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Expensive Vintage Costume Jewelry | How to Buy Vintage Jewelry

most expensive costume jewelry

Vintage jewelries are not only luxury accessories. They are precious works of art that represent an era, a certain period of time, and a moment in history. This is why they come with expensive price tags and their value increases over time. Consequently, more people are treating them as investments. If you are in the market to build your vintage jewelry collection or find the most expensive costume jewelry for investment, then you have to go to the right place. 

Here are the most important tips to get the best pieces for your money.

Understand what’s vintage

First, learn what makes a certain jewelry vintage. Definitions may vary, but the most commonly accepted standard is it should be at least 20 years old and less than 100 years old. If it is more than a century, then it’s considered antique. 

It is also important to note that vintage jewelries do not exclusively refer to jewelries made by master jewelers and designers. Fashion, fine, and costume jewelries can also be considered vintage. Many of the most expensive costume jewelry are actually vintage jewelry. That is despite the fact that many of them use faux stones. 

Prices for vintage jewelries range from $500 all the way to $1 million, or even more. The value depends on a lot of different factors, from the rarity of the materials used, the jeweler, and condition. No matter the price, the most expensive costume jewelry often has three things in common – rarity, condition, and craftsmanship.

So how do you buy vintage jewelry? Here are some tips to know. 

Know the vintage brands

The best way to start your journey is to identify some of the most well-known vintage jewelry brands out there. There is a reason why collectors are drawn to these brands, as they have history, style, and some of the rarest pieces ever produced. Many times, branded pieces hold sentimental value or interesting stories. Experts suggest getting these brands, especially those made in the 19th and 20th century.

Some of these brands include:

  • Bulgari
  • Boucheron
  • Buccellati
  • Cartier 
  • David Webb
  • Tiffany & Co. 
  • Van Cleef & Arpels
  • Verdura

You can never go wrong with these brands.

Knowing the pinnacle of the legacy of each brand can give you the most precious and rare pieces. That requires extensive research and work. 

most valuable costume jewelry

Know the different artists

As said earlier, the most valuable vintage pieces come with the best craftsmanship. If you are really passionate about expanding your collection, then you need pieces from the best jewelers in history. 

The more you know about the design and style of a specific designer, the more you will understand the value of their work. The same works with paintings, many of Picasso’s works are considered genius masterpieces, but some are not considered great. The key is to find the best from each collection. 

Know your style

The real value often lies on how jewelry fits with your own personality. Obviously, you want to buy things that you would love to wear and include in your collection. It is a very intimate experience and it takes a lot of knowing yourself. If it makes you feel good when you wear it, then you cannot go wrong with that.

Make sure that when you buy a piece, you consider the style. Will it stand the test of time? It is easy to fall in love with trendy styles but that is the exact opposite of collecting vintage. 

Figure out what you really like, what you really love to see yourself wearing. Do your research and scour the catalogs. Attend some auctions that specialize in vintage and learn about different styles, designs, designers, brands, and more. 

Scrutinize the jewelry

Now that you have a good idea what to look for and you know your style, then it is time to go out there and examine jewelry.

Scrutinize jewelries from all angles. Look thoroughly, from front and back. Vintage and antiques are expertly finished but not without signs of wear and tear. After all, it is old. 

Check the stamp (the signature of the jeweler or designer); examine the prongs, the quality and condition of the gemstones. If possible, try the jewelry yourself. Does it look and feel right when you wear it? If you find any issues, then that is a good reason to negotiate the price. 

Old should look old

As said earlier, vintage and antique jewelries come with great craftsmanship but not without signs of wear and tear. If the jewelry is truly old, then it should look old. 

If someone says a ring is more than 100 years old, yet the enamel looks pristine, then that is an obvious red flag. 

Size and weight are also good indicators of age. Many old chain jewelries, like the Georgian chain, were quite light. Most antique cuffs and rings tend to be smaller in size compared to today, this is because most people in that time period had smaller hands, wrists, and fingers. 

Research what you are buying

Do your due diligence to research and know more about a specific vintage piece before you commit. Get as much background information as possible. There are countless fakes out there, and the last thing you want is to spend your hard-earned money on fakes. 

If you know and trust someone in the vintage jewelry market, then it would not hurt to consult them before making any purchase. A good seller will let you take the piece to a professional for authenticity and quality check. 

buying expensive vintage costume jewelry

Know where to buy

There are lots of antique shops and jewelry stores that sell vintage jewelry. Many even sell the most expensive costume jewelry. Be open to every opportunity out there, you never know when you can find pieces you actually like. However, make sure you know where you are buying from. 

If you want designer jewelry, then go to a reputable and established store or antique dealer. 

If you are searching for items to buy in antique markets or shows, ask if you can take their jewelry to a reputable antique or vintage dealer and have the item you like professionally evaluate.

While there are ways to learn more about the ins and outs of vintage jewelry-buying, it is best to leave it to the experts on finding the right jewelry for your collection. Fortunately for you, there are lots of reputable retailers nowadays, both online and offline, who ensure the authenticity and quality of the vintage jewelry. You can find them by a simple online search. 

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4 Simple Steps to Determine the Value of Your Vintage Jewelry

Selling vintage jewelry you no longer use or wear is one of the best ways to earn a good amount of money. Perhaps you have a piece or two lying around the corner of your jewelry box that you want to sell. Selling antiques and vintage jewelry, however, can be daunting, especially if you don’t have experience on identifying its value. Obviously, you want to get the best value for your jewelry, but how do you exactly do that? Well, this entry will teach you how to identify vintage costume jewelry.

1. Know the terminologies

Antique vs. Vintage

They may seem similar but in the world of jewelry, they are extremely different from each other. For a piece to be considered vintage, it has to be at least 20 years old. This means Art deco, mid-20th, 70s and 80s, and retro are all considered vintage style jewelries. 

For it to be called antique, however, it has to be more than 100 years old. Both can be really valuable, but generally, well-maintained antique jewelry is worth so much more than a similar piece of the same quality. 

One way to know if it’s antique or vintage is to think about where you got the jewelry. If you remember purchasing it from a retailer in the past couple of years, then it’s definitely not vintage jewelry. If purchased from an antique shop, flea market, or an estate sale, then there’s a good chance it is vintage. In some cases, jewelry bought from these markets are rare and valuable. 

Style Eras

Learn about different styles like the art nouveau from the 1900s, Blakelite from the 1940s, the “new look” from the 1950s, etc. It pays to familiarize yourself with different styles from different eras, as this can help you quickly pinpoint the time and manufacturer a certain piece was made, and help you in knowing the item’s resale value. 

Fine vs. Costume 

Fine jewelry refers to jewelries made with precious metals like sterling silver, gold, platinum, or precious or semi-precious gemstones such as amethyst, diamond, emerald, garnet, pearl, opal, ruby, sapphire, etc. They are made with careful attention to details and with high-quality settings to secure the gemstones. 

Since it’s made with precious metals and real gemstones, they are durable and will never tarnish (with proper care and storage of course). They can be easily repaired when broken, as well.

Costume jewelries, on the other hand, are made with cheaper materials and were mass produced. The first challenge among newbies is learning how to identify vintage costume jewelry. 

Well, it’s pretty simple. Costume vintage jewelries also use precious metals, but instead of using solid precious metal, they are made with cheaper metal and plated with either silver or gold. The stones can also be rhinestones, plastic, glass, Swarovski crystals, or various inexpensive materials. Their design also tends to be bolder and louder. 

Though they were made with less expensive materials, costume vintage jewelries can also hold value over time, making them worth reselling. Many people, especially collectors like the certain vintage styles of the costume jewelry. Some designs are even considered iconic and often sold at a high price, depending on their condition. 

identify fine vs costume jewelry

2. Read the Hallmark

The “hallmark” is the stamp or tag on the metal piece of the jewelry. It indicates the type of metal and sometimes, even the designer or maker of the piece. Most, if not all fine jewelries come with hallmarks, unless the stamp has worn out. 

Costume jewelries can also come with a hallmark, but usually they are names of the manufacturer. 

For earrings, hallmarks are found in the post. For rings, it’s on the inside of the ring. For bracelets, they are placed near the clasp. For brooches, they are found at the back. Hallmarks for necklaces are often found on the tag. 

It is also important to note that having a hallmark does not automatically make a piece legitimate or real. Hallmarks can be faked, and counterfeiters have become really good at it. Obviously, a trained eye can easily spot fake hallmarks, especially from well-known jewelers like Cartier, Chanel, Dior, etc. Thus, it is always a good idea to have the jewelry appraised by a professional. 

3. Examine the jewelry

Scrutinize the jewelry piece. Turn it over and check every corner. Start with the craftsmanship. Does it show signs of being handmade or is it mass produced? While most handmade pieces are usually priced higher, mass produced pieces in mint quality condition can still be quite valuable. There were quite a lot of mass produced jewelry in the 1940s and 50s. 

Next, consider the materials used. Vintage and antique jewelries are usually made with gold, platinum, diamonds, and sapphires. Some less expensive pieces are made with silver, amethysts, and rhinestones. Look for the stamp using a magnifying glass as well. If the material is made with silver or gold, it will most likely have a stamp.

Next, check the cut of the gems and stones, as this can identify the era the jewelry was made. European and old mine cut diamonds are no longer produced, which means they can be really old and valuable. 

Then, for bracelets, necklaces, or pins, then check the clasps. Clasp styles can indicate a certain time period as well. Antique and vintage pieces mostly use box and ring clasps.  Most clasps used today were not widely used until the 70s. 

Next, look for the trademark of the designer. Jewelry designers use certain logos as an identifier of their work. Bulgari, Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, and Tiffany for example, place certain marks in their jewelry as their signature.

Track the paperwork of the jewelry, if possible. If it came from an estate sale or an inherited piece, then there’s a good chance it comes with a certification of authentication. Paperwork can help identify the authenticity of the jewelry. 

tips to identify vintage costume jewelry

4. Have it verified by a professional

If you believe that your jewelry is worth something, the best way to know its true value is to have it professionally appraised. Research the best appraisers in your area who specialize in vintage and antique jewelries. These people know how to identify vintage costume jewelry and help you get its maximum value. 

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What Your Jewelry Collection Needs | Anatomy of Jewelry Collection

anatomy of a necklace

Jewelry completes your look. While they are often viewed as fashion accessories, they actually do more than that. They bring out your personality and boost confidence. However, starting a jewelry collection can be quite daunting. 

With thousands of choices out there, it is easy for anyone to feel confused and overwhelmed. While there are no hard and fast rules on how to do it, there are ways to simplify the process, get all the essentials, and help you enjoy the process. 

Anatomy of a Necklace & Jewelry Collection: Tips for Buying

Here are some pointers to build your jewelry collection. 

  • Make sure you take a purposeful approach in building your collection. Do not feel pressured to buy everything.
  • Quality over quantity.
  • Remember that there is no deadline for this, so take your time.
  • Consider your personality; get the pieces that you actually would want to wear.
  • Be versatile and flexible. Make sure you can style jewelry for different looks and different occasions.
  • It’s good to stick with the classics. But don’t be afraid to try something new.

Here are some staples of a good and versatile jewelry collection.

Anatomy of a necklace collection

Chain Necklace

Chain necklaces never go out of style. There is nothing more versatile than this and there are tons of options to choose from to fit any outfit. The biggest question when it comes to chain necklaces however, is choosing between solid gold and gold plated. 

Obviously, the former is far more expensive than the latter. Also, plated gold fades over time and will expose the metal underneath, which means you may have to bring it to a jeweler and have it re-plated. 

Solid gold is far more durable and will never fade. However, they can feel heavy on your neck. If you want a lighter (and more affordable) necklace, then you can opt for a hollow chain necklace. 

Also, consider the link type. Box chain and wheat chain links are easier on the skin and clothes and far more durable. They do not twist like flat, herringbone, and omega type links. Round snake chain may look luxurious but they are prone to catch your hair and clothes, causing kinks and damages that may be difficult to repair.

Statement Necklace

Want to grab attention and make heads turn? Wear a statement necklace and spice up your look. Statement necklaces look great when paired with solid-colored blouses and dresses, both for casual and formal environments. The great thing about this is there are so many designs and styles to choose from, such as, bold and large, intricate details, single color, colorful, beads, and gemstones.

Pendant Necklace

The best way to grow your collection is to have pieces with sentimental value or significant meaning for you. A delicate pendant necklace can be perfect for this, they are unobtrusive and elegant even for casual everyday outfits. You can choose the pendant of your birthstone, the initials of your loved ones, among others. 

Dainty Necklace

Whether short or long, a dainty necklace is a staple and an absolute must-have for any jewelry box. If you are tall and slim, then a long dainty necklace will look great on you. If you are shorter, your best choice to accentuate your stature is a shorter necklace. 

Anatomy of an earrings collection

Diamond Stud Earrings

Elegant, timeless, and understated, diamond stud earrings sparkle and shine to any outfit. Medium-sized (0.30 to 0.75 carat per stone) is the best, as you can wear them with almost anything. Also, choose colour G to H, with a clarity of VS2-SI1, they sparkle so much better. 

Hoop Earrings

Simple and versatile, oversized gold hoop earrings are fabulous casual and summer accessories. You can choose light weight designs for comfort. Mid-sized chubby hoops are great for everyday glam look. Colored hoops, pear-adorned, or embellished with diamonds look amazing for after-dark elegant look. 

Drop Earrings

If you want to mix fun and classic, then get a pair of drop earrings. They are the epitome of glamour and great for special occasions. They dangle low and they come in so many great designs (even intricately designs), colors, and even bright and sparkly stones to pair with any outfit. 

earrings and necklace anatomy

Anatomy of a bracelet collection

Bold Dangles

Bold dangles are another versatile piece you can wear day or night, dressed down or dressed up. You can wear them on their own or pair it with fabulous earrings. 

Some dangle styles you can choose include one solid material, made with mixed materials, wide surface, stiff and circular, with or without designs. 

Tennis Bracelet

Relatively simple, unassuming, but classic and elegant, tennis bracelets, or more commonly known as river bracelets, are popular as gifts. They are made popular by professional tennis player and fashion icon Chris Evert, when she lost her diamond bracelet during a match in the 1987 US Open. 

Tennis bracelets look even more stunning when embellished with diamonds. Thus, when buying this jewelry, pay attention to the metal used and the quality of the diamonds. They come in various metals such as sterling silver, gold, rose gold, yellow gold, or platinum. 

Anatomy of a ring collection

Cocktail Rings

Looking for a single piece that can make a statement? Well, that is exactly what cocktail rings are for. They are large and usually worn at the right hand, either on the ring or index finger, to draw attention when you sip a drink from your glass – hence the name cocktail ring. Thus, they are perfect for evening events. For casual looks that stand out, you can finish the tee, relaxed blazer, and jeans combo with a cocktail ring. 

Traditional design features colored gemstones with diamond accents. Nowadays they come in many different materials, gemstones, and designs. You can choose whatever color and metal combination you like.

anatomy of jewelry collection

Classic Watch

No jewelry collection can be completed without a classic watch. Watch is the ultimate everyday accessory, and in most cases, the finishing piece to complete any looks with minimal effort.

You can never go wrong with the classic clean design of a metal bracelet. They look timeless and professional, yet sturdy and reliable. For an elegant look, you can choose rectangular or square dials. They are perfect for evening events. Round dials are good for every day outfits, as they work with almost any looks. 

If you cannot choose between yellow gold, white, pink straps, then refer to the color of your favorite handbag. If your tote comes with gold touches, then pick a gold watch. Still cannot decide? Choose two tone straps. Stay away from too colorful watches, as they may compete against your outfit. 

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Types Of Brooches And How To Wear Them

types of brooches

Brooches have made a comeback in recent years. This vintage jewelry item has made a resurgence in that many notable fashion brands like Dior and Gucci are introducing new designs for this well-loved jewelry  item. In fact, they are taking over modern runways and are used as accents for a number of ways such as clipping it onto silk scarves, onto their hair, and lapels. 

There is a recent brooch revival that you can get on if you are into vintage style. If you want to add a timeless piece into your jewelry collection, discover the different types of brooches that are available for you to collect. 

History of Brooches

Brooches are a classic type of jewelry. They have been around for centuries and are one of the oldest forms of accessories for men and women alike. The styles available have greatly evolved over the decades and they are now considered to be high-end pieces that are now seen in runways and red carpet fashion. 

This type of jewelry has seen major transformation over the years bringing new style options to a timeless piece. For this reason, they are a favorite among jewelry collectors because they are highly prized. 

Believe it or not, brooches were not used as ornamental jewels as they are seen today. They were more utilitarian and functional items as they were primarily used to secure items such as pieces of your clothing. The first types of brooches that were released into the market were made of flint and thorns. Meanwhile, the earliest record of brooches shows they were crafted with metal. 

During the time of the Celts and Vikings, the use of brooches became more popular and they were worn by men and women alike. They also showcased an exquisite level of detailing. Over time, mourning brooches also gained popularity and these were available in oval shapes with various depictions (typically to represent sorrow and mourning). This was kept by the loved ones left behind as the brooches were inscribed with the name and other essential information about the deceased. 

It was during the Byzantine period when brooches evolved into ornamental pieces, although their purpose of fastening certain pieces of cloth together remained the same. As their use as ornamental pieces grew, there were newer and more elaborate designs that became available. Over the years, they had various designs and had many symbols.

What Are the Types of Brooches

In the 20th century, brooches evolved but remained popular. They are mostly used as fashion and ornamental pieces. In fact, some of the world’s most renowned fashion houses were producing them such as Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb, Cartier, and Tiffany & Co. 

There are many styles of brooches available and are considered high-end pieces. In fact, Queen Elizabeth is regularly seen with one. If you would like to add one to your collection, it is important to know the different types of brooches available. This will help you choose the best one to add to your collection. 

Bar Brooch

This type of brooch is a pin-type that is available in various shapes and sizes. It is one of the most widely available types in the market and also commonly used. The bar pin style facilitates easy fastening with the help of its looped fastening design. This can be attached to the lapel of your coat or blazer, or used as a hair pin (if desired).

There are many styles available depending on which era it was made from or inspired by. 

brooch types and designs

Pendant Brooch

This is another highly versatile type of brooch that can be used as it is or as part of a necklace (as a pendant). The opposing side of it usually comes with concealed bales where the chain can be attached to when worn as part of a necklace. On the other hand, the pin is invisible to the naked eye once used as a pendant. This is another popular type of brooch because of its versatility. 

Foliate Brooch

This type of brooch is called as such because it often features floral motifs. Traditionally, they were given to another person as a sign of love or friendship. This is reminiscent of the forget-me-not chants that became popular during the 19th century.  

Over the years, the styles have changed and evolved but the demand for floral brooches have remained quite high. 

Portrait Brooch

This is reminiscent of the 18th century brooches that feature a miniature portrait as its main design. The mini portrait can be painted on the mother of pearl, ivory, or porcelain. The vintage pieces were typically commissioned by a member of the family to honor another loved one or the deceased. 

Enamel Brooch

Enameling is one of the greatest forms of art that showcases the tremendous skill of the craftspeople who make them. This is the go-to choice for those who want embellished brooches without using gemstones. The process of making enamel dates back to the times of Ancient Greece. 

types and function of brooches

How to Wear Different Types of Brooches

Even though brooches are considered formal and vintage in appeal, there are fun ways you can try to wear them. There are no hard and fast rules on how you can wear them. However, the right styling approach can help to elevate your look. Here are a few ideas you can try depending on the types of brooches that you want to use.

  • Attach it to your scarf 
  • Clip it to one side of your dress or blouse
  • Clip it to a hat or beanie
  • Attach it to a bag or clutch
  • Pin it to your sweater
  • Pin it to the lapel of your coat or blazer
  • Use it to bring two ends together (such as for your cardigan)
  • Pin it to your hair
  • Pin it to the waist of your skirt or pants
  • Wear it like lapel pins
  • Wear it like a pendant

If you want to get your hands on vintage brooches, they are widely available online or in your local antique jeweler. There are several types of brooches and they come in various designs – from simple to elaborate – so you can always find one to suit your style preference. 

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What is Monet Jewelry? The World’s Favorite Vintage

monet vintage jewelry

When it comes to jewelry, they are not all created equal. Some are good but they are not always as valuable or long lasting as the others. This is what sets vintage jewelry apart. They can stand the test of time and even become more valuable over time. If you are an avid vintage jewelry collector, then you might want to get hold of one of the most sought after vintage pieces out there – Monet Jewelry.

History 101: Monet Jewelry

When you say Monet Jewelry, it actually refers to a brand of vintage costume jewelry. This brand was synonymous to high-end accessories and at one point was the most sought after jewelry brand in the world. The company was established by two brothers – Jay and Michael Chernow – who named the company ‘Monocraft Products Company’. 

They initially sold handbags with gold- and silver-plated embellishments. They quickly gained the public’s attention because of the quality and design of their bags. By the 1930s, they branched out into making jewelry. Due to the economic crisis at that time, many women couldn’t afford high-end jewelry so they turned to costume jewelry. It was an opportunity that the brothers capitalized on until the company changed its name to Monet. 

During this time, they transformed from making high-quality women’s handbags to high-end jewelry. Their jewelry collection included earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and brooches. They became known as the first company to manufacture their own jewelry pieces with their own trademark.  

Evolution of Monet Jewelry

Since it broke out into the industry in the 1930s, Monet Jewelry continues to be highly sought after. Since its heyday in the 1930s to the 1940s, the jewelry designs have greatly evolved. The level of craftsmanship stayed the same but the design approach and materials used have evolved. 

Over the years, they have introduced various jewelry pieces to add to their collection. In the 1950s, they introduced statement bracelets and necklaces. By the 1960s, charm bracelets became famous while Monet made the clip-on earrings trend popular in the 70s. The 1980s marked the arrival of loud and colorful jewelry styles with a heavy focus on metalwork. In the 1990s, Monet continued to evolve with the times. 

Despite the evolution of their jewelry pieces, one thing remains the same: Monet Jewelry exudes that high-end look while keeping their pieces within an affordable price range. 

history of monet jewelry

Current Designs of Monet Jewelry

Since its formation in the 1930s, Monet Jewelry has had various ownerships. These changes in ownership have resulted in a changing approach in terms of design and focus for the jewelry line.

As of 2000, Monet was purchased by Liz Claiborne and she continued the tradition of the brand. It is still one of the most recognized manufacturers of vintage jewelry items in the world. They have also stayed true to the brand’s identity in keeping the prices within accessible range for consumers. They have pieces priced as low as $30 and this can go up depending on the type of material used. 

The company was well known for its excellent metalwork. Therefore, you can find plenty of pieces that exemplify this such as the chunky Monet bracelets that were popular in the 1980s and the gold-tone rings that came with large faux diamond and diamond accents to the sides. Some of the other popular materials used for making Monet vintage jewelry pieces were brass and faux gemstones. 

It is the mark of a vintage piece that the pieces were a product of quality craftsmanship. The excellent triple plating techniques that were used in many of Monet’s pieces was not just for aesthetic value. They were also part of the reason why these pieces are highly durable and can withstand wear and tear. 

Despite the changes in ownership, the commitment to deliver high-end and high-quality jewelry pieces at an affordable price remains. 

Tips for Shopping

If you want to get a piece of Monet Jewelry, you are not alone. As one of the most famous jewelry brands, many are aspiring to have this vintage brand’s jewelry pieces as part of their collection. Due to its popularity, there is a risk of counterfeit items being sold online passing off as the real thing.

To the uninitiated, they won’t be able to tell the authentic Monet from the counterfeit ones. Therefore, it is important to know how to identify this vintage jewelry to avoid buying the fake ones. 

First and foremost, Monet is the first vintage costume jewelry brand that stamped their hallmark on every piece they made. A good way to validate the authenticity of a vintage jewelry piece is to look for that hallmark “Monet” stamp. This is visible in either bold or script letters at an invisible section of the jewelry. 

The next thing you have to know when shopping for this vintage jewelry is to know where to buy, especially online. You need to be extra careful when buying online because you won’t be able to physically examine the item upon purchase. Thus, you need to be extra cautious when choosing where you shop from and ensure their credibility. 

To ensure the authenticity of the Monet vintage jewelry you buy, make sure to get them only from vintage jewelry specialist stores. It is also important to know the average cost of every piece so you can use it as a gauge when comparing prices online. The general rule is that if it is too good to be true, then it probably is. No Monet vintage jewelry should be priced below $30 and the high quality ones can set you back hundreds of dollars. 

shopping for monet jewelry

The Bottom Line

Monet Jewelry will continue to be one of the most in-demand pieces in the vintage market. If you want to invest in them, you need to be extra cautious because there are many stores that will try to capitalize on their popularity. Make sure you do your research and give it due diligence when buying online. This is to ensure that you can get authentic pieces to add to your collection and make it worth the investment. 

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Hobe Jewelry: Jewels of Legendary Splendor

It was the father Jaques Hobe’, a master Goldsmith, and Silversmith, who founded the Hobe company in 1887, in France, but it was the son William who put the Hobe’ company on the map and transformed Hobe’ into a recognized name, that people still view as a high-quality Jewelry maker, even today.

Hobe Jewelry History

It took 40 years between 1887 and 1927 to change the direction of the company, where costume jewelry collectors think of those tasseled and beaded necklaces, and those sparkling floral, rhinestone pins, as a symbol of the finest costume jewelry, to reach the marketplace.

It is rumored that Hobe’s Jewelry was so exquisite, and recognizable that the term “Costume Jewelry” originated from the Hobe company. The tagline for Hobe’s Jewelry was Jewels of Legendary Splendor.

Hobe’s Jewelry Reaches Broadway

Hobe’ reached the stars, literally and figuratively. In the 1920s, Hobe’ was commissioned to create jewelry pieces for Flo Zeigfield for theatre work on Broadway. Soon, many theatre and movie productions commissioned Hobe to produce more Hobe pieces, for the stars.

Many of the Broadway stars of the 1920s embellished their on-stage fashion with custom-designed pieces of Hobe Jewelry. Hobe became known as the originator of high-end costume jewelry. Gemstones that sparkled and dazzled with glitz became trademarks for Hobe designs.

The Hollywood stars of the 1940’s and 1950s glamoured fashion with Hobe pins and brooches. Betty Davis and Ava Gardner were two of the most famous stars of the post-war era to wear Hobe’s Jewelry. Marilyn Monroe was known to own several dazzling, Hobe Jewelry pieces in the 1950s. 

Hobe’ High End Quality Designs

Hobe’s Jewelry was sold to high-end retail stores. Sometimes the artistic quality was crafted from glass that looked like rhinestones, and other times he used semi-precious gemstones and integrated them with glass. Often the jewelry pieces were encased in silver, and sometimes sterling silver. And always, Hobe’s jewelry featured the trademarked Hobe’s name.

In the 1940’s many of the Hobe designs were patented, and many of these designs originated from William Hobe’ or his wife Sylvia. Many were considered expensive for the time and sold to boutiques featuring expensive jewelry.

While Hobe first crafted costume jewelry in Germany, and France, when he immigrated to the United States, Providence Rhode Island became home. Museums exist there today, exhibiting the works of William Hobe’, his wife Sylvia, and his father Jaques.

As the decades passed, the Hobe family continued designing and making jewelry. After the 1950s the designs became broader in style and appealed to the masses. Williams, late son Don moved to Florida and established operations there.

hobe jewelry

Bottomline

Today, Hobe’s Jewelry is highly collectible. Amazing brooches and earrings with finely cut glass stones are very much in demand as vintage jewelry designs. Hobe created many pieces with an Asian theme in design in the 1940s. After the 1940s Hobe designed more jewelry for the masses, and the most collectible pieces are prior to the 1950s, although Hobe is a symbol of the finest costume jewelry in the world, and all of it is increasing rapidly in value.

If you are a collector of vintage jewelry, this is one designer name, you want to find:

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How to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry

Tammy Pinkerton

When Grandma cleaned tarnished  sterling silver, she reached for polish in a container, applied elbow grease, and hours later she was done, grime had disappeared.

There are easier ways to restore the brilliance in sterling silver, and bring back the sparkle. Just use good old fashioned soap and water, but purpose it in a special way.

First retrieve a bowl from the cabinet, and line it with tin foil. Then add a cup of warm water. Add a dash of salt, and a sprinkle of baking soda, and a few drops of dishwashing soap. Mix it up. Don’t drink it!

Drop the classic necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings , and pins into the bowl and let them soak for five or ten minutes.

Locate an old toothbrush and brush away dirt and grime. You are about to witness brilliance and shine.

 Don’t brush your teeth with that toothbrush again.

Empty the bowl of warm water, and fill it with a cup of cold water. Soak the vintage sterling silver jewelry pieces there. Then dry the silver with a towel, and Grandmas Jewelry will once again twinkle with that old fashioned dazzle.

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Coral – Mysterious, Spiritual, and Energetic Gemstone

Vintage Jewelry Store 8

Coral has been viewed as a mysterious gemstone, gifted with spiritual, energetic powers. Thousands of years ago, Coral was traded between the Mediterranean and India, countries.

Historically Coral has been viewed as a gemstone with mystical powers. The Romans hung branches of coral around children’s necks, to protect against evil forces, that might harm.

In Italy, coral was worn to protect people from the evil eye, and to promote fertility in women.

Coral is often used to make jewelry. It can be polished and given a phenomenal shine. Coral is found at the bottom of the ocean and grows in dark places. Environmental degradation in our waters has destroyed much of the coral reefs, and the demand for coral has grown astronomically, while the supply has decreased, creating an increase in price for coral.

Coral once abundant is now in short supply.

According to the Gemology institute, red coral is the most valuable of coral gemstones, but you can find coral in shades of pink, and even black.

Protect coral jewelry, by storing it away from heat, as heat can fade the colors of coral.

Whether you want to wear coral to protect against evil spirits or raise your mystical powers, or just because you like it, coral is becoming scarce and your jewelry will increase in value.

Click here to see more coral jewelry in my eBay store.

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Suicide Prevention

Tammy Stoner Pinkerton

A rope was the method.  A hotel room south of France the place. A world renowned chef famous on CNN was the person. Anthony Bordain, committed suicide at age 61, and brought the problem of suicide to the forefront.

Since 1999, the Center for Disease Control reports a 30% increase in suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States among all age groups. 

Many are wondering why a man who traveled the world, with a job tasting  food from around the world, writing about the experience could be in so much pain that he would end his own life. What was wrong? Wasn’t he living out the dream job? How could a person who had it all, end his own life?

The myth is that money solves all problems. Money solves money problems. Money doesn’t solve heart problems. 

Suicide affects people of all ages, races and socio economic groups. While some groups have higher rates of suicide than others, every religion, income and race has members who have ended their own life.

Teenagers have the highest rate of suicide attempters, and the middle age, have the highest rate of those who complete suicide. Men are twice as likely to complete suicide then women, but women are twice as likely to attempt suicide. 

Guns and hanging are the most likely methods to succeed in completing suicide, pills are the most likely methods  used by attempters.

Many believe that depression is the central characteristic that all people who complete suicide are experiencing. That is a myth. While depression may or may not be a characteristic of those who attempt suicide, the fact is that hopelessness and helplessness are the central characteristics of those who complete suicide.

Hope is the belief that things will get better. It is what keeps us going, when life gets tough. The belief that life will change. When people feel suicidal they do not believe that life will get better, and they feel helpless to create change to make it better.

The other characteristic that all suicidal people feel is ambivalent. The will to live is strong, and so when people feel suicidal they are simultaneously feeling a will to live and a desire to die at the same time. Recognizing ambivalence is key to preventing suicide. If you hear a person is feeling suicidal remember that a part of them wants to live. That’s the part you should help them hone in on.

Some people believe that people who talk about suicide won’t complete suicide and that talking about suicide is just a method of getting attention. 85% of the people who completed suicide talked about suicide first. If somebody is talking about suicide you should take them serious, as talking about it is a cry for help. 

If you are concerned that somebody is considering suicide you should ask them. Asking about suicide will not encourage somebody to end their own life, any more than asking about pregnancy will encourage somebody to get pregnant. If you are concerned that somebody might be considering ending their own life, ask.

Chances are great that a person considering suicide will speak to you a non trained person before seeking professional help. It is vital that you know how to respond. Anybody seeking suicide as an option needs attention and you should pay attention.

If you are concerned that somebody is considering suicide the first thing you should do is ask. Are you feeling suicidal? If the response is yes, they will tell you. Then ask if they have considered how they would do it. If there is no plan, it is a low level degree of risk. The more specific the plan the greater the degree of risk. Then it’s one thing to have a plan, its another to have access to the method to complete the plan. If somebody tells you they are considering suicide, and they would use a gun, you need to know if they have a gun. Obviously if they have a specific plan, and the method they have identified is available, they are at greater risk, then one that does not have access to the plan. Finally, you want to know what resources are available for support. Somebody who lives alone is at greater risk, then somebody who is surrounded with sources of support.

Remember the key characteristic to suicidal behavior is hopelessness and helplessness. You will want to provide them with some things to look forward too. Do not get into a debate about the merits of living or dying. You might not win the argument. Just insist that they live. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, so emphasize the temporary nature of problems.

If you are concerned that a person is in danger to themselves, please get them help. You do not need to act alone.  In Connecticut, the suicide prevention access helpline is available 24 hours a day. The number in west mystic for Suicide Prevention is available 24 hours / 7 days a week. 1-800-848-1281 (860) 848-1281

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The Tubular Clasp

One way to date antique or period jewelry is to look at the clasp on the jewelry.

Back in the 1890’s bracelets were frequently made with tubular clasp, or a trombone clasp. It was popular in the late 1800’s, and was used in jewelry making up until the 1940’s.

There are two types of tubular clasps found on antique or period jewelry. The tube or trombone clasp, and the tube hinge. The tube hinge is the earliest type.

There is never a absolute clear line in identifying exact time periods, because makers of jewelry, often overlapped styles, and motifs.

In general if you find a bracelet or piece of jewelry with a tubular clasp, you can more likely than not, date it to before 1940.

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Rhodochrosite

Rhodochrosite is a pink stone, that has metaphysical properties and powers. It is the gemstone that can provide a link between past lives, and heal the trauma carried forward from it, into present times.

Rhodochrosite is from the greek word, “Rhodos”, which means rose, and “khros, which means color. Some say this stone is the link between the soul and heavenly stars. 

Others say meditating with this gemstone, can connect one with the divine spirit, and learn the lessons from negative experiences, to create a calm.

Rhodochrosite is a powerful love stone that can clear up emotional baggage and allow love energy into your life.

When you seek calm, connecting with spirit, or healing past life traumas, or just want to clear the way for love in your life, rhodochrosite, is the gemstone to wear.

rhodochroste and silver necklace

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Vermeil Jewelry

What is Vermeil? Vermeil is a layer of gold that is placed over sterling silver jewelry. Unlike Gold plating, vermeil is only placed over silver.

Gold plating is placed over other metals, which some people might have an allergic reaction to. Vermeil can be an excellent opportunity to purchase jewelry that is gold, without incurring the high cost of gold.

Usually jewelry that is vermeil is using 18K or 24K gold placed over sterling. Vermeil Jewelry looks like real gold, but does cost less than real gold, and it will cost more than gold plated jewelry, because the gold is higher quality, and the base metal is sterling silver.

When you see the sterling silver markings on jewelry that looks like gold, you are probably looking at Vermeil Jewelry.

Click here to see more vermeil jewelry at my eBay store.

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Tigers Eye

Whether you have a large Tigers eye gemstone, or a small Tigers Eye Gemstone, the stone has been a symbol of courage for thousands of years. The Tigers Eye is known as the evil eye. Maybe it’s the colors of browns mixed with yellows at the center that has led this gemstone to be called the Evil Eye. I don’t know. Legend has it that when you need protection from evil forces, or courage to get through, this is the gemstone to wear. Keep it close and be brave! 

See more Tigers eye jewelry in my eBay store.

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Sterling Silver Jewelry

Silver jewelry can dress up any outfit, and can be worn day or night as a fashion accessory. Sterling silver and silver marked 925 means that the silver is 92.5 % silver mixed with other metals usually copper. Silver plate will tarnish, but sterling silver will not. Silver is usually marked but sometimes artisans will use sterling silver and it won’t be marked. How can you tell if it is real sterling silver if it doesn’t have a marking? A method that will allow you to test silver easily at home is to use the magnet test. If you take a magnet, and the magnet is drawn to the “silver”, it’s not real silver, it’s another metal, probably copper. If you use the magnet, and the magnet does not draw to the silver, it is real. That is a easy home test to test your sterling silver jewelry that may not be marked.

Click here for to view the sterling silver items in my eBay store.