Search Gem Gossip!

meet contact


twitter button3 button1 GemGossipYouTube pinterest tumblr

Store & Designer Directory


Sponsored By:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Gem Gossip Friends
Bario Neal Sponsored by Fellows Alexis Kletjian
The Archives
Shop My Picks!
Follow on Pinterest!


Entries in skinner auction (6)

My Jewel Box: Garnet & Diamond "Comet" Ring

Untitled  80020603

Getting this ring was truly a heart-stopping moment, both when opening it up and seeing it for the first time, as well as live bidding at auction. This ring was acquired through March 18th's Fine Jewelry Sale at Skinner Auction House in Boston. I had browsed the lots in order to write a piece about the upcoming auction, only to spot this ring and fall in love.  It was then I decided to not just write about the auction, but become a bidder myself! 

The ring is 14k yellow gold, set with a large round brilliant garnet, measuring about 14mm in diameter! The diamonds, which are a combination of Old European cuts and a few full cuts, along with a triangular cut, all form a "Comet" shape. Blue enameling outlines the perimeter and along the sides. The age of the piece is difficult to pinpoint. It almost looks as though it is late 1800s or turn-of-the-Century, however the futuristic shape and triangular cut diamond are throwing me off. Victoria Bratberg, Director of Jewelry for Skinner, says that "the ring is composed of diamond elements from the 1920’s that were reconfigured with later added diamond-set shoulders probably in the 1950’s." This makes more sense considering all of the elements within the ring. It hails from a private New York collector and I hope they will know I will treasure it for many years to come!

The March 18th Fine Jewelry auction at Skinner was quite intimidating for a buyer like myself. I diligently watched as many of the first few pieces sold quickly to aggressive bids. Three rare pieces of jewelry by Pablo Picasso, each on the block for the first time, stole the show! Estimated hammer prices ranged from $15,000-20,000 so it was an incredible showdown to watch as all three sell for $386,250 total and most importantly, all selling to the same buyer!

All this happened before my beloved Garnet ring was up on the auction block, and I have to admit, I was a little aprehensive at that point. Plus, bidding online from Skinner Live! leaves you unaware of what it looks like over in Boston, where all the action is taking place. The stars aligned during the quick bidding in lot 282, and I was so excited to be the last bidder on my second or third bid (can't remember because of the adrenaline rush)! My experience with Skinner has been nothing but positive! I am looking forward to taking part in more jewelry auctions in the future and maybe even someday visiting their facility in Boston!

Skinner Fine Jewelry Auction, March 18th, 2014

80021156 80021541 80021055 80021211 1035668 1018328

Skinner, Inc. announces an auction of Fine Jewelry on March 18, featuring over 500 lots of treasures by important makers including BuccellatiCartierVan Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co. and, extraordinarily, Pablo Picasso, among others. Fine Art Nouveau jewelry, a strong section of diamonds, and several whimsical, figural pieces also stand out in this auction.

I've registered and signed up myself, so I will be logging in from my computer in Nashville and bidding along with all the eager buyers who attend the auction live in Boston. Above are the lots I am really looking forward to seeing; I would love to own any of these!  

Lot 187: Two antique diamond rings, set with Old Mine cut diamonds in 18k yellow gold.  One ring is a cluster, the other a solitaire, both with beautiful engraving in an all original antique setting.

Lot 189: Pearl encrusted Swallow brooch, with a faceted onyx suspended from the bottom. Bird-themed jewelry is incredibly popular and collectible.  This piece is amazing and all intact, in excellent condition.  

Lot 196: Antique moostone and half-pearl necklace in 18k yellow gold.  The magical moonstone is the perfect size, not too big or too small, and is delicately surrounded by precious pearls.  Such a great antique piece.

Lot 203: Antique cushion cut yellow diamond ring, surrounded by diamonds in yellow gold.  How perfect would this ring be as an engagement ring?  It is stunning!

Lot 227: Unique diamond and sapphire circular drop earrings, done in 14k yellow gold.  These will surely make a statement with your hair pulled up into a bun.  So chic!

Lot 231: Gorgeous enamel and diamond antique navette ring, set with Old Mine cut diamonds. Love the shape and the flower pattern


Auction Results: Skinner Fine Jewelry, September 10th, 2013 #LoveGold

Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled

Untitled Untitled

My first attempt at bidding online at a jewelry auction was loads of fun and way easier than I thought!  I decided on Skinner’s Fine Jewelry Auction on September 10th, which was convenient for me with my work schedule--I was able to watch live while typing up appraisals.  

My first step was to register; very simple and straight-forward--I filled out a form, created a username and password, and then proceeded to wait for a confirmation email.  It took about one day to be approved in order to bid, so I recommend doing this at least a few days in advance of auction day.  

Next, I browsed the lots, making sure I read every detail about items that were of interest.  Using an iPhone to browse can also be done, which made things more efficient.  If a ring appealed to me, I made sure to check out the size and evaluated whether or not it was sizable.  If stones were missing from a piece, I figured if it would be worth repairing--how much it would cost to repair and how much the piece would be fully restored?  These types of answers to questions may be hard for an average person to answer, but there are always people that work the auction houses that are available and ready to answer questions!  Once I figured out which items I wanted to bid on, I made sure to jot down the lot number, how much my maximum bid should be, and how much I think the item is worth (its retail replacement value).  I also made sure to rank the items--noting which lots were my absolute favorites.

On auction day, I logged in and it was amazing to watch and hear the auction going on, LIVE!  I had to mute the sound due to being at work, but luckily there are Live Updates on the Message Center throughout the entire auction.  Most bids went to “Floor Bidders,” people that were present at the actual event, but surprisingly the “Online Bidders” kept things exciting and also came away as winners.  I bid on the two rings above; with bidding being one-click, it was super quick and easy.  Almost too easy, because I bid more than what I figured as my maximum bid, but the excitement is entertaining and contagious.  Sadly, I didn’t win the lot, but enjoyed watching the rest of the auction from the convenience of my desk...chiming in every once in awhile, when a good deal came across the screen.

Here are the results of my TOP SIX picks from the Skinner Auction:

18k yellow gold Art Deco, Egyptian Revival enamel watch, Hammer price: $1,046

18k yellow gold antique swag chain and Bloodstone ring, Hammer price: $800

18k yellow gold rings, turquoise & enamel dancing maiden, Hammer price: $840

18k yellow gold fringe necklace, Hammer price: $1,560

Tiffany & Co. reverse crystal painted brooch in 14k yellow gold, Hammer price: $9,600

Gold & platinum topped diamond and sapphire bypass ring, Hammer price: $1,800


This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold


Q & A with Victoria Bratberg of Skinner, Inc.

V Bratburg 2011-original


Skinner Auction House features some incredible pieces of jewelry in which they put up for auction at their Boston location.  September 11th is an exciting day at Skinner because their Fine Jewelry Sale begins at 10am and it will showcase jewelry from the collection of Joan Sonnabend, owner of the New York gallery Sculpture to Wear. Joan Sonnabend influenced numerous people with her insight and passion, and helped many artists begin their careers.  She showed how jewelry is truly an artform of adornment which at times could be very sculptural.  

I caught up with the Director of Fine Jewelry at Skinner, Victoria Bratberg, to ask a few questions for Gem Gossip readers:



After graduating from college I moved to NYC to complete the graduate gemologist in residence program at the Gemological Institute of America. After finishing I began working at Sotheby’s auction house where I worked for eight years in the jewelry department. I then left Sotheby’s and started designing my own jewelry which was a fun departure from the auction world. Then about a year and half ago I accepted the position of director of fine jewelry at Skinner in Boston.



Every work day is different which keeps things interesting and exciting.  Working at an auction house you see everything, it is a wonderful education.  I am constantly learning something new and after being in a business for over ten years that is refreshing. 



I am excited for our upcoming September Fine Jewelry Sale, we are in the midst of putting the sale together and there are some great signed pieces in the auction. The sale features jewelry from the collection of Joan Sonnabend.

joan-sonnabend-2 joan-sonnabend-artist-jewelry


A woman came in with a bag of costume jewelry she had bought at a garage sale for $10.  I found in the bag a platinum, diamond and sapphire brooch by Louis Comfort Tiffany worth $25,000.



A vintage gold bracelet from the 60’s given to me by my mother.


Skinner to Auction Some Stunning Fine Jewelry

80013248 80014188 80014143 80014304 80014141 80013693

I love looking through auction catalogs of upcoming sales--Skinner has an auction on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 and it seems like they have some really neat pieces going up on the block.  The auction is being held at their Boston gallery and will feature over 550 lots of fine jewelry, including diamonds, natural pearls, colored stones and signed pieces by makers such as Buccellati, David Webb, Angela Cummings, Cartier, Schlumberger, and Van Cleef & Arpels.  I've chosen the pieces I've got my eye on!  

>> Click here for more details about each lot.