Vintage Dealer Tiina Smith Brings Her Pedigreed Jewels to Saks’ Vault

There’s an exciting visiting vendor at the Vault, Saks Fifth Avenue’s new fine jewelry floor. Renowned vintage jewelry dealer Tiina Smith has set up temporary residence in the basement department of the store’s New York City flagship through Feb. 29, bringing with her a trove of pedigreed vintage jewels.

Boston-based Smith travels the world collecting unique jewelry from major fashion houses such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Chanel, and Cartier. After she wraps up her time in NYC, she’ll be bringing her treasures to Saks’ Palm Beach, Fla., store March 10–April 6.  

We caught up with the veteran collector and dealer to chat about her Saks retail partnership.

JCK: How did the Saks Fifth Avenue collaboration come to be?

Tiina Smith: It came from a desire for us to show our collection at the ultimate luxe jewelry center in New York City—combined with Saks’ interest in having rare signed vintage jewelry available to their clients.

Can you tell us a little about the pieces you’ve brought to the Vault?

We focus on rare and one-of-a-kind pieces by the master jewelers of the 20th and 21st centuries, and I brought jewels from Van Cleef & Arpels, Schlumberger for Tiffany, Verdura, Tiffany & Co., Moussaieff, and Aletto Brothers [among others].

Asprey blue ring
Vintage Asprey 18k white gold ring with 22.47 cts. t.w. blue chalcedony and around 8.97 cts. blue sapphires, available at Smith’s Vault display for $13,500
Art Deco bracelet
Art Deco 18k white gold diamond bracelet with approximately 18.6 cts. t.w. diamonds, available at the Saks pop-up for $37,000

What is the price range of pieces you’re selling, and what’s the most valuable jewel you’ll be showcasing?

The range in pricing is $10,000 for a diamond encrusted “Love” pin by Tiffany & Co. to $350,000 for a 16.77 ct. fancy light brown VS1 show-stopping diamond ring.

What brands are really in-demand right now for you? And what looks/styles?

Rare, truly vintage pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, such as a pair of carved emerald and diamond drop earrings from 1967 and a 68-inch long onyx, diamond, and 18k yellow gold chain (that can separate into two chains of equal length) with matching earrings from the 1970s, are in high demand. 

We are also finding that interesting pieces featuring links in various sizes, shapes, and materials excite clients. We have oval, elongated rectangle, circular, and oval links made from onyx, chrysoprase, rose gold, and platinum. Some are covered in faceted diamonds (not pavé), and others are bezel-set with baguettes. All stunning! 

Top: 16.77 ct. fancy light brown VS1 diamond ring mounted in yellow gold, $350,000 (all photos courtesy of Tiina Smith)

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JCK Magazine Editor