LAM’s upcoming ‘What’s it Worth’ event to focus on jewelry


By Tasmin McGill, Special to the Independent

Curious about that special brooch passed down from grandma? The Laguna Art Museum (LAM) has teamed up with John Moran Auctioneers & Appraisers once again for “What’s it Worth?” – Jewelry Edition. Experienced and novice collectors alike can bring their fine jewelry, couture jewelry, designer jewelry, Native and Mexican jewelry, and their timepieces to get them appraised by experts this Saturday, April 20. 

Antique enthusiasts wait outside Laguna Art Museum to find out how much their treasures are worth at last year’s What’s it Worth event. Photo/Jim Collins

More than 70 people attended the previous “What’s it Worth?” event held by LAM and John Moran Auctioneers & Appraisers in September 2023.

This year’s event will be split into two parts. The first part is a panel discussion moderated by LAM guest curator and jewelry historian, Timothy Adams. 

From 11 a.m. to noon, Adams will lead a conversation between jewelry artist Adam Neely, Tom Burnstein and Maranda Moran. 

Neely currently has jewelry displayed in his Modern Alchemy exhibit at LAM until July 23. This fine art jewelry marks the first exhibit Adams has curated for LAM. 

“Fine jewelry is usually like art jewelry, which Adam does. Is definitely art that you can wear,” Adams said. “Each piece is unique. It’s one of a kind and it is something that is wonderful to have.”

Burnstein is John Moran’s Jewelry Director, and Moran is the vice president of John Moran Auctioneers & Appraisers and its silver and modern jewelry specialist. 

Following the panel discussion, Burnstein and Moran, will be joined by Elizabeth Bray and John Moran President, Jeff Moran, will take part in the valuation portion of the event. Museum members and non-members alike are encouraged to bring a maximum of five jewelry pieces to be appraised.

Those who attend the jewelry panel discussion will have the first dibs at the appraisers from noon to 1 p.m., while everyone else will be able to have their items assessed from 1 to 5 p.m. 

“I’m sure people will bring in all kinds of jewelry,” Adams predicts. “A lot of people have historical pieces or heirlooms from their family, some have just recently purchased pieces and they want to see what the value is of them. That’s probably what we’ll end up seeing – a wide range of things.”

Items that cannot be brought to the museum can be evaluated through printed or digital images. 

Tickets to the event are on sale at the Laguna Art Museum. Prices will differ depending on the museum membership status. It is encouraged that tickets be purchased in advance at Laguna Art Museum’s website.

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