Category Archives: Vintage Jewelry

Ancient Greek Jewelry Designers – The Vaphiadis Family Tradition

Handmade Authentic Greek Jewelry Replicas from the Vaphiadis Jewelry Workshop in Athens – Greek Coin Jewelry; Byzantine and Greek Orthodox Cross Jewelry; Goddess and Mythology Reproductions; Fine Sterling Silver and Gold accented items; affordable Greek Costume Jewelry – Greek Rings, Earrings, Pendants, Brooches, Bracelets, Cufflinks and Collectable Museum Reproductions.

Vaphiadis Jewelry Workshop

Ancient Greek Jewelry Designers Just a Click Away

The Vaphiadis Workshop is one of the oldest Greek jewelry design centers with a tradition spanning generations and a modern track record of excellence since 1928.

After decades of supplying hundreds of Athenian jewelry shops with high-end silver and gold museum reproduction pieces, their celebrated creations have are also carried by Greek Museums and Museum shops around the world.

Vaphiadis not only provides Greek costume jewelry items to retail outlets across Greece, from Delphi, Crete, and Rhodes to Olympia, Corfu and the Cycladic islands, but also offers extensive collections of fine ancient Greek jewelry reproductions to online buyers with thousands of items in dozens of catalogues in easy to view online galleries.

For retail and wholesale buyers, the Vaphiadis Jewelry Workshop offers traditional quality and modern accessibility.

Contact this Greek jewelry designer through their website called The Greek Jewelry Shop, to buy select items or make wholesale buying arrangements by contacting A.N. Vaphiadis in Athens or through the UK telephone.

The Vaphiadis Jewelry Workshop

Address: Patroou 8-10, 105 57 Athens, Greece

Telephone in Greece: {30} 211-780-1230

Telephone in the UK: {44} 208-133-3266

Examples of What the Vaphiadis Greek Jewelry Designers Offer

Here are some examples of the most popular items in the Vaphiadis ancient Greek jewelry museum reproduction and costume jewelry collections.

1. Greek Key Jewelry

One of the most famous of all Hellenic patterns is known as the meander or meandros design, which in English is commonly referred to as the Greek Key motif. It’s formed by a repetitive design that resembles ancient interlocking keys in a somewhat twisting or “meandering” way, which is indeed what “meandros” means and from where the English word “meandering” is derived.


It is thought that the endlessly twisting pattern, found on Greek pottery, architecture and ancient Greek key jewelry, represents unity and infinity.

There are many variations of bracelets, pendants and other Greek key jewelry pieces that use the meandros pattern as part of a bordered edge or as an accent and others that use it as the main design element, such as the bracelets and necklaces where each link is a key.

There are hundreds of Greek key jewelry designs in the Vaphiadis Jewelry Workshop collections such as hoop earrings, bracelets, necklaces and sets all handcrafted in sterling silver and priced between $90 and $300. Many of the pieces feature the key link chain motif with Greek mythical gods on central pieces, such as on bracelets and necklaces, others are medallions such as the ones with a helmeted Athena head on coin-like pendants edged with the Greek key design.

2. Replicas of Ancient Greek Coin Jewelry

Amongst the items crafted by the Vaphiadis Greek Jewelry Designers for museum shops around the world are the Greek coin jewelry collections that feature an array of mythical and historical characters .

It’s impossible to name them all, but here are a few of the Greek coin jewelry items crafted into affordable pendants in sterling silver:

  1. Syracuse dekadrachm
  2. Thassos tetradrachm with Dionysus & Hercules
  3. Ainos – Hermes the messenger god & goat
  4. Larisa Coin with nymph & horse
  5. Amphipolis coinage with Apollo
  6. Delphi coin with ram & dolphins
  7. Sinope with eagle and dolphin
  8. Athenian Didrachm coin with Goddess Athena and a lion
  9. Shield Amphora
  10. Argos Wolf coin
  11. Corinthian pegasus and Swastika coin
  12. Apollonia cow and calf
  13. Alexander the Great of Macedonia coin
  14. Alexander the Great with helmeted Goddess Athena & Nike

Stylized Byzantine Greek Cross Jewelry and Traditional Greek Orthodox Jewelry

The Greek cross jewelry collections are a medley of historic and religious pieces encompassing a wide range of styles and religious cultures.

These diverse styles include Byzantine Crosses {since Byzantium was originally a Greek colony named after Greek King Bizas} as well as traditional Greek cross jewelry in Orthodox designs.

There are adaptations of various cross-type symbols that include the Byzantine Baptism Cross, stylized geometric crosses, replicas of the Byzantine Knights Templar Cross Patée, heavy Reliquary Cross Pendants, Bar Cross designs and even Double Sided Greek Orthodox Baptism Cross Pendants with rubies and emeralds.

View hundreds of pieces in the traditional Greek orthodox jewelry collections crafted in sterling silver, some with gemstones and others with decorative sculpted motifs.

Greek Crosses Jewelry Prices

The designs, with and without gemstones, handcrafted by the Vaphiadis traditional Greek jewelry designer team and sold online come in different price categories.

On the low end there are delicate Greek orthodox jewelry items for as little as $38.

On the high end there are Byzantine masterpiece replicas in museum quality sterling silver, accented with gemstones, that retail for over two hundred dollars.

For both retail and wholesale buyers, the best way to view the designs is to download the Vaphiadis Jewelry catalogue which is available from their website in a convenient PDF format.

Two Classes of Greek Goddess Jewelry

There are two distinct types of what might be termed Greek goddess jewelry.

  1. The first category includes jewelry items that feature goddesses {or at least their heads}on pendants, medallions, coins and rings. The most common pieces of female Greek mythology jewelry depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, desire and sexuality. The jewelry collections include every imaginable Aphrodite design – carved, etched, sculpted or otherwise depicted – on bracelets, charms, coins, rings, necklaces, pendants and earrings.
  2. The second category of Greek Goddess Jewelry doesn’t have anything to do with engraved or carved goddess designs that depict a mythical figure or their heads, but pieces crafted in the style of jewelry that a goddess would wear. This means upper arm bracelets, bangles with sculpted animal-head motifs and various jewelry sets that come as goddess-style ensembles that include dangle earrings, bracelets, twisting rings and armlets. There are dozens of sets available from the Vaphiadis Family Greek jewelry designer collections and each of them are available to view in online galleries and the extensive catalogue that’s downloadable from the website.

Order eccentric goddess style Greek mythology jewelry pieces or recreations of what artist’s and sculptor’s believe goddesses might have worn.

Sets are available in sterling silver or accented with 14k gold.

Greek Gold Jewelry Sets

Solid gold jewelry in the Greek style isn’t very practical or affordable because the designs are intricate and often heavy.

The best buys in Greek gold jewelry items are those that have been crafted in high quality silver but are accented with gold.

View the designer collections that include bracelets, rings and necklaces some with gemstones and some delicately accented with twisting bands of 14k gold.

Ancient Egyptian Jewelry Replicas by Nilestone and Nile Cartouche

Replicas of Ancient Egyptian Cartouche, Scarab and Ankh Jewelry; 18k Gold and Silver Egyptian Inspired Jewelry – Pendants, Cartouche, Rings, Bracelets, Bangles, Earrings and Chains – one of a kind handcrafted items by Egyptian artisans made with turquoise, unique beads, colorful enamel, sterling silver and solid 18k gold. Discover Egyptian jewelry history and shop for unusual handmade pieces at Nilestone and Nile Cartouche.

Ancient Egyptian Jewelry Meticulously Replicated by Nilestone

At Nilestone, ancient Egyptian jewelry history is recreated in all its detail by artisans in Cairo who hand make each piece for buyers around the world.

All Nilestone items, such as the popular Egyptian cartouche jewelry, is crafted in Egypt by craftsmen who keep their forefather’s art alive.

What’s the Secret Behind Egyptian Cartouche Jewelry?

Egyptian jewelry history is linked to the godlike pharaohs, and in the case of what we now call a “cartouche” {actually shenu in ancient Egyptian}, they were worn exclusively by pharaohs or gods and placed on tombs / monuments, primarily as an amulet to protect against evil in the afterlife or to illustrate eternal authority and immortal power.

What Des Cartouche Mean?

The word “cartouche” was coined by French soldiers who thought the shape resembled the cartridges in their guns, but the original form was auspicious, placed only around a royal name or depicted with Horus {the falcon god} or Nekhbet {the vulture goddess}.

It wasn’t only the hieroglyph {which was always the pharaohs name}that held powder, but also the elliptical shape itself – an elongated form of the “shen ring” meaning “encircled”. The round and the lengthened oval version of the original shape, protected the bearer and represented eternal power.

Order Custom Egyptian Cartouche Jewelry

You can have what was once reserved for immortal winged gods and all powerful pharaohs – a silver or 18k gold cartouche pendant, handcrafted in Egypt – with your name in hieroglyphs or letters.

How Much Does Egyptian Gold Jewelry Cost?

There are of unique cartouche-style Egyptian silver jewelry items available for as little as $40. Gold versions range from $250 to $800 depending on whether the item is double, triple or four-sided.

It’s possible to order custom Egyptian cartouche jewelry in silver with raised 18k gold hieroglyphic symbols for less than the gold versions. For example one piece sold through Nilestone is priced under $120.

Browse Ancient Egyptian Jewelry Pictures and Shop for Replicas

To view hundreds of ancient Egyptian jewelry pictures, learn lots of ancient Egyptian jewelry facts and buy handcrafted replicas in silver and gold, visit Nilestone at: http://www.nilestone.com/

Egyptian Inspired Jewelry by Nile Cartouche

Affordable silver Egyptian costume jewelry and gold pieces are also available from Nile Cartouche – handcrafted in Egypt by artisans who pride themselves in attention to detail.

1. Egyptian Scarab Jewelry in Silver

  • pieces of finely crafted Egyptian scarab jewelry, such as delicate pendants, are available for as little as $47.

View complete collection at Nile Cartouche.

2. Egyptian Ankh Jewelry in Silver and Gold

  • choose from a wide selection of Egyptian ankh jewelry items encrusted with turquoise stone for around $47.

To view one of the largest selections of replicated versions of antique Egyptian jewelry that include custom handcrafted gold and silver cartouche, bracelets, rings and specialty items, direct from Egypt, watch the following brief video courtesy of Nile Cartouche.

Ancient Egyptian Jewellery | Ancient Egyptian Jewelry:

One of the most popular Egyptian style jewelry pieces is the Cartouche, and Nile Cartouche specializes in creating unique pieces that are customized with names in hieroglyphs or letters.

See what styles are available, from open filigree-bordered designs to gold twin pendants, by watching this presentation courtesy of Nile Cartouche.

Egyptian Jewelry – Cartouche:

Egyptian Gold Jewelry Versus Silver – Rings and Bracelets

View a variety of designs in the Nile Cartouche Egyptian silver jewelry collections and the high-end gold Egyptian jewelry designs that range in price from $179 for simple gold items to about $611 for thick knotted styles. Also take a look at the affordable Egyptian ankh jewelry in silver, such as simple rings that are priced as low as $41. There are gold bangle bracelets and silver version for under $175.

The following video offers a quick glimpse into the tantalizing world of silver and gold Egyptian jewelry by Nile Cartouche.

Gold Cartouche Rings | Silver Egyptian Rings:

Read about Egyptian jewelry facts and buy silver and gold Egyptian jewelry at: http://www.nilecartouche.com

A Complete Vintage Jewellery Guide By Era

From opulent Georgian vintage jewellery to geometric Art Deco – this guide encompasses jewellery from the mid 1700’s to the early 1960’s; complete description of jewelry terms, styles and examples, including where to buy specific items from each era.

Georgian Vintage Jewellery

Era – 1714 – 1830 (may include pieces crafted as late as 1837)
Jewellery Style – Opulent / Handmade

The jewellery of this era may be termed vintage but is also correctly labeled antique, since it officially only requires 100 years to convert an item into an antiquity. The time frame that this jewelry style covers is quite vast and therefore not characterized by a single defining feature, considering that it covers more than a hundred years of history, however one thing that the pieces tend to have in common is that they are all made by hand.

Just to clarify the period, it is the time from the start of the British Kings of the House of Hanover, namely the Georges – George I through IV –which is how this time span gets its name. It may extend into the reign of King William IV, which would bring us up to the year 1837.

This total period in history is especially noteworthy in the jewellery world because it was a time of regal plenty, of indulgence and particular extravagance, to the point of opulence, especially amongst the elite royal households of Europe.

It is exactly such profligate and brazen excesses in fashion, jewellery and art that caused the extreme uneven distribution of wealth to become a cause for revolt amongst the peoples. Therefore, while being a time of great opulence, it is also marked by some of the most notorious upheavals in history such as the French Revolution and Napoleon’s wars.

Jewellery trends are influences by both political events and by the architectural and religious influences of the period. For example, the designs begin with an exaggerated ornate and flowery Rococo (or baroque) style and graduate into Gothic and then into what was termed Neoclassical – derived from the Grecian motifs that were popular as exemplified by headbands. Some of the bands worn on women’s heads were gemstone or pearl encrusted, and the armbands, which became very popular, imitated how the ancient Greek women were known to wear jewellery high up on their bare forearms.

Naturally, the Neoclassic trend included hairdos that were swept up and therefore, with necklines open, long dangle earrings came into vogue as did necklaces that filled the décolletage of the exposed throat and upper breast region above women’s gowns. That is why nowadays there are many fine examples of these vintage necklaces, and also those that are choker styles with ornate craved cameos and short, multi-strand necklaces with rows of gemstones, especially diamonds.

Many gorgeous antique necklaces and vintage brooches remain to this day as witnesses of the extravagant luxuries of that era.

What’s interesting about the jewelry of that period is that since clear stones, mostly diamonds, were so popular, another form of sparkle came into use, namely ones that were not so costly like marcasite and crystal and almost anything with a bit of sparkle, including highly polished metals.

One of the oddest things that occurred, which affected jewelry, was the political situation in Europe, and in specific Germany. To fund wars, those who offered their genuine gemstone and diamond jewels to battle causes were rewarded with blackened iron replicas, which are now seen in vintage pieces, most notably lacey iron necklaces. Another thing that modern retro and vintage fashion fans may not realize is that the choker ribbon jewelry, particularly in black and red, were worn during the time of France´s Madame guillotine, and the tightness of the ribbon tied around the throat was a symbol of decapitation of those who became victims of that fanatical judicial system.

Genuine Georgian vintage jewellery does exist but it’s not very common and naturally is expensive. A factor to consider when choosing collectable pieces, is that although in some cases the pieces may be valuable and gem laden, each piece was crafted by hand and under varying economic and political conditions, so the quality varies almost as much as the design.

There’s a bit of crossover from Georgian to early Victorian if the latter years(up to 1837) are included. While the motifs of the latter part of the Georgian jewelry period were often inspired from nature as were the initial Victorian jewelry pieces, the Victorian era saw a lot more colored gemstones.

The Victorian era is divided into three parts: Early, Mid and Late, and in terms of fashion, jewelry and art, are more correctly termed Romantic, Grand and Aesthetic. The total time covered is over a hundred years, from 1837 to about 1900, however, in the latter years of the Victorian era there emerged some very different styles that led into what is termed the Arts and Crafts jewelry period and continued until the age of early Art Deco.

Not all scholars agree on the exact dates that divide these eras in terms of architecture, fashion, jewelry and art, however, loosely speaking the dates below are acceptable for determining to which time period particular pieces of vintage jewellery pertain.

Where to buy Georgian Vintage Jewellery

Antique and vintage fine jewellery from the Georgian period is available online at a wonderful shop called Georgian Jewelry. They offer free international shipping. Their select pieces are genuine and come with a complete description. This is collector quality jewelry. Please remember that antique vintage jewellery that’s genuine is not cheap. Prices range from about $800 to several thousand.

Just in case you’re wondering where to get a pair of genuine Georgian pinchbeck earrings, you’ll find them at Georgian Jewelry for about $2,500.

Amongst other creations of this opulent era, you’ll find a faceted oval amethyst necklace and earring set that has incredible detailed rose flowers in solid yellow gold and dazzling, deep purple amethyst gems for both the pendant, on the double strand necklace, and as the central gem for the matching earrings. The set is unique, handmade, dated between 1820 and 1830, thought to have been crafted in France. It costs almost $7,500 –ideal for serious vintage jewellery collectors.

Early Victorian Vintage Jewellery

Era – 1837 – 1855
Jewellery Style – Romantic

Historically speaking, the Victorian era encompasses the entire reign of Queen Victoria, which began in 1837 and ended with her death in 1901. In the early years, the queen’s love for jewelry aided to revive the fashion and jewelry trends of Europe (albeit not as opulently as it had been in the early Georgian years), since styles had become more toned-down after wars and especially after the French Revolution when opulence and extravagance was a crime punishable by death. However, in Britain, with the empire spreading throughout the world and peace and prosperity being a major influence upon the nobles, courts and people, there was a resurgence of delicate, feminine and elegant jewelry – and that is why the early Victorian era is labeled Romantic.

Another factor that contributed to what Victorian Jewelry would end up being known for was that the British empire was in India, Malaysia and the Orient, and exotic materials, gemstones, metals, and even woods, ethnic motifs and carvings, now became popular and influenced fashion and jewelry to a great extent.

Also the ability to “manufacture” jewelry and use wire and semi-precious stones and beads and even glass, made jewelry available to more people from the non-noble classes. What is meant by manufacturing jewelry was a far cry from an industry, but it became possible for a craftsman to create a series of items that were virtually identical, using stamping and other techniques that were appearing on the scene.

Since happiness in the royal court was a dominate factor, jewelry was made in happy motifs, using small seed pearls and soft delicate corals, and lovely mementos like lockets with hair and pictures were part of nearly every young ladies possessions.

There was also a Scottish element to the jewellery crafted in the Victorian era, in part due to the castle that Albert and Victoria bought in Scotland and in part because the queen loved all things Scottish, which is evident in the brooches, bracelets and certain motifs of the era. .

The gold content of the vintage pieces you might find for sale today will vary greatly. Here’s why. Gold and silver wire began to be used instead of forged metal or hand pounded heavier settings. More delicate wire allowed for the jewelers to make sheets of precious metals, that began as 18k and 22k, but eventually were standardized into much lower gold content. By 1854 there was 15k, 12k and even 9k gold wire and therefore not very pure gold jewelry. Gold plating over silver was also used, but it was called rolled gold, and then there was Vermeil which is also gold over silver using a specific quantity of gold.

By the way, aside from the classic animal, insect and floral motifs that were employed in this period, there was a resurgence of mythical creatures and Germanic and Scandinavian symbols. Sentimentality was at an all time high….romance was paramount, symbolism loved and poetry abundant. It was not just a time full of hope and playful mystery but a time when everything could hold a secret meaning to a loved one…for example bluebells were about loyalty and constancy, and a butterfly (which was a very common motif of the day) was a representation of the Soul. Daisies were about innocence, which was rather abundant within the realms of maidens, and yet the funniest symbol of all was that of a lizard, which symbolized love that was passionate. Needless to say, superstition was alive and well in the Romantic early Victorian jewelry era.

Have you ever wondered why colored gems were so much more popular in the early Victorian era than they were previously when clear and white diamonds were in vogue? Well, the answer is about using colored gems to spell messages, usually about love, and therefore amethysts, rubies, emeralds and pearls (as well as diamonds) were required to set meaningful message-laden jewelry. Just as an example: pearls symbolized the word tears. Very appropriate.

Due to the availability and cost of other gems, the most common gems that you’ll find in the early vintage Victorian jewellery that’s for sale today will be opal, pearl, amethyst and turquoise. Pearl, especially teeny seed pearls, and baroque pearls that are odd shapes, were the most common.

Just a small note: if you see some Georgian or Victorian jewellery that looks like gold but isn’t, that’s because it’s probably a kind of metal that was termed “pinchbeck” and is in fact a blend of zink and copper, but has a similar color as gold. Don’t worry about it being non-precious worthless metal because if you happen to come across a piece that’s genuine pinchbeck, it’s probably more valuable than genuine gold!

Mid Victorian Vintage Jewellery

Era – 1856 – 1880
Jewellery Style – Grand / Solemn

The delicate and romantic jewellery of the early period gave way to a more somber and heavy look. This may have been, in part, due to Queen Victoria’s personal life that took a turn for the worse, marking less happy times after the death of her beloved husband, and therefore introducing what is known as “mourning jewellery”.

The poetic romance of light and bright colored gemstones were replaced to some extent with darker ones, deep red garnets, somber jet, black onyx, and darker amethysts. Interestingly, as with all things tragic and mournful, creativity took an upward turn. Much richer tones, more profoundly elegant designs, elaborate mosaics and blends of gemstones were used by jewelers to create less fun and frivolous pieces in favor of more Grand and majestic items – therefore the term GRAND is used when referring to this mid Victorian period in terms of fashion, jewelry and art.

There existed a marked distinction between day and eveningwear, for example: it was acceptable to wear shell, jasper, agate and mosaic pieces during the day, and diamonds and more elaborate gemstone sparkle for evening.

Elaborate Etruscan motifs and hand carved frames became popular due to certain ancient discoveries in Tuscany. It’s interesting how archeology, conquests, travel and science, as well as political events and personal events in the lives of European monarchs, served to shape fashion and jewelry trends. Due to the archeological discoveries mentioned above, two very unique and famous styles emerged, one known as Cannatille, the other Repousse. Naturally vintage jewelry collectors will recognize Cannatille for been crafted intricately and elaborately stylized with gold wire. Repousse is not so delicate – more massive, solid.

The cameo continued to gain popularity during the age of mourning, and instead of being small items, became carved masterpieces. Mourning jewelry was dark, as might be expected, etched or carved silhouettes and elaborate cameos were crafted in black seashell, lava rock, dark onyx and even horn and bone. Lockets didn’t wane in fashionability, since keepsakes and remembrance items were a large part of what made jewelry that mourned deceased loved ones popular.

Lockets were known to have places for locks of hair or other small mementos. It’s hard to explain how the mournful state of the Queen affected the fashion and jewelry of that era without mentioning that Queen Victoria herself remained in mourning, and only wore mourning attire and dark somber “mourning jewellery” from the time of her husband’s, Prince Albert, death in 1861 until her own death in 1901! That impacted the Victorian jewelry design to such an extent that high society crafted elaborate rules to regulate what colors were appropriate to wear when and how soon a person could add a little color to the wardrobe after the demise of a loved one.

Although the Victorian era is romanticized and thought to be a colorful epoch, the fact is that prudery, sadness, mournfulness and a lot of black became dominate during the mid period. The prudery and darkness that was beginning to overtake European courts and even spreading to overseas colonies who were susceptible to prudish ways, was thankfully reversed to some extent by Alexandra of Denmark who at sixteen years of age married Edward the Prince of Wales, who was heir to the throne and would be Queen Victoria’s successor. Alexandra’s gracious style and delicate nature, as well as her well-known jovial and endearing mannerisms, influenced fashion and infused delicate femininity and aesthetic beauty to jewelry, with softer, lighter gemstone jewelry gradually taking over the heavier mournful pieces.

Late Victorian Vintage Jewellery

Era – 1885 – 1900
Jewellery Style – Aesthetic

As stated in the section above, the influence of Alexandra of Denmark (who became Queen-Empress consort during the reign of King-Emperor Edward VII, and later was known as Queen Alexandra) so altered the jewelry and fashion trends that the entire period is known as one where jewelers returned to sparkle and gemstones that were splendid and light – translucent diamonds, pink and red spinels, light blue sapphires, soft green peridot and others. It’s disputed when this era began and ended, however the style of the latter part of the Victorian period is indeed characterized as a feminine one, with pearls and fun motifs returning to lighten the hearts of wearers. Aside from the femininity of Alexandra, the other major influence was Japan.

Trade began between Europe and Japan, most notable as it concerns jewelry, with the pearl trade, and the beginning of the development of the cultured pearl farms in Japan, lowering the price of these organic gems and making them more accessible to average people. Aside from pearls, the Japanese delicate motifs found on silk fabrics were incorporated into fashionable trends and also affected the patterns that were used in jewelry – fan-like brooches and motifs, delicate insects, floral patterns and soft minimalist colors began to be incorporated into the European designer creations.

Also archeological discoveries in Egypt and other regions brought things such as scarab beetle jewelry into popularity. Also, a technique known as pietra dura, which was characterized by inlaying stones and mosaics to create scenes, became fashionable. Micromosaics were used to depict full scenes, landscapes, architectural forms and detailed insects in jewellery.

Then came Darwin. Yes, even he influenced jewelry and fashion, making insects and rare botanical forms popular. Butterfly pins, which characterized the early period as a symbol of the soul, became popular once again for different reasons, more scientific and less romantic ones. Also beetles and tropical animals were incorporated into jewelry designs, studded with sparkling gems and pearls.

In the United States, silver became abundant, and made forging jewelry more affordable. Glass was also more popular due to Czech glass creations and distribution throughout Europe. Trade between Asia, Europe and the Americas was on the rise and the world was on the brink of change with the turn of the century offering innovations. The industrial revolution in Britain caused some unusual effects in terms of jewelry that would follow, with a short span termed the Arts and Crafts movement.

Arts and Crafts Vintage Jewellery

Era – 1894 –1923
Jewellery Style – Handcrafted / Artisan

This is a time that overlaps the Victorian era and the Edwardian epoch, and appears to be a style that took hold as a reaction to industrialization. Handcrafted jewelry resurfaced with intricate details and gorgeous patterns in gemstones that were not cut or facetted, therefore being more natural and craft-like.

The focus of this time was on naturalness, truth, influenced immeasurably by people such as John Ruskin, who was an art critic as well as a commentator on moral and social issues, famed for popularizing the idea that art must communicate a unique and personal communion with nature.

Conventional forms were therefore rejected in favor personal studies of colour and form through individual observation. His famous saying remains noteworthy: “go to nature in all singleness of heart, rejecting nothing and selecting nothing.” This philosophy affected fashion and jewelry trends, especially in Britain, making craftsmanship and quality be valued over things either newly manufactured or originating from traditional concepts. Returning to simple, almost medieval designs, and allowing for artists and artisans to show the truth by showing how items were put together instead of concealing certain aspects for aesthetic appeal, the Arts and Crafts movement of the late Victorian and early Edwardian era revived ancient craft techniques.

It has been said that this movement was a rebellion against, or at least a reaction to, The Great Exhibition that took place in 1851, (in Hyde Park, London) and is considered the first World’s Fair. However, although it was designed by the nobles as a means to promote the arts, many artists and thinkers of the day found it artificial, contrived, offering only overly ornate items that were overindulgent, not individual or personal, lacking in distinctive natural qualities. Following on the heals of the Arts and Crafts movement, came yet another jewelry design that overlapped the Edwardian timeframe. It was the emergence of Art Nouveau.

Where to Find Genuine Arts and Crafts Vintage Jewellery

One of the best sources is Tadema Gallery. The items featured in this article in reference to the Arts and Crafts Vintage era are from their collections.

Art Nouveau Vintage Jewellery

Era – 1895 – 1915
Jewellery Style – Nature, Animals, Floral, Complex Designs, Elaborate Gemstone

This was a movement or style that was global, not just European. It didn’t begin with noble courts.

It was a movement that was about artistic expression, with everything from Czech glass creations to French Lalique. This is the time of artists of note like Gustav Klimt, Gaudí and when jewelry by Tiffany began. Belgium, Hungry, Spain and Eastern European designers, jewelers and artists contributed such widely different interpretations of what Art Nouveau meant to them, that it’s impossible to pinpoint one specific style that permeated everything. And that was the point! A liberal artistic style based on artists’ imaginations and not on jewelers and how they set gems.

One element that made some Art Nouveau pieces have something in common was that faceted and fine gemstone cuts were not considered as important as the design or the artistic element of a piece. The jeweler was second to the designer / artist that came up with conceptual settings for the jewelry. It was the start of a new relationship development between craftsman, goldsmith, silversmith, gem cutter and designer or artists, emerged on the scene. Setting quality gemstones was a secondary or complimentary aspect of having an artistic rendition of an idea….the gem was no longer the focus. The idea or concept was. This brought the world the magnificence of the Lalique flowers and dragonflies, and also brought unusual variations of enamel, modular glass formations, carved horn and ivory, as well as moonstones and other semiprecious gems.

Some say this epoch of artistic jewelry ended in 1905, however, no matter when it began or ended, it overlapped the Edwardian era to some extent.

Where To Get These Authentic Vintage Style Jewellery Creations

Tadema Gallery is a good source. Also Georgian Jewelry, which by the way, has a lot more than just Georgian period vintage, but represents some of the best vintage jewellery designers of any online shop for all the periods from Georgian through Victorian and beyond.

Edwardian Vintage Jewellery

Era – 1901 – 1915
Jewellery Style – Elaborate Gemstone

There were conflicting styles during the early 1900’s, with monarchs still in power and exhibiting the opulence of the most expensive stones available, yet with other factors influencing the none-royal fashions of the time. It was a time of elaborate design, which is in fact what the movements such as the arts and crafts and art nouveau was all about, a rebellion or protest against the overly ornate Edwardian styles while new and innovative international art and architectural influences, as well as philosophical and social changes, were engulfing the globe.

So, with several contradicting styles, the elements that denote what is called Edwardian Vintage Jewelry must be based on what the Edwardian court popularized, since the other styles will be referred to by their own names.

King Edward VII, who ruled from 1901 to 1910, was considered a fashion enthusiast who lead the elite into fashionable attire that was influenced by his extensive travels, by his taste for all that was opulent and flamboyant. The jewelry of the Edwardian nobles only served to accentuate the abyss that was widening between the upper elite and the average people who were beginning to assert themselves.

From the perspective of gemstone jewelry collections popularized by nobles, the Edwardian era jewelry was similar to the best Georgian or early Victorian. King Edward attempted to maintain regality, luxury, even extravagance, while common people were enthralled with electricity, the automobile, more comfortable leisure attire and personalized and artistic jewelry styles.

Art Deco Vintage Jewellery

Era – 1915 – 1935
Jewellery Style – Geometric, Crisp Clean Lines, Colorful

It’s about silver and bright enamels, chunky celluloid, Bakelite and even large amber beads and glasswork like the Murano glass chokers.

The style began in Paris, a complex blend of lavish motifs and crisp geometric lines, of vivid color and ethnic influences from Egypt and Africa, but also from Japan.

With new inventions such as polished stainless steel, aluminum, chrome and even lacquer, many jewelry pieces incorporated these non-precious metals and techniques in creations that were geometric yet somewhat ethnic, such as imitations of animal skins, stripes, zigzag shapes, tribal sunburst shapes, yet still being streamline, like the newer automobile shapes of the day. It was about blending the newest technology in plastics, metals and manmade materials with symmetrical repetition of patterns that were often taken from both Asian and Middle Eastern motifs, especially ziggurat forms, until they reached a point where minimalism was more important than the decorative elements.

Oddly enough many of the most famous examples of Art Deco jewelry take their inspiration from the geometric shapes of Aztec and Mayan structures and jewelry artifacts, from Greek and Roman classic simplicity and white accessories – a bizarre mix of cubism, modernism, neoclassicism, constructivism and a sleek approach to what the designers of day thought to be futurism.

Perhaps this blend of cultures and time periods, with color, vivid gemstones, precious and non-precious polished metals, sleek and chic geometric forms, translated and simplified ancient patterns and manmade materials that were innovative and contemporary, that made this era one that is imitated the world over right up to the present. The graphic elements that are not seen in previous jewelry or design concepts is perhaps one of the strongest elements – the repetition and simplification of patterns, and the contrast of color and texture, which characterizes the jewelry accessories and fashion of this time.

Where To Buy Art Deco Vintage Jewellery

Of all the vintage style jewellery eras that we’ve presented, Art Deco Vintage Jewellery is one of the easiest styles to buy today. Both original items and replicas are widely sold. In this post we’ve only shown genuine pieces from Georgian Jewelry, who have a good selection of Art Deco. However if you want some more affordable items, try Antique Jewelry Mall, Topazery or even Adin Antique Jewelry from Belgium and across Europe. Some good silver vintage jewellery in an Art Deco style, also genuine, is available through Fay Cullen. View Wiener Werkstatte Art Deco designs as well as the neoclassical pieces from the Art Nouveau period. In fact you can get a little of every style, retro and vintage at all the above mentioned online shops, but thanks to Georgian Jewelry, we have examples to show you with this post.

Retro Vintage Jewellery

Era – 1940 – 1960
Jewellery Style – Bold, Gemstone Glam, Glitzy Hollywood ; Faux, Synthetic, Chunky

What is now termed Retro is from the 1940’s (primarily), but may also be extended to include the post-war era from 1945 through to the 1960’s. It reflects the effects that the two world wars had taken on the world, on design, on art and inspiration.

With a desire to return to happy times and simpler days of frivolity, femininity and colorful design, strikingly bold, yet fun, jewelry took center stage. But the catch was that metals and gems in the early 40’s were still in low supply, and with the war not concluded, gemstone jewelry saw gold with small bits of diamonds and gemstones….although that gave way to post-war flamboyant cocktail rings, charm bracelets, long necklaces, dangling earrings…fun colorful enamel and sparkling rhinestones, fake, faux, manmade or genuine it didn’t matter so long as it sparkled and was alive! It was all about color and frivolity for the masses and not about adorning the elite of the European royal houses. Manmade materials mixed with semi-precious gems and synthetic stones were the norm, and innovation, everyday machines and objects, were now the source of designer inspirations. Femininity was apparent in sparkling rhinestone and floral patterns, but just as precious were the wild enamels and chunky Bakelite and other plastic or resin-based products.

One of the most notable elements that affected jewelry during the Retro period, was the rise of the American influence throughout the world. With Hollywood pictures and glamorous actresses, escaping reality, and the ugly past was easier. Starting a new world with hopes of happiness and peace, seemed within reach while gorgeous stars inspired dreams if glamour and sparkling glitz. The American dream, or at least the Hollywood versions of it, become instantly popular the world over. Feminine glamorous jewelry, which went with bright red lips and slinky sensual dresses, was what every woman wanted, be it real or synthetic, be it diamond or rhinestone, be it emerald or a large chunk of polished green glass.

Perhaps the thing that most defines Retro nowadays is the glamour of large sparkling cocktail rings and gigantic stones on pendants and earrings; even imitations of the flashy diamond-like gems seen on leading ladies who filled the silver screen. replicas of what these American actresses wore, were, and still are, one of the most popular forms of jewelry.

Today, retro glam and vintage elegance are what characterizes both high-end designer and trendy fashions and jewelry. Vintage costume jewellery is sought after, be it real or replicated. Buy vintage jewellery online at Georgian Jewelry and many other fine retro vintage jewellery shops that offer vintage engagement rings, bracelets, necklaces; antique jewelry for collectors or vintage retro fashion jewelry just for fun. Try Ruby Lane, Adin Antique Jewelry, Fay Cullen and even places like Ross Simons where there are Estate Jewelry pieces that are one of a kind.

For more information on specific places to shop for singular items see related topics that deal with Vintage Jewelry in the US, and other shopping ideas for vintage costume jewellery UK clients can order direct from shops close to home. We also offer inspiration and suggestions on buying Antique Rings, Antique Broches from around the world, Ancient Museum quality Brooches that replicate unusual Viking and Nordic designs, and lots of ideas for Celtic Jewelry. If you’re looking for a specific style of vintage engagement rings, then we suggest you also browse the information on Ruby Rings and Bridal Sets.

Brooches and Pins

From Art Deco Vintage Silver and Antique Victorian Gold to Celtic, Scottish, Roman and Ancient Viking Replicas

Handcrafted museum replicated brooches in sterling silver and bronze starting at just $25; genuine ancient Viking thistle and bramble brooches, traditional Celtic and Scottish designs starting at around $200 – and that’s just a teeny little snippet of what we’ve just discovered and can’t wait to show you.

If your Roman legionnaire’s cape, Viking wool/fur cape or woolen Celtic wrap is missing a pin or brooch to keep it from falling from your shoulders during battle, then you’ve stumbled upon the ideal place to find where to get replacements.

Instead of bone or antler, or solid bronze, we suggest a silver and bronze or brass blend, and instead of the straight pin, we recommend the rounded thistle and bramble Viking designs, the Norwegian Hatteberg styles, or some fine Tortoise brooches, which can be used whether you’re Irish or Russian or even a Roman soldier with an adventurous sense of international style (perhaps a penchant toward conquest with a tendency toward world domination).

If you’re Swedish and have recently battled some Vikings or vice versa, you may appreciate getting back your Trefoil brooches for your shawls and cloaks, although we understand they may have been taken from where your sword fits onto your belt and changed just a little along the way. In any case, if you’re almost anyone engaged in any kind of warfare, or actively participating in local tribal disputes or have an inclination to join drunken brawls while wearing a cloak, shawl, cape or anything that might fall should it not be securely pinned, then we highly recommend a quick stop at Urweg Jewelry, where you can discuss your particular need for ethnic or regional brooches and pins with the talented designers, Askjel Madalhar and Birte Nellessen, who will assist in every way possible.

Choose Celtic brooch styles like the Bow, or Regal Roscrea designs, or traditional Fibulae for elaborate uniforms. There are also simple Ring Pins for your undergarments. It’s all there at Urweg.

Even if you’re looking for some Anglo-Saxon Fibula with beast engravings, raven motifs or generally terrifying mask patterns, a brooch in solid sterling silver, for about $435, should do the trick. (we haven’t spoken to Askjel or Birte, but we believe all silver and gold coins, of any epoch, will be gladly accepted as legal tender).

Urweg Jewelry is a little low on genuine Roman brooch designs, but they do have a good selection of Equal-Armed brooches and lots of Norwegian, Danish and Swedish designs to give your Roman uniform a little something extra (as a fashion statement while you plunder and pillage), and some of the Germanic brooches may be inspirational statements of power and strength with almost any military or soldering ensemble, especially the ring brooch with a little amber gemstone accent set in solid silver for about $115.

Most soldiers (and civilians) will find the Rus Kaftan clasp very useful for everyday or formal events since it can be used on either fabric or leather. Replicated from the design found on cloaks in Kruskaya Russia, they are now available (to Russians and none Russians) for $85/set, yes, at Urweg.

More Recent Vintage Brooch Styles

Genuine vintage brooches can be found at places like MAJ (Mad About Jewellery) in the UK, with some fantastic finds in authentic Czech Republic glass that come with a story of being secreted in a vault for about 50 years, then found, and are now available for sale, like new, and really affordable – between £10 and £30 for each piece. A favorite item is the Sven Salamander, crafted in sparkling diamante. The other fabulous piece is the Phoenix Fantasy, which is a multi-colored bird in flight, and is one of the largest rhinestone brooches in the MAJ collection and therefore is a little more expensive, about £45.

The creation called Sting is just one of the many fantastic animal and bug brooches, being the most elegant and dramatic with white diamond-like stones, while a vintage Mini Mouse design is perhaps the cutest one, albeit rather cheesy. Both are made from Czech crystal glass and costs about £25.

The vintage oddities are countless at MAJ, but perhaps one of the strangest is the still-life window flower pot that costs just £16. It could be wonderful accent, as a belt buckle, hat adornment or for attaching to a scarf or winter coat. It’s always fashionable to wear a window flower pot any time of year.

Victorian Brooch Classics

What tends to characterize an antique brooch as a Victorian one, aside from the time frame of its creation being precisely the period that Queen Victoria reigned over the British Empire, from 1837 to 1901, is the fact that each piece shares a few common attributes such as rich golden tones, usually genuine 18K gold (readily available during that prosperous period), pearls – usually seed pearls (which by the way were not cultured by natural), often embellished with garnets or rubies, frequently cameo styles with miniature paintings, and almost always some kind of accenting with pearls or gemstones. Bar brooches were also in vogue.

The later style, namely the bar brooch, is one of the most affordable designs that can be chosen by a collector on a budget, since usually the items are relatively small and only lightly embellished, often with a single gem or pearl. Such is the case with one available at Antique Jewelry Mall, where the delicately crafted piece, circa 1890, is retailing for about $125 and is solid 10k gold with a small natural seed pearl as a feature.

In the age of retro/vintage and antique craze, it has become popular to mimic the Victorian rich style, and therefore red garnet and ruby creations are abundant. The designs are often based on animal, insect or other creatures as a basis while the style remains Victorian. These creations are often made more affordably, although may still be 18k gold and genuine garnet gems, like the butterfly broach collection that forms part of the Antique Jewelry Mall Victorian series, but is in fact new and costs only $195. It’s a Bohemian Garnet Butterfly, and is not a genuine antique, but fashioned after jewelry ideas of that time period.

A piece of jewelry that exhibits exceptional craftsmanship, marvelous detail, and is a genuine antique brooch, actually a cameo style, circa 1890, is a piece that includes an antique portrait set in a 14k gold filigree frame with seed pearls around the edge. This unusual cameo brooch costs over $500, but what an heirloom to collect or give to continue the legacy.

The Fascinating Art Deco Brooch

Just in case you’re wondering what actually constitutes the period of art deco, well it’s less precise than that of a reign of a queen or king because it refers to all things architectural and from the design and art world that began around 1910 and continued through to the 1940’s however, was less popular in the late 30’s and 40’s as it was in retrospect in the 60’s. The heyday of art deco would have to be considered a short span of time from 1910 to early 1930’s. The influences were geometric lines, architectural shapes that were modern, graphic arts that emerged with crisper lines, and colorful, often gaudy, motifs. When it comes to jewelry, especially retro and vintage style art deco brooches, there isn’t a hard and fast rule of what the style will be like. In some cases it is delicate filigree silver with gemstones, and in other cases simple lines and almost minimalist style pins. In other cases the jewelry is colorful and replete with rhinestones and shapes and combinations that are as wild and diverse as the creators themselves.

As an example, the 1920’s brooch available through Antique Jewelry Mall is a filigree white gold creation with delicate sapphire and diamond accents. This rare and genuine piece of art deco jewelry costs over $600, and is not very large, but simply elegant.

As a contrast, a piece also considered art deco, but tending more toward what is known as “retro modern”, is a design from the 40’s. It’s a large, circular 14k gold brooch with stems emanating from a small rosette adorned with diamonds. The entire piece is encircled by cultured pearls. This is defiantly a collectible item, and costs over $1,600.

For more information on unique ladies broches, antique cameos, Spanish broches de fieltro and French broches fantaisie, please continue reading related topics.

Where to Buy a Quality Antique or Vintage Pearl Necklace

Buying an antique pearl necklace is an investment and an act of love that requires time and patience to find exactly what you’re looking for. If going to antique jewelry dealers, flee markets and auctions, hoping to get a bargain, seems a bit too much effort, then try Adin Antique Jewelry where we have often found what we’re after and can recommend as a good source for jewelry of all types, from Victorian to Art Deco and even unusual Asian pieces.

You can find lots of seed pearl jewelry and even natural pearl creations from the 1800’s and newer items that are created in antique styles. Most of their jewelry is European in origin, but they do have a selection of American pieces as well.

Here are the top pearl necklaces we recommend from Adin. Please remember that with antique and vintage jewelry, each item is unique and one of a kind, and by the time you read this, the pieces we suggest may have sold. This sample of pearl necklace recommendations is just to give you an idea of what is available. You’ll have to go to their website directly to view their latest acquisitions and estate jewelry collections.

  1. An Art Deco 3 string pearl necklace that has delicate diamond closure and was crafted in Belgium circa 1920. The control marks on this piece are not legible so the origin and dates are based on expert analysis but not guaranteed. The piece has 32 old mine diamonds and 3 strands of lustrous pearls. They have been strung in the ‘en chute’ manner which is obvious since the smallest pearls are nearest the back closure and the largest ones are in the front. It has a beautiful closure that rests at the 3 O’clock position and will rest on the upper chest when worn. The setting is 18k white gold and the length of the shortest string is 41cm or just over 16 inches. It costs $3,250.
  2. A gorgeous piece crafted circa 1850, of Belgian origin – called the Leaves and Rose Cut Pearl Necklace has an 18k yellow gold brooch in front with pearl tassel and a rose cut diamond. This piece is unusual because the pearl necklace portion has been added to the brooch. It’s about 16 inches long costs $3,275. (Pictured at the outset of this article).
  3. The third piece we recommend is similar to number 2 above since it’s also a floral necklace with pearls, and is also crafted in the same manner, with a newer pearl necklace having been added to the 18k gold flower brooch. This piece is just over 17 inches in length and sells for $2,350.
  4. This is a delicate bow chain design with rose branch motifs and a rose cut diamond. It is believed to be French or Belgian and is a cross between a late-Victorian style and early Art Nouveau, circa 1870. The piece is 18K yellow gold and has 1 diamond and 4 seed pearls as well as a final pear shaped drop pearl and is over 19 inches long. It costs $1,750.
  5. This is a classic pearl necklace with an 18k white gold closure that is believed to be Belgian circa 1930 and is crafted lustrous white pearls of various sizes. It’s over 21 inches in length and costs just $225. This is the bargain piece of the week!
  6. The picture makes them look rather pinkish, but in fact they are white pearls. This strand is long enough to be worn draped down the front of a suite or an evening dress or even worn with the pearls hanging down the back, preferable with a backless or strapless evening gown. They are not quite opera length pearls so it would be difficult to double them to make a choker, but they could be worn with an antique brooch, or restrung to be the pearls of a choker necklace with a brooch added as a central focal point. For just over $200, use your imagination!

  7. Another good buy is the knotted purple pearl chain necklace that is accented in 18k yellow gold and silver and has 52 purple cultured pearls that have been stained and a delicate diamond closure. The piece is thought to be Belgian circa 1950. It’s over 17 inches in length and sells for just $425. This is another really good bargain for a set of vintage pearls that are 60 years old.
  8. New Vintage Pearl Necklace

  9. Adin sometimes has new pieces that are made in the vintage or antique style and this is true of the American pearl necklace we recommend that is a glorious rope length of over 44 inches and is in the style of the antique pearl scarf designs that was popular in the Americas. It’s not very old, having been made in 2001, but has a certain elegant flair that makes it versatile to be worn with a brooch or clasp or in a knot. The entire piece including the fringe is made of pearl. It costs $1,250.
  10. In a very different style, there’s an antique silver, gold, diamond and pearl creation that dates back to the Victorian days, circa 1870, that has a pearl flower pendant that’s 18k gold with a silver front and a chain necklace in pink gold. It also has just one pearl and 9 rose cut diamonds. It has clear markings of the Eagle’s head so dating it is easy. It costs just $830.

Where to Buy Vintage Jewelry

Estate and vintage jewelry by Sarah Coventry, Bakelite, Ciner, Schiaparelli, Hollycraft, Miriam Haskell, Coro, Trifari, Monet, Weiss, Lucite, Lisner; Taxco and art deco vintage jewelry; Victorian and Edwardian jewelry – that’s what Jewelry & Accessories brings you this week, showing you where to buy both high-end and cheap vintage jewelry online.

With the revival of antique vintage jewelry, many famous costume jewelry designers of yesterday have once again become popular amongst collectors and jewelry aficionados around the world. And with the demand has come the supply, with a million little vintage jewelry shops cropping up not just along city streets but also online.

One of the most famous vintage jewelry names is Sarah Coventry. If you want to know where to buy it, we’ll show you in a moment, but first…

What’s Sarah Coventry Vintage Jewelry All About

In the 1950’s the phenomenon of women’s home business opportunities first came into being and with it Sarah Coventry and Emmons Jewelers. The massive popular of the Sarah Coventry Jewelry home party plans brought this unique and affordable costume jewelry to millions of women for over 20 years.

However in the 70’s, it’s popularity began to wane, until the jewelry home parties came to a complete end in the mid 1980’s. The Sarah Coventry name was purchased by a Canadian jewelry company, who in 2003, attempted to revived the party plan and once again manufacturing the decorative vintage rhinestone jewelry for which the original name had been famous.

Unfortunately, the new Sarah Coventry jewelry manufacture and party plan scheme didn’t succeed, while the original vintage collections remained highly sought after and continues to be sold both by private collectors and dealers who specialize in antique and vintage costume jewelry.
Where to buy Sarah Coventry Vintage Jewelry Online

There’s a website called Amazing Vintage Jewelry, which unfortunately is a low-tech site with poor quality pictures and disturbing red text, but they do have a massive inventory of genuine Sarah Coventry vintage jewelry in excellent condition at some of the most affordable prices online – starting at about $7 for simple rings and going up to around $28 for rhinestone clusters and jewel encrusted vintage pins, brooches and vintage turquoise jewelry pieces in silver and gold-tone designs. If you can put up with the hideous website, you’ll definitely find some worthwhile bargains.

Shopping at Vintage Jewelry Lane

There’s a nicely designed jewelry website called Vintage Jewelry Lane that has some Sarah Coventry pieces, a little more expensive, but much easier to navigate and find what you want than most of the other sites online. They have pieces for just under $10 to about $90 for some intricate designs.

One item that really stands out is the original Sarah Coventry hostess gift set, circa 1960, named the Blue Lagoon, and includes an aurora borealis glass rhinestone pin or brooch and clip earrings. This set is unique and not readily available and therefore costs almost $90. Sarah Coventry is famous for the glass rhinestones, but they are often small bits amongst clusters, not such a burst of vivid blue-lavender-turquoise sparkling color like this set offers. The earrings could be worn as clip on as they are, or altered to have a post or some pierced earring closure, and the brooch may be left as it is and worn on a blouse, coat or winter hat, or converted into a pendant to hang on a chain or choker for a more individual look. The marvelous thing about antique vintage jewelry is its color, unique design and the versatility it offers for such a low price. Create your own fashion statement with a jewelry accessories that almost no one else will have. It’s a fun way convert the past into your own contemporary style.

The most affordable pieces of vintage rhinestone jewelry in the Sarah Coventry collection of Vintage Jewelry Lane are a pair of vintage hoop earrings with amber, pink and blue rhinestones set in gold-tone for just under $11. Remember that each piece we suggest are “one of” and may be sold at any moment, but there are several similar pieces, so you’ll just have to search if this particular item has been sold. Again they are clip on earrings which could be modified to suite pierced ears

There’s also a beautiful vintage bracelet by Sarah Coventry called Golden Autumn, circa late 1960s, made from amber glass bezel-set into a delicate chain. It’s in excellent condition and costs $14.50 This is a “one of” piece and is a signed original. This piece would make a compliment to the hoop earrings since they both have amber glass rhinestones.

Vintage pearl Rings

There’s a pearl ring called the Lover’s Knot, also at Vintage Jewelry Lane that features a large imitation pearl in a gold-tone setting and costs about $12. When it comes to vintage costume jewelry and pieces that would make vintage bridal jewelry, we do recommend Vintage Jewelry Lane for selection, affordability and ease of using the website. This vintage pearl ring design is an adjustable size, and would make a fun cocktail bauble to go with a pair of pearl earrings. There is a wide selection of pearl earrings at Vintage Jewelry Lane, not just in the Sarah Coventry line, but in a variety of others. Often different designers can be mixed to create unique matching sets.

Vintage Jewelry Boxes

If you’re planning on giving a piece of vintage jewelry as a gift, and the original packaging is unavailable, then consider buying vintage jewelry boxes. There are many designs from the Victorian era to art deco creations with rhinestones and engravings or etchings that are one of a kind.

One piece that is affordable and would make a beautiful gift all by itself, or as a jewelry box in which to give a vintage gift, is the box for sale at Vintage Jewelry Lane for under $20. This box is made in Spain and is called the Vintage Damascene Trinket Box. It could hold a pair of earrings, a brooch, or a pendant could be a treasured keepsake for a lady or young girl.

There are more vintage style jewelry boxes in a similar price range at antique and vintage dealers, and they have a lot more character and feeling than a mass-produced box styles that are brand new, more expensive, and probably not so well made.

Sometimes pillboxes and snuff cases make wonderful unique jewelry boxes, and often satin or velvet pouches are a great way to have individual jewelry storage for the pieces you don’t use everyday.

Plastic Vintage Bakelite Jewelry from Vintage Jewelry Lane

Plastic vintage jewelry is an old trend made new, and of all the plastic jewelry designers, Bakelite is one of the most popular and coveted names, often selling for hundreds of dollars a piece. Although Vintage Jewelry Lane doesn’t have an unlimited selection to choose from, what they do have are some unique authentic bakelite jewelry pieces at very affordable prices, from $20 to just over $100. One piece that is classic plastic vintage jewelry in the Bakelite collection is the tea swirl root beer bakelite bracelet with a simichrome polish. It’s priced at about $96.

Bakelite is well known for its funky, bright colors, like this pair of vintage earrings in yellow marbled bakelite which are in fact large hoop earrings with clip on backs. For being authentic pieces they are really cheap jewelry at just $29. There’s only 1 pair available.

There are some other vintage fine jewelry pieces in the Bakelite collection, like the ultra bright orange bakelite bangle bracelet that’s priced at just under $20. Mix and match a few different plastic bangles and create a modern multicolor stackable set of fun costume jewelry that’s affordable yet historic.

In similar vivid colors, there’s a final Bakelite piece we present. It’s a vintage Bakelite cabochon brooch or fur clip shaped like an artists inspired version of a rose or flower, oblong shaped, crafted entirely from the famous “first plastic” ever made from a synthetic component. This piece is slightly scratched on the backside, but is otherwise in good condition and has a price of about $76 through Vintage Jewelry Lane.

Please remember that there is only piece of each item we suggest, so if it tickles your fancy, you’ll want to order quickly. Vintage and antique jewelry pieces come and go, based on the ability to buy from estate sales and collectors and some pieces may stay in the inventory for a while and others may be gone as soon as they are listed. It’s not like buying costume jewellery at a shop where there are hundreds of the same items. Although these vintage pieces may not be “one of a kind” in the entire world, they are almost always “one of” pieces in any particular shop.

Miriam Haskell Vintage Jewelry

Miriam Haskell vintage jewelry is one of the most unique and imaginative jewelry you will ever find, both in elegant classic designs and wild creations that defy the bounds of practical jewelry. And yet, with the amazing craftsmanship and unique high-quality materials used, it is surprising how affordably her jewelry is priced even now that it is a popular collectable item.

For example one vintage necklace by Miriam Haskell, for sale through Vintage Jewelry Lane, is a combination imitation baroque pearl, rhinestones and blue glass set with Russian gold tone chains. This is a piece created circa 1969 and costs $150.

For more information on Miriam Haskell jewelry, suggested pieces and where to purchase a selection of this intricately crafted vintage designer jewelry, please go to the article Cheap Pearl and Vintage Costume Jewelry

Coro Vintage Jewelry

If you’re looking for Coro Craft, Vendome Jewelry or Coro vintage jewelry, with the signature Pegasus logo, chances are you already know that it began to be made in 1900 and ended in 1979.  Coro is well known for rhinestone brooches, earrings and delicate jewelry suited to the era, and is now back in fashion.
Vintage Jewelry Lane has a few classic examples of Coro jewelry at very reasonable prices, like this pair of vintage earrings with pave set baguette rhinestones in a gold tome setting, duly stamped as authentic Coro, for just under $20.

For just under $50, there’s also a Coro vintage bracelet with pink aurora borealis rhinestones and enamel accents, mounted in a gold tone setting. This piece is delicate and feminine as most Coro pieces, and a very affordable sparkling fashion jewelry bracelet to match with other pieces of aurora borealis rhinestone earrings or pendants that were popular at that time. There is only one bracelet available through Vintage Jewelry Lane.

Trifari Vintage Jewelry

Trifari vintage jewelry is upscale elegance, by Italian jewelry designer Gustavo Trifari who emigrated to the US and began creating gorgeous pieces in 1910 under the original brand Trifari & Trifari. Over the years Trifarir saw many designer creations such as pieces crafted by the famous Alfred Phillipe. Some of the best jewelry came from that era, circa 1930 and bears the distinctive emblems such as the crown & T, or the letters TKF, or has been engraved with the with word Trifari. Now, once again hugely popular, the vintage Trifari jewelry line includes high-end vintage brooches, earrings, bracelets and even the art decoesque Lucite necklaces. One clear beaded Lucite Trifari necklace with gold tone accenting is available through Vintage Jewelry Lane. It’s a long beaded necklace, about 30 inches in length, and costs about $37.

Vintage Lucite jewelry is a world all its own and it would require another article to delve into that fascinating world, however very briefly, Lucite is a transparent thermoplastic that was developed in the late 1920’s and began to be used commercially in the early 1930’s as an alternative to glass. That is why it is often featured in vintage jewelry mimicking glass beads that previously were popular.

But, returning to the ingenious creations of Alfred Philippe from Trifari jewelry, there’s a vintage rhinestone brooch / pendant / pin that is being sold through Vintage Jewelry Lane, which is not only authenticated, but also comes with the hand drawn design and the patent pending document which is signed by Alfred Philippe himself, dated 1953. This piece of vintage jewelry is a gold tone pin in a swirling design encrusted with baguette cut rhinestones, unbelievably priced at $55!

Vintage Monet Jewelry

Monet jewelry started out as Monocraft in the 20s and evolved into Monet jewelry in the late 30’s. They have famous and coveted vintage pieces of jewelry earrings, bracelets and naturally brooches that were popular in the 20s, 30’s and 40’s. The style is typical of that period, with large swirling metal brooches encrusted with white and colored rhinestones and white pearls, and elaborate art deco glass necklaces. A good place to buy this exclusive vintage jewelry online is once again Vintage Jewelry Lane, who carry a little of all the main classic vintage designers, as well as some vintage inspired jewelry, costume jewelry and a variety of collectible jewelry items for all budgets.

Despite the high quality of Monet craftsmanship it is some of the best cheap vintage jewelry you can buy online, with prices starting at about $13 and going up to just $30 for such masterful pieces like the faux pearl and rhinestone necklace that is a genuine stunner!

Take a look at the kind of jewelry you can have for $30….this Monet necklace with an abundance of transparent rhinestones and a large dangling teardrop imitation pearl in the centre. The funny thing is that this piece apparently was worn so little it comes with the original price tag still attached and cost $48. Beat inflation and pay just $29.99 and wear a little history about your neck.

Match this piece with vintage jewelry rings in pearl or rhinestone designs and have a complete sparkling cocktail set. Perhaps you could also pair it with these vintage earrings that have never been worn and are still on the original earring card, for just $14.

Imagine a complete vintage jewelry set with rhinestones and pearl necklace and earrings for about $44!! It’s difficult to buy cheap costume jewelry for that price.

Weiss Vintage Jewelry

Weiss vintage jewelry is collectible and often much more expensive than some of the other designers of the period. The creations are very elaborate and intricate, lots of brooches, colored rhinestone and very well crafted jewelry in general.

One piece that could be perfect for this seasons’ teal and greenish-blue and turquoise tones that are in fashion, is this vintage Weiss brooch with blue prong-set rhinestones. This Weiss vintage jewelry creation would be a great accent on a winter hat, on a scarf, pinned to a coat or even remade into a pendant or attached to a choker or chain. It costs just under $90.

For more information on Weiss Vintage Jewelry that is affordable and unique, please go to the article entitled Cheap Pearl and Vintage Costume Jewelry.

Vintage Lisner Jewelry

Want a pair of really cheap vintage Lisner earrings? Here’s your chance. There’s a set of pink thermoset cabochon earrings with a gold tone edging and clip on backs for $20 at Vintage Jewelry Lane.

Lisner has a variety of styles, but is most famed for its resin jewelry, primarily leaves from the 60’s. Prices vary greatly, from small items for a few dollars, to the famous leaves in blue or green that can sell for as much as $70 or more.

Victorian Jewelry from Adin Antiques

If you’re looking for genuine antique Victorian jewelry, we have entered the world of collectors, estate sales, auctions and very high prices. For those who are just browsing for some cheap pieces that imitate Victorian styles, this section will be more for inspiration. However, if you are a serious collector and want to know where to find some unique and genuine pieces online, there’s a place called Adin Antique Jewelry that has antique and vintage jewelry for sale, very well catalogued and documented, with a vast majority of the pieces coming from Europe, mostly France, Belgium, Spain and the UK. Many of the items are signed vintage jewelry or have the insignias or emblems that date the pieces or have been evaluated based on several factors that place them in the Victorian era. Adin is a fine vintage jewelry store that allows customers to peruse their extensive catalogues and collections and buy online. They have items from estate sales, vintage jewelry lots they have acquired; most notably genuine Victorian vintage jewelry and handmade vintage jewelry from $26,000 to small pieces for just $80 and $95.

Please note: Victorian jewelry sold online is not always “Victorian” in the true sense of historical dates (namely the period of Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 until 1901), but is often said to be Victorian if it is crafted in the “Victorian style”. However, from what we have investigated in the Adin collections, they adhere to the strict historical dates, categorizing their pieces as genuine Victorian if dated 1901 or earlier, and catalogued as Edwardian jewelry from the period between 1901 to 1910 (or the outer limits of that period which can be extended to about 1918). Although it is based on the United Kingdom’s historical queens and kings, during this period jewelry was also crafted in France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and throughout Europe.

One example of a genuine Victorian piece, which is in the lower price range, is a French stick pin with 3 genuine seed pearls set in solid 18k gold, circa 1880, bearing the French eagle’s head hallmark of the period. This piece is in excellent condition and is selling for just $136. This is ideal as a hat pin, blouse or overcoat decoration, or as a piece to begin a Victorian jewelry collection.

They also have antique and vintage engagement rings, Victorian engagement rings with diamonds, rubies and other gemstones in unique designs of the period, and some are very reasonably priced at just a few hundred dollars such as a late Victorian ring that has seed pearls, a natural emerald and genuine diamonds, dated circa 1900, set in solid 18 yellow and white gold , in a ring size 8¼ for just $323.

On the high end of price ranges there are other serious Victorian jewelry pieces like the masterful creation of renowned master jewelry Eugène Fontenay. This necklace dates to 1870, and is a fringe style with gold beads and florettes characteristic of Fontenay’s demi-parure in the archeological Neo Etruscan style that was all the rage in that epoch due to the excavations of Hellenic and Etruscan sites in the 1800’s. This necklace is solid 18K yellow gold with filigree accents and gold wire motifs.

This piece is authenticated by the French eagle’s head and is in very good condition.

Antique and vintage jewelry marks vary by time period, but a notable one is the French control mark that signified it’s solid 18K gold if stamped with an eagle’s head, which was used in France starting in the late 1830’s. In the case of the above mentioned necklace, exactly such an eagle’s head places the piece in the Victorian era. This fine necklace is a collector’s item and is therefore not surprisingly priced at over $37,000.

Art Deco Vintage Jewelry

Art deco jewelry is exactly what its name implies, very decorative jewelry that is frequently intensely colorful and stylized, often to the point of being gaudy, with abstract or geometric shapes and motifs characteristic of this period – circa 1920. Colorful ruby rings mixed with diamonds and set in platinum were not uncommon as engagement rings. The above vintage jewelry ring from that era is one example of the style.This art deco ring features 1.30 carats of genuine diamonds and 44 natural rubies, set in gold and platinum, and so it’s no wonder this vintage engagement ring costs over $8,000. This is another example of collectible jewelry for those who buy with an eye for investment.

Exploring Vintage Styles

For cocktail rings, unique chandelier earrings, bracelets and pendants and even vintage bead jewelry styles, they may be found in some ethnic collections, like vintage Mexican silver jewelry with turquoise, emeralds or jade.

Vintage turquoise jewelry is also found amongst the Native American styles, also in Tibetan and Chinese jewelry that may be not be merely vintage but ancient. Likewise there some Victorian pieces that feature turquoise and ethnic stones that mimic ethnic creations, since in the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s the exploration of ancient civilizations, and the colonization of distant lands, was a fascination to all, including jewelers who mimicked ethnic styles and the wealthy buyers who were eager to have replicas of the discoveries unearthed by famous archeologists.

In future articles on vintage jewelry, we will also recommend more items like Taxco vintage jewelry and offer suggestions on where to buy both high end pieces for your antique and vintage collections, and naturally, where to get bargains just for fun .

For information on fashion jewelry, vintage jewelry wedding and engagement rings, pearl rings, ruby rings, emerald jewelry, and cheap vintage costume jewellery, please see the various articles that deal with these themes. Jewelry & Accessories makes weekly suggestions for where to buy silver and gold rings, bridal jewelry, cubic zirconia rings, silver bracelets, white gold rings and more. Since retro, vintage and antique styles overlap all these categories, many articles give suggestions for where to buy both genuine vintage and cheap replicas of antique styles in various metals as well as genuine diamonds and faux gemstones.

Cheap Pearl and Vintage Costume Jewelry

For some unusual pearl and stone jewelry try the collections of Miriam Haskell Jewelry, unusual pieces, many made from pearl and organic materials in tribal and stone creations that are a cut above most costume jewelry necklace designs. Some pieces have a gypsy flare or even a native Indian costume jewelry feeling, but in fact are intricate creations that incorporate beadwork and the use of semi-precious stones like blue opal, fluorite, aquamarine and even European glass beads to create imitations of ancient Egyptian and even Etruscan style jewelry.

Miriam Haskell Jewelry

There are pieces that use European filigrees, and incorporate vintage chain, plated in Russian gold to form pieces that are so unique there can be no mistaking Miriam Haskell Jewelry for any other. If you seek retro jewelry or vintage jewelry creations that are delicate and intricate they are not sold through cheap wholesale jewelry outlets but through distinctive shops like Annie Sherman Vintage Jewelry and Antiques Art Collectibles and there are some pieces that go under $100.

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Win Pearl

Win Pearl is another pearl jewelry specialist that has items for as little as $30. They specialize in pearl jewelry sets including multi-strand freshwater pearl necklace and earring sets. They also have black pearl earrings and pearl bracelet and earring sets with freshwater pearls which can be bought online.

Trifari Jewelry

Trifari Jewelry

For some of the most unusual pearl jewelry creations there’s Trifari Jewelry that is not ordinarily very cheap. However, there are select pieces through Ruby Lane that go for as little as $28 and one select pearl ring that is exquisite for about $40. In fact, if you seek unusual pearl or rhinestone jewelry bracelet designs, vintage costume jewelry necklaces that are rare and inexpensive, vintage rhinestone jewelry that is unavailable through any manufacturer or regular outlet, or if you need antique vintage jewelry that is from a specific designer or era, or vintage silver jewelry that doesn’t cost a fortune, then Ruby Lane and Morning Glory Jewelry are two of the best.

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Ruby Lane Vintage Jewelry

For rhinestones, costume pearls, topaz and the vintage jewellery that just isn’t easy to find try Weiss Jewelry which is the most incredible costume necklace designs and vintage jewelry styles for between $30 and several hundred.

Again Ruby Lane is the best place to find these unique vintage style jewelry creations at discount costume jewelry prices. Pearl costume jewelry that has a twist of class from the past may be a Weiss brooch jewelry item that is both great as a gift or as collectible jewelry item for yourself. You need to be a little careful with hunting for antique jewelry for sale online because not all of it real. I’d recommend sticking to places like Ruby Lane who offer authenticated and signed

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Miriam Haskell vintage jewelry and Weiss Jewelry that you can be sure is real. These pieces are not your average cheap wholesale designer jewelry or items or pieces that come from cheap costume jewellery shops but are exclusive and unique pieces that usually are one of a kind and must be authenticated even if they only cost about $30 or less. The value of art deco antique jewelry is that it has a history.

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Morning Glory

For unique designers jewelry like the line of Ciner jewelry made in New York in the late 1800’s,Morning Glory Jewelry (based in Albuquerque, New Mexico) has a fine selection at an affordable price. Vintage jewelry online is becoming more and more popular with some wholesale vintage jewelry outlets cropping up, but I still prefer to recommend the places that are smaller and less known that carry unique pieces of antique rhinestone jewelry and pearl creations that have not yet been overpriced by auctions or too many middlemen. Morning Glory Jewelry is the online store for Antique Connection Mall, 12815 Central NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87123 USA. They can be contacted online by e-mailing: jane@morninggloryantiques.com. Some of their fine pieces include designers like Boucher, Carnegie, Ciner, Coro, DeMario, Eugene, DeRosa, Eisenberg, Hobe, Joseff, Juliana, McClelland Barc., Miriam Haskell, Regency, Reja, Rosenstein, Schiaparelli jewelry, Schreiner, Shultz bakelite jewelry, Signed, Staret, Stephen Dweck, Swarovski, Swoboda, Trifari, Vega Maddux, Vendome, Vrba and Weiss. You may also inquire into the availability of vintage Hollycraft jewelry from the 1950’s, although you may also find these exclusive pieces at a few other specialty vintage jewelry shops online.

Vintage Jewelry Dealers

If you’re looking for Hollycraft jewelry you may find some at Collectors Index where they have a few rhinestone brooches and bracelets. They sell quite quickly so you have to check their site often. Most Hollycraft jewelry does not have pearls. It’s most famous for the Christmas Tree jewelry, rhinestone bracelets, necklace and earring with multi color stones. Sassy Classics sometimes has a few Hollycraft jewelry sets, and you can also check out Broad Water Rose Jewels, as well Jennifer Lynn’s Timeless Jewelry that sells online.

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Each of these dealers carries a selection of vintage designers jewelry that retail for a variety of price ranges depending on the age, quality and designer popularity. However, many of these creations are truly bargain jewelry findings. There are pieces for $30 just as easily as there are some for $300 or more. But if you want pearl or rhinestone jewelry that’s unusual and one of a kind, vintage jewelry is where it’s at!

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Kirks Folly Jewelry

As noted previously, some of the best rhinestone and pearl jewelry is vintage, like Lisner jewelry, but there’s also some newer creations like the kirks folly jewelry that incorporates magical themes into mother of pearl creations with rhinestones and lots of dangling charms. They also have pieces that could work well for avant-garde wedding costume jewelry and select pieces that are fantasy beaded jewelry with a feeling of being like the old collectible costume jewelry that is now sold at Ruby Lane. However Kirks Folly Jewelry is NEW. But still it falls into the category of cheap fashion jewellery since it retails for under $40.