Posted by learntobead on September 22, 2010
Jelly Bellies – Vintage Jewelry
Lots of people collect vintage jewelry today. One of the most collectible vintage piece is known as a Jelly Belly.
Jelly Bellies are an animal made out of sterling or vermeil, with a carved piece of lucite for its belly. It is rumoured that the lucite came from old airplane windshields.
A lucite belly is more valuable than a glass belly. A clear lucite is better than a colored belly.
You can usually find these at next to nothing. They resell for hundreds of dollars.
The first jelly bellies made have been made as early as 1938. Most were made between 1943 and 1945, and set in sterling or vermeil. Sterling was rationed and very expensive during these war years, so adding a piece of Lucite to the design made it possible to produce large, eye-catching designs. After the war and into the 1950’s they were made in base metals, but all of them are delightful!
Many costume jewelry manufacturers used the Jelly Bellies which means some are marked and some are not, but most famous are the Trifari and Corocraft sterling designs, which incorporated fantastic design with breathtaking quality of materials and craftsmanship.