NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Starting to wonder what to get that hard-to-buy-for person on your Christmas list? How about a genie pin with a baroque pearl for his turban? A gold and diamond fishing reel tie tack? A slot machine bracelet charm with a real working arm? Then you’d better stop by Braunschweiger Jewelers in New Providence before the end of the day for their largest estate jewelry sale ever.
The sale started Friday, Nov. 5 and ends today at 5:30 p.m. The sale combines the best of the antique and estate jewelry from Braunschweiger’s New Providence and Morristown stores. The sale features literally hundreds of beautiful, unique antique and vintage pieces of estate jewelry.
“People look forward to this sale every year,” said owner Kristy Braunschweiger. “Estate jewelry is a very good value, and you get a lot for your money. It’s almost like going to a consignment shop.”
Part of the allure of estate jewelry is its mystery, the feeling that every piece has a history and a story to tell.
“What do you think?” quipped Mary O’Connor of Summit who purchased a brooch studded with tiny opals. “It’s my Christmas gift from my husband.”
O’Connor said she is a regular visitor to the Braunschweiger estate jewelry sale and loves vintage anything. She mentioned her fondess for mourning jewelry, a Victorian tradition in which a lock of the deceased’s hair is included in a locket or pendant, and Braunschweiger sales person Kathy Weijer brought one out of the case, complete with a swirl of brown hair encased inside.
That’s only one of the unique pieces of estate jewelry that have come through Braunschweiger’s door. Kristy Braunschweiger said probably the most interesting piece they’ve seen was an enameled Cartier pendant watch from the late 1800s or early 1900s, still in its original box.
“Last year during the sale, a woman found a teddy bear pin with joints that moved, and she wasn’t sure if she wanted it or not and finally she left without buying it,” Weijer said. “She came back later and said she’d changed her mind, but by then it was gone. She kept telling me if I ever came across another jointed teddy bear pin, she wanted it, but sometimes those things are a once-in-a-lifetime chance.”
While Braunschweiger’s always offers estate jewelry in its stores, the annual sale brings together a much bigger and varied selection.
“I think people’s fascination with estate jewelry is that every piece has a story and a history,” said Braunschweiger. “There’s such an emotional attachment to jewelry. It meant something to someone. It was purchased to commemorate something.”
The sale offers 30 percent off all estate jewelry pieces, and Weijer pointed out that there is something at all price points. She brought out a large sapphire ring with a price tag of $29,000. Next to it, she placed a blue topaz ring, similarly styled, for $497.
“Some of our pieces are really museum-quality,” she said. “It’s an impressive display, and an interesting history lesson.”
Braunschweiger Jewelers is located at 1260 Springfield Avenue in New Providence, in the Village Shopping Center. For more information, visit www. braunschweiger.com or call 908-665-1487.