My Vintage Costume Jewelry
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 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.
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
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
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
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.
Websites For More Information On Vintage Jewelry Information
- I Antique Online - Vintage Jewelry Group
I Antiques Online is free to join -- just sign up. Then join the vintage jewelry group. You may participate in discussions about identifying pieces of costume jewelry. Also share photos of your jewelry finds and ask for identification.
- The Vintage Jewelry Block On Yardsellr
This is the Facebook page maintained by the Vintage Jewelry Collectionary. Posts and comments on vintage jewelry
© 2012 Ellen Gregory