There are many major and minor auction houses throughout the United States that either specialize in Antique & Estate Jewelry or regularly feature jewelry in their offerings. These can be a great resource both for educating and for sourcing for the beginning, novice and experienced collector. Always familiarize yourself with the terms of sale of house with which you are dealing, as terms will differ from place to place. Also, ask for specifics about what they DO guarantee and what they DON’T guarantee in regards to the item they have listed and described in the catalog.
A word of warning: Be very leery of auctions that take place in hotels with traveling auction firms, especially if the items they are selling are accompanied by “Insurance Appraisals.” These inflated appraisals are often produced for the auction company to make the customer think that they are purchasing an item for less than 50% of its market value when in fact they may actually be buying it for the real retail price. It is always best to deal with a firm that has a fixed location and that has been around for a long time with a good reputation.
Listed below are a number of auction houses that regularly feature jewelry. Be sure to check the link to the US auction directory for houses in your area.
Sotheby’s – New York, NY
Christies – New York, NY
Bonhams – New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA
Doyles – New York, NY
Skinner – Boston, MA
Grogan & Company – Boston, MA
Kaminski Auctions – Beverly, MA
Freeman’s – Philadelphia, PA
Rago Arts and Auction Center – Lambertville, PA
Heritage – Dallas, TX; Beverly Hills, CA; New York, NY
Northeast Auctions– Portsmouth, NH
Ivey-Selkirk –St. Louis, MO
Leslie Hindman – Chicago, IL
Susanin’s – Chicago, IL
Joseph DuMouchelle – Gross Pointe Farms, MI
US Auction directory: http://www.artfact.com/features/selectHouse.cfm?lu=&dp=1&countryID=US