Antiques series. Paul Martin and the Flog It! experts explore all that glisters. Featured items include an unusual adornment for a dog and two space age compacts.
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For many years, you've trusted the "Flog It!" team to value
and sell your unwanted antiques and collectibles.
I'm sure we're going to find a new home for it.
And to date, we've sold £1 million worth.
And during that time we've learned a great deal about the objects
that have passed through our hands.
In this series, I want to share some of that knowledge with you
so stand-by to hear some of our trade secrets.
In the latter part of the 16th century,
William Shakespeare wrote, in the Merchant of Venice,
"Everything that glitters is not gold."
His meaning - everything that looks valuable isn't necessarily so
- gold or not.
The brilliant thing about antiques is everything has a good value
because of the wonderful stories they tell.
Having said all of that,
today's show is dedicated to everything that glitters -
all the shiny objects that have crossed our tables at valuation day.
Coming up on the show, Mark uncovers a hidden gem...
..Anita reveals the secrets of a very special stone...
This little baby here is worth its weight in gold.
-..Charlie needs to do some more homework...
-Shoot the valuer!
..and "Flog It!"'s youngest visitor is also the canniest!
-The hammer's gone down.
-Jack, do you know where all the money's going?
-To my bank!
-The Jack bank!
We humans are always looking for ways to adorn ourselves.
These days the wedding ring is about as bejewelled as a man would get
but history tells us the richest and most fabulous people
advertised their status by adorning themselves
in precious metals and jewels.
So what do our experts think you should take with you
when looking for a quality piece of jewellery?
Make sure you look at it objectively.
Don't just fall in love with it cos it's sparkly and glistney
because all that glistens might not be gold.
I would always advise you to take a magnifying glass, take a little
look so you can examine the hallmarks and the stones for any flaws.
Look for inclusions in the stones
because they do have a detrimental effect on the value.
The flecks of carbon in diamond, for example,
they can be a big problem.
Always take your loop because you can be very disappointed when
you get home and you haven't taken it, you find out why it was cheap.
Now, diamonds might be a girl's best friend,
but there's nothing to say we fellas can't enjoy some bling.
Anita came across something for the chaps that put a twinkle in her eye.
I bought them for my husband for a special anniversary,
probably in the '80s sometime.
-Were you madly in love with him at the time?
-I think so.
-Are you still madly in love with him?
These are gorgeous.
Now, they are 18 carat gold, so they are high carat.
You bought him the best.
We have this lovely central panel of lapis lazuli.
'Isn't that a beautiful word?'
Lapis lazuli is so easily identified by its colour.
Isn't it beautiful?
It's that mouthwatering singing blue,
mined from the bowels of the earth
and brought into the light to gladden our eyes
with this vibrant colour.
So what we've got is high carat gold, a beautiful stone
and lovely diamonds.
I like these very, very, very, very much and if I had some lovely chap
that wore cuff links I would buy them as a present as well.
But I haven't so I won't bother.
'Sometimes the older pieces, especially if it's carved,'
will be more sought after than modern examples
and our cuff links were fairly modern.
-Now, I would put a value on these of £250 to £350.
Thank you again for bringing them along
-and I'll see you at the auction.
-Thank you, Anita.
620 is a pair of 18 carat gold lapis lazuli and diamond cuff links.
Start with 250 on the cuff links. 250. Bid 260.
270. 280. 290. 300.
-Oh, my goodness!
-No, it's 340. In the corner. 360.
380. 400. 420. 440.
Online at 440.
-Are you done at £440?
-Yes! The hammer's gone down!
-Isn't that wonderful!
It's a fashion thing.
Fashion changes all the time and we follow the fashion
and we pluck from the past items
which will suit the fashion of today.
And this is why these cuff links, as well as being very good quality,
were fashionable and desirable in today's market.
Lapis lazuli, spiked with gold, can be found on all sorts of pieces,
and the older ones can be very valuable.
The Egyptians used it on their scarabs and,
since medieval times, artists have taken the ground down pigment
of lapis, called ultramarine, to use in their paintings.
So look out for that tell-tale vibrant blue
and you could be as rich as a King.
From Anita's modern minimalist cuff links,
to an altogether more ornate piece from a fascinating era.
-Wow! Where did you get that from?
-It belonged to my grandma.
-Do you know anything about it at all?
-Just that it belonged to her.
-Well, it's fantastic, isn't it?
It's actually a little brooch, of course,
and these are diamonds in here. And it's mounted, I think, in platinum.
-It's what we call Belle Epoch jewellery.
'The Belle Epoch era really typifies, for me,'
the late 19th and very early 20th century.
So we're going from that quite heavy, chunky Victorian jewellery
to a very fine, more European French style.
It's very light, the stones are very good quality.
It was probably made sometime between 1900 and 1915.
From 1900 onwards, platinum became much more widely used.
When you're mounting a stone like diamonds,
they're much better to be mounted in a white metal.
'They reflect the inner beauty of the diamonds and just the quality,
'even though it wasn't marked, meant it was platinum, not silver.'
-Have you ever worn it?
-That's a shame!
What do you think of it, Alex?
I like the shape of it, the way it looks a bit like a flower.
Yes, it does, doesn't it? The petals on the outside.
It's super quality and it's actually quite valuable.
I think if we were putting it in for auction
we should put somewhere in the region of £400 to £600 on it.
-That's wonderful, isn't it?
The Belle Epoch was a time of freedom and hope
at the dawn of a new century.
Were the bidders just as optimistic?
450 on the floor. Any advance on 450?
460 on the phone. 460.
-On the telephone.
-490. 500 on the phone.
520. 540. £540.
All done at 540? All done at 540? 540.
And it's gone down. We'll take that, won't we, 540?
What a great example of how a piece of jewellery
can convey a mood and a time!
You can learn to "read" the design to help identify the age of an item.
The cameo as a motif was highly prized by the Georgians.
Elaborate jet pieces found favour with the Victorians
after the death of Prince Albert.
And, as we've seen, flowers and natural images
were the touchstones of jewellers at the turn of the 20th century.
Sometimes the story behind a piece of adornment can be
just as valuable as the item itself.
Our expert with the Midas touch, Michael Baggott, struck gold
when he came across a very special watch.
The watch comes from my grandfather, who was called Eli Pope.
-This is his picture, there.
He built this five wheel bicycle
and he raced with it on road and on the old Crystal Palace track
and he won...he got this medal for winning a race.
-So rather than a cup he got a watch.
-Gold watch, yeah.
We've got an inscription, which is nice.
It says, "1 mile bicycle handicap won by E. Pope."
When you've got a piece that someone will bring to "Flog It!"
and say, "This belonged to my grandfather and he did this."
If it hasn't got that inscription,
you're taking that story on trust and however sincere and truthful
that is, in the antiques business you have to be able to prove things.
I think he possibly used to carry it around when he was racing
-because it's got a fair few dents in it.
But it's appropriate to a cyclist and someone that is timed
because it's got a special feature to it.
-Do you know what that special feature is?
-I know it's a stopwatch.
It is. Any idea of what the watch is made of?
-I think it's gold plate or something.
The back plate is plated for strength
but actually, the case and the bezel are 18 carat gold.
So it was a worthy thing to win
and it's marvellous to have the history with it.
It's very difficult to value this because it's got a little chip
to it which knocks the value of the watch per se.
Condition is always very important so the condition of this watch,
without its story, would have impacted greatly on its value.
The story actually equalised that and did it a little bit better
but you should always be aware of condition.
Especially when buying time pieces.
We should be in the region of about £150 to £250 on it. Would that be...
-Yes, yes. Thank you.
-A great pleasure to see you.
I have got to start the bidding here at £300.
320 on the phone. 340.
360. 380. 400.
-420. 440. 460.
-Can't believe it!
480. 550 now. 580.
580 on the phone. 600, can I say?
At 580, then, if you're done?
-Oh, pedal power! £580!
The fact that this watch was a presentation
for a very unusual sporting event is always going to add interest.
It's not just for a watch collector, it's not just for someone who
values the gold, it's for someone who values the story.
Watches are a potential gold mine for collectors
and our experts are brimming with tips.
Go for the flashy ones and the rare ones
and the movements that do all sorts of things.
And there are some major makers to go for, of course
- Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, Longines -
good Swiss makes that we see regularly.
Just because it says Rolex doesn't mean to say it is a Rolex.
With high quality watches the finish is absolutely superb.
If you've got any doubts about it at all,
if it doesn't feel right, walk away from it.
Pocket watches are incredibly undervalued,
particularly 18th century ones.
So if you wanted to start a collection,
start a collection of those.
Phillip Serrell also found a shiny trinket which had a story to tell
- though not one you'd expect.
Everybody at home is watching this and thinking that's a bangle.
-Is that what they're thinking?
We know different. Dog collar.
'If you want a bit of bling for your dog,'
I mean, today you might put him in the latest designer coat
or cover but 100 years ago,
you'd have bought him a really ritzy collar, wouldn't you? And they did.
You can just see there how the clasp operates and it's almost...
It's silver plated. You've got some marks here which are plate marks.
And then we've got in script around the border.
-Lady Constance Trentham, which is very Gosford Park, isn't it?
I think it's a very, very rough rule of thumb
- anything that's inscribed or decorated
is going to be worth more than a plain Jane.
Not always but most of the time.
And I think that little bit of inscription around the collar,
for me, that just added to it.
And people collect dog collars.
There is a big demand for these. You can have them in silver.
You can get some really early 18th century ones that are in brass
-with sort of really Walt Disney spikes coming out.
But they're good, they're attractive things
when they've got a lovely patina.
If you want to age something, you know, it's not divine inspiration.
It's a question of holding it and looking at it
and quietly working out and working out the method of manufacture,
working out the style of script on there,
looking at the age of it, the wear of it.
It may have been Edwardian, it may have been a bit earlier than that.
But I think that's such a fun thing. It really was a cool thing.
I reckon that this will make between £60 and £90 at auction.
And I think if you get two people who are really avid,
then it could go and make well over £100.
I love this. It's really, really cute.
-We're looking at £60 to £90 for it. Great valuation.
-It will sell.
I like dog collars. Strange little thing I don't tell many people!
679 is the electroplated dog collar. What a charming little thing there,
engraved for Lady Constance Trentham.
And she must have had a tiny little dog.
Start with 50 bid. 55. 60. 65.
70. 75. 80. 80 bid. Any more, now, at £80?
At 80. 85. 90. 90 still here. At £90. Any more?
At 95. 100. 100 still with me.
Will take a ten. At 100. All done now at £100?
Yes! Hammer's gone down! That's sold. £100.
And bizarrely, I think that's one of those things
that would be worth a good bit more today.
Big area of collectability because it's different. It's different.
People want different things.
How many of your friends have you been to and they go,
"Look at my silver plated dog collar."
It doesn't happen, it's different.
Charlie Ross's eye was caught by a bit of sparkle
that could so easily have been overlooked as old costume jewellery.
-You don't like it, do you?
-No. I don't.
-I can tell.
It's been sitting in a box somewhere, presumably.
-Yes, actually. In the teapot. Yeah.
It's first half of the 20th century.
1920s, 1930s, I think. Do you know where it comes from?
No. I know nothing at all about it.
Looking at all of those stones, I think
probably what is now Sri Lanka, what was Ceylon.
Because those stones were indigenous to Ceylon or Sri Lanka,
as it is now, and I'm lucky enough to have been there.
That it was likely that piece of jewellery was made there
because all those stones, or the majority of those stones,
'would have been natural to Sri Lanka.'
We have got a citrine and a garnet, then a smokey quartz,
really rather a splendid sapphire.
Then we've got a cabochon amethyst.
By cabochon it's rounded. It's in the form, really, of a bead.
Then we've got the zircon and then,
although it's a slightly different colour,
-we've got another garnet at the end.
Garnets come in different shades of orangey red.
So how did Charlie know he was looking at the real thing,
and not a worthless glass imitation?
Have I got a bit of glass in my hand?
Have I got a semi precious stone in my hand? What do I do?
Pick up a piece of glass, put it into my hand,
semi precious stone in that hand, close your eyes
and ipso facto you will find the glass warming up
and the semi precious stone will remain cold.
-Have you had it insured?
No, I didn't think it was worth anything.
-Did you think it was a bit of costume jewellery?
So you thought it was worth £10, I suppose?
Didn't think it was worth anything at all.
-Anything at all?
So, it will come as a pleasant surprise to be
-told that it's worth £100-£150.
-Lovely, yes. Thank you.
Charlie knew a semiprecious bracelet when he saw one,
but it quickly proved to be more precious than even he expected.
220. 230, 240,
-Oh, they love it.
350, 360, 370, 380.
And we're still going.
At £400. With the lady at 400, now. At £400.
-Are we all done?
Bang, that hammer's gone down.
Shoot the valuer!
If you're going to sell a bit of jewellery, for goodness' sake,
make sure you know what it is.
Yes, and any good auction house, of course, will give you a valuation
prior to sale and will tell you whether something is genuine or not.
So, how can you tell a diamond from the rough?
As well as Charlie's warmth test, try the breath test.
If you breathe on glass, it will fog up,
but a diamond will remain clear as day.
What else should you bear in mind?
Remember to take your loupe,
which will help you to identify the four Cs...
Colour and clarity define the quality of a gem
and how many faults or inclusions it has.
Have a go at studying the gem through your loupe,
but, it is a specialist field,
so ask an expert if you are in doubt.
With a little research, you can
learn to identify one of the hundreds of cuts out there,
from the traditional rose, to the curved cabochon.
You can learn about the carat,
which is the weight of your gemstone,
by using a simple and inexpensive card to measure it.
And by examining the four Cs, along with the quality of the design,
you could be going for gold.
Nothing fires the imagination of the "Flog It!" experts more than
a military medal and the stories associated with them.
But why is one medal more desirable than another?
Expert and auctioneer Will Axon has seen a fair few in his time,
and he jumped at the chance to visit the place that's been
responsible for striking them for more than 200 years.
Well, they've let me in.
Here I am. The Royal Mint.
Everyone thinks coins, don't they,
when they think of the Royal Mint, but I am here to
look at something that interests me more than coins - medals.
But, before Will got to handle the medals
awarded for service in the Armed Forces,
he met one of the foremost experts in the field of mint medals,
Kevin Clancy, curator of the Royal Mint Museum.
It really began about 200 years ago with the Waterloo Medal.
And you have an original Waterloo Medal here?
Cos I know, from my auctioneering background, that they
-are highly collectable, aren't they?
-The Royal Mint made all the Waterloo Medals.
-Well, come on.
Let's get down to it. Let's have a look at them in the flesh.
All sorts of medals flashing there in front of me.
Wow, look at this. There, of course,
is the Waterloo Medal.
And you've got various
versions, is that right?
That's right. The nature of our collection is about how
a coin or medal has been produced.
But to think, how would you commemorate Waterloo?
What device would you use?
That's a creative problem that someone's got to solve.
And, in this instance, it's the winged figure of Victory.
Which we can see here.
With the word Waterloo underneath and the date.
And it's become an extraordinarily
potent symbol of campaign medals.
This is the start, this is where it all began.
I see you just going in and grabbing one,
I think I'm going to follow suit,
because I thought I might have to have the odd white gloves on.
And, the other interesting point here is, of course,
is it hasn't been awarded.
So they're not actually named, which must make them
a bit of an anomaly, as far as medal collecting must go?
That's right. For people who collect military medals, they're often
interested in that story,
the action that the person was involved with.
Because I'm amazed by what we've got here.
I mean, again, this is quite mind-boggling for me.
This is a medal roll for the Waterloo Medal
and it lists every single person it was awarded to,
from the highest ranked officer, right down to the privates.
That's right. And the reason that the Royal Mint Museum would have such
a document is that all these medals were named at the Royal Mint.
So, we needed to know the names, we needed to know that
information about the people who were receiving the medals.
You know, just names on a page to us now,
but you can see, almost,
the wish to find out more, delve deeper.
Now, if we're talking medals for bravery of gallantry,
there is one that tops the list, isn't there? The VC.
Now, tell me you've got one of those here.
We have an example of the Victoria Cross in the collection.
Wow, look at that!
From our point of view, it's one of the only official medals
that the Royal Mint hasn't made.
It was made by Hancocks, is that right?
It was made by Hancocks. It was from the word go, 150 years ago,
and still is. This is as high as it gets,
as far as the gallantry awards are concerned.
Let me see. What do you reckon?
Do you think they'd notice if I sneaked out with that?
The rumour is that the metal that they're actually made from
is not that good a quality. Am I right?
-The story is that the metal is from cannons...
-Gun metal, isn't it?
..captured in the Crimean War. It's a base metal.
It's a fairly simple design, but it means so much.
It's the highest award that you can get,
but it's made from the most basic of metals.
It's the heroism behind the medal that attracts the collector.
No medal shows that better than the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest
and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy.
This one was awarded to Private Sidney Godley in 1914
and it sold in auction in 2012 for over a quarter of a million pounds.
Now, Kevin, I'm no medals expert,
but you've seen and handled so many,
you must have some top tips that you are able to pass on to our viewers.
Condition is hugely important in anything you're buying,
of course, particularly medals, I would say, and coins.
The way in which you look after it subsequently
is again very, very important.
Beyond that, it is in some ways where your heart and, let's face it,
where your pocket might lead you.
Your interests could go in all sorts of directions
in relation to medals.
The stories are fascinating.
It's something that can illuminate the past
in a way that few other objects can.
Here at the mint, they produce medals for present-day conflicts.
But perhaps surprisingly,
they're currently also making Second World War medals.
One of these is the Arctic Star.
From 1914 to 1945, Allied convoys sailed across the Arctic,
to deliver four million tonnes of vital supplies to the Russians.
Conditions were amongst the worst faced by any Allied sailor,
with extreme cold and ferocious pack ice.
The loss rate for ships was higher than any other
Allied convoy route, with 3,000 sailors losing their lives.
After a successful campaign,
the veterans have finally been recognised for their heroism.
It's estimated that 120,000 of them
or their next of kin are eligible to receive the Arctic Star.
Will had an unprecedented sneak look at the process
of making this most deserved of all medals.
When you think that these people have waited 68 years to be appreciated.
-That's a long time to wait.
So there must be a sense of honour amongst anyone working here.
Yes, there's real pride here.
People are really proud of what we make in the Royal Mint,
especially the medals.
I tell you what, is there any part of this process that
I might be able to have a go at?
You can have a go, if you think you're up to it.
If you're going to trust me with a 360 ton press?
Yes, yes, you'll be fine.
-This is it here, is it?
-Yeah, don't forget your glasses.
No, I've got my safety goggles. Right.
-So I've got a nice stack here.
-Nice, shiny blank.
OK, you put it in the press.
-Locate it in the die.
-Locate the star now.
-Locate the star...
-I think that's about right.
-Where's my hammer? Oh, no...
-Just press once?
Right, now press it again.
-There we are. Take it out, Will.
-Is it safe?
Yeah, yeah, it's fine, yeah.
That's fine. No holes, no scratches.
That's great, Will.
So now it needs to go to the clipping?
It needs to go to the clipping, yeah.
Now I need to clip this excess.
I'm assuming this has got to be pretty accurate, otherwise...
Yes, it has.
Make sure you locate properly, Will.
-You better check it.
It's fine, now, Will.
What you mean "fine now"? It wasn't before?
-So down comes my safety?
Press the foot pedal.
-Slightly nervous, isn't it?
I suppose you're pretty used to it.
-My medal, in theory.
-Your medal's coming out.
Let's have a look. Front...
-That's OK, Will.
-Is that OK?
-Yes, that's OK.
It's got to be cleaned later. No, no.
-We've got a misclip, Will.
-That's a misclip.
-We've got a misclip.
-How did that happen? Not my fault!
I probably didn't locate it...
-Oh, I'm so glad I got you to check it!
-This is a reject.
-We'll make another one.
-We'll make another one, yeah.
Just a few more to go, Will.
Once Will's got that right,
the medal is pierced and polished.
Rhiannon, you're on the final process.
-Yes, I am.
Well, I've got a medal here.
-Any chance I could swap that for one with a ribbon on?
-Course you can.
That's very kind of you.
I'm glad you are doing that fiddly work and not me.
-And that's in the box it will be presented to, yeah?
-Yes, it is.
Wow, look at that.
Stunning, isn't it? The finished product.
To think that I've had a small part to play, even if it is
just helping to strike a medal, that...
You know, it's in some way respectful
to what they gave for their country
70 years ago, but still relevant, really
and worth commemorating, certainly.
With medal collecting, valour is the crucial element.
If you're going to start your own collection, here's a tip.
Hone in on a battle or the era that intrigues you most
and enjoy getting to know the stories of gallantry
behind that scrap of metal.
Anita Manning is probably the most
stylish member of the "Flog It!" team.
She loves colour and is also rather partial to a bit of adornment.
MUSIC: "Theme from Jurassic Park" by John Williams
I love jewellery.
It doesn't need to be gold and it doesn't need to be diamonds.
I love ambers.
And for me, they're very, very, very special.
Now, amber is a precious substance
and it is made of the fossilised resin
of giant and ancient pine trees
40 to 60 million years old.
And it's the type of thing which reaches
very high prices in the auction.
But, when something is very precious like that, we often find that
things are copied and that there are imitations
and we find these in the sale rooms and we also find them
in my little collection of amber, as well.
And I don't mind them too much.
I mean, it's very handy
to be able to identify the true amber.
And, in this one here,
it looks in the spectrum of ambers,
but, in actual fact, it is a Bakelite.
How do we tell the difference?
There's first the hot pin test.
If you heat a little pin
and put it into the amber in a place where you can't see it,
maybe near the string hole, if it's amber,
it will emit this wonderful pine perfume,
whereas, if it's plastic or Bakelite,
the smell will be really horrid.
True amber has a magnetic quality and,
if you cut up lots of different little bits of paper
and rub the amber on some wool,
it will magnetise and draw the paper.
So these are handy wee things to know, if you're not sure
if it's amber.
People worshipped amber, because it was a sun...
They called it a sun-reflecting stone.
And, if we look at something like that,
which has depth and colour
and substance and great beauty,
this is the real amber.
And this little baby here
is worth its weight in gold.
Anita's precious amber spent millions of years
buried in the soil.
But, a few years ago,
I went hunting for treasure unearthed in more recent times.
It's everybody's dream to find buried treasure,
and one freezing January afternoon in 1943,
in the middle of the dark days of World War II,
Gordon Butcher was hard at work
ploughing a field in the middle of Mildenhall in Suffolk.
Suddenly, the plough hit something in the field
and Gordon ran round to see what it was.
He started digging and he unearthed a huge black metal rim
of a large plate, some two foot in diameter.
Gordon quickly fetched his boss,
Sydney Ford, and together,
they dug down into the soil and found many more objects,
including dishes, goblets and spoons,
an astonishing 34 items in all.
Thinking the finds were just pewter or lead, Sydney Ford gathered them
all up and stuffed them into a crude old sack and took them home.
There, he started to clean them up,
and he even straightened out all the dented items quite crudely.
Once they were cleaned up,
he put them on display on the mantelpiece and the sideboard.
In those days, any large, valuable collection found underground
came under the law of treasure trove.
If it was deemed to be lost, it belonged to the finder,
but if it was thought to have been buried intentionally,
it belonged to the Crown
and the finder received a reward related to the value of the hoard.
The find should have been declared immediately,
but it was another three years before it was brought to
the attention of the local authorities
and that came about because a local doctor went round to visit
Ford in his house after the war
and saw the collection on display.
And it was only then that the Mildenhall Treasures were
revealed as the most important collection of Roman silver
ever to be found in Britain.
I've come to the Mildenhall Museum to find out a little bit more
and talk to trustee Peter Merrick.
Peter, thank you very much for joining us.
Now, this is the largest item. Tell me about it.
Yes, it is an extraordinary large thing.
It weighs 18lb, or 8.25 kilograms.
What does it depict? What's going on there?
Well, in the middle, there's Oceanus,
or Neptune, he's been called in Greek times.
And dancing maidens and men all around,
beautiful dresses, with other animals.
It is exquisite.
Let's take a look at some of the other finds
you've got on the table.
It really is a treasure trove.
Yes, we think it's absolutely wonderful.
I've noticed there's a few dents on some of them.
Is that because they've been knocked by a plough over the years?
Well, as far as anyone knows,
the only damage that ever occurred was when they were found.
By the plough. But the whole story is shrouded in mystery.
So what was his reward for finding this?
He got £1,000.
That's nothing, is it, really? Absolutely nothing.
If he'd have reported this straightaway as a find,
he would have got the whole reward, wouldn't he?
Its value, its true value?
Allegedly, he would have got £50,000 for it,
but because he left it for so long, then all he finished up with...
The ploughman, Gordon Butcher, got 1,000 and so did Sid Ford.
It's not a lot, is it?
This is a fantastic collection of treasure.
Who knows? There might be even more out there.
We've got metal detectors going around like lunatics
looking for them.
Still to come, the kids are in town...
When little Katie put them on the table, I thought,
"I've never seen these before!"
..and they have treasures to impress the experts...
This is the highlight of my day.
..as well as the bidders.
-What do you think about that?
An area of collecting that has huge appeal is coins.
You shower us with them on "Flog it!".
From commemorative coins, to gold sovereigns,
whole collections and coins made into jewellery.
We're a nation, I think, of collectors.
I coined the term collectaholics. They're absolutely addicted.
So I can relate to it. Although I've never been particularly bitten by
the coin bug myself, I can certainly understand why you'd want to.
But it's easy to feel overwhelmed by over 2,000 years' worth of coins
to choose from. So, where to begin?
There are a few key things that collectors bear in mind,
and Michael Baggott came across a coin that encapsulated all of them.
This is a fantastic condition gold coin.
We've got the head of King James I.
He reigned from 1603 to 1625.
The denomination of this is actually a laurel.
We've got the denomination actually struck here, which is XX,
and that's the number of shillings it represents.
So, it's a 20 shilling piece.
We have to think about a whole series of things
when we value coins. These, which are hammered coin...
And a hammered coin is anything that is struck by hand
and does not have a milled edge.
The first thing is, how even is the flan?
The flan being the surface of the coin.
We've got a little bit of trimming here, but that's fine.
But really, it is in absolutely wonderful condition.
And at the auction, it was clear the collectors agreed.
1,150, for the gentleman behind you. At 1,150...
Condition, condition, condition.
Good price, £1,150.
That coin perfectly sums up the things to check for
if you're thinking of collecting.
Most important is condition.
You can get something that's incredibly early,
or even a Roman coin, and it can be worth a very small amount
unless the condition is very crisp and fine.
Really, you've got to look for condition.
Still on really early coins, you can get some that were
in uncirculated condition.
You can still see just the very finest
wisps of hair on the monarch's head and they are beautiful.
And whatever you do, don't be tempted to polish your coin.
That all important patina of age
shows that something is the genuine article.
And that's what the collectors want to see.
If a coin is not supposed to have a hole in it,
and it has a hole in it,
it's not worth anything as a coin, so remember that.
A lot of coins have been turned into jewellery
and they've been drilled or they have jewellery mounts still on them.
If you see any blemishes like that,
a coin collector would no longer be interested in it,
and it's worth then it's scrap value.
Inevitably, very rare coins are highly sought after
and can fetch staggering sums.
This Queen Anne, period Vigo, five guinea coin from 1703
sold for £240,000 in 2012.
As with any collecting, it always pays to do your research.
If you're collecting coins, go immediately
and get yourself very good guides to coins. You're lost without it.
Then you know what you're looking at.
Then get familiar with condition.
You're only going to know that if you go to specialists
and handle coins in that condition and become familiar with it.
Once you've done that, there are enough price guides and general
reference works for you to work out a framework and collect from there.
Coins are collectable for many reasons.
They're a window into history,
they have intrinsic gold value, and they're terribly rare.
But you might be surprised to hear that one of the most collectable
coins on the market seems at first glance
to be one of the most ordinary...
the humble penny.
In 1933, the Royal Mint only struck a tiny number of pennies,
as there were already enough in circulation.
Exactly how many were produced has become
a subject of speculation amongst collectors.
One man who should know is Kevin Clancy, Royal Mint curator.
The truth of it is we don't know how many were made.
People might tell you they do know, but the truth is there isn't
a record that says six, seven, eight or however many were made.
Almost certainly less than ten,
and they've sold for in excess of £25,000 in recent times.
It's the story behind this that people are attracted by.
Don't be fooled, there were plenty of forgeries, but you never know.
If you're doing some renovation
and see something shiny in the rubble,
you might just have turned up your own lucky penny.
Now, it doesn't always follow that
if an item has been made of precious metal or adorned with gems
that it's going to increase in value, but in most cases, it does.
Take this exquisite example of Huguenot craftsmanship,
made in 1710.
Reputedly, it's the world's largest solid silver wine cooler
and it weighs a staggering 3,000 ounces.
If this same wine cooler had been made
using the finest Cuban mahogany of the day, richly carved and adorned
like this has been, it would set you back around £20,000 to £30,000.
This one? Well, you can definitely add another couple of noughts.
So, when does that extra sparkle make all the difference?
When buying precious metal object in silver or gold,
name and craftsmanship are absolutely crucial alongside
condition and markings etc.
I would always advise people to be guided by the individual quality
of an object, and if you just buy on names, you could come a cropper.
The name can be the value, really, but not all pieces are named.
So, if it's an unnamed piece, go for quality of craftsmanship.
A good finish, good materials, and you can't really go wrong.
Anything fashioned from gold and silver has that extra little
je ne sais quoi that our experts love,
and Adam Partridge knew exactly what he had in front of him.
They were really smart.
Enamelled with birds, in lovely condition, by a great maker.
They ticked all the commercial boxes.
Aren't they wonderful?
Silver and enamel menu holders,
obviously for the dinning table, in sets of eight and upwards.
These were produced by a company called Sampson Mordan & Co,
which is quite a famous company,
particularly well known for inventing the propelling pencil.
Sampson Mordan is one of the major names in small silver, I would say.
They were prolific manufactures, but always very high quality
and small items. Desktop items, ink wells, the list is endless.
They assayed items in London, Birmingham, and these ones,
more of interest to me, as I'm in the north-west,
were assayed in Chester...
which is slightly rarer, slightly more interesting,
than the ones that were in Birmingham or London.
We can put an estimate of £100 to £150, but I wouldn't be surprised
if they made more like £200 to £250 once the bidding had happened.
Two silver menu holders, with a value of £100-150.
Adam, I like these. Assay marked in Chester, very good quality.
-Sampson Mordan. Good name.
-I like them a lot.
It gets exciting now. Here we go.
'Where they going to fly at auction?'
We've got 520 here. 550, 580...
-I can't believe this.
£700. There's the bid on that telephone at £700.
At £700 and done, thank you.
-Excellent, thank you.
What do you think? A big smile there.
Small silver is extremely desirable,
so I was a bit conservative with my estimate on those ones.
Oh, well, Adam, at least you were right
about the collectability of Sampson Mordan.
Their charm and quality always attract the buyers.
Why not see if you can find any of their propelling pencils,
enamelled vesta cases or pin cushions?
Small items with glittering prices.
We often come across this question on "Flog it!" -
to scrap or not to scrap our precious objects
made of gold or silver?
And the team is divided on the matter.
Scrapping is a real bugbear of mine
and it's not a big question for me at all.
I can't stand it that things get scrapped.
If something is horrible, it's thin and tinny,
and has no artistic merit whatsoever,
but it's worth £300 if you melt it down,
melt it down and hopefully an artisan silversmith
will get hold of that and make something beautiful.
If you've got a lovely piece, though, beautifully made,
don't scrap it, because it'll probably be a one-off
and there won't be another one around,
so think carefully before you put everything in a melting pot.
When we scrap gold or silver,
we're aiming to maximise price by weight,
but when Michael Baggott came across a silver teapot,
it wasn't so much the weight that appealed, as what it told him.
It's a super thing,
and anybody that knows anything about silver will be looking at that
and saying, "Oh, that's a beautiful London teapot of about 1830." But...
Oh! The first hint that something's up
is the fact that I'm having difficult lifting it.
Lifting it, yes.
Weight, when you're looking at silver, is a very good indicator,
not in itself, but taken as a whole, as to quality.
Obviously, the heavier something is, the more expensive it is to make,
so obviously there might be more
skill required in the manufacture of it.
-Actually, the second thing is this handle.
-Because it's horn.
English handles are silver with ivory insulators or they're wood,
so we're not in England anymore.
Turn it over, and, great, that's what we want to see.
We've got H&C in a rectangular punch,
then we've got an elephant, which is signs of things not English,
and a little A.
These are the marks that were used by Hamilton and Company,
who were probably the leading silversmiths in Calcutta,
and things were worked to a very heavy gauge.
So whenever you see something which is very elaborate like this
and it weighs a tonne, those are the warning bells that it's going
to be a piece of colonial silver.
It's still not, frustratingly, as valuable as if it were English,
despite the fact it's much rarer.
Rarity doesn't always mean value,
because it can mean that there are less collectors,
and if there are less collectors for something, it won't make as high a price at auction.
At auction, it's going to be in the region of about £350 to £550.
-That's the sort of bracket and see how it goes.
A piece like this is about so much more than its weight.
It evokes an important part of British history.
But would the bidders agree?
I'm going to start the bidding at 600. Is there 20 in the room?
-At £600, it's selling.
-Is there 20? At £600. Any more?
At £600. Commission bid. Are you all done? That's £600, last time.
Yes, the hammer's gone down. £600.
Strangely, at the time we sold it, it was less valuable
than an English teapot,
because Indian colonial silver was in a slump.
That's now not the case and colonial silver is sought after,
so were it to be offered again today,
it would probably make slightly more.
But that's just how the markets go.
Sophia's solid silver teapot may have conjured up
the days of the Raj, but Anita found two starry items which oozed
the style of another bygone era, and were truly out of this world.
These wonderful compacts from the 1950s were absolutely marvellous.
When little Katie put them on the table, I thought,
"I've never seen these before!"
-Do they belong to you?
-Yeah, they do.
-Do you play with them?
Compacts you usually keep in your handbag to powder your nose
when you're out. These are like dressing table examples of them.
If we open it up, it's very interesting.
It's called The Flying Saucer.
It is a lot of fun. I like it.
This other one, again a dressing table example,
and this one is called Pygmalion, Made in England.
The inventiveness and the reflection of what was happening at the time
was shown in these little compacts
and I think they were really just the best fun in the world
and a perfect example of 1950s bags of style.
I think we'll estimate them
at maybe £50-60 with a reserve of maybe 45
but hope that we've got those hip kids
that are out for that type of item.
I can start the bidding straightaway at £120.
180. 180 on commission.
On the phone at 200. 220.
No? At £240, these very rare compacts.
-What did you think about that?
What mattered was the style
and the period. That's what made these items interesting,
not the components
that made the item.
The sparkly nature of those compacts was only part of their appeal.
Their space-age kitsch was a real bonus.
Appealing to people's nostalgia can prove profitable.
Sometimes, though, all that glisters is indeed gold,
or in this case, a very special piece of silver.
There is absolutely no doubt that this is the highlight of my day.
-Do you know what you've got here?
-No, not really.
-I had a quick look last night on the internet.
-What name did you find?
-Never heard of him.
You'd never heard of him? What's it made of?
-It is indeed.
Very, very typical piece.
You could see this was Omar Ramsden from the other end of Ely Cathedral.
Omar Ramsden was born in 1873, died in 1939,
and was one of the great 20th-century silversmiths
in this country.
Quality, quality, quality, but also he did his own enamelling.
A lot of silversmiths would send their work off to an enameller
to have that work done.
He did his own enamelling so that he did the whole object.
And it's hugely collectible.
I'm going to turn it over, just so we get all the info here.
The monarch, there we are, George V, and the date letter, 1935,
and it's even got Omar Ramsden and the OR mark on it.
Frankly, it couldn't be better. What's it worth, Jack?
-I don't know, 500, maybe?
-£500, you think?
Jack was a very bright boy, IS a bright boy,
but I can't believe he looked at a bit of Omar Ramsden and said,
"I think this is worth £500," not at his age.
Well, he's got a huge future ahead of him if it was his own valuation.
This is worth over £1,000.
Oh, that was a funny noise, Jack!
This is worth, in my opinion, certainly £1,000-1,500.
Wow, indeed, and at auction the shocks kept coming.
1,100, 1,200, 1,300,
-We've done it.
2,200, 2,300, you're both out down here.
-2,400 this side.
-This is great, Jane.
2,600. At 2,600, look at the action pose.
2,600 there. Where are the other two phones now?
I sell on the phone with the bid.
At £2,600, are you sure you're done?
-The hammer's gone down.
OK, Jack, do you know where all the money's going?
-Has Mum and Dad decided?
-To my bank.
The Jack Bank!
A good, full price,
but it was the quality.
Everybody knows that if you buy the best
and you buy a bit of Omar Ramsden,
the fact that it's 2,600 on that day -
it comes up in another five years' time, it'll be 3,600.
It's not going to go down.
There's no more of it being made
and that was a perfect hallmark,
no chipping to the enamelling. The whole thing was perfect.
If you can't stretch to gold or silver, take my advice -
go out and buy some pewter.
That would be my number one choice.
Start off with the small plates,
18th-century ones, with a stamp on it, the maker's initial,
known as a touch mark.
They start at around £30-60 in auction.
Work your way up to the larger plates, the chargers.
Hopefully, get one with a broad rim, late 17th-century,
again, with a bit of punch detail,
a stamp mark on it and a little bit of wriggle work, as it's known,
decoration in the style of William and Mary or King Charles II.
Now, they're affordable as well.
They start at around £100-200 in pretty average condition,
so there you are, get out there and get buying.
It's great way to get into precious metal.
If you're interested in something shiny
that's a cut above the rest, there's a lot to think about.
Bear in mind changing fashions.
Objects go in and out of vogue,
so think about whether it shines out above the crowd now
or whether it makes sense to hang onto it for the future.
On trend right now are British colonial objects
and seek out home-grown, retro, quirky items
which have a new-found appeal.
A good name can help increase the value.
But named or not, remember the mantra -
quality and craftsmanship
and if you can tick those boxes, you'll have a piece
that should endure the changing fluctuations in fashion.
And there's a simple trick to test whether all that glisters is gold...
..use a magnet.
Iron or nickel will jump to a magnet,
while gold and silver won't be drawn towards it at all.
And finally, take a leaf out of Katie and Jack's book.
Encourage children's early interest in collecting
and you never know -
you could be looking at the antique collectors of the future.
-The hammer's gone down.
"Flog It!" expert Anita Manning has eyes like a magpie
when it comes to spotting sparkly, shiny things
and it was just like her to zoom in on something rather special
Marion brought along to a valuation day in Cheshire back in 2012.
These are divine. Tell me about them.
I got these about ten years ago on the internet, £50,
including postage and packing.
When they arrived, they were a bit black,
but when I took a closer look at them,
I realised that they were absolutely exquisite.
I loved my day at "Flog It!" Tatton Park.
Anita Manning was lovely to me, very friendly, she loved my hat pins,
and she's very interested in jewellery
and items like that anyway, so it was just great.
Let's look at the actual items.
We have a little diamond set in silver or a white metal.
I'm not sure yet whether it's a white gold or a silver.
Dating, I would say, the late 1800s
and it would be one of these wonderful, big Belle Epoque hats
that you would wear.
Now, value - you've paid £50 for them.
-Well, somebody a while back offered me £650.
-In your hand?
In my hand, yes, cash.
But I actually declined it.
If you're wanting your 650 in your hand,
you're probably having to consider going with
a reserve of near enough £750.
-Well, I'd be happy for that.
-Shall we give it a go?
Let's give it a go!
And she wasn't disappointed.
740. In the room at 740.
At 740, selling them. At £740.
Which was brilliant,
cos that money went towards my 50th birthday party,
which was coming up later that year
and I had a great time.
I had friends and family, great food, a dance and we all had a great time.
Apart from enjoying a party, Marion is a real second-hand rose.
Those hat pins were part of a covetable collection
of vintage clothing and jewellery she's put together
over several decades.
I've been very lucky over the years of collecting
to acquire some very special pieces
that give a glimpse into our social history, really.
A 94-year-old lady sold these to me on the internet.
The beautiful embroidery on here,
it's so delicate you'd hardly think it was done by hand,
she did as the bombs were falling overhead in Portsmouth.
And she was willing to share her tips on collecting with us.
I'd recommend for anybody, if they were interested
in getting into acquiring items of vintage clothing,
to go along, if they can, to a vintage clothing store -
they're up and down the country - or vintage fairs,
where they actually get the chance to try things on,
see how they fit, see what suits them,
and then you can progress to looking at things online,
but be very careful about measurements,
because vintage clothing can be very different to modern sizing,
so if the measurements aren't given on the description, ask.
So if you're interested in starting out collecting vintage,
the place to start is to really think about your shape, your style,
what do you think would suit you,
because there's different shapes to different eras.
Also, you might be interested in a particular era
because of the music or the dance of that era.
Now, I hope we've inspired you today to go out there, get buying,
start a collection and, remember,
always trade upwards and look for quality
and enjoy yourself. Join us next time for more trade secrets.
Paul Martin and the Flog It! experts explore all that glisters.
Featured items include an unusual adornment for a dog and two out of this world, space age compacts.
Expert Will Axon tries his hand at medal making on a visit to the Royal Mint.
And we pay a visit to a Flog It! fan who sold a collection of hat pins to indulge her love of vintage glamour.