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How to Clean Vintage Costume Jewelry

how to clean vintage costume jewelry

Why You Must Know How to Clean Vintage Costume Jewelry

By definition, vintage costume jewelry means old jewelry made with artificial or imitation gems and inexpensive materials. However, that does not automatically mean they are of lesser value. As a matter of fact, many vintage costume jewelry pieces are considered rare and come with extraordinary quality and craftsmanship that are worth a hefty price tag. 

For many people who own them, especially the collectors, they hold aesthetic and sentimental value. Many have become part of their family’s history and legacy. If you value your vintage jewelry and maintain its beauty and quality, it is important that you know how to clean vintage costume jewelry. 

How to Clean Vintage Costume Jewelry: Detailed Guide

No idea how? Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to clean vintage costume jewelry.

Dust them off

Before you even begin the cleaning process, make sure you dust off your jewelry using a soft brush. Be gentle when brushing your jewelries, as the tiniest of dirt can scratch the surface of your metal or stone. 

It would be wise to invest in a magnifying glass so you can clean your jewelry thoroughly, including the tiny crevices. 

cleaning solutions for vintage costume jewelry

Get the right cleaning products

First thing you need to learn about when it comes to taking care of your vintage jewelry is to know the type of cleaning products to use. Obviously, jewelries come in various designs, materials, and gemstones. You should know that different materials (different types of metals) and gemstones (precious or semi-precious) require different types of cleaning products and cleaning procedures

For example, gold darkens over time. A mixture of water and ammonia is used to bring back its original shade. The same thing can be used for platinum. Ammonia however, is quite strong and could potentially damage the metal when left for too long. Thus, experts always recommend using cleaning solutions dedicated to gold and platinum. Baking soda diluted into water is a good cleaning solution for silver. 

Dish washing soap is also a good alternative for cleaning jewelries. However, they are discouraged for pieces with gemstones as they can cause the stones to loosen on their settings or water could get trapped under the settings.

Precious gemstones like diamonds, rubies, and sapphires are commonly cleaned using diluted ammonia. For pearls, you can use a soft cloth with a few drops of olive oil to wipe their surfaces.

Others require different cleaning agents. Thus, it is worth knowing the applicable cleaning agents for various stones. If you are not sure what to do, call a local store or jeweler and ask for tips on what cleaning solutions to use. 

Cleaning the metals

Metals can easily accumulate and cause gunk (verdigris), when exposed to air, dirt, and dust. They are blue-green or green (mold) in color. If gunk is not properly cleaned off, they can spread throughout the metal and cause the jewelry to corrode. 

Also, gunk can spread to other jewelries, especially if contaminated pieces are kept in the same box or drawer with other jewelries. Here is a quick way to remove gunk:

  • Pour white vinegar on a container and soak the metal for 15 to 30 minutes
  • Wipe the jewelry dry
  • Remove the gunk using an old soft toothbrush or cotton swab. You can also use toothpick to gently scrape gunk in tight spaces

Cleaning semi-precious gemstones

Different semi-gemstones have different properties, and there are hundreds, if not thousands of them. Thus, it would be impossible to list them all in just one entry. There are, however, general tips on how to clean them.

When cleaning semi-precious gemstones, never immerse or soak them on anything. Subsequently, never use jewelry dips, ultrasonic cleaners, or steam clean the semi-precious stones. 

Here are some examples on how to clean popular semi-precious stones:

  • For coral, moonstone, turquoise, lapis lazuli, use slightly damp a soft and smooth cloth and use it to wipe the stones
  • For chalcedony, topaz, and onyx, you can wash them with soapy water and use a soft brush to brush them clean. Be gentle when brushing these stones, and rinse them quickly. 
  • For pearls, simply wipe them clean using a soft cloth. For cultured pearls, you can wash them using mild soapy water.

These are just general guidelines. To be safe, you can ask a jeweler how to clean vintage costume jewelry with different semi-precious stones. 

vintage costume jewelry cleaning tips

Cleaning rhinestones

There are two types of rhinestones commonly used for vintage jewelries, the open back and the foil back.

Cleaning open back rhinestones

  • Since this stone uses glass for both front and back, and not backed with silver or gold foil, they are pretty easy to clean. 
  • Pour lukewarm water on a small bowl and drop a couple of clear dishwashing liquid. Stir slowly to avoid bubbles. 
  • Soak the rhinestones into the soap mixture. Brush them thoroughly and slowly using a soft brush to clean.

Cleaning foil-back rhinestones

  • Foils are pretty fragile; a small scratch can lead to peeling and ruin the look of your stone. The color may also get cloudy, darken, or fade. Thus, be very careful when cleaning foil-back rhinestones. 
  • Also, never soak foil-back rhinestones on anything. Use a minimal amount of water and clean them quickly. 
  • Lightly moisten cotton swab, soft cloth, or old soft toothbrush using mild glass cleaner such as Windex. Brush the rhinestone slowly and carefully. 
  • Dislodge dirt on tight spaces using a plastic or wooden toothpick.
  •  Buff the rhinestone dry using a soft microfiber cloth. 
  • You can also use diluted baby shampoo as a cleaning solution. Make sure you do not get the rhinestones wet. 
  • The slightest of moisture can cause deterioration for both types of rhinestones. Thus, make sure you completely dry them using a soft cloth after cleaning. 

Cleaning enamels 

Enamels are dirt and debris magnets. They can quickly attract chemicals like oil-based lotions, dust, or anything that floats in the air. You may not easily notice the dirt with your naked eye, but they can definitely affect the shine of your enamel jewelry. Dirt and grimes can also cause damage to the structure of the jewelry. 

  • Put your enamel jewelry inside a nylon bag or old nylon stocking. Tie or zip it close.
  • Fill your sink with warm water and drop a few dishwashing liquid to make a soapy mixture.
  • Carefully place the nylon bag on the soapy water and move it around gently. Be careful not to hit the sink.
  • Soak the bag for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare a lint-free cloth on the side. Carefully remove each jewelry piece from the bag and place them on the cloth one by one. 
  • Use a soft toothbrush to remove dirt debris stuck in the jewelry. 
  • Drain the stink and then rinse your jewelry with running water one at a time. Use another dry soft cloth to dry the enamels.
  • You can use special polishing cloth to buff dry the enamels. 

Learning how to clean vintage costume jewelry properly can be daunting and time consuming since different materials require different cleaning solutions and procedures. But that’s part of the challenge in owning costume vintage jewelry, especially if you want to maintain their dainty beauty. 

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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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Vintage Bridal Earrings For Your Wedding

choosing vintage earrings for your wedding

You have picked the perfect wedding dress, the perfect wedding shoes, and the perfect wedding hairstyle and makeup. Now, you have to figure out what earrings to wear for the big day when you walk down the aisle. For a lot of women, their wedding day is the most important day in their lives. Therefore, choosing the right jewelry to compliment your dress is a pivotal choice. If you are not sure what to get, vintage bridal earrings are a safe bet.

However, it is more than a safe option – it has its own unique appeal that makes quite a statement. Whether you are a fan of vintage jewelry, you will appreciate its beauty and style impact once you see your wedding photos.

Why Choose Vintage Jewelry for Your Wedding

There are currently a wide range of jewelry designs and trends available to choose from. For brides, it can be overwhelming to narrow down your options among this extensive list of jewelry styles. When you are not sure what to get, you can stick with vintage jewelry options. 

Why would you want to choose this style for your big day? Here are some of the reasons why you need to consider vintage jewelry. 

  • It is unique. Vintage jewelry has a unique style that makes them stand out. Unlike today wherein most jewelry pieces are mass manufactured, these jewelry pieces were made in smaller batches. This makes every piece unique and valuable. If you want to incorporate these rare details to your wedding, you can’t go wrong with vintage jewelry.
  • It is special. Whether you buy vintage jewelry or it was gifted to you, there is something special about these old pieces. You do not need to have an old soul in order to appreciate the value of these lifelong treasures. However, it does give more meaning to your already special day.
  • It tells a story. Vintage jewelry pieces have been around for decades, if not centuries. It has been passed down from one generation to another. If you are wearing vintage jewelry that was gifted by your mother or grandmother, these items have their own provenance and it can hold a fascinating story that is shared within the family. 
  • It is good for the environment. If you are eco-conscious and you want to reduce environmental impact, choosing vintage jewelry is a great way to showcase that. Instead of buying something new, re-using old and vintage items can reflect on your personal ethics and have less impact on the environment. 
the appeal of vintage bridal earrings

The Appeal of Vintage Bridal Earrings

Now that the benefits of choosing vintage jewelry have been established, it is important to look specifically into the aesthetic value of vintage bridal earrings. If you are a fan of vintage styles, then it should not be hard to convince you of the aesthetic appeal of wearing vintage earrings. 

One of the things that make vintage earrings appealing is the level of detail in every piece. Vintage styles are known for their elaborate details and excellent craftsmanship. These pieces are made with the finest quality materials that are long lasting and durable. Hence, they can last for many decades and are handed down from generation to generation. 

It is also a beautiful throwback to pay homage to the golden eras of the 1940s to the 1970s and beyond. From the glamour and structure of the art deco style, to the elegance of the 1950s, and exquisite showcase of precious gemstones, there are several styles for you to choose from. 

Unlike current trends in the jewelry industry that might come and go, vintage styles have been around for many years. It has endured the test of time and will never go out of trend. Therefore, it is the best choice for brides on their big day, especially those who are looking for those brides with a vintage soul and an eye for timeless styles. 

Buying Vintage Bridal Earrings

Some brides are gifted with vintage earrings from their mothers or grandmothers (which they wore to their own wedding). But if you were not gifted with one, you can always shop for vintage bridal earrings that you can wear on your wedding day. There are several jewelry stores (local or online) that sell vintage earrings that you can wear as you walk down the aisle.

There are a few things you need to know to get the perfect pair of earrings for your big day. 

First off, you need to find the best place to buy vintage jewelry online. This is an important first step because there are many online shops that claim to specialize in vintage jewelry. However, there are a few markers that would indicate if a jewelry item is authentic or not. These markers could vary from one vintage brand to another. Therefore, you need to research beforehand if you are looking for a specific brand. 

It is also recommended that you shop only from reputable jewelers. Check the jeweler’s reputation before you buy from them. For example, you need to know how many years they have been in business and what their clients have to say about their jewelry pieces. 

buying vintage bridal earrings

The next step is to choose your ideal style. Vintage earrings come in a variety of style options depending on which era they are from. For example, you have to choose between stud, drop, dangle, or chandelier earrings styles. You can also find Art Deco styles if you want something unique. Meanwhile, there are those that depict elegant minimalism. 

You can determine your own style and what you want to portray as part of your wedding look. You can even use your wedding dress as an inspiration for determining which style of vintage bridal earrings would complete your look. 

If you have fallen in love with the iconic style of vintage jewelry, then you can channel that love for timeless and classic designs by wearing vintage pieces on your wedding day. With the right vintage earrings, you can take your wedding look to the next level, especially since all eyes will be fixated on you! 

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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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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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Murano Glass Jewelry

Murano glass is some of the finest glass produced in the world. Crafted in Italy, Murano glass is known for cream of the crop, hand blown glass. It can be found in many jewelry pieces. You can discover Murano glass in earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

The Murano glass making began in the late 1800’s, in Venice Italy, and continues to this day. It is hand blown, and often has a signature identifying it. Don’t be fooled. Not all Murano glass is signed. Some of the older pieces have not been signed.

Murano glass will say that it was made in Venice, or made in Italy. It won’t say made in Murano. If you see a piece that says made in Murano, you are looking at a counterfeit.

Sometimes nothing will be written on the piece, particularly in older glass pieces.

One way to identify Murano glass is by noting that it is always hand blown. You won’t find seams. You will often find specks of gold flakes in Murano Glass. Look for bubbles and irregularities. If it’s too perfect, it’s probably a counterfeit, or mass produced.

Murano glass can run into thousands of dollars. Look for bargains at estate sales, and vintage stores.

Murano glass jewelry is a high quality treasure that can be passed down from one generation to the next.

Click here to see more Murano glass jewelry in my eBay store.

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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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What is your birthstone?

What's my Birthstone

Do you know your birthstone? Here is a list of gemstones associated with each month.

Birthstone by month:

January – Garnet

Garnet: birthstone

February – Amethyst

February - Amethyst 
Birthstone

March – Aquamarine, Bloodstone

Aquamarine Gemstone

April – Diamond

diamond

May – Emerald

June – Pearl, Moonstone

July – Ruby

August – Peridot

September – Sapphire

October – Opal

November – Topaz, Citrine

December – Tanzanite, Turquoise

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Marcasite Jewelry

Marcasite has been used in jewelry as early as the 1700’s as a substitute for diamonds. Marcasite waned in popularity in the late 1800’s, but a resurgence of marcasite happened in the 1920’s. In the 1920’s and 30’s, women could add glitz and glitter to their life through the shimmering of marcasite, at a lower cost than buying diamonds. Today marcasite jewelry has become highly collectible, and much more difficult to find, and is quickly escalating in price due to popularity and scarcity. The stone known as marcasite is actually pyrite. There is a mineral named marcasite but it is not suitable for jewelry. The sulfite, pyrite is cut into small faceted pieces, and marcasite is created. The light reflecting off the facets, create a sparkle. Marcasite is always placed in silver jewelry. You can find it in bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings. Marcasite is quickly escalating in price and demand.

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

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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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Lapis Lazuli

Lapis is a beautiful blue stone, dating back to ancient days. The Egyptians wore it to tap into spiritual wisdom, and you can too. Lapis, a birthstone for December, is a stone designed to help you hone into the third eye, to increase spiritual awareness and understand truth. The gold pyrite often found in Lapis, is called fools gold and is a sign of good luck. When you need a bit of both, Lapis Lazuli, is the gemstone to hold close to you. Usually oval shaped, lapis is frequently found in rings and necklaces. Afghanistan is the place that lapis is often found. Lapis Gemstones with a purple tint are the rarest Lapis stones of them all. Lapis in ancient days was considered a source for healing sick people. The gold pyrite was often crushed and consumed as food. I don’t suggest you eat the lapis, but if you need a bit of good luck, and some inner wisdom, Lapis is the stone to wear.

To see other lapis jewelry, click here.

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Nolan Miller

In the 1980’s, Dynasty was a hit tv show that captured the life of luxury, that many aspired for themselves. Nolan Miller, fashion designer of costume jewelry created the jewelry worn on the tv series. Mr. Miller was able to take ordinary jewelry, and make it look extraordinary, and expanded the reach of glamour for the masses. Nolan Miller passed in 2012, and his designs are highly collectible, and quickly escalating in value. Pins and brooches are glittered with rhinestones and signed by Nolan Miller. This is one designer whose designs are increasing quickly.

View other Nolan Miller pieces in 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.

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Grandmas Vintage Jewelry

cloissone red and pink pierced earrings

by Tammy S. Pinkerton

This is my first blog post for Grandma’s Jewelry. This is a collection of vintage and estate sale jewelry. I like silver and gold. Who doesn’t?

I thought I would begin this first blog post with a poem…

Once upon a time, there was a lady who was old
she shopped and shopped until she found gold

but what can you do with just gold, even when you are old
so she transformed it into jewelry that could be sold

she added some precious gems, and branched into silver
and expanded to include glitter, and gemstones
it was easier than knitting a sweater

The retail stores made no sense, nobody shopped there
she took a long nap

and she had a dream it was like a brief movie flick
all she had to do was list the jewelry for sale on the computer
and all the customers had to do was look at a picture, and click.

Amethyst, diamonds, tigers eye, silver and gold
all could be bought and sold with a simple click in a lickety split.

And that’s my story and I am sticking to it

If you’d like to see more antique jewelry, click here to visit my eBay store.