How to sell Verdura Jewelry
Make sure you get the best price when you resell your Verdura Jewelry
Duke Fulco di Verdura was without a doubt one of the most influential jewelry designers of the 20th century, with a legacy that is still felt today.
Best known for his early collaboration with Coco Chanel, Verdura’s designs always challenged the trends of the time. Today, his signature pieces are recreated and reinvigorated in bold new styles for the modern trendsetter.
But tastes and circumstances change, and we don’t need to hold on to our Verdura jewelry forever.
If you are looking to sell Verdura jewelry and want to make sure that you get the fairest price for your piece, this blog will show you how.
Why Verdura jewelry is so prized
In order to understand why Verdura jewelry is so prized, it’s instructive to review the history of the brand.
In 1898 Fulco di Verdura was born into an aristocratic family in Palermo, Italy, with a youth spent in Sicily and Venice surrounded by art, jewels, and splendour leading to the development of a keen eye for color and design
Verdura lived on a quickly diminishing inheritance in his adult years, as he hopped about the continent; his wit and natural charisma attracting high-profile friends wherever he went. A lifelong friendship with Linda and Cole Porter would eventually steer him toward his calling as a jewelry designer.
Verdura and Coco Chanel Jewelry Collaboration
In 1925 the Porters threw a party at their Venice home, and introduced Verdura to already fabulously successful, Coco Chanel. This meeting would be just the spark that Verdura needed. In 1929 Verdura received an invitation from Chanel to design textiles for her in her Paris workshop, before his real talent revealed itself when he was tasked with redesigning Chanel’s entire jewelry line.
Verdura created costume as well as fine jewelry for Chanel, with his most notable creation being the Maltese Cross bracelet:
Rich colours, both in gold and gemstones, were also characteristic of his pieces.
In 1939, financed by friends Cole Porter and Vincent Astor, Verdura opened a jewellery boutique at 712 Fifth Avenue. The business flourished over the next two decades, prompting Verdura to open a second location in 1954, in Paris, near the Place Vendôme.
During the 1940’s and 50’s Fulco created his most celebrated designs, including brooches featuring plush cabochon-cut gemstones wrapped delicately in gold, and massive colored-stone matching sets. This was also the period in which Verdura introduced his ground-breaking shell-motif jewelry. These fascinating pieces often actually included real shells, embellished with gems and gold wire.
In his later years, Verdura developed the hobby of painting miniatures which he then set and sold as brooches. His collaboration with Surrealist artist Salvador Dali led to some of his more daring statement pieces, such as the “Medusa” brooch.
Verdura retired to London in 1973, selling his business to his associate Joseph Alfono. Ward Landrigan, a long-time fan of the brand then purchased the company in 1985 and moved it to its current Fifth Avenue address.
Greta Garbo with a Verdura Curb
Princess Diana wearing Verdura
The glitterati of Europe as well as America always adored Fulco di Verdura, so he never had a shortage of famous clientele. His fashion pieces were designed to be bold yet understated and this particularly appealed to the wealthy New York society women. Some of his clients included icons, Diana Vreeland, Greta Garbo, and Princess Diana of Wales. A modern-day devotee of the brand is famed director Sofia Coppola.
Sofia Coppola Wearing Verdura
Today, the father-son Landrigan team have revived Vendura’s spirit of bold designs for a whole new generation, ensuring that jewelry lovers of all kinds are able to experience a taste of the legendary brand. From high jewelry pieces such as the Theodora Pendant Brooch below, to the more attainable ones such as the Curb-Link Piccolo Pendant Earclips, that strong Verdura aesthetic shines through.
Verdura Theodora Brooch
Verdura Curb Link Earrings
Verdura Fulco Y Necklace
What type of Verdura jewelry can be sold?
Over its history, Verdura has produced a variety of types and styles of jewelry, and if you’re looking to sell your Verdura jewelry, then that’s good news for you. No matter what piece you may own, you will be able to find an interested buyer, somewhere.
One thing to know though, is that the price you receive for your Verdura jewelry when selling is that can be dependant on a couple of factors:
All jewelry bears a history; no matter how it is cared for, if it’s worn at all, it will necessarily pick up some nicks and scratches.
Some commonly used terms to describe pre-owned jewelry are as follows:
- mint condition
- excellent condition
- good condition
- fair condition
- poor condition
When selling to a jewelry professional, it is likely that they will be intending to sell the piece on after improving its condition. That said, the better the condition of the piece, the less work will be required of the buyer; therefore, pieces in better condition should command a higher price.
Provenance can be defined as the history of ownership of a valued object or work of art or literature.
There are multiple reasons why it is important to be able to demonstrate the provenance of your Verdura jewelry:
- It proves ownership over the piece, and that it is therefore legally yours to sell.
- It proves that the piece is genuine.
Possessing items such as your receipt, the box, jewelry bag, and other appropriate accoutrements that were included with your Verdura jewelry purchase will raise your buyer’s confidence in the provenance of the piece:
Your options when selling your Verdura jewelry
Once you’ve made the decision to sell, it’s understandable that you would want to get the best price possible for your Verdura jewelry.
But it can be hard to know where to start.
In this section, we’ll look at the different options for where you can sell, and a few things to take into consideration when deciding which is the best fit for you.
When selling your Verdura jewelry, there are a few things to consider:
- What you are selling
- What is more important for you – price or speed of sale
- How much you value certainty
Understanding what your Verdura jewelry is worth
One of the first things to understand is how much your jewelry is likely to be worth when selling it.
You may have a jewelry appraisal stored away with a value attached to it, which you have used for insurance purposes. While there are a few types of appraisals, it’s likely that yours will list the price that it would cost to replace the item with a new, or equivalent, piece.
Unfortunately, the value on your appraisal isn’t the same as the amount that someone would actually be willing to buy the jewelry from you for. The reason being, that anyone who would buy it from you now, would then be looking to sell it as ‘used’ for lower than the price of a ‘new’ replacement item and still make a profit.
The amount that someone is actually willing to pay for an item is known as the ‘fair market value’.
Determining the fair market value of something can be tricky, and many people look online to try and understand how much their Verdura jewelry might now be going for.
One of the most famous sites for high quality vintage jewelry is 1stDibs.com, which specializes in selling from professional jewelry dealers to the public.
Many jewelry lovers enjoy browsing the wares on 1stDibs and it’s not uncommon to assume that if you see a comparable piece of jewelry being sold on there, then you may be able to receive a similar price for your own piece.
Unfortunately, however, the prices on 1stDibs are not a good guide on how much you are likely to get when you sell your jewelry, as the prices advertised are the prices that a jewelry dealer is selling them for, including making a profit once 1stDibs’ fees and all their other costs have been taken out.
However, it can be useful to get a ballpark figure of how much a jeweller may be willing to pay for your item.
For example, this Verdura Twisted Rope Bracelet may be listed for $25,500:
However, as with buying many vintage pieces, prices aren’t fixed and dealers are usually open to negotiation.
Underneath the ‘Purchase’ button, you can see there is a ‘make an offer’ button, which says that sellers are most likely to accept offers of 5% – 20% below the $25,500 asking price:
A 5% to 20% offer below the listed price is a $1275 to $5100 reduction on the original $25,500 price.
This reduces the amount that the jeweller is likely to receive for the watch to between $20,400 and $24,225
Then 1stDibs’ commission fee needs to be taken into account. This is a 15% commission fee plus a 3% processing cost, which would reduce the price that the seller actually receives to between $16,728 – $19,864.
Most jewellers will look to buy jewelry for around half of what they are sure they can sell it for, so in order for this to make sense for the dealer, it’s likely that they would aim to buy a watch like this for around half of the $16,728-$19,864 figures.
This would mean that a jeweller is likely to pay around $8,364 – $9,932 for this particular bracelet.
If you have an extremely high end or one-off piece, consider an auction house.
Verdura has produced a wide range of jewelry over the designer’s lifetime, from high jewelry pieces containing one-of-a-kind gems, to more attainable rings and necklaces which can be purchased in their boutiques worldwide.
If you are selling an extremely rare or high-end piece, then it may make sense to use an auction house, as they can result in a higher price achieved due to the competitive nature of several bidders pushing the price up.
Two of the most well-known auction houses for jewelry are Sotheby’s and Christies:
When considering whether a traditional auction house is the right choice for you, it’s important to understand that the final ‘hammer price’ you see for past sales is not the amount that the sellers actually received.
- Sotheby’s commission for the seller is typically 10% of the final sale price
- Christies commission for a seller is also 10% of the final sale price, with an additional 2% ‘performance commission fee’ if it goes over the agreed ‘high estimate
These high-end auction houses also charge the sellers an additional 10-15% of the final sales price, which can mean that they are less willing to bid high amounts.
The other thing to consider with auction houses is the length of time that these organisations will take to sell your item.
As the snippet from an email below shows, it can take around a month for them to assess the value of an item, and you would then have to wait for a suitable auction to be held, which could be an additional one or two months.
The other potential wait could be if you list your item and it doesn’t reach your desired price, in which case it will be passed in and returned to you. This uncertainty can put off some buyers who are more comfortable with a fixed price.
For the reasons listed above, if you are keen to sell your item reasonably quickly, high end auction houses are unlikely to be able to help.
But, if you are willing to wait, you have an item that fits their high requirements and you are happy with the commission % that the auction houses charge then they could be the best solution to get a great price if your item is subject to a bidding war that drives the price up.
Selling using online auction sites
There are two types of online auction websites that deal with high quality jewellery:
- Auction sites that sell to consumers e.g. 1stDibs.com
- Auction sites that buy from consumers e.g. worthy.com
Verdura and Worthy.com
Worthy.com is a marketplace which works the opposite way to 1st Dibs.
Instead of connecting professional jewelry traders to customers, it connects ordinary people who are looking to sell jewelry with a network of nearly 1,000 jewelry traders who can bid on their items.
Worthy is much faster than selling through a traditional auction and it does put you in contact with a range of jewelry buyers who could bid the price of your item up, if they like it.
The cost to access these buyers is Worthy’s ‘success fee’ commission, which is only payable on the completion of the auction.
These fees are:
- Up to $5,000 = 18%
- 5,001 – 15,000 = 14%
- 15,001 – 30,000 = 12%
- 30,000 and above = 10%
Worthy can be a good option as it means that your jewelry can get out in front of as many people as possible, who will then bid against each other to increase the possible price you receive.
Verdura and IdonowIdon’t.com
I do now I don’t operates on a similar business model to Worthy.com, but has a slew of bad reviews on Trustpilot with reports of them not paying sellers for the goods that have been sold.
As a result I would not recommend that you use their service.
Selling Verdura direct to a jewelry dealer
The best way to get the most money for your Verdura jewelry is to eliminate as many layers between you and the person buying it as possible.
In essence, to talk directly to the type of people who are buying through worthy.com, but without having to pay Worthy the commission and reduce the amount you make.
Our recommendation is The Diamond Oak.
The Diamond Oak is a family run business with multiple generations in the jewelry industry, based out of the Diamond District in New York.
Best of all, working with Alon you will get a fair price extremely quickly, instead of having to wait for an auction to run its course and then pay the fees out of the sales price. Alon’s process is:
- Complete a form on The Diamond Oak’s website
- Alon will get back to you with an estimate, usually the next business day
- If you like the estimate, Alon will provide a pre-paid and insured shipping label
- Once he’s received it, Alon will check that all looks OK, and then pay straight away.
Alon of The Diamond Oak
If you have Verdura jewelry that you are looking to sell, Alon at The Diamond Oak will guide you through the process and ensure that you receive the vry best price possible – just click through and fill out the form and he’ll get straight back to you with an offer for you to consider.
Even if you don’t end up working with him, you will receive a guide price back extremely quickly, which can then help you understand whether you are getting a better deal through other avenues.