During this long season of sheltering in place I’ve been buying jewelry lots and charm bracelets online with the intention to sell pieces individually and make a little profit. But I’ll be honest, my recent purchases have been mixed–one good, one fair and one I shouldn’t have bought!
Let’s get started with this “fair” lot.
I knew some of these charms were junk from the listing photos. It’s not uncommon for sellers to put a few good pieces in a lot and pad the rest with poorer quality items. Still I had a few surprises.
Two of the charms marked sterling were in fact not sterling. Drat! They were magnetic. Sterling silver, and the alloys used in it, are never magnetic.
The charm bracelet was not in fact a bracelet, but part of an English sterling silver Albert watch chain and is missing its dog clip. It is hallmarked and dates to 1910. The maker’s mark is quite rubbed but may be H. P. & S for “H. Pidduck & Sons.” Each solid link is marked with a passant.
It’s a quality piece and still has value, but darn I wish it had the clip.
The pieces below are non silver and/or poorly made. I will be adding these to my donate pile.
Thankfully there were a few good charms, all 800 to 925 silver.
One of my favorites is the mechanical sewing machine with a wheel that turns and the bottom opens to scissors and needle and thread? It’s a good quality English silver charm.
Travel shield charms are fairly common, but I was amazed at the detail on this tiny one with all those little windows on the Basilica of the 14 Holy Helpers in Vierzehnheiligen (say that three times fast!).
The small eskimo carving (oddly thrown in this lot) is likely bone and is similar to carvings from Tobolsk, Siberia, Russia–an area known for this type of craft. There are no maker’s markings on it. Not sure how strong the market is with these type of figurines and the few prices I’ve found (for both sold and current listings) vary widely from $20 to $200+. I’ve decided to price it modestly.
This was my second lot bought from this seller. Will I buy from her again? Maybe. I will at least keep looking at her lots.
This “good” lot had two 14kt gold rings and a lapis pendant and was my most expensive recent jewelry buy, but should yield the most profit.
The downside for me in purchasing precious metals and gems is my lack of knowledge. Take for example the ring with five small diamonds. I know nothing about size, cut, color and clarity of diamonds, nor can I head out to a local jeweler to find out. The stones do have good flash. I ended up basing my price for this ring by researching rings of similar age, quality and size.
I bought one charm bracelet that I shouldn’t have. To be fair the seller was honest about the number of charms marked sterling, etc., but I thought one or two were better than they were. And one marked sterling jumped to a magnet (so it’s not sterling) and the vintage zodiac bubble charm (normally a $20 charm) was damaged on the back and not sellable. The bracelet itself, which I thought was sterling silver is not. But here’s the interesting thing, the seller said the bracelet had a sterling silver clasp which it does, but never said the bracelet was sterling too!
The best charm on this bracelet was the sterling silver For Emergency pill box which opens and is actually big enough to fit a few small pills.
The 1940s puffy heart charm is another nice one with an atypical style of shamrock.
If all the listable pieces from this bracelet sell, I will make my money back and possibly a little profit. But I shake my head when I think of this purchase. A disappointment for sure.
Some of the items I’ve highlighted in this post are already in someone’s Etsy shopping cart, but I’ve learned that doesn’t mean a hill of beans. People put things in their cart as a way to bookmark them. The emergency box charm and diamond ring have been in and out of carts and are now both in again. I’m not holding my breath that a sale is imminent, still, at least it means they are desirable. (This reselling life is such a gamble!)
Hope you are all doing well in this difficult time.