How To Treat Your Antique Jewelry

It’s a dream for a lot of people to have an antique jewelry piece of their very own, and along with this, it’s important to make sure that make sure that it looks as wonderful as it does when you first saw it. This means developing an understanding of how to treat said jewelry, not just for yourself, but for future generations if you want to hand it down. So, if you were to pick up a Cartier or similar piece from one of the antique auction houses in Dania Beach, here’s what comes next.

As a start, you want to be sure that you choose the right cleaning product for the metal and stone type that your piece has. Not all antique jewelry is the same. For example, gold naturally tends to get darker over time. In order to deal with this issue, you can clean it with a combination of ammonia and water, and the same will work for platinum. However, this can be risky, which is why many people recommend using professional cleaning solutions formulated for these instead. Should you go this route, just make sure that you choose a respected brand and inspect the instructions to make sure what you have is the right fit for your piece.

For gemstones, only certain types are able to be cleaned using powerful solutions, like diamonds and rubies. However, there are other options here. For example, for pearls, wearing them is actually a way to help keep them clean, as the natural oils in our skin maintain the shine of a pearl. Combine this with wiping a pear with a soft cloth that has a few drops of olive oil on it.

One step that precedes any jewelry cleaning is taking some time to dust off the piece. Make sure you do this gently, with a soft brush, so any of the particles don’t accidentally scratch the jewelry. When you have the proper solution and are free of dust, you can apply the jewelry cleaning. Generally, you want to apply some of the solutions to a soft cloth and gently rub it to keep it clean. A soft Q-tip is handy to reach for places a cloth cannot. The final step you can take to cap off your cleaning process is to polish the jewelry with a special cloth that you can find either online or at a jewelry store. This is a nice and inexpensive way for you to add some sparkle and shine back into your piece.

How Piaget Is Breaking Records For Thinness

Piaget has always been at the forefront when it comes to timepieces, but rarely do we get to see a piece in action that actually breaks a record. Such was the case recently when Piaget put forward not one, but two pieces that managed to take new levels of thinness forward: the Altiplano Ultimate Concept and the Altiplano Ultimate Automatic 910P.

At only 4.3mm of thickness, the Altiplano Ultimate 910P managed to be the thinnest mechanical watch in the world. The Altiplano Ultimate Concept, at only 2mm of thickness, is now the world’s thinnest mechanical hand-wound watch. Putting together the Concept was the end result of four years of research. CEO of Piaget Chabi Nouri mentioned that the goal of Piaget was never to break the record to try and get a place in history, but to try and push “the boundaries of creativity.”

In order to hit this creativity limit, the experts at Piaget had to completely re-engineer how the dial and caliber fit inside the watch case. The entire process necessitated the filing of five separate patents. For example, with the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P Automatic, Piaget redesigned the regulating organ at 9 o’clock. This meant getting rid of the balance wheel bridge and fusing the inner ring, the roller, and balance staff all into one piece.

To continue the innovation with this watch, Piaget designed a new barrel, placing it at 6 o’clock This has no cover or drum, instead attaching the ball-bearing mounted mainspring to the frame of the watch. Another new control device has been added at 3 o’clock. This uses a control stem and selection lever to control certain functions.

Other watch lines that are taking advantage of this new technology include the Possession line. One new quartz-powered Possession line for women features rotating bezels combine with interchangeable straps. Nouri mentioned how the goal here was to combine “the Piaget savoir-faire with the gem-setting, gold craftsmanship.” The also adds that the rotating dancing ring adds an element of playfulness that you may not see elsewhere. “It has a playfulness to it, with the rotating dancing ring.”

Piaget is a stalwart as far as watches go, and in many cases, there’s a reason to seek out both the classic designs as well as some of the newer options on the table like the Altiplano Ultimate Concept and the Altiplano Ultimate Automatic 910P. To try and claim these and other Piaget pieces for your own, be sure to visit an auction house in Fort Lauderdale and see what is up for auction.

How Dale Chihuly’s Featured Exhibition At The Biltmore Came To Be

Those who aren’t familiar with the works of Dale Chihuly had a one-of-a-kind chance to see them on full display at an exhibition held at the Biltmore estate last year. The final exhibition with the end result of weeks of work to install 16 large glass sculptures around the house and estate.

Horticulture director Parker Andes noted that the estate, the former gardens, conservatory, and home of George Vanderbilt, have always posed a unique backdrop for the various art exhibitions that take place here. Built back in the 1890s, Andes mentioned how the Biltmore has a scale that’s really hard to work with.” Andes added that he has a difficult time expressive how the landscapes show off the art.

Those who are familiar with Chihuly would likely instantly recognize the two wooden boats filled with glass in the pools at the Italian Garden, which instantly harken back to the exhibition that put Chihuly on the map in the art world: 1996’s “Chihuly Over Venice.” That work was the payoff to over a year of research Dale Chihuly did with local glass factory masters, installing massive chandeliers across Venice, creating an international interest.

Today, he and his Seattle-based team of glassblowers, engineers, and other craftsmen have also put together other international exhibitions, seen in locations like Jerusalem, London, Chicago, Naples, and New York. However, when it comes to the Biltmore, Chihuly Studios director of exhibitions Britt Cornet had to admit that there was a never a setting quite like this that they worked on.

Even though this opportunity was something that both sides had worked on, it took four years of stringent planning for the exhibition to become a reality. In addition, there were some skeletal talks that took place even before that. In his 70s, Dale Chihuly himself doesn’t do a lot of press interviews but mentioned how excited he was about the show while expressing his thanks to the Biltmore team for making it a reality.

This includes a lot of work from Andes and his team. Andes mentioned how every single installation began as a general idea. At that point, he created a group of plants and textures for each sculpture, with the goal not to just mimic the work, but create complements and contrasts. While it’s not likely that you’re going to be able to bring any of these installations home, Dale Chihuly’s work is a great addition to any collection, so be sure to keep an eye out for art and antique auctions in Dania Beach that may have come up for bidding.

A Guide to Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry

A French jewelry company founded in 1896 on the basis of love and family, Van Cleef & Arpels had become a dominant force in the fashion accessory industry by the mid 20th century. The company was created by Alfred Van Cleef and his father-in-law Salomon Arpels, whose daughter shared and encouraged their love of jewels. After Salomon’s death in 1906, Alfred continued the business with two of his brothers-in-law.

It wasn’t long before the company started making a name for themselves all around the world. Here is a brief overview of how Van Cleef & Arpels went from a small-time jewelry company to a worldwide jewelry sensation whose early works are now big ticket items at antique auction houses in Dania Beach and other parts of the world.

Using Nature to Nurture

Similar to the style of Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels based the majority of their designs in a nature-inspired theme. Their style of choice often involved animals, flowers, and fairies. It’s this particular style that led them to create their unique bracelet which had both red and white roses that were made from rubies and diamonds, and ended up winning them the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in 1925.

From there the company took some massive steps, one of which was appointing Alfred Van Cleef’s daughter, Renee, in charge of the artistic direction. Only seven years after taking over creative control of the company, Renee led Van Cleef & Arpels to one of its biggest successes, the “mystery setting” patent. This patent gave them legal control over a particular method of setting gems in which the prongs are not visible. This painstaking task requires up to 300 hours of work per item, but it gave the company possession over a very distinct jewelry look. 

It wasn’t until 1966 that the next massive step came for Van Cleef & Arpels, which was their commission to design and create the coronation crown to be worn by Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran. This emerald velvet crown ended up containing 36 emeralds, 36 rubies, 105 pearls, and 1,469 diamonds. It was a worldwide spectacle that pushed the company into the public spotlight even further.

Significant Styles

Without a doubt, one of the most recognizable styles of the Van Cleef & Arpels brand is the mystery setting style, which gets applied to only a few pieces a year. However, they have also created many other signature items throughout the years such as the Passe-Partout necklace which is able to be customized to fit several different styles. This particular style of necklace is still revered in the jewelry industry, and a flawless edition of it was sold in 2008 for over $86,000.

What to Look for When Buying Antique Jewelry

Buying fine jewelry is exciting, whether it’s for yourself or as a gift for someone special. Making it even more exciting is buying a rare vintage piece. However, before you place your bid or make a purchase, it’s important to carefully inspect the pieces and make sure that you’re buying items that are in the best condition possible. You don’t need to be a professional jewelry appraiser or an expert in precious gemstones to know that you’re buying a high-quality piece. All you need to bid with confidence is a little time and attention to detail when inspecting the pieces

Read the description

If you’re buying antiques at an auction in Dania Beach, you’ll notice that each piece comes with a detailed description. Before you do anything else, start by reading this. It will tell you everything you need to know about the history of the piece, its origin, and any flaws or unique characteristics. It will also give you the specs, like the carat of the stones. This saves you from asking a lot of questions later.

Inspect the metal

Take a close look at the metal on each piece. Is it worn? Scratched? Tarnished? In some cases, you might be able to replace a chain on a pendant, but in other cases, flaws may be beyond repair. You’ll want to think about how much a little wear and tear matters to you in the long run.

Try it on

This isn’t always an option when buying at an auction, but many estate sales or shops will allow you to try pieces on. This is a great way to see how the piece lies on the body. High-quality sellers may also display their pieces on stands that resemble the neck, wrists, or fingers, so even if you can’t try a piece on, you’ll be able to see how it looks when worn on the body.

Check the clasp

It’s common for jewelry clasps to become worn down and break over time, and in many cases, they can be repaired or replaced. The important thing is knowing this ahead of time so you don’t end up with a piece that’s unwearable or only useful as a display item in your home.

Talk to an expert

If you’re really in love with a piece but need more information, don’t hesitate to talk to the seller or the auctioneer ahead of time. They may have additional information that will help to inform you that you’re making the right decision. Then you can make your purchase and enjoy it!

Choosing the Right Art Pieces for Your Home

Buying art is satisfying and pleasurable for anyone from the novice buyer to the avid collector. It’s a thrill to find a new piece that you can call your own. When it comes to buying fine art pieces for your home, there are several things that you’ll want to consider to make sure that you’re buying the best paintings, drawings, and sculptures for your needs and wants. Here are some things to consider when buying art from antique auction houses in Dania Beach:

The right color scheme

Think about your home and the room you’ll be displaying the art in. What color is the paint? Does it have warm or cool undertones? Are the walls wallpapered or textured? Will the art complement the color scheme and decor of the room or contrast it? There are no set rules about matching your art to the colors in a room, and in fact, art often pops, even more, when there’s a contrast, but there is a fine line here.

The right design aesthetic

What type of design does your home have? Are you a minimalist? Do you favor an industrial look? French country? Farmhouse? Again, your art doesn’t need to be an exact match to your home’s decor, but you want to make sure that it all works together somehow. A bold Andy Warhol print might not be the best match for a rustic, farmhouse decorated space. Or a Rococo painting might look out of place in a room with an industrial design.

The right size/shape

If you have your eye set on buying a massive painting or sculpture, think practically about where you’re going to place it. You’ll need a wall or a stand big enough to hold it, without it overpowering the room. The same goes for smaller works, which will look out of place if they’re hung on a vast wall space. In this case, it’s often better to create a gallery wall where you cluster several smaller pieces together to create an overall bigger visual effect.

Something that you just love

Sometimes these considerations don’t matter one bit. Art is deeply personal, and when a piece speaks to your heart, sometimes you just have to have it. If you truly love a piece of art, then it’s always a great purchase and you’ll find a way to make it work in your home. You’re the one who will be seeing it every day, so it’s best to follow your heart and buy something that you will love and cherish for years to come.

What to Look for at an Antique Auction House

Auctions are one of the best places to find high quality items. Not only do they offer consumers reasonable prices, but they provide buyers reliability. Despite this, there are some things to look for when selecting a piece. That’s because, they often carry a variety of goods, which can make it difficult for untrained professionals to spot goods of higher quality. This article highlights all the things that buyers should look for when purchasing pieces.

Originality

When looking for a piece, all buyers should consider how original the piece is. These buyers likely are interested in rare and authentic items that stand out. So, if you intend to bid on the item you should make sure it is a piece that fits what you are looking for.

History

One of the benefits of purchasing an item from these locations are the ability to know the history behind the item. Prior to bidding on a good, you should inquire into the history behind it. Knowing this can help to determine how it was cared for over the years, and where it came from. This information can impact the final price of the item and indicate if there may be any hidden defects or issues with it.

Quality

Prior to placing a bid on an item, you should be sure to assess the quality of the piece you are interested in. Assessing the quality of the piece means that you should look for any possible defects in it. Be sure to look for scuffs, scrapes or loose items that could result in a large issue in the future. This can also impact the final price of the object, and help to determine how much you should invest in it. Plus, spotting any damages prior to purchasing can help to guide your decision on bidding.

Potential Price

When browsing the items that will be placed up for sale, you should consider how much the final price of the item will go for. Knowing this information prior to placing a bid can help to set a realistic expectation for what the final selling price will be. This information can help to indicate whether or not you will be able to afford the item.

Interest

It is best to assess the possible interest in the item. This is especially true in busy, or high traffic antique auction houses such as Dania Beach. If you know that an item is going to generate a lot of interest, this will likely result in a higher bidding price and fierce competition. Knowing this prior to placing a bid and attending can get you prepared for competition.