$5,700 Diamond Necklace Appraised at $125,000 on ‘Antiques Roadshow’

Courtesy PBS

A screenshot of the necklace

Monday night’s Antiques Roadshow on PBS had a jewel for jewelry lovers: a stunning 1960 Van Cleef & Arpels diamond necklace that appraised at 21 times its original price.

A woman brought the diamond necklace to the show’s Austin, Texas, visit along with the piece’s original receipt and a photo and New York stock number. Her father-in-law had commissioned the necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels in New York in 1960.

The pendant features a 3.91 ct. emerald-cut diamond, two marquise-cut diamonds of .63 ct. t.w., and one round-cut diamond of .15 ct. It was originally on a platinum chain, though the owner had swapped it out for a longer one of white gold. The 1960 price, including federal tax: $5,700.

Appraiser Virginia Salem said that a GIA report would be needed to price the piece accurately, but based on the documentation and her own cursory appraisal, she estimated that the piece (with its original chain) was now worth $125,000.  

“I would say that there would be a retail replacement value, or [that it would sell] in a high-end retail store, at $125,000 today,” Salem said.

The owner seemed shocked: “Wow. That has appreciated quite a bit, hasn’t it?”

No word on whether she plans to keep the family heirloom or sell it, but the segment surely sent many viewers to their jewelry boxes to see what treasures from the past they might have hiding there (and to their file cabinets—if anything, the segment was a lesson in keeping the receipt!)

The full segment is available at PBS.org.