Bonhams seeks hidden treasure

Bonhams is set to launch its annual jewellery campaign next month with a theme of ‘What’s in the box?’.

According to the auction house, many valuable jewels and gemstones are simply set aside in jewellery boxes and are rarely worn due to changing tastes and lifestyles.  In addition, individuals or families who inherit a safety deposit box full of jewellery are Evaluating jewellery at Bonhamsunsure what to do with it and it often remains untouched for years.

Throughout June, Bonhams is inviting people to access its network of experienced jewellery specialists in the UK and Europe so that they can provide up-to-date market valuations.

Jean Ghika, Head of Jewellery UK and Europe at Bonhams said, “Many people are paying high premiums to insure pieces that are rarely, if ever, worn.  They are either sitting in a jewellery box at home or in a bank. Given a number of high street banks are currently abandoning or relocating their safety deposit services, now is an opportune time to get an up-to-date market valuation.”

She added, “Recently, a gentleman sought Bonhams’ advice with his family legacy of 88 pieces of period jewellery dating from the late 19th century to the 1930s. The extraordinary collection had been relegated to a safety deposit box without the family realising the pieces had increased significantly in value.

Jewellery at Bonhams“We reviewed the collection, which included simple brooches to wonderful examples of Art Deco design, and advised on its current market value. The gentleman, surprised by the increase in value, instructed Bonhams to handle the sale of all the jewels which went on to sell for double and triple their estimated prices.  The gentleman was absolutely delighted when we told him the final sale total had exceeded £1 million.

“It’s a privilege to handle the international auction of a collection like this and to see the pieces being appreciated by their new owners.”

2016 is proving a strong year for selling jewellery according to Bonhams.  Current market conditions for signed jewellery from houses such as Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels are achieving top prices and the auction house is reporting excellent prices for coloured gemstones and fine coloured diamonds.

As part of its Jewellery in June campaign, Bonhams is releasing a short digital film showing how easy it is to get a valuation and sell jewellery.


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