Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not your grandma's jewelery- okay well maybe

A few years back I took interest in vintage jewelery. The style is unique, classic, sparkly, and did I mention, oh so affordable? What's not to love?!

My great grandmother many many years ago, gave me a box of her old costume jewelery. My parents told me to hold on to it and no to "play" with it. I thought it was dumb anyway and never paid it any mind. It wasn't until I was moving into my new home, I found the box and opened it. I just love the old screw back earrings and large rhinestone encrusted pieces! What is so cool about the styles- they are timeless. Many of these vintage necklaces are similar to the bib style or statement necklaces that are popular today.

Most pieces are "signed" meaning they bear the name of the company they who designed and manufactured them. This is done by being stamped with either a design or a logo. Some companies used different markings over the years, which helps collectors date the piece and also tell if it is authentic.

I started researching online of the various brands of jewelery from days past and looked up the brands of the pieces that own. Here is some of what I found on a few of the different companies:

  • Listner- founded in 1904, this company reached popularity during  the 1930's. This brand was inexpensive at the time of sale and considered by many as junk jewelery. The jewelery from the 1950's and 1960's was the most popular, timeless in look and design. Most pieces incorporated designs from nature- including leaves, fruits, and flowers. Looks that are both clean and not over done, this brand is very popular with collectors.

  • Pell- this New York based company was started by 4 brothers in 1941. The majority of their designs feature pave rhinestones. The brand has made tiara's for The Miss America Pageants and has also worked with jewelery company Coro.

  • Coro-  based out of Rhode Island, this company was founded around 1900 and stayed in business until 1979. One of the more well known names in vintage jewelery, the designs feature rhinestones and cut glass.

  • Weiss- started by Albert Weiss in 1942, this Fifth Ave, NY based business was smaller then the companies listed above and was only in business to 1971. The relatively short period of designs, make Weiss more valuable to collectors. Weiss had worked as a designer for Coro and his styles were classy and loaded with rhinestones and sparkle. Many of the designs are more glamorous, reminiscent of old Hollywood.

Below are  just a few of the great pieces I am lucky enough to own. I showed two pictures of each, one a close up and the other further away. Pictures just do not do the pieces justice in regards to their shine and sparkle.

Pell Earrings- leaf design in silver tone with clear rhinestones

Coro aqua stone earrings with gold tone screw back

Lisner Necklace- Sapphire blue and light blue stones (aurora borealis tones) on silver tone back and S link chain.

Coro Necklace- Gold tone with deep purple and red (aurora borealis) stones.

Coro- bracelet with safe chain. Gold tone with deep purple and amethyst colored stones in flower shapes.

unsigned- gold bracelet, cuff style

Coro- this is a 12kt gold dog tag, called a Sweetheart Tag. It was designed for soldiers going off to war to give their loved one while they were gone.
I plan to keep collecting, stopping by thrift stores, antique stores, and of course online :)

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