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Vintage Mexican Silver & Amethyst Panel Bracelet


I picked this bracelet up recently at an auction. It is a circa 1940 Mexican silver panel bracelet with very large amethysts set into the front. The size of the amethysts is unique and I’ve been all over the web looking for similar bracelets. I haven’t found anything quite like this bracelet.

Dealing with so much jewelry tends to make me blase’ about most jewelry. It’s exciting when I run into something I haven’t seen or owned before.

This bracelet is currently for sale in my eBay store but I almost hate to part with it. Not that I need any more jewelry…..

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Those Annoying Gold Diggers!


There is a type of man you’ll see at an antiques auctions who are 100% guaranteed to annoy me. I call these guys the “Gold Diggers”.

There are some Gold Diggers who have been doing it for a long time, way before gold prices shot up. They don’t bother me because they know what they are doing. It’s the other Diggers who bother me — the bandwagon jumpers who have begun speculating since gold shot up in value.

Gold Diggers can be spotted two different ways. First, they will always have a jeweler’s loupe with them. They crowd the tables of goods and meticulously examine each piece of gold colored metal within sight. I’ve nearly guffawed out loud when watching a man check out a 1970’s Sarah Coventry Austin Powers style swinger’s pendant necklace in goldtone. Obviously these guys don’t know costume jewelry.

As a person who specializes in costume jewelry and looks at jewelry all day long, I can pick out real gold from a distance. That’s because finding a piece of gold in my costume jewelry is like finding a little surprise treasure. (OK, maybe I’m a little bit of a Gold Digger in my heart). I’m like Rainman in the toothpick scene of the Rainman movie. Thrown a pile of jewelry on the floor, and I could spot the tiny gold pin in there within fourteen seconds.

The other way to identify Gold Diggers are by the small digital jewelry scales that they carry with them. I’ve been to auctions where the bidding had to be suspended while a Digger weighed the item and calculated how close to the bone he could cut his bid. Don’t you think he could have done this before the auction started?

www.midcenturyjewelry.com.

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Darrell is my favorite antiques picker

Darrell is my favorite antiques picker. Let me tell you how I met this guy….

I was at an auction a few years ago, purchasing jewelry for resale. Bids were low and I was raking the jewelry in. I love it when nobody shows up for an auction! Anyway, this little guy approaches me and asks me if I want more jewelry. I say “Sure!” and give him my number.

Days later I get a phone call from the guy. Now, I don’t know him from Adam, but he’s ready to meet. So, I say to him, “Well, is there a McDonald’s near where you are and maybe we can meet in the parking lot so you can show me your stuff?”. Darrell doesn’t like that idea. He says, “I’ve already got all the jewelry laid out on tables at my house. That way you can see it better“.

Wouldn’t you think I might decide that this idea is possibly not prudent? But, nooooooo, that’s because as an antiques dealer, I live in mortal fear that I’ll never find good stuff ever again so I’ll go just about anywhere for that next find.

I called my husband at work to let him know my whereabouts. “Honey, I’m going to meet a total stranger at his house to buy jewelry. So if I don’t come back, his name is Darrell and his phone number is 555-XXXX”. My husband grunts and I hear the clicking of a keyboard in the background. “Did you write this DOWN?!!!!” His response gives me no confidence that he’d be helpful in locating my remains, so I hang up and call my best friend. After telling me I’m crazy, she takes down the info.

Well, Darrell’s house ends up being a moldy 1970s split-level on a large lot, isolated from other houses by trees and undergrowth. I knock on the door and hear fervent rustling behind the door. As Darrell opens the door, I take a gander and realize that jewelry is no-where to be seen. “So, where’s the stuff?” I ask. Darrell chuckles, “I’ve got it all laid out the basement. There’s more room down there!”

So, here we go down into the basement. Holy Moley, it’s the Mother Lode! And you thought Darrell was going to kill me, didn’t you? Well, you will have to stay disappointed. Darrell turned out to be totally legit. After that initial buy, Darrell became my picker. He goes to auctions and garage sales as a hobby. I can’t be everywhere all the time so it’s nice to have someone out there looking on my behalf.

Darrell likes to do business on his terms, and that’s OK with me. He calls me when he has a large group of jewelry and miscellaneous items to sell. When he calls, he wants to meet RIGHT THEN. Sometimes I get the feeling that Darrell’s motivation to sell is directly related to his immediate need for cash. I have to buy it all…good, bad and indifferent. Sometimes I get the better of him and sometimes he gets the better of me. It’s been a good thing, though, and Darrell has come through for me when I have felt like things had dried up and there was no vintage jewelry to be found.

Would I meet a total stranger at his house again? Probably not. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it! I’ve cultivated other pickers from my goings-about and didn’t have to resort to meetings in dark places.

www.midcenturyjewelry.com.