What’s It Worth? Cartier – The ’40s vs The ’80s

When I was a kid in Central Illinois I took great joy in getting a letter addressed to me. They might have been from an aunt or uncle, or maybe just an ad, but I was thrilled to go to the mailbox.

Today I opened a nondescript package from a jeweler in Texas and once again I got the same feeling as that kid at the mailbox. The jeweler, without telling me, sent two extraordinary Cartier pieces from completely different eras and I thought it would be fun to share with you.

One was a 1940s Art Deco 6-carat total weight natural ruby ring with a 3-carat natural sapphire in the center (right). The design is outrageous and has proper signatures and numbers. Though the rubies were scratched and worn, and one was chipped, I offered $12,000 because of the design.

In the same package, was the iconic bracelet of the late 20th century — the Panthère de Cartier — with approximately 4 carats of almost perfect diamonds, an emerald eye and an onyx collar, from the 1980s.

The bracelet is interesting, because these usually have auction estimates of $20,000-$40,000. Valuation of this one is difficult because only a few have come up for auction and they usually end up in the range of $30,000-$60,000, but they sometimes bring more at auction’s end.

We offered to sell it at our auction with a $30,000- $50,0000 estimate, but we are hoping to get more. This is testament to the power of the Cartier name, since the bracelet only has 4 carats of diamonds and $2,100 worth of gold. As always, we will report back with the final results.

Always buying vintage Cartier, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Elizabeth Locke jewelry. We make house calls. You have read about us in Business Insider, Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Forbes Magazine.

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