Old heishi coral necklace could be valued at $700 Members of Indian pueblos along the Rio Grande make multistrand necklaces of small beads. They can be twisted for a different look.


My mother has an old Indian necklace made of many strands of small coral beads. They can be twisted to give the necklace a different look. What's it worth?

Coral necklaces were made by members of the Santo Domingo and other pueblos along the Rio Grande in New Mexico. Necklaces of many strands of small stone beads are called "heishi." Contemporary necklaces of that description sell for about $300. A vintage version would be worth about $700.

My great-grandmother's necklace is made of "Geneva rubies." Is it valuable?

Not as valuable as it would be if it were made of real rubies. Geneva rubies were sold around 1885 in Switzerland. We have been told that they were made by processing small bits of real rubies into larger gemstones. We believe the stones probably contain no real rubies.

As a youngster, I was a big fan of Vinnie Barbarino. I still have some dolls, one of the Barbarino character and one of the actor, John Travolta. Now that Travolta is having a comeback, are they valuable?

Absolutely! Along with other character collectibles from the 1970s, John Travolta and Vinnie Barbarino dolls are hot.

The "Welcome Back, Kotter" Barbarino doll, made by Mattel in 1976 as part of a series of dolls based on the sitcom, sells for $40 if it's in mint condition, in its original packaging. If you took the doll out of the plastic bubble and threw away the cardboard backing that pictured the "Kotter" characters, the doll alone would be worth about $20.

The John Travolta Superstar doll by Chemtoy, released in 1977, sells for $45 if it's mint in its box. You might have saved that box, because it has several photos of a dreamy Travolta.

Tip: Look through the wrong end of a telescope you plan to buy. If it can be focused, all the parts are there.

Pub Date: 6/16/96

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