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Thursday, August 05, 2021


by Brad Reh
Jewels brad-reh-jewelers-52When you're about to make a jewelry purchase you have many options. But buying signed jewelry is always a commendable choice. When we speak of signed jewelry, we're generally referring to the pieces created by the major jewelry houses of Europe. These include Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Boucheron, Chaumet, Bvlgari, and Buccellati. There are other small boutique firms but these houses are the largest and have the most prolific output. Each has been in existence for well over 100 years, and some as long as two centuries. Some have stores in the United States, but many of these houses do not, which could make it inconvenient to travel to Europe to buy their jewelry.

People find that one of the downsides of buying signed jewelry is the cost. These world-renowned firms charge exceptionally high prices for their pieces. Part of the reason is that they cater to an affluent clientele and market their pieces accordingly. The other is that their quality and uniqueness. Why buy signed jewelry? there are many reasons, not the least of which are the special techniques used by the larger houses in creating their exceptional pieces.

For examplem Van Cleef & Arpels has developed "the mystery setting," in which precious stones are stuck together with no apparent metal holding them in place. And Bucccellati has very distinctive ways of polishing their gold to give it an unusual patina. To date, no one has been able to replicate Buccellati's techniques. Because of their rich and varied backgrounds and techniques, these jewelry houses have created some of the most beautiful and unusual designs in history. Cartier garnered many international awards for incorporating Near- and Far- Eastern influence and their Art Deco pieces. At one time or another, all of these houses have used nature as an inspiration. From wild birds and butterflies and flowers, their gem encrusted creations have closely mirrored the real thing.

Additionally, their use of the finest gems available is par for the course. When buying signed jewelry, you can be confident that the materials used whether they be diamonds, precious, or semi-precious stones, are refined. Signed jewelry is also manufactured almost exclusively in 18 karat gold and platinum, forgoing the less-expensive 14-karat gold.

But, if you find the price too steep and can't get to Europe, there are other options. One of the best ways to own signed jewelry without having to incur the extravagant cost is to look for Estate Jewelry, which can be found anywhere from boutiques on Madison Avenue to antique sshows around the country.

Such pieces can be found at affordable prices because of the depreciation. A Savvy buyer can obtain a fine piece of signed jewelry for as much as 40 to 60% off its retail price. It's akin to buying a car. As soon as a new car leaves a lot, it's value begins to depreciate immediately. The same is true for signed jewelry, the only difference is that jewelry doesn't suffer the same wear and tear that a car does.

Most consumers do not have the experience and expertise to buy antique and Estate Jewelry. So, choosing a reputable dealer to navigate you through the process is most important aspect of selling your jewelry. Once you find a reputable dealer you are comfortable with, ask lots of questions. But also do some research to the whole process is gratifying. Happy hunting!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Biz on Biz: Vandy Reh Likes The Whitney Shop

by Catherine Gorey
Biz on Biz: Vandy Reh Likes The Whitney Shop new-canaaniteb-87As part of the “Biz on Biz” series—where local business owners give us tips about favorite products or services at other businesses—we stopped by Brad and Vandy Reh Fine Jewelry on Elm Street.

A family business, Brad Reh and his wife Vandy run the New Canaan shop that specializes in estate and signed jewelry from brands such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Boucheron, Tiffany and Bulgari.

When asked about a favorite product or service at another local business, Vandy Reh said she struggles to choose just one to focus on, spotlighting Found, Dorothy Mann, Sara Campbell, Francos, Shoes ‘N’ More and Groove.

“It’s hard for me because to be honest with you I try to buy from everybody,” Randy Veh said. “I really want all of us to help each other.”

“She likes the whole block,” said Brad Veh, overhearing his wife’s comments.

“It’s true I do,” she said. “I think there’s a variety of things that you can buy in town that you can’t buy in other places, especially The Whitney Shop.”

Unique items are The Whitney Shop’s specialty. The shop is owned by Caron Steinfeld, who stocks the store with unique home decorations and gifts for her shoppers. Items include lobster-shaped cheese platters, blue and white paper lanterns, and themed china.

“You just don’t find these kinds of items at any store you walk into,” said salesperson Elizabeth Ker as she pointed out the various displays set up around the store’s floor.

“We’re very seasonal so at this time of year all the nautical and sea-oriented items are very popular,” Ker said. “All the shells, flowers, lobsters, beach, things like that.”