Antique and Estate Jewelry at the Rio

Nearly 300 exhibitors showcased their wares to an audience of 3,500 at the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show, held May 31-June 3 at the Rio Suite Hotel and Casino. Vintage watches, fine estate jewelry, rare gemstones, and antique reproduction designs were available, and many exhibitors reported that buying was brisk. One exhibitor, Global Gems of Idar-Oberstein, Germany, showcased a variety of stunning estate pieces, including a 6-ct. alexandrite and diamond ring as well as a micromosaic pendant by Castellani, the 19th-century family firm of Italian designers.

Maintaining popularity were antique reproduction platinum and diamond engagement ring settings and wedding bands. “Platinum bands always sell,” said a salesman for Peabody Estate Buyers, Peabody, Mass., and a large number of exhibitors were offering their contemporary take on that antique look. Some, such as Golden Sands Platinum of Los Angeles, also included colored stones or pearls in their designs.

Colored diamond designs also spiced up displays, and Joe Murawski of Joden World Resources, Grove City, Pa., predicts big things for yellow diamonds. His display featured both modern diamond designs and estate pieces, including some spectacular museum-quality jewelry made by Carlo Giuliano, a jewelry designer and enameller who worked in London in the late 1800s. (See “Victorian Virtuosity” p. 84.)

Cameos and carved gemstones were abundant, although reports on cameo sales were mixed: One vendor had brought dozens to the show and by the second day had sold all but three, while other exhibitors reported no interest whatsoever in the style. The ubiquitous turquoise—seen everywhere at the nearby JCK Show—also made inroads into the estate and antique jewelry market. Pieces featuring the stone drew a great deal of interest and sales, exhibitors reported.

Next year’s show will run at the same venue from May 29-June 1, 2003. For information, contact show manager Andrea Canady at (239) 732-6642.