ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Vintage Costume Jewelry

Updated on February 20, 2018
LiteraryMind profile image

I love the look and feel of vintage and antique items. My collections contain quite a few beautiful items that I enjoy sharing.


My Vintage And Antique Costume Jewelry Collection

I have several very unique pieces of vintage and antique jewelry. Aside from the sentimental attachment I have, I believe they are beautiful pieces.

Vintage and antique costume jewelry has so much more workmanship than newer costume jewelry. Many of the pieces, such as the one shown in the intro photo, look like pieces of fine jewelry.

This necklace is crafted of sterling silver, as were many costume jewelry pieces in the early 1900s. At that time, silver was an inexpensive metal. The red "stone" in this piece is just nicely cut glass. The setting makes it look as if it is an important piece.

Many people have recognized the quality of old costume jewelry and the pieces have a high value today. Before you give away or put your old jewelry out at a tag sale, do a little research on the value. You may be very surprised.

Wightman & Hough Locket

Wightman-Hough-Locket | Source

Wightman & Hough was in business from 1856 to 1922. They are known primarily for their lockets although they made other pieces. Some were gold, some silver, some brass. Their hallmark is the W&H Co. mark.

This piece belonged to my great aunt and has a picture of my grandmother (her sister) in it. The front has her initials in it, which I find hard to discern. Her initials were S.F. or S.F.J. after she was married.

Although, it is not marked, It is probably made of brass with a gold overlay judging from the worn areas of the locket.

Before you buy or sell costume jewelry, know its value. - You would be surprised what the pieces of jewelry you have tucked away in a dresser drawer are worth.


Use a magnifying glass or invest in a jewelers loop to completely check your jewelry for markings or hallmarks.

Signed pieces are generally worth more than unsigned pieces. Also, knowing the hallmark will make it easier to look the piece up and identify it's origin and worth.

Guilloche Locket

vintage-jewelry-guilloche-locket | Source

Do you see the wavy lines in the locket? This is guilloche.

Guilloche is a process where the same pattern is repeatedly etched. Very often you will see guilloche on a watch face or a better pen barrel. United States currency has a guilloche pattern in the background to make it harder to counterfeit.

On the case of this locket from the 1940s, the guilloche pattern is on the metal underlay and then there is enameling and a transparent layer above it. The metal is probably brass.

This is called a "book locket" due to its shape and the way it opens like a book. I believe my locket is made of brass. This same locket was also made in silver, however, those are stamped "Sterling" on the back. This one has no markings.

I don't know when our family acquired this piece. I do know that as a very young child, I was given it to play with and stash in my little jewelry box.

Dress Or Fur Clip - Another Rich Red Colored Piece

vintage-jewelry-dress-clip | Source

Called a "clip" as it "clips" on instead of pinning.

This clip has no markings on it. It could be silver as it has a somewhat tarnished appearance. It also has no hallmark.

The stones are "paste" --they are glued in and as you can see one of the red stones is missing.

Whether real or fake, stones in the colors of rubies, emeralds and sapphires were popular in a lot of antique jewelry.

Diamonds were thought of as plain -- lacking color and were used as accents.

In 1947 DeBeers started marketing campaigns including "A Diamond is Forever", to promote the popularity of diamonds. Creating the market for diamond engagement rings.

Victorian Bohemian Garnet Shamrock Pin - Sometimes Called "Pomegranate Garnet" Due To Its Color

Victorian-Bohemian-garnet-shamrock | Source

Garnets are the birthstone of January.

The "Bohemian garnet" as it was called in the Victorian era, is really a pyrope.

In this brooch we see the stones are prong set with the prongs part of the design. Again we see that rich dark red so popular in this era. This piece was my grandmother's.

Garnet jewelry of this era may vary widely in price. The beauty or intracacy of the piece may add to the price as may the base metal.

The pin has no hallmark and is probably made of brass.

Emmons Brooch - Aurora Borealis Beads - Emmons 1949 -1981 -

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Front of Emmons brooch.   Emmons is high quality costume jewelry which was sold at house parties. Emmons added the "Emmons" mark to their jewelry in 1955.  Image ©.E. Gregory/LiteraryMind all rights reserved
Front of Emmons brooch.   Emmons is high quality costume jewelry which was sold at house parties.
Front of Emmons brooch. Emmons is high quality costume jewelry which was sold at house parties. | Source
Emmons added the "Emmons" mark to their jewelry in 1955.  Image ©.E. Gregory/LiteraryMind all rights reserved
Emmons added the "Emmons" mark to their jewelry in 1955. Image ©.E. Gregory/LiteraryMind all rights reserved | Source

Be careful when purchasing "vintage jewelry".

A lot of items labeled "vintage jewelry" are actually new items which are only vintage look or vintage inspired jewelry.

To be "vintage" the item should be over 20 years old.

© 2012 Ellen Gregory

Do you have any old keepsake jewelry stories to share? - Do you own an old inexpensive piece that has a special meaning to you?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      VioletteRose LM 

      6 years ago

      They are all so pretty, the star shaped brooch looks so beautiful!

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 

      6 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I simply love vintage lockets! Your pictures of your costume jewelry are wonderful :)

    • NibsyNell profile image


      7 years ago

      I love the shamrock pin!

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 

      7 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I love vintage jewelry too. Your collection is beautiful

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have a fairly large collection on vintage and newer jewelry but all my favorites are vintage. I especially like the Deco pieces. Thanks for all the "eye candy"!

    • cutethings profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful collection of vintage jewelry.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, I'll have to look through some of my old jewellery. Your collection is lovely, thanx.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Than you for sharing another one of your lovely collections. :)

    • mjoonline profile image


      7 years ago

      What a fabulous collection and interesting lens. Thank you for sharing.

    • rainydaz profile image


      7 years ago

      The heart locket is beautiful, and reminds me of one I use to have.

    • eccles1 profile image


      7 years ago

      My mother had a beautiful Aurora borealis beads necklace

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      These are lovely.

    • Mistl profile image


      8 years ago

      Beautiful collection of vintage jewelry you have. :)

    • ninakreativa profile image


      8 years ago

      These pieces of vintage costume jewelry are truly amazing. There was so much work and love put into them that one can almost feel that. Great lens!

    • marlies vaz nunes profile image

      Marlies Vaz Nunes 

      8 years ago from Amsterdam, the Netherlands

      Stunning jewelry! I have one piece of old keepsake jewelry, that was given to me by a cousin of my mother's. It's precious to me.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My grandmother passed along some of the aurora borealis beads and I've always loved them. Thanks for such a lovely lens.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love collecting vintage jewelry too, especially brooches. Your Emmons Brooch - Aurora borealis beads is stunning!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I like the dress clips, I would like to have one for myself.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      8 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I have some beautiful old jewelry passed down in my family and I'm gifting it to my daughters -- very interesting article :>)

    • kindoak profile image


      8 years ago

      Vintage stuff is great, and many times has more character than new stuff. I like the guilloche locket

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Beautiful stuff. I don't have much jewelry and don't really wear it, maybe I would if I had some really beautiful pieces.

    • jolou profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice selection. I really like the shamrock.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What lovely accessories! Thanks for sharing!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      8 years ago

      Like the dress clips. A nice way to accessorize.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)