Collecting Vintage Costume Jewelry
Vintage jewelry collection
Collecting Vintage Costume Jewelry
While I love big flashy costume jewelry as a rule, it is quite by accident that I became a collector of vintage costume jewelry (see near photo of shadow box and more photos below).
Last year my cousin shared with me the extremely large collection of costume jewelry his dear mother Linnell left behind. Since I was working overseas he had already shared it with some good friends. By the time I returned there was still, I'm guessing about 100 lbs., all in a several large tangled masses.
If you are a collector of vintage costume jewelry you will recognize many of the vintage names: Carnegie, castlecliff, Lisner, Dalsheim, Sarah Coventry, Trifari, M&S, etc. Many are unmarked with names but have the country of origin: Germany, Japan, etc. Much of it is from the '50s and '60's.
My cousin offered the rest to me because he knew that while I was in Korea, my feng shui buddy, Christine, and I were taking jewelry making classes. And he knew I always loved and wore very distinctinve costume jewerly.
It took me two trips on the subway with my rolling suitcase and backpack to pick it all up. Then began the month long process of matching up earrings and untangling necklaces. Did I enjoy it? I loved it! There's something about finding a matched pair of earrings that you really want - that makes the sun shine (see photo of my favorite pairs). And what fun to find some pieces that I will probably never see for sale anywhere. Pieces I plan to wear this spring and summer. Of course I shared a lot with friends.
Then I had about 100 earrings with no matches (see photo below) and I sold those on ebay. I also had what is called 'findings' - which is lots of clasps, and bits and pieces like rhinestone jewelry with a jewel missing. This I also sold quickly on ebay. In my neighborhood with an art school right behind me, I shared lots of big wired necklaces that an artist wanted to use for a project. He was thrilled.
All the vintage earrings are clip-on or screw on. Some are clip-ons that you can screw as well for a better fit. The quality is superior I'd say compared to the quality of most costume jewelry today. Although, I will say that present day African costume jewelry is generally superior and if you know where to shop in Brooklyn you can find incredible prices. What I plan to do in the warmer weather is mix and match both kinds.
I still have a lot of beautiful earrings and necklaces. I decided to use some of it to put in the shadow box - it has become eyecatching decoration and quite a conversation piece.
Also I still have about 25 lbs. of necklaces in disrepair that I plan to refashion with my feng shui/jewelry class friend.
Enjoy the colorful slide show above and below!
More by this Author
Shea butter has been used to soothe and heal the skin for thousands of years. Often when I use it I see immediate results. But you have to make sure you buy the right kind.
It is now believed that indoor air is filthier than the air outdoors. So many of the products we bring into our homes are toxic. There are a number of safe ways to improve the quality of the air in your home.
That not-so-innocent roll of toilet paper may very well be the cause of you itching until you feel like screaming. If you have tried a new brand - like the mistake I made using a so-called 'earth friendly' brand - well,...