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Antique Jewelry Collecting Guides on Kindle

Updated on January 16, 2015
Diane Cass profile image

Diane is a lover of all things beautiful; music, art, antiques and nature. Her guides bring insight to topics she cares passionately about.

Best Jewelry Collecting Guides Now in Digital Form

When collecting antique and vintage jewelry, a good collector's guide is an absolute must. Jewelry reference books will give you information on makers, show examples of important types and eras of jewelry making. They also give you a list of marks to watch for and how to tell a fake when you see one. Up until now, most jewelry collectors guides have only been available in paper form.

Reference books are often thick, heavy books that aren't easy to carry around with you when you are shopping. Some of the best books are out of print, hard to find and very expensive if you can find them.

Many of the best jewelry reference guides are now available in digital form on Kindle, and for lower prices than the paper versions. Now, you can carry your reference guides with you on your Kindle, while you shop antique stores, go to auctions or estate sales. Compare signatures, identify marks, go armed with knowledge to help you find the real thing and avoid buying a fake.

Dating a Brooch by it's Clasp

Collecting Fine Jewerly

Have important information about jewelers wherever you go. Use them at auction houses, estate sales, garage sales, antique shows, anywhere you go to find your favorite collectible. Compare prices of recent sales of similar item, or look up known marks used by the jeweler. Having that information on hand can be the difference between finding a treasure at a bargain, or being taken to the cleaner and ending up with a fake or reproduction.

A Good Field Guide a MUST for Collectors

1800's diamone ring
1800's diamone ring

Good Names of Makers of Antique Jewelry

Tiffany & Co

Van Cleef & Arpels

Wordly, Alsop and Bliss, or just Bliss

Cartier

Baily, Banks & Biddle

Bulgari

Faberge

Garrad

Spratling

Patek Phillipe

Georg Jensen

Lalique...to name a few

Where to Find It

Some of the best places to find find antique jewelry can be shopped from your own home. Online auctions like eBay, or eShops like RubyLane.com offer a wide variety of items. Sometimes it's fun to go on a treasure hunt in person. My favorite places to look are auction houses, antique shows, antique stores, estate sales and garage sales.

Vintage Costume Jewelry Guides

Use guides to look up the history of a jeweler. Find out about how they make their jewelry so that you can identify characteristics traits. Familiarize yourself with the marks used, the materials they favor and constructions methods. All of these things will help you determine if the fabulous jelly-belly brooch you just found is a real Trifari or a fake.

Find Answers to Questions You Have About Vintage Jewelry

Collectible Names of Costume Jewelry

Trifari

Coro

Weiss

Eisenburg Ice

Sarah Coventry

Krementz

Studio Art

Vogue

Kramer

Gucci

Yves St. Laurent

Emmons

Cini

Miriam Haskell

Hatti Carnegie...to name a few

Vintage Cosume Jewelry

Always consider condition when buying fine costume jewelry. Check for missing stones, cracked crystals or chipped enamel. Examine the plating to see if it is wearing off, flaking or bubbling. See if the piece is marked, and if so, that the marks are correct for that maker. Inspect clasps to make sure they are secure.

Amber Ant and Gold Filled Russian Brooch
Amber Ant and Gold Filled Russian Brooch

Tips for Collecting Antique Jewelry

- Take a jeweler's loupe or a small magnifying glass with you. Hallmarks on jewelry are very small. You will be able to read the marks easier with a high power loupe or magnifying glass.

- Check hallmarks to be sure they are correct and not faked. Study the marks of the jewelry makers you want to collect, or bring a guide with you when you shop.

- Inspect clasps, links, joints of all kinds for breakage or improper soldering.

- Check for signs of plating (metal will look "dipped" or "poured" over the surface. Crisp details will be missing, with only soft, rounded edges in the design.

- BEWARE of any and ALL cheap jewelry from China. Even if it is marked 14k, or 925 (sterling) it is most often fake jewelry made of pot metal and plated. Other countries selling cheap, mis-marked fakes are Pakistan, Turkey and India.

Tools of the Trade

Every serious collector of antique jewelry MUST carry a jeweler's loupe or a magnifying glass. Don't leave home without one.

Don't Forget to Take a Loupe When Treasure Hunting

Aketek - Loupe Set - Dual 10x+20x, 10x, 30x, 3 Pc - MJ361830C
Aketek - Loupe Set - Dual 10x+20x, 10x, 30x, 3 Pc - MJ361830C

This is my favorite jeweler's loupe. The 30x magnification enhances even the smallest marks, making them easily readable.

 

Vintage Rhinestone Jewelry

Rhinestone jewelry should sparkle. The stones should be clear, not cloudy. A cloudy stone could be a sign of a replacement that wasn't done well. Stones should be intact, not chipped or cracked.

To clean vintage rhinestone jewelry, carefully wipe it with a soft cloth that is just damp with warm, soapy water. Turn upside down on a soft cloth to dry. Don't let moisture linger in the nooks and crannies. Never immerse it in water, detergent or any other jewelry cleaning substance.

Whether collected or inherited, most of us have a piece or two of antique jewelry. What is your most prized piece of antique jewelry?

Do You Have Antique Jewelry?

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    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

      Yes, from my grandmother. I love how they look. Thanks for the info here.

    • karMALZEKE profile image

      karMALZEKE 5 years ago

      Fantastic reference lens and great to know we can buy the books on kindle now.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I have a piece or two but nothing of great value. I love Art Deco jewelry!

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 5 years ago

      I have pieces from my grandmother... a garnet bracelet and a garnet necklace. I adore both

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 5 years ago

      I have pieces from my grandmother... a garnet bracelet and a garnet necklace. I adore both

    • profile image

      Auntie-M LM 5 years ago

      I too love antique jewelry. I have some from my great-great grandmother that are very dear to me.

    • profile image

      Joan4 5 years ago

      I do enjoy looking at antique jewelry - wish I had more! I agree with vallain- would be great to have these guides on my Kindle for antiquing days!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I wish I did. These sure would be handy on my Kindle, while I'm out browsing yard sales. Maybe I could find something valuable to buy for myself.