Thursday, April 11, 2013

A-Z April Challenge J is for Vintage Costume JEWELRY

I shop at Estate auctions and sales.  I find vintage and pre-owned items quite interesting.  Most of the time I don't know what their origin is.   But I do know that there is a story behind each piece. 
As I wander, preview and browse around these sales, I can’t help but think about my own treasured belongings.  Will they be awarded to the highest bidder some day? 

My main interest is vintage costume Jewelry.   I like buying it, but I also like selling it.  I have been selling jewelry on eBay since 2002.  

I have learned a great deal about vintage costume jewelry.  It may surprise you that the right piece of costume jewelry can bring a higher piece than gold or silver. 

Check out your grandmother’s, mother’s or your own old jewelry boxes.  You may find a treasure. 

One tip, a piece is most valuable when you can identify the period it came from.  That’s where research is a must.  
Another thing to look for is a signature or mark on the jewelry.  Usually it is found on the back of the piece. 

For instance the eBay seller “stonegate-gallery”(not me) sold this earring and necklace set by designer Elsa Schiaparelli recently for $3500.00.

"This is a one of a Kind set in original box and perfect condition no missing stones or damage or rust.
1940's VERY EARLY Set Necklace and earings. This is from my private collection you will never see another set like this
for sale.  I have seen the necklace alone sell for $2,000.00 with no box or earings.
Dont miss your chance to buy this one of kind item.  This is a must own item for any Vintage Jewlery Collector.

There are many more Costume Jewelry designers from various eras.  If you are interested the Illusion Jewels website is a good resource. 

If you are interested in what I have been selling lately, check out my Pinterest Page.


  1. Interesting. I never really thought much about jewelry. In fact, I often tease my hubby that I save him 1000s of dollars as I don't wear jewelry.

    Visiting from AtoZ #41

    1. Actually I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, but I do remember where each piece came from…who gave it to me and what the occasion.

  2. JT will like the fact that Elsa was born on September tenth, which is also JT's birthday. I read this post to Annie, who would know a lot more about costume jewelry than I.

    1. And creativity is what Elsa and JT have in common.

  3. My mom's mom has an enormous collection of costume jewelry--three or four glass-fronted cabinets with drawers in the bottom that stood about four feet high. The necklaces were displayed in the glass part with earrings, rings, etc in the drawers below. We used to pretend they were vending machines and pretend we were putting money in and getting the jewelry out of the drawers in the bottom. Of course, OPENING them was strictly forbidden, but we had good imaginations. I have no relationship with my grandmother anymore so I'm not sure if the jewelry is all still there, but I shudder to think of the fighting that will go on among her seven surviving children and all their children when she passes away particularly if any of them think there is a monetary value to the pieces.

    I don't wear jewelry at all, but can definitely see the appeal of collecting--especially for the nostalgia/historical aspect. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. :)

  4. Sorry you don’t have a relationship with your grandmother anymore.
    I have to admit your vivid description of Grandma’s jewelry had me salivating. I would imagine that her heirs know how valuable her collection is.