Vintage Jewelry: Wearable Pieces of History

Vintage Jewelry
Vintage Jewelry

If you’ve always loved the look of older pieces of jewelry, then you’ve probably already got the beginnings of a vintage jewelry collection! Costume jewelry actually got it’s popular start in theaters and on stages throughout Europe! It made it’s way to America in the duffel bags of soldiers as presents for their wives, girlfriends, sisters and mothers!

In the late 20’s American manufacturers began to dominate the costume jewelry industry. And, they have continued to produce some of the most beautiful, most valuable pieces available today. Many pieces are both signed and marked identifying the designer or the company, but many unsigned pieces are just as collectable.

Some pieces of costume jewelry are very valuable because their rare, but demand is the main contributing factor in value. No matter how many pieces of a certain design are in circulation, if a large number of people are hoping to add it to their collection the price escalates!

The quality of the stones is also a big determining factor in both demand and value. While many stones were glass or crystal, natural stones were often used as well. Some of the highest quality stones can be found in pieces made by Eisenberg, Weiss and Bogoff just to name a few.

There’s no end to the wonderful pieces available to add to a collection. Some vintage jewelry collectors concentrate on brooches, some on earrings and still others may prefer vintage rings or necklaces. Will yet others just love it all!

Costume jewelry has actually been around for over 300 years, cheap jewelry with glass stones began appearing in the 1700’s and the 1800’s saw those glass stones being replaced with semi-precious stones. Most of the pieces from the 30’s are bold and flashy, studded with rhinestones of various colors and greatly sought after for their beauty.

Vintage Jewelry from the 1940s & 1950s
Vintage Jewelry from the 1940s & 1950s

While everyone cherishes their collections no matter what they consist of, vintage jewelry is one collection that isn’t for display only. Vintage jewelry is a collection that you can share with everyone every time you wear it! And, since it’s vintage, you’ll rarely ever see someone else wearing the same piece!

Costume jewelry has always been a way to wear beautiful, authentic looking pieces at a fraction of the cost of the real thing. But, it’s also been a favorite for many people that could afford the real thing! The triple strand of pearls that Barbara Bush is often seen wearing are faux! Many of the pieces that Jackie Onassis, Audrey Hepburn and even Elizabeth Taylor wore are also costume!

There’s just something about wearing a piece of jewelry that someone wore many decades ago! Was it a Christmas present, a birthday present or a special engagement present? Those questions just add to the mystique of vintage jewelry. But, you can revel in knowing that vintage jewelry is a wearable piece of history!

Written by Connie Corder, Copyright 2008

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