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Vintage Gem Collections

Updated on April 6, 2014

Costume Jewelry Collecting Is Interesting And Fun

Costume jewelry became popular after WW1. Expensive gold, sterling silver, diamond and certain stone jewelry was a luxury for the wealthy and high society. Jewelry designers wanted affordable jewelry and started mass production of jewelry made with inexpensive gold plated brass, plastic, colored glass and rhinestones. The new costume jewelry quickly became a fashion hit.


Personal Interest Collections

Costume jewelry may spark your interested for many different reasons. Some collectors enjoy collecting specific pieces such as broaches, butterflies or other animals. Some like jewels made in a particular era and collect only the jewelry from their favorite time period. Costume jewelry made in the 1930's - 1960's have unique styles and differences for each decade. Other collector's have preferences for a specific designer. A few popular designers include Boucher, Chanel, Miriam Hastell, KJ lane, Juliano, Trifari, Vendome and Weiss. Family collections that bring memories of grandmothers, aunts, sisters and mothers are pricless.



My mom looking at her big bold jewelry and asking " do you like this broach"? " would you like to wear this sometime"? My answer to her questions were no.. Looking at the big jewels made me grimace. I thought moms costume jewelry was ugly, gaudy and embarrassing, the year was 1970. My mom is 89 years young now and still enjoys wearing her flashy costume jewels. My view of those old jewels that have been around for so long has changed. When she ask me those same questions again my answer is sure.


What to Look For At Garage And Estate Sales.

Costume jewelry is available in abundance. It's unlikely you will find pieces valued in the thousands of dollars but, it is likely to find treasures that will profit hundreds of dollars. Garage and estate sales often have signature signed costume jewelry on sell for a few dollars, which then can be sold on ebay for twenty five to fifty dollars. Always check old jewelry for the 14k gold or other karat gold stamp (the real jewels) the old scrap gold is out there I have came across several hundred dollars worth and that was fun!

Look for matching earring and necklace sets in good condition. Jewels that are missing stones, dented prongs, discolored or broken may end up in a junk drawer. Any advertising to sell inspired vintage jewelry are newer jewels made to look like vintage.

A designer signature stamp on vintage jewels is significant, not all jewels are stamped. It's difficult to estimate how many different designers produced jewelry. Designers that made jewels with higher quality stones or unique pieces are generally rare, highly collectible and sought after. Highly collectible designer signatures to look for include Chanel, Coco, Juliano, Hastel, Hobe, Trifari, Weiss, Vendome. With minimal effort it's easy to find online guides with many costume jewelry designer names listed alphabetically. Do a search for costume jewely and you'll see information about the designers.

Whatever your inspiration is for costume jewelry collecting, above all else enjoy it and have fun!


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