Category Archives: Antique Value Guides

Trade Silver Crosses

Trade Silver Crosses

These were objects of adornment traded for fur, which acted as displays of Status, Wealth, and Position

Hudson’s Bay Silver Trade Cross Sold by Allard Auctions on March 8, 2008 for $650.00

I am not positioning myself as an expert on Trade Silver here, I only want to inform my readers and let them see how extraordinary these wonderful artifacts are.

I am surprised that there is so little written about the Trade Silver that was such an integral part of The Fur Trade. OK, maybe trade silver was not exactly integral to the fur trade, and perhaps it was not as important as the many other utilitarian objects that North American Natives traded fur for…but these artifacts are definitely what I wish I could find more of.

The Hudson’s Bay Company Was Chief Among Fur Traders

Here is a Trade Silver Cross by Robert Cruikshank

Trade Silver Cross Sold by William Bunch Auctions on February 27, 2007 for $600.00

Into the cold nether regions of the Northeast came bearded men searching for fur, and I understand that they brought with them all the things of Europe – tools, guns and all manner of their rudimentary technologies, but they also brought trinkets and shiny things to trade. Some of them must have worn crosses and their company leaders often wore gorgets, and here’s where some of my speculation comes in – that it was these articles of adornment that captured the fascination of the their counterpart native traders. Fur Traders realizing this, started to have quantities of silver fashioned into crosses, buttons, gorgets and earrings.

What started as trinkets became a more refined Trade Silver

Fur Traders Had These Items Made Specifically To Trade…

Double Bar Lorraine Trade Cross Sold By Northeast Auctions for $4,707.00

The above example is by Robert Cruikshank but I also want to give you links to two other silversmiths who made Trade Silver – Michael Arnoldi and Ignace-François Delezenne I wish I could find examples of their work in trade silver, but as of the time of this writing I have been unable to find any.

When I think of the countless pelts trapped in the Northeast, I find it surprising that there is not more written about the silver traded by settlers to acquire them from Native North Americans.

Fine Canadian Silver Trade Cross

Offered for bid by Mid-West Auctions, Inc. on June 19th 2010

Mid-West Auction Inc.

This is the nicest example I have found of a Silver Trade Cross, and it is being offered for bid by the Mid-West Auction Company on June 19, 2010. I think that it will exceed it’s pre-sale auction estimate of $800.00 to $1,200.00.

I am hoping that someone will leave a comment about this cross, because I have a question aboiut it. I am curious if the dangles are original, or if they may have been added later…?

…Native Americans Wore Trade Crosses…

Oglala Sioux “Young Man Afraid of His Horses” Wearing Trade Cross. Sold by Cowan’s Auctions, Inc. for $2,875.00

The trade cross that Oglala Sioux “Young Man Afraid of His Horses” is wearing is a more accurate representation of how these Trade Silver Crosses came to be fashioned. Notice that each of the arms of this cross are equal. Native Americans liked balance and they also wanted a cross to act as a symbol for something that they could better understand, and in the case of a cross, they wanted crosses to represent the way that they placed logs together to build fires.

Chief Gall Wearing a Cross Seated With his Family

Sold by Cowan’s Auctions, Inc. for $546.00 on September 15, 2007

I am not really sure if the cross that Chief Gall is wearing is a Silver Trade Cross or not. I offer it up only because there are so few pictures available for us to see how these crosses might have looked when worn by Native North Americans.

Here is some additional reading – The Canadian Encyclopedia “Indian Trade Silver” Barking Rock Farm Short Article About Trade Silver :

Canadian Trade Silver Cross

Canadian Trade Silver Cross Sold By Christie’s for $1,434.00

Good Luck Out There!

Martin Codina CEO of Fine Estate Liquidation – A San Francisco Bay Are Estate Sales Company

Some of this information was gathered from research conducted using Prices 4 Antiques.Com. Here’s a discount code for them: Prices4Antiques.Com Discount Code.

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Schaubach Kunst – Semi Antique Porcelains Of Elegance

The Beauty of the Female Form Revealed in Porcelain

….Sold by Point Pleasant Galleries for $275.00 …………………….Sold by Tring Market Auctions for $300.00

Reading Auction Wally’s recently I discovered Schaubach Kunst Porcelain Figures. I was impressed to find them so affordable, beautiful and collectible.

The Schaubach-Kunst Company Exalted the Feminine Form

…Ok, maybe they are exaggerated and stylized a bit…

Sold by The DuMouchelles Auction Co. for an estimated hammer of $150.00

Often times on these pages I go on and on about some super high value item, and those can seem out of reach to the average person. Like in my last post I wrote about collectible marbles – I mean one of those went for over $4,000.00. But these beauties, so graceful and evocative of youth and charm can be purchased for relatively modest amounts.

Schaubach Kunst Porcelain Figures Stand Tall

…princess of grace, youth and beauty…

Sold by Antique Helper For $140.00

Schaubach Kunst Porcelain Figures are completely within most collectors budgets, especially if you can find them in some of the smaller regional auction houses. If you are an online seller, look for these wherever you can, and if you can get them at a good price, buy them. Online shops seem to be selling these for approximately double the price that the smaller auction houses are getting.

Here’s another Schaubach Kunst Resource Site

…there is much too admire here…

More Schaubach Kunst German Porcelain Figures Here:

Good Luck Out There!

Martin Codina CEO of Fine Estate Liquidation – A San Francisco Bay Are Estate Sales Company

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Antique and Vintage Marbles

Marbles of Value and Beauty

I just read a wonderful and thoroughly comprehensive article about vintage and antique marbles on Collectors Weekly. Dang! The only way to describe the marbles that this article discusses is that they are fabulous; each an intricate work of art, that each is unique, and that for the most part what we think of as a valuable collectible, was first made for young boys to play in various games.

Did any one know that marbles would become so valuable?

Of course not, but they did…

Onionskin Cloud Marble Sold By Dan Morphy Auctions For $4,025.00

And play they did, that any of these beauties survived intact, without chips or blemishes is a minor miracle. I speculate though that these young lad’s kind of knew that the marble they were playing with were more than objects to shoot into circles of dirt or pavement; they knew that some of these marbles were more like prizes.

Boxed Sets of Marbles Can Command High Prices

Remember this when cleaning out an attic or basement

Boxed Set of Akro Agates Sold By Dan Morphy Auctions For $ 1,840.00

The undisputed king for selling Antique and Vintage Marbles is the Dan Morphy Auction Co. I discovered this while researching this article. In auction lot after auction lot, they consistently hit the bulls-eye. And before you say, “Hey Martin, of course you say that, I mean you’re being paid to write this article aren’t you?”

I wish I were being paid to write this article, but the fact of the matter is no one pays me to write these articles – and they never will, because I never want to have that sort of conflict of interest…

My Personal Favorite Box Set of Vintage Marbles

Because they’re fun!

Picture Marbles by the Peltier Glass Co. Sold By Dan Morphy Auctions For $1,760.00

So how do I figure out these values, where do I turn for antiques and collectibles information…? Well of the many place I do, Prices 4 Antiques.Com is one of my favorites.  Like Every day, that’s right I use the information from this site everyday.

And you thought I was just brilliant, that I knew all of this stuff off the top of my head. But I don’t, in fact no one does, any estate liquidator or antiques dealer worth their salt has to do research.

If you want to avail yourself of the Prices 4 Antiques data base, and you don’t want to pay full price, because who does, then read this page where you will find a 20% Off Discount Code.

Our Parting Shot With An Antique Marble

Now go and find some of your own

Akro Agate Limeade Oxblood Marble Sold By Dan Morphy Auctions For $504.00

Happy Treasure Hunting,

Martin Codina

CEO of Fine Estate Liquidation, a San Francisco Estate Sales Company

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The Value of Gold and Silver Collectibles

Take Care as Antiques Dealers, Collectors, or Sellers!

The value of gold and silver as pegged to the precious metals spot market price is now often times higher than the value of the gold or silver as an object of utility.

The Gold and Silver Rush Is On…

Today the spot price of Gold and Silver is at or almost at historic highs. This means three things:

  1. If you are an Antiques Dealer, some of the items in your case or within your online store are worth more as precious metals, than for their perceived value as objects.Take care, many savvy dealers and pickers are buying the undervalued gold and silver that they are finding online or in antiques stores, and reselling those items to metals dealers. How do I know this? Because these pickers are coming to my estate sales with scales.

    By the way, I don’t see anything wrong with this, it’s just the nature of the business.

  2. If you are an Antiques Collector, you are going to pay more for gold and silver objects that you collect now. It’s also likely that you are going to be buying less, and selling more.

    Now is the perfect time to cull through and refine your collection. One of the distresses of times like these, is that a whole lot of antique, and vintage gold and silver is now on its way to the smelters.

    This does have a silver lining though, if you pardon the pun – it will have the future effect of making Antique, and Vintage gold and silver objects of jewelry, flatware and hollow ware far more scarce, and hence more valuable.

    But that’s the future, for today, exercise caution.

  3. If you are trying to sell your gold or silver, than take heart, you are finally going to do well, because the gold and silver market is finally on your side. Today you can expect to be paid much higher prices than ever before.

How Much Are Gold and Silver Objects Worth?

There are two basic ways to figure the value of gold and silver…

  1. Object Value
  2. Precious Metals Spot Market Value

Object Value: As I stated above the spot metals market values for gold and silver is in many cases exceeding the perceived value of gold and silver as objects of utility, beauty, jewelry and so on.

But, and this is a big ol’ warning. This is not always the case. There are still many items of gold and silver that have object value many times worth their weight in gold and silver, notwithstanding the price of gold and silver today.

So take heed, do your homework . Tiffany, Shreve and Co., as well as objects of gold and silver by makers too numerous to list, have values as objects many times in excess of their value as gold or silver.

Precious Metals Spot Market Value: The first thing to know about selling gold or silver on the open market to a gold or silver metals dealer, is that there are two kinds of “Ounces.”

  • Avoirdupois Ounce = 28.34 Grams
  • Troy Ounce = 31.10 Grams

So when you pop your gold and silver objects onto a gram scale, make sure you weigh them using the Troy Ounce system to figure out how many grams they actually weigh.

All Gold and Silver Is Weighed In Troy Ounces!

Here is a way to put this into perspective…

When weighing gold the following formulas apply.

24k Gold (.999) = 31.1 Pure Grams Of Gold Per Weighed Ounce.

22k Gold (.916) = 28.48 Pure Grams Of Gold Per Weighed Ounce.

18k Gold (.750) =  23.32 Pure Grams Of Gold Per Weighed Ounce.

14k Gold (.585) =  18.19 Pure Grams Of Gold Per Weighed Ounce.

10k Gold (.416) = 12.93 Pure Grams Of Gold Per Weighed Ounce.

When weighing Silver the following formulas apply.

Pure Silver = 31.1 Pure Grams of Silver Per Weighed Ounce.

.950 = Pure Grams of Silver Per Weighed Ounce.

.935 = 29.54 Pure Grams of Silver Per Weighed Ounce.

.925 Silver = 28.76 Pure Grams of Silver Per Weighed Ounce.

.916 Silver = 28.48 Pure Grams of Silver Per Weighed Ounce.

.900 Silver = 27.99 Pure Grams of Silver Per Weighed Ounce.

.800 Silver = 24.88 Pure Grams of Silver Per Weighed Ounce.

So what can you sell your gold and silver for today?

The per gram price for 14k gold today is$22.57

The per gram price for sterling (.925) today is .56 cents

But that’s not what a precious metals dealer will pay you. You can expect them to pay within the range of between 70% and 85% of the spot metal price for your gold and 65% to 75% for your silver.

I have seen many people sell their gold jewelry for as little as 50% of spot metals market prices, especially when they sell to national metals buyers they have found through T.V., Radio, and Print media. As well as by those who attend those nifty Gold and Silver parties at friends homes.

I am always in the market for collections of sterling, be they English, European, Mexican, Russian or American – Jewelry or Other Objects of Sterling.

Good Luck!

Martin Codina


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Because Vintage Sterling Silver Charm Bracelets Tell Stories

We Might As Well Call Them Memory Bracelets!

Vintage Sterling Silver Charm Bracelet With 28 Charms $325.00

I believe in memory, and the way objects are understood to hold memory, to tell stories, and act as place markers; to me that is what Vintage Charm Bracelets do – They Hold Memories…

That’s what makes them so popular; that there is a story contained, and artfully dangling from each and every one of them…

“Memories, light the corners of my mind…”

Vintage Sterling Silver Charm Bracelet With 27 Charms $250.00

I think that it is a bit of a pity, that charm bracelets are not more explicitly defined as memory bracelets, or used to tell the story of a life – used as a narrative device; I just think that would be so rich if…they were.

If Your Grandmother Told the Story This Charm Bracelet Contains…

Vintage Sterling Charm Bracelet With 45 Charms $450.00

My suggestion to you, if you know that your Mother or Grandmother has a Vintage Charm Bracelet – is to have them tell the story that their charm bracelet contains. And to have them do that in front of a video camera, this could be an incredible and easy way to gather and collect a part of her history, that might otherwise be lost.

In a somewhat related post I wrote about a person who does this sort of thing for people: Estate Sales Photographs What Happens Too Them

Charmed I am Sure, May I drape from your wrist…?

Vintage Sterling Charm Bracelet With 29 Charms $250.00

Elegant, Classy, and Fun…Vintage Sterling Charm Bracelets are a great way to make your own individual fashion statement. Every one of them is different, each with their own story.

They are for the most part not name branded, or designer themed, but are more an expression of one woman’s experience navigating through her world, and more often than not they represent her story of love – how she loved, where she loved and with whom she loved…

Puffy Heart Charms Are The Big Ticket Charms…

We Have A Vintage Charm Bracelet With 3 Puffy Heart Charms $135.00

What do you think about Vintage Charm Bracelets as objects of memory…?

Do you have a Charm Bracelet with an interesting story?

Let Us Know…


Martin Codina

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