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Loupe don't leave home without one

Hi all

recently at a market I looked a a second hand stall and saw a silver
cuff. Was told it was only $15 as there was no hall mark. Yes there
was 925. Win for me, and a birthday present for my daughter. After 25
years of silver and gold smithing I can tell what a metal is from

Today after having lunch with my wife she had to stop by a second
hand shop. “Won’t be long nothing much in here usually.” I went in and
looked in the jewellery case full of junk, except for a set of cuff
links that caught my eye. Store owner told me they were rubbish as
they had tarnish. I took a chance and paid my $4 and took them home.
Well louped them ITALY 750. A quick polish and will look great.

Still I have a long way to go to catch up with my friend. She bought
a genuine Tiffany cuff for 50 cents in a second hand store.

Anyone else find a jewellery bargain out there?
all the best


My best story comes from a pawn shop, where I have nabbed my best
buys. One day I was looking at a simple 3 stone diamond ring. It was
mis-marked, in my opinion, so I asked the manager to confirm the
price. she called the owner who said it was properly marked. I bought
the 4 ct ring, a 2ct center with 1ct on each side. When I got back to
my shop and cleaned the ring, it fluoresced under UV to a beautiful
sky blue. The diamond clarity was vvs2 with a solid D-color.

The sales girl lost her management position, when the owner
discovered the actual price was supposed to be $24,000.00. I paid
$4,200.00 I could not make this ring from scratch for that price.


im allways looking too, latest was an early Georgian circa 1790 hall
marked silver table spoon. for 5p at out recycling center.

Yrs ago, a small fire gilt silver enamelled spoon from Leningrad.
Possibly Faberge, yet to look it up.

Cuff links made from the low grade silver coins issued by the
Austrian archbishops of Saltzburg.

Thats without the antique tools ive collected. Mainly hammers, those
that predate the Bessemer steel process when hammers were made from
wrought iron with crucible steel fire welded on to the working
faces. Ive 1 thats identical to those in the Ashmoleum museum that
are Roman, could be 2000yrs old, Cant tell ofcourse!. Then the
Birmingham jewelley quarter Ist machine tool, around 1880, the drop
hammers by Hazelewood and Dent I have 3, with 4 bases 1/4, 1/2. 1,
and 2 ton with the slide hammers to suit from 50 to 450 lbs.

Just love hammers!!. Then the Victorian minting dies, all sorts of
lovely designs complete with all the press tools to match.

Best find some 30 yrs ago, a new 6kw 240v circa 1937 Century ex Post
office standby gen set weight 2 tons complete with all swich gear
and original installation manuals and test reports.

I could go on!!.

Anyone else collect and use genuine old tools ? Ted

I have not found something that nice when talking about jewelry.

I do know a blacksmith that walked into a Goodwill and saw something
labeled as a decorative brass plate to use behind an old fashioned
door knob. He said he was sweating bullets when he asked to see it.
He paid his few dollars for it and then waited outside the door
because he was sure the store employees would realize what they did
and would chase him out the door.

He had found an 18(ish)kt gold Tsuba from a Japanese sword. Several
ounces. Back then Gold was a mere $300ish but now it must be worth a

Gerald Livings
Livingston Jewelers

I just have to comment about using and loving old tools. I study
with an oldtime German master goldsmith, Hans Hoerstebrock. He is
amazing! He’s retired now and only teaches a little, but in his day
did contract work for Hemmerle, Jean Stark, Tiffany’s, Seaman
Schepps, basically everyone. He knows all the old ways of
fabricating, things that are being lost daily. He loves all kinds of
antiques, especially antique tools, and had collected many from all
his years in the business, often bought from retiring jewelers.

When I go to his studio to study with him, we get to use them.
Beautiful saws, pin vises, exquisite pliers, etc. They all still
work well, and are infinitely more beautiful than the current hand

Ted, can you please post photos of some of your tools? I would love
to see them!

Best, Maggie

Hi all

I weighed the gold $4 cufflinks 5.2 grams of 18 kt. If I got the
maths right that is about $180 worth of gold.

So that is my Christmas shopping done for the kids cuff links for my
son and silver cuff for my daughter. $19 well spent.

Just have to finish a malachite pendant for the daughter’s birthday.
I bought a chunk of malachite at a gem show very cheap of course and
found part of it had a whole through it a natural formation.
Considered very good luck in an esoteric Italian tradition. Have cut
it into a triangle and now need to give it a final polish and set in

Still my cheapest and weirdest creation is a ring set with a triplet
opal that had lost its backing. Made it for fun for a bohemian artist
friend. Looked like a clear stone till the light hit it and then it
just flashed. She teased her other jeweller friends with it, they
could not figure out what it was and were intrigued. It drove them

We have had many a laugh and champagne over this absolute piece of
"rubbish". LOL I have made this lady many pieces of jewellery over
the years, just give them to her as she has been a friend for decades.
When we worked out how long we have known each other it was a WTF we
are ancient moment.

So when people ask how long have we known each other the answer is
"A while". Then we laugh like demented children. Never grow up is our
motto. View life through a child’s wondering eyes.

all the best

Yep! About two years ago, I was in Florida visiting family and got
dragged to an estate sale at a retirement community. Found a purse
that was kind of cool opened it up and saw what looks like a Run DMC
rope necklace inside. A very heavy necklace. I brought up to the
"professionals" running the sale my suspicion but they told me it was
costume since there was no Hallmark. So, I bought it for $3. Upon
testing it turned out to be 4 1/2 ounces of 18 karat gold with no