As much as the beauty and allure of jewelry and gemstones has captured my interest, so has the history that lies behind each piece. Period jewelry and antique watches each have a unique story that accompanies them. I often imagine where pieces from an era gone by were worn and who was there to observe them in all their glory. Images of fantastic parties in Paris or New York during the 1920’s, where everyone is dressed in tuxedos or flapper dresses wearing their strap bracelets made in platinum, the new metal which was all the rage. Or better yet, sporting the latest fashion forward item, the wristwatch. Or, we can travel further back to see up and coming entrepreneurs in a flourishing America with their impressive complicated pocket watches, traveling by train to witness the birth of a young American city, yet to be established on the new frontier. Or maybe developing a new business or industry that would someday help build America and perhaps change the world. So many stories, passed down from generation to generation along with these pieces of jewelry, which are also pieces of history. And one day eventually, I will have the opportunity to see many of these pieces and revisit the history that lives with each of them and give them new life to begin a new chapter with another owner.
Michael Larsen serves as the West Coast representative for Freeman's as well as a specialist for the Jewelry & Watches department. He specializes in fine jewelry and watches, from vintage Edwardian timepieces to contemporary designers. Mr. Larsen also specializes in providing verbal auction valutaions for single items or entire collections and formal written appraisals for estate-planning, estate tax, charitable donations, gift tax and insurance.
Mr. Larsen joined Freeman's in 2014, bringing with him more than two decades of experience within the jewelry industry—including special expertise in appraising, manufacturing, and custom design—and an extensive understanding of watches and timepieces. Prior to working with Freeman’s, he was employed as the Senior Jewelry Specialist at Bonham's in Los Angeles for more than ten years.
He is a Graduate Gemologist and a Graduate Jeweler from the Gemological Institute of America and a Certified Gemologist Appraiser, a title he earned from the American Gemological Society. Mr. Larsen has lectured for cultural and member organizations on jewelry, jewelry history, and fashion and has appeared on several episodes of HGTV’s program “Appraise It” as well as KTLA’s “Good Morning LA” to discuss jewelry from the collection of legendary actress Mae West. On the popular PBS series Antiques Roadshow, Mr. Larsen is appraiser of Jewelry.