Tuesday, June 4, 2013

You could have knocked me over with a feather

After my mother-in-law died I inherited a whole bunch of costume jewelry and a few nice pieces. When I say inherit what I really mean is that after the other brothers took what they want we were left with a pile of crap to go through. And, when I say crap I mean grocery lists from the 1950s, piles of magazines, suitcases full of receipts for grandparents funerals, obits and letters, manila envelopes full of recipes with labels that say "zucchini". That kink of crap.

In the bottom of her jewelry box buried under knots of beaded necklaces, signet rings without stones, and clip earrings was this pin.

Isn't it pretty?
I love pretty and shiny.
I fell in love with it immediately but I didn't think it was much of anything. I mean really? It was tossed in with the junk jewelry. So I pinned it to a blazer, stuck it in pockets, lost it a couple of times, and pretty much treated it with total disregard. Until one day last February.

I was wearing it to hold a scarf together because I suck at scarf tying, to a luncheon when a women walks up to me and says;
"I love your diamond and platinum filigree pin".

I said the proverbial; "this old thing?".

She goes on to tell me that my pin is an Edwardian pin that is fairly rare and probably worth a bundle (turns out a bundle is in the low 5 figures). She then calls over this gentleman that tells me that his wife is a jeweler and she would love to see my pin. And, where did I get it? And, how much did I pay for it?

I would have completely ignored these comments except for the fact that the people at this particular luncheon were some of the movers and shakers of the Houston elite. These people know their jewels. Sometimes I hang out with people like that. It amazes the shit out of me too!

To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I just figured that this pin was another bit of costume jewelry that either my mother-in-law or her mother had picked up one day. Turns out it is probably another generation older. JR was shocked when I told me. He didn't even know I had kept it.

We plan to have the pin appraised soon but until then it is off limits for me to wear, especially as casually as I had been wearing it. It has since gone into the safety deposit box along with a few other things that have value to us.

Lesson learned: Just because a dull piece of jewelry is buried beneath a bunch of junk doesn't mean it really is junk. It could be an antique diamond and platinum filigree pin worth almost as much as a new car.



  1. That is a very cool pin! Is there anyone left from her generation that might know the story behind the pin? It would be so cool to find out where it originated from - I always love the story behind things like that (and now you have your own story to relay when you pass it down). :)

    1. Unfortunately there is no one left to tell me anything about this pin. i guess I'll have to make up my own stories.

  2. Finding treasure like that is always so surprising. Fun though.

  3. Well shoot, i'd still wear it, it's pretty! If this exquisite little confection is exiled to solitary confinement, what're ya gonna wear to the next hobnobbery with the Houston elite? Probably not the Hello Kitty pin. (Full disclaimer - i ADORE Hello Kitty!).

    Are the diamonds white or more chocolately colored? Rose cut, perhaps?

    While you're getting it appraised, have the pin checked to make sure it's secure and won't wobble open. Then yer good to go. Yup, me, i'd wear it. Carefully.

    1. The diamonds are yellow and I think are miner cut.