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NEW FASHION JEWELRY – Understand “Quality” Issues Of These New Collectibles

Posted by learntobead on March 25, 2014

NEW FASHION JEWELRY

Now at Be Dazzled Beads
781 Thompson Lane, Ste 123 Nashville, TN 37204

At a recent Jewelry Show in Atlanta, Jayden and Warren discovered a rapidly evolving fashion trend towards reproduction vintage looks using new more recently available materials.   These particular new fashion trends were the looks and styles of the pieces everyone there was selling there.     A great selection and variety of these looks is now on display and for sale at Be Dazzled Beads.

necklace2-blog

It is important to understand, however, that, when purchasing fashion jewelry, there is more to consider than how a piece looks.   You need to understand something about the materials used and the overall construction.   Only in this way can you be sure that you are purchasing what we would call “collectible costume jewelry.”

The reproduction vintage looks are obvious — a reference to the stylish pieces of the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s, using modern materials and construction technologies.    Great colors.   Strong and soft colors.   Lots of faceting and sparkle.

The use of new materials includes higher end acrylics, new metallic composites, specialized glass and Chinese crystal.

These green components, in the piece shown above, are made out of Chinese crystal, not plastic.     To the naked eye, you might see a similar piece where the components are plastic, looking like but definitely not crystal.   The eye can deceive itself.   Simple test: click bead against a stiff surface or front teeth.   If crystal or glass, you will hear a sharp click; if plastic, you will hear a dull click.

These green components, in the piece shown above, are made out of Chinese crystal, not plastic. To the naked eye, you might see a similar piece where the components are plastic, looking like but definitely not crystal. The eye can deceive itself. Simple test: click bead against a stiff surface or front teeth. If crystal or glass, you will hear a sharp click; if plastic, you will hear a dull click.

 

 
These new fashion pieces should be considered “collectable” costume jewelry. But, again, it is important to understand what you are buying.   There are many lower quality copies – what we’d call “disposable jewelry” — you’ll find at discount stores and online. You want to be sure you are buying the quality we would call “collectible”.   The price will reflect whether the jewelry is “collectible” or “disposable.”

 

So, You Want Your Fashion Jewelry To Be Made With…

 

* Glass, Crystal and/or Advanced Plastics

Typically, you will find a mix of materials within you piece.   Materials you do not want would include enameled or colored ceramics or regular plastic or metalized plastic or plastic pearls.

 

* Advanced Plastics, if any components are plastic

Just like with things like wood or metal, there are many grades of quality among plastics.   The differences between advanced plastics and regular plastics can be as widely divergent as between metals like gold and aluminum.

The higher end plastics, even when up close, look very similar to the gemstones or crystals they are meant to resemble.   Jade plastic looks like real jade.   Plastic opals look like real opal. And so forth.

For high end costume jewelry, the “point-hardness” of these advanced plastics, that is, how easily the material can be scratched, will be much higher, thus less easily scratched, than cheaper plastics.

 

 

* Better metal composites and finishes, with more substance and realistic finishes

In these lines of jewelry, whether higher end or lower end, very little is real 100% metal these days.   The chains are composites.   The settings for the stones are composites.

In the metal-composite chains and settings used in the lower quality jewelry, at close inspection, you will find them to be cheap, flimsy and light-weight.   Moreover, the metallic finish-colors are off the mark and look somewhat fake. For example, the actual color that may be representing gold, when compared to other quality pieces, may not look like gold at all.

There may be rough spots that can get caught on clothing or scratch the skin.   In higher end pieces, manufacturers check their quality, to make sure there are no rough spots.

But always inspect your jewelry before you leave the store.   When purchasing any piece of costume jewelry, you should feel all over the piece to be sure there are no rough spots

 

* Better set stones

Stones are typically glued in.   If the setting does not have much surface area, the glue will not hold for very long.

In some pieces, the designs give the illusion of “prong-set” stones.   In the lower end, the prongs have very sharp points.   In the higher end, the prongs have smooth or balled-up tips.

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Things To Do To Increase Longevity Of Your New Fashion Jewelry

After purchasing your new pieces of Fashion Jewelry, you will have the option to do two things to make them more durable and lasting:

  1. If the piece has stones which have been glued in, and have open settings on the backs, apply some more glue to the backs of the settings, all along the edges.   Use a glue like E6000 or Beacon 527.   This will keep the stones from ever popping out.     Reason: The glue manufacturers typically use dries hard, with no flexibility.   If the pieces are accidently dropped or hit against something, the shock can make the stone pop away from the hard glue.

 

By reinforcing them with the E6000 or Beacon 527, these bonds dry like rubber and act like a shock absorber. Thus the stones are less likely to pop off.

Necklace with stones set in settings with open backs

Necklace with stones set in settings with open backs

 

Open back on set stones in necklace

Open back on set stones in necklace

 

2.  On all areas which have metal plated finishes and which will be touching the skin, apply two coats of clear nail polish to these surfaces.   This will preserve the plated finishes for a very long time, yet doesn’t affect the shine or sheen of the metal underneath it.

 

 

NOTE: This is very generalized advice.     Every person’s body oils and chemistry have different effects on the metal finishes.   A person may be able to wear a piece of costume jewelry for months and years and it may not disintegrate on them; another person might wear it for a few months, and the metal finishes deteriorate.

 

 

 
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Cleaning

All jewelry has to be maintained and kept clean.   Follow this simple advice for keeping your new jewelry pieces clean and sparkling.

Periodically, give your jewelry a quick bath.   In a bowl, mix a very-little-amount of baby shampoo and cold water.   Immerse the whole piece of jewelry in this bath, just long enough to loosen any dirt.   Take it out.

Under cold water, rinse it off.   Take a paper towel or cloth, and dry the piece off.   NOTE: “Pat Dry” with the towel. Don’t “Rub”.

Then, you might take a hair dryer, setting it on the lowest setting, and keeping it 6-8” away from your piece, and blow dry.   DON’T LET YOUR PIECES GET TOO HOT.   An alternative strategy is to put your piece of jewelry in front of a small fan.

Dry both sides.   Leave your piece out in the open air over night, to be sure there is no moisture trapped in closed crevices.

Always remember that the side laying against the towel or cloth may still be more damp than the side facing up.     So, before storing your piece, check and be sure it is dry.

Store your piece flat in a zip lock plastic bag. Be sure to push the air out of bag before sealing bag. One simple way to do this is to insert a straw into the bag, and seal the top as close to the straw as you can get.   Suck out the air, remove the straw, and finish sealing the zip-lock bag closed.

Then lay your bagged up piece on flat surface. You do not want your piece to be jumbled into a pile.   You do not want to hang your jewelry on a stand.   The weight of the beads will stretch out the stringing material.

Put your pieces in a cool, dry place out of sunlight. Never store two pieces on top of each other without something to separate them.   Don’t pile up jewelry on top of other jewelry.

At a restaurant, if you drip gravy on your necklace, how do you clean it off? If it is something that has caked or dried on it, you may have to soak it in a solution of a very-little-amount of baby shampoo and cold water.   Use a q-tip to clean away the spotted areas.

 

Your Reproduction Vintage Pieces Should Be Around For 30, 40, even 50 years

Your goal is to have your reproduction vintage to be around 30, 40, 50 years from now.   It will keep its value.   These pieces should not be disposable.

Go to your antique stores, ask to see their vintage jewelry from the 1930s, 40s to 60s, and look and see at the availability, quantity and cost of high-end costume jewelry. This will give you an idea of what you’re getting with your investment.

In these older pieces, some were made from Lucite or other high-end plastics of the time.   And other pieces were copies crafted in regular plastic.   Lucite is a glass-like acrylic resin.   It has a resilience, a hardness, and a malleability which made it perfect for costume jewelry.   Regular plastic lacks the clarity and sparkle, yellows with age, and scratches much more easily.

 

 

Your new higher-end fashion jewelry – better made, more attractive, more appealing — will increase in value over the decades instead of ending up in the trash.

 

 

 

 

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THE STORY OF JEWELRY: See Kickstarter Campaign

Posted by learntobead on October 22, 2012

A STORY TO WEAR
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1326391752/a-story-to-wear-a-documentary-about-jewelry-histor

I wanted to share this email from the ASJRA about a film project seeking funds on Kickstarter.com.

— Warren

 

FROM ASJRA:

Through a small grant from the Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts (ASJRA) LLC, director Nicolas Cuellar has created a 3-minute “trailer” for what he hopes will become a full documentary on why it is important and fascinating to study the history of jewelry. Some of you got to see it at our conference on October 7.

Whether you are a jewelry lover, collector, artist,  appraiser, dealer, gemologist, auction house, curator, or in the retail jewelry business, this film will help bring education about the world of jewelry to a wider audience and benefit all of us.

The Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts will make the completed film available to any jewelry organization that would like to screen it as well as to all college metals/jewelry and art history departments…free of charge. It will also be on the internet for the general public to see.

Please go to www.storytowear.com  and click on the photograph on the home page. This will take you to kickstarter.com where you can view the trailer and help support the film…even the smallest donation can help the filmmakers to reach their goal (even $1 will help) You will also find the rewards that are being offered for donations.

Although you make your pledge which is processed through Amazon.com, the filmmakers do not get a penny (and you are not charged) unless they reach their stated financial goal and they only have 30 days to do it!

The budget for the film will be $50-$70,000 but they are only looking to raise the first $10,000 on kickstarter.com. If they raise more than their goal they will get the full amount (minus the fee kickstarter and Amazon takes for processing the pledges). So please have a look today…the clock is ticking!

 

 

FROM THE PERSPECTUS ON KICKSTARTER:

Studying jewelry is a window into the history of cultures. Jewelry is the most personal of adornments and has signifcance in our lives.
Launched: Oct 21, 2012
Funding ends: Nov 20, 2012
Remind Me

We are creating a documentary film on the study of the history of jewelry. It’s probably something you never thought about but…

Did you know that:

–the earliest known jewelry is 100,000 years old?

–during many wars precious metals were in short demand and jewelry was made of alternative materials?

–the Victorians mounted hummingbird heads as jewelry? And Brazilian beetles?

–many cultures wear jewelry to ward off evil spirits?

–the famed jewelry firm of Cartier bought the townhouse where their headquarters is located in New York City by trading the owner for an incredible necklace of natural pearls? (Natural pearls are rare today since cultured pearls arrived on the scene circa 1900.)

–that diamonds can naturally be found in many colors?

–that in earlier times men wore more jewelry than women?

–that Harry Winston mailed the famed Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institute by U.S. Mail? And that it was walked to the White House in a gentleman’s pants pocket for the Shah of Iran to see?

These fascinating facts are just a very small part of what you might learn if you study the history of jewelry. We view jewelry studies as a “window” into the history of the world and a fun way to learn about our own and other cultures.

Jewelry is not only a form of adornment and self-expression, it is a part of one’s family history, and a form of portable wealth. Its ownership is intricately involved in our lives.

And anyone can join in learning…it doesn’t take a lot of specialized knowledge to understand this fascinating subject. If you are interested in fashion, world events, anthropology, art, archaeology—any number of subjects—you can relate to learning about jewelry.

Our personal jewelry does many things—represents the happiest and sometimes the saddest moments in our lives, can signal our achievements, tell others where we went to college, indicates our religious beliefs, and can even relay our sense of fun. It can tell others, without a word, how we view ourselves.

It is so universal that if two women who don’t know each other stand in an elevator one may comment on the other’s jewelry.

The Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts, LLC (ASJRA) is an organization dedicated to the advancement of jewelry studies. ASJRA takes a broad approach to the subject, seeking to understand and place jewelry within a variety of contexts, including costume, the decorative arts, and fine art among others.

We publish Adornment, the Magazine of Jewelry and Related Arts (a quarterly), an extensive monthly newsletter on everything that is happening in the jewelry world, and organize an annual conference as a forum for curators, historians, researchers, and artists to present new and interesting
information about jewelry.

My co-director Yvonne Markowitz and I also consider it our mission to encourage the inclusion of courses in jewelry history at the college and graduate level for both applied jewelry students and decorative arts majors and provide aid to institutions in that pursuit. It promotes the development of study programs for jewelry design and jewelry history students at museums.

ASJRA is also working to make available previously inaccessible publications and information for educators, researchers, and collectors.

But right now we are, “preaching to the choir.” Our members know how exciting it is to delve into centuries of jewelry lore as well keep an eye on the inventive and unique contemporary jewelry being made today by studio artists and important fine jewelry firms.

This film will help a much wider audience gain an appreciation of how much can be learned and how interesting learning more about jewelry can be.

Documentary film maker Nicolas Cuellar, producer Harris Karlin, and Elyse Zorn Karlin, the co-director of ASJRA, have teamed up to educate the public on the story of jewelry and its place in our lives in the film “A Story to Wear.” We invite you to support this documentary film and get some great rewards to show our appreciation for your donation.

Once the film is completed it will be available to any organization with an interest in jewelry to show to its members, as well as to colleges and universities that have metals’ programs (jewelry making) and art history courses. We will also put it online so the general public can enjoy and learn from it as well. Help us tell the world about a subject that touches all of our lives without us realizing it…think about what your favorite piece of jewelry is and what it means to you!

Nicolas and Harris have extensive credits in the film world and Elyse is a well-known jewelry historian, author, lecturer and freelance curator. Together we will create a film to bring the fascinating world of jewelry to everyone.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Our biggest challenge will to keep the film on schedule…we hope to finish by spring or summer 2013. We are going to be working with diverse people to present a balanced story and scheduling them for interviewing with their busy schedules and still manage to shoot in several venues in one city in a short time (we can’t afford to pay the crew for extra days) will be a challenge.

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Cristobal Balenciaga

Posted by learntobead on October 25, 2011

Cristobal Balenciaga

http://cristobalbalenciagamuseoa.com/Ingles.html

Cristobal Balenciaga was a Spanish fashion designer who began selling fashion and accessories aroun 1919, but came into prominence in the 1950’s.   He’s known for building in very broad shoulders into jackets, blouses and gowns.    He also brought into fashion the Tunic Dress, and the high Empire Waist dress and gown.

He was a hands-on designer, making many of his own clothing, as well as jewelry.

He was considered one of the all-time great couturiers.    His pieces are very collectible.

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SINGING BIRD PISTOLS

Posted by learntobead on July 30, 2011

SINGING BIRD PISTOLS

Watch this video of these 200 year old Singing Bird Pistols.   They recently sold for over $5 million at auction.

http://www.christies.com/features/singing-bird-pistols-en-1422-3.aspx

 

Made of gold and enamel and set with pearls and diamonds. They are the only known surviving pair and
attributed to the Geneva firm of Freres Rochat.

 

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American Gypsy Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2011

American Gypsy Jewelry

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/tips/gypsy.html

The Antiques Road Show has a fascinating article about American Gypsy Jewelry on their blog.

Gypsy Jewelry dates from the 1900-1930’s period.   During this time, many gypsies migrated to America and brought their jewelry-making skills with them.

Gypsy Jewelry is a rare form of jewelry with strong associations to the romance of the gypsy.   Much of the jewelry is 14KT gold.   Many pieces have embedded stones, but more likely the stones are synthetic.  Gypsies didn’t have a way to verify the worth of stones.   They used synthetic stones so they wouldn’t be a position of having to value them.

Gypsies were excellent at jewelry craft because they always carried their wealth with them.   It was easier and safer to carry their wealth in the form of jewelry.

Gypsies used a lot of coins in their jewelry.   They liked to represent the profiles of women, like cameos, which they called gypsy queens.

Gypsy jewelry is worth thousands of dollars.

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Papal Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on June 30, 2011

Papal Jewelry

Papal jewelry has been in the news recently, because a jeweler in North Carolina, of all places, has offered up a cross and and a ring belonging to Pope   Paul VI      for sale.

 

Here are some images I found online of other Papal Jewelry:

This is the papal ring of Pope Paul II, who served as pope from 1464-1471:

Pope Paulus II bronze, rock crystal ring:

 

 

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The Japonisme

Posted by learntobead on June 30, 2011

The Japonisme
Influence of Japan on Western Jewelers, 1867-1917

There is a current exhibit at the Wartski Gallery in London entitled “The Japonisme: From Falize to Faberge: The Goldsmith and Japan”.     This exhibit showcases the influence of Japan on western jewelers, such as Tiffany, Falize, Cartier, Boucheron, Faberge.

Here are some of the kinds of things you would see at this exhibit:

Tiffany: Pearl Flower Brooch

 

Vever: Cherry Blossom Brooch

 

 

Wartski Promo for Exhibit

 

 

Boucheron: Brooches

 

Western jewelry artists took much inspiration from the artistic works of Japan.    Specifically, they:

1) Incorporated cloisonne (enameling) techniques
2) Used fragments to capture the essence,
such as using a flower blossom and branch to capture the essence of a whole tree, and nature itself
3) created more of a sense of delicacy in their pieces
4) Built in a sense of poetry into their designs.

 

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Erotic Watches Auctioned Off

Posted by learntobead on April 13, 2011

Erotic Watches Auctioned Off
By Antiquorum, The Leading Watch Auctioneer
http://amazingcentral.com/swiss-collector-puts-up-a-rare-collection-of-erotic-pocket-watches-on-sale/
http://www.antiquorum.com/home/

A unique collection of more than 30 erotic watches and system objects are among the timepieces Antiquorum offered on March 27 here as part of its “Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces” auction.  The highlight of this collection was a repeating musical watch with four actions and a concealed erotic automaton. Dubbed “Musique d’Amour” and made in 1810, the watch is believed to be the work of Genevan watchmaker Henry Capt, and which was expected to fetch around $90,000.

A Google search of images under the keywords “erotic watches” turned up 4,500,000 images.   So I guess, given this large number of images, erotic watches are very popular and here to stay.    And probably good investments.

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Tiffany Video

Posted by learntobead on March 12, 2011

Tiffany Video
Opening of their Flagship Beijing Store

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbDRbqemEDc

 

On October 29, Tiffany lit up the night sky in a groundbreaking extravaganza. In anticipation of the December 2010 opening of the new Tiffany Beijing flagship, a breathtaking display was projected onto the store’s façade, with jewels coming to life in astounding 4-D.

This is a great video.  Runs 3 min 21 seconds.

These videos are also related to their Beijing opening:
http://www.youtube.com/tiffanyandco#p/c/92DD5FB78BCC2BC8/1/jYEuofkrhXM

http://www.youtube.com/tiffanyandco#p/c/92DD5FB78BCC2BC8/3/4L3uE6sJ50s

 

 

0000

Tiffany also makes some great marketing use of YouTube.    Here’s where you’ll find some of their other videos:

http://www.youtube.com/tiffanyandco

 

 

 

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Natural Combinations of Amber and Jet

Posted by learntobead on December 2, 2010

Natural Combinations of Amber and Jet

In many traditional cultures, the religious, the mystical, the magical, the royalty wore jewelry that consisted of combinations of amber and jet.     These natural fossils were believed have special qualities and powers, and when used together, even moreso.

Amber is fossilized tree sap.   Amber flowed from pine trees that flourished 50 to 60 million years ago.    Most amber comes from either the Dominican Republic, the Baltic area of Poland and Russia, and China.

Amber is one of the oldest substances used for jewelry.    In ancient times, it was prized as “solid sunlight”, and believed to have many of the sun’s properties.

Image above from Thyme2dreamwww.thyme2dream.com ),  blog: www.thyme2dream.blogspot.com from her Mabon Collection (http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?sterm=mabon&sub1=SEARCH&name=Shop&op=new&seller_id=10747&sort_cats=0&sc_id=0)
Amber comes in a wide range of colors.    The colors often are called food names.   We have cherry amber, custard, butterscotch, butter, caramel, egg-yolk, tomato, honey, cognac, orange, fatty, and cream.   There is also green amber and blue amber, tiger amber, black-and-white amber, blonde and white.

There are some simple tests to determine if your amber is genuine.   One is that you take a hot needle and touch it to the maber.    There should be a faint piney smell.   Another, rubbing amber with a soft cloth will often cause it to give off an electrical spark, and attract a very light object like a feather.   Yet another is a salt flotation test.  Place several tablespoons of salt in a glass of water, and float a piece of amber in it.   Amber floats; glass and plastic sinks.

Jet is the fossilized remains of trees.    It was often called “black amber”.    Jet comes in different softnesses, so some is less durable than others.   Jet from lignite coal is the softest, while that from anthracite coal is the hardest.   Jet became very popular during Victorian times in England for use in mourning jewelry.

Jet is easily confused with glass.  There is only one test.  First,wear safety goggles.    Take a single jet bead and suspend it from a wire, and hold it over a flame with a a pair of pliers.     Genuine jet will smoke and often turn white at the edges, while plastic will melt and glass will simply explode.

Image above from Thyme2dream ( www.thyme2dream.com ),  blog:www.thyme2dream.blogspot.com from her Mabon Collection(http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?sterm=mabon&sub1=SEARCH&name=Shop&op=new&seller_id=10747&sort_cats=0&sc_id=0)

Jet is more likely than glass to display tiny cracks and scratches, or to be irregularly faceted, and to feel lighter and warmer to the touch.    Jet is a generic term in jewelry, so buying “jet” is always something of a risk.   French Jet is glass.  Austrian jet is glass crystal.   Bakelite jet is a plastic.

The “magical union” between amber and jet dates from ancient times.   It probably represented the union between light and dark, yin and yang, female and male — dualities.

The combination of amber and jet is believed, by many magicians and witches, to be the only combination of stones that gives a full spectrum of electrical energies, from positive to negative.

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The Silver Jewelry of Oman

Posted by learntobead on December 2, 2010

The Silver Jewelry of Oman


Oman has a very rich and distinctive jewelry tradition. Due to the nation’s long history of seafaring and trade, many influences of other cultures can be seen in Omani jewelry. Oman in particular traded with India and the Golden Triangle: trading partners whose influence is still visible in Omani jewelry today. Many Omani anklets and bracelets are reminiscent of Indian jewelry. A specific type of Omani necklace clearly derives from the jewelry of the Hmong tribes in the Golden Triangle.

 

The jewelry is characteristic of traditional, nomadic societies, but with special touches, techniques and motifs, with all the influences from the outside world.

The use of coins or ‘umla’ is widespread throughout the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. Issued by an official mint long before the introduction of silver hallmarks, coins were an indication of an established and guaranteed silver content.   Two coins that both possess a high silver content and are of consistently good quality, proved to be of major importance in the nomadic societies of the Middle East, and indeed in the economical landscape of the entire world. They are the Spanish columnario or pillar dollar, and the Austrian Maria Theresia Thaler.

Originally, Bedouin and traditional jewelry did not carry hallmarks; the region’s jewelry tradition predates their use, as well as modern state boundaries. As each piece of jewelry was individually ordered from a silversmith, the amount of silver to be used was carefully discussed, weighed and paid for. To establish the correct amount of silver, the material was balanced against a known amount of silver, for example a set of coins such as the Maria Theresia Thaler.

At around the beginning of the twentieth century, most countries adopted an official hallmarking system. For a very long time, existing pieces of jewelry were marked only when they were sold; their exact value only needed to be established at the moment of sale. To illustrate its value, an item of jewelry usually displayed its silver stamp on the outside, where it would be most visible.

One of jewelry’s most important functions is to reveal the status of the wearer. If a husband gives jewelry to his wife it shows respect. Jewelry can also indicate social status, or the religious group to which the wearer belongs.

 

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Another Collectible Vintage Jewelry Artist

Posted by learntobead on September 22, 2010

Theodor Fahrner
Another Collectible Vintage Jewelry Artist

Fahrner created sterling with gemstone, crystal, or rhinestones, pieces of jewelry in the 1910’s and 1920’s in Germany.    His style varied a bit from avante garde-art nouveau-art deco to more traditional styles.

Fahrner is an example of a big enterprise jeweler.    He patented several processes for mechanically or partially-mechanically reproducing jewelry.    While he designed jewelry himself, he also worked with jewelry artists all over Germany, and reproduced their designs under the Fahrner label.

His jewelry is associated with high quality workmanship.   He tended to avoid flowery and lacey forms within his pieces, because these would be difficult to mass produce.

Fahrner died in 1919, but his “label” continued until 1945.

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Jelly Bellies

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.

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