature style of the art deco period and Cartier but also the timeless and wearable appeal of diamonds. Whether set in a bracelet or worn as a single stone diamonds have remained popular when choosing a piece of jewellery. The market for the single stone diamond ring weighing over a carat is currently very strong at auction. The diamond ring illustrated weighed 2.49 carats was consigned at the Knowle saleroom and sold in London for 9,000.

In complete contrast current fashions have encouraged the return of the bold retro designs of the 50's, 60's and 70's, with designers such as Andrew Grima, Van Cleef and Arpels and Chaumet becoming increasingly popular. In 2006 Bonhams hosted a specialist jewellery auction which included work exclusively by Andrew Grima. Prices realised ranged from 800 for a simple gem set ring to 40,000 for a cultured pearl and diamond 'oyster shell' necklace and earrings suite, circa 1972 illustrated. His bold and abstract designs embody the spirit of the era in which they were produced but have enjoyed a recent resurgence in fashion.

If you are interested in selling your jewellery at auction, please contact Helen Murray, FGA, DGA, on 01564 776151 or email for a free and confidential valuation. Appointments can be arranged at the Knowle saleroom ,or in the convenience of your home or bank.


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