David Webb jewelry is iconic. His pieces have been worn by Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, Estée Lauder, and countless other famous and influential people.
Today, David Webb jewelry is widely regarded as incredibly well-made, and it can be extremely valuable.
At Samuelson’s Buyers, we’re always excited to see David Webb jewelry and love his work.
This post will look at the history of his jewelry and look at a few of his most famous styles. If you’re interested in selling a piece of David Webb jewelry, we can help you get a sense for what your piece might be worth.
Who Was David Webb?
David Webb was one of the most talented and influential jewelry designers of the 20th century, but many people have never heard his name.
Born in North Carolina in 1925, David Webb became fascinated with metalwork at a young age. He was self-taught, but moved to New York City at age 17 and began designing jewelry. By age 23, he had his own jewelry shop.
He rose to prominence in the ‘50s, but was most influential throughout the mid ‘60s and into the early ‘70s. He created some of his most creative and innovative designs during that period.
David Webb died of cancer in 1975, but his legacy and his vision outlived him. David Webb’s jewelry company is still alive and well today, making beautiful jewelry.
This YouTube video gives a great summary of David Webb’s story:
David Webb Design Styles
David Webb’s most successful period began in the 1960s, which places most of his work in what we call the Estate Jewelry Era. Technically, “estate jewelry” really means pre-owned jewelry, which can come from any time period, but in the jewelry industry, when we say “estate jewelry” we mean jewelry made circa 1960 to today.
David Webb jewelry is characterized by big, bold designs with bright colors and precious stones, especially diamonds. The pieces often include animal-themed and flower themed designs.
Let’s look at a few examples.
David Webb Diamond Jewelry
This beautiful display from the David Webb boutique in New York City includes multiple diamond rings, a diamond-accented bracelet, and an amazing diamond necklace. Each piece is a great example of the boldness and extravagance typical of David Webb jewelry designs.
Animal Jewelry Designs
This lion bracelet is inspired by the double-headed lion necklace David Webb famously made for Elizabeth Taylor in 1965. The bracelet above is a beautiful combination of diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and gold accents. The original necklace included two strings of pearls.
Flower Jewelry Designs
Jewelry design doesn’t get much better. The incredible placement of the diamonds and attention to detail on this rose brooch is an example of what makes David Webb jewelry so valuable.
Famous Wearers of David Webb Jewelry
Since the 1960s, famous and influential people have loved David Webb jewelry — another reason his pieces have become so popular and in-demand.
Elizabeth Taylor even wore David Webb jewelry on screen. She donned the famous lion-themed pearl and diamond necklace mentioned earlier in her 1973 movie, Ash Wednesday.
The former first lady wore ruby, emerald, pearl, and diamond earrings in Sevilla, Spain in 1966.
What Is David Webb Jewelry Worth?
Unfortunately, there’s no way for even a certified jeweler to estimate the true cost of a piece of jewelry without seeing it in person. In generally, most David Webb jewelry is very valuable. This is mostly because:
- David Webb jewelry is still handmade by incredibly skilled jewelry makers
- The company only uses the highest quality metals, stones, and other materials
- There is value in the David Webb brand name
- There is high demand in the market for David Webb jewelry
Another factor is the fact that, when David Webb himself passed away, he left behind about 40,000 sketches of potential jewelry designs. So, many of the company’s current pieces are actually inspired by David Webb’s own original designs.
A new piece of jewelry bought from the David Webb store can cost anywhere from $5,000 into the millions of dollars. However, when we evaluate a piece at Samuelson’s Buyers, we also have to consider its age and current condition — two things which don’t factor into the original pricing.
Making a piece of David Webb jewelry is not a matter of churning out items on an assembly line. Each individual piece is created painstakingly from scratch. In some cases, a single piece can take over a year to make!
How to Tell if a David Webb Piece is Authentic
Do you have a piece of estate jewelry that you think may be a David Webb item? The first thing to look for is the “Webb” hallmark. A hallmark marks a piece of jewelry as authentic and as a true product of the maker. You’ll usually find the hallmark on a part of the jewelry that wouldn’t be seen while you’re wearing it, such as the underside of a ring.
Unfortunately, hallmarks can be faked convincingly. The only way to be completely sure your item is authentic is to have an expert jeweler or gemologist examine it.
Are You Ready to Sell David Webb Jewelry?
If you own a piece of David Webb jewelry you’re looking to sell, and live near Washington DC, we would love to take a look. When you meet with us at Samuelson’s Buyers, our certified buyer will take a look at your item and talk you through every step of the evaluation process before making you an offer. Our number one priority is making sure you’re comfortable, so you’re encouraged to ask any questions you might have.
We give you payment in cash on the spot and we offer better prices than anyone in the DC area.
If you’re ready, make an appointment to meet with one of our expert jewelry buyers at our private, secure location in DC.
Give us a call at (301) 804-6176 or contact us online to get started.
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