The Learning Curve

Reflecting on the years since initiating my jewelry collectible career, I must admit to some blunders!  Certainly now, I'm more equipped with knowledge as well as experience and during treasure forays, it is easier to recognize the difference between a great profitable purchases versus acquisitions more difficult to sell.

Some of my early mistakes were due to naivety. I recall dismantling some fabulous and highly collectible pieces because I had not yet learned about famous designers or hallmarks! There were also the times unbeknownst to a novice, when I undervalued jewelry in my online shop! Not to mention overpaying for nostalgic collectibles because of romanticism on my part! Yikes!  

One example was an Art Deco rock crystal sterling necklace with forty faceted bezel set gems.  The necklace shone like the stars twinkling in the midnight sky!  Since my origins were as a vintage assemblage artisan, I took that gorgeous necklace apart and fabricated several necklaces out of the strand… the necklaces were indeed beautiful however, the original piece was a truly work of art which these days, are highly sought after!   

One item in my possession I will always regret losing, was a spectacular Victorian black onyx mourning locket with raised pearl floral ornamentation.  The locket had a hidden glass compartment and it was amazing!  Years later, the memory of it still remains bothersome! At the time I acquired the locket, a lovely chain was added to make a pretty necklace. My best friend admired it; therefore, the locket was SOLD to her!  The locket was forgotten, but when my dear husband suddenly passed away; it evoked thoughts of the locket, which would hold sentimental value for me as a mourning piece.  I inquired of the locket to my friend, however, it was no longer in her ownership; it had been give as a gift.  There was hope as I contacted the recipient, her sister-in-law, who rendered the bad news that it had been stolen from her home. Sadly for me, I had to face the loss of the rare beauty.  Similar lockets have been discovered online but are quite out of my price range! The experience was an unfortunate lesson learned on my part for not realizing the unique quality of the locket!
Other unwise decisions included purchasing collectibles based upon viewing an inflated listed price online. I quickly determined just because a dealer had a listed price on an item didn’t necessarily mean the collectible would sell for that price!  If I overpaid for the item, the price would have to be adjusted accordingly. If the acquisition was something I loved than the purchase would work out…because I could enjoy it while waiting for the right buyer to come along and eventually they do, it requires patience, something else I gleaned over the years! Since that time I’ve found that researching a collectible provides more accurate information as well as the current “hot ticket” trends and other factors that can influence price such as condition, hallmarks and age.


During the years of my impassioned collecting, I have developed a keener eye.  I still very much purchase what appeals to my heart and occasionally have an emotional purchase, but I am definitely more seasoned! Friends marvel how I am able to spot jewelry collectibles with excellent resale value.  Even so, I consider myself a neophyte!  There is a plethora of outstanding collectible jewelry awaiting discovery!  I am always studying, learning and willing to investigate; I adore vintage jewels!  My Ruby Lane shop is platinum rated and I take pride in this achievement!   It is enjoyable finding quality merchandise for my shop and myself! I plan to further expand my “education” while always continuing to collect, blossom and grow! 

Karen Soldwisch 
Visit: Synergy Jewelry

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Vintage Begins Here: Explore the exciting world of Ruby Lane. Discover thousands of independent shops showcasing quality Antique & Art, Vintage, and Jewelry items from the world's largest curated marketplace.

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