Published November 8

For some reason, boxes of any kind have been a staple of collectibility across all ages, income brackets and societal demographics. It doesn’t matter what era the box comes from – all sizes are sought after. From small snuff boxes (as we have written about) to large humidors.

Boxes can be used for carrying just about anything – valuables, jewelry, keepsakes, business cards or pills – or can simply be decorative. They can be made of rare woods, crystal, gold, silver – or even horn, ivory or tortoise shell (though the last few are highly protected now).

This week, a Sarasota jeweler purchased this bejeweled and engraved silver box. While the silver value is less than $50, we paid $2,000 because of its incredible art deco design and fine gemstones. There are approximately 50 small, old-cut diamonds, 3 carats of natural rubies, 1 carat of natural emeralds, and 55 carats of natural aquamarine. It is for sale in either of our stores by appointment for $2,900.

This is a great illustration of valuation theory – because to manufacture something like this today would be virtually impossible, and would probably cost around $8,000 to $10,000 to replicate. Insurance replacement value would have to be discussed with your insurer because it would be impossible to replicate for the $2,900 retail value. We believe it was made in Austria or Italy circa 1930 because of the style and fine craftsmanship, along with the silver and hinges.