Value of an Antique Victorian Cameo Brooch?

August 16, 2020

The front of a Victorian cameo brooch.My great grandfather purchased this in Japan in 1927. That is about all I know. I have many other things from there as well, like an ivory cigarette holder. But at the moment, I have been trying to get an idea how much this may be worth. It's facing left, which I know is more rare than the right facing brooches. Any ideas?


Value of an Antique Victorian Cameo Brooch? - back


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
August 16, 20201 found this helpful
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It is quite lovely! I am not able to confirm with my notes when hallmarking metals started in Japan, so there may not be any marks on it to tell you if it is 14 or 18 or 24 karat gold or if it plated or just a non-plated metal.

Does a magnet stick to it? While that is not 100% conclusive, magnets do not stick to gold or silver and will attract other metals. Most of the value will be in the metal more than than the cameo itself (if it is gold or silver which are at all time highs at the moment).

It would be best to take this to a professional jeweler who specializes in vintage jewelry (not quite an antique if it was purchased in 1927) and have them look at it.


If it is ivory, they will need to tell you how it falls into the ability to sell it (or not as ivory is often something that cannot legally be sold).

Every US state and many non-US countries have their own laws which allow or prohibit or restrict the sale of anything with ivory--so you will need to know if that is what it is and the rule for where you are trying to sell it. That renders the piece valueless if you can't sell it--which is a bummer!

No one can give you a value without more info (see above) so that is why I suggest taking it to an expert.

I can tell you generally if it is not ivory and not a precious metal (gold, silver, platinum), they sell from $10-several hundred dollars depending on what a person wants and how many are on the market and if it can be confirmed who made it--which I find nearly impossible unless it is marked OR someone is a niche expert and happens to recognize it as something they have seen a lot of.


There are billions of cameo styles out there and when I had a fancy for them back in the 1980s...the study was so broad that it is like finding a needle in a haystack for unmarked pieces.

The left facing are not as rare as you think...I see them all the time. I think this is an internet myth that they are "rare". That said, it is something I would mention if I was selling it online in a headline only because people sometimes have a preference based on their personal likes and how they want to wear the piece if it faces left or right.

Post back what an expert in your town tells you!! Thanks for sharing your lovely piece!!

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August 16, 20201 found this helpful
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This type of piece was made in Japan especially for the tourist trade and may only be gold plated.
Cameo broaches were favorite jewelry pieces in the 20-30's but not so much now. Very few people wear any kind of pin on jewelry and the market is flooded with all types of Japanese cameos.


There are over 1,100 listed for sale on eBay alone (and this is just for Japanese made) - all sizes, types, gold, silver, plated and not many selling.

This is a link to sold listings on eBay where you can see the current value of some of these similar ones as you'll probably never see an exact match.

It would be good if you can take it to a local jewelry store for an appraisal or at least type of metal but if their review rate is too high you can try taking it to a high end pawn shop and ask about the metal. They will usually tell you this information for free.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
August 17, 20201 found this helpful

This is a lovely piece, and depends on the type of materials it is made out of. If it truly has real gold , that alone will drive the value up. There are quite a few for sale online. You would have to have a special brooch to get a higher sale. Here are a few and what they are asking also have a link to how to search the value of your brooch - - you can also take your brooch to a Fine Jeweler for a appraisal/value.

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August 17, 20201 found this helpful


First let me say how beautiful this brooch piece is! I see it has sentimental value as well. I was on Etsy, and I saw that there was one, like this one, which was facing left. It was priced at $30.00.


I feel this one is worth more than that. It is just so pretty!

Have a wonderful day!


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