Vintage Costume Jewellery Buying & Valuation Guide

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Beauty,Drama,Fantasy,intrigue,mystery,jealousy,greed -sounds like the good makings of a romance novel? No just some of the possibilities that await collectors of costume jewellery!

Quote -Price Guide to Costume Jewellery...Harrice Simmons Miller


What is it worth?

Before you can find out what a piece of jewellery is worth, you need to find out what it is. This can be as simple as turning it over and finding a maker's mark or complicated as in "hours of research". First thing first: Examine your jewellery for a maker's mark. Look on the back or on the clasp. Thoroughly examine every inch of the piece. If you see a maker's mark, start your research! Not finding a maker's mark doesn't mean it's not valuable, on the contrary; many fine pieces of jewellery were never marked. It does mean you will need to put in a little more effort in research


How old is it?

There are usually clues that can help one identify what era a piece of jewellery is from. Style, material, the type of piece. For example dress clips came in in the 1930s and were out of style by the 1950s. Jewellery reflects styles, designs, colours and stones of the era. For example from 1910 to 1930 silver was the favourite colour for metal, so jewellery was found in platinum, white gold, silver or a base metal colored to look like silver. By World War II, gold was popular again but in short supply, since it was vital to the war effort. What gold was available was made into very thin sheets and usually bonded to silver (called vermeil) before being turned into jewellery. By the 1930s rhinestones popularity was ever increasing in Europe. It was not available to the Americans until the 1940s. As a result, many of the pieces from this period tend to feature lots of metal and a single stone or a small cluster of tiny rhinestones.

Fakes, Forgeries & Reproductions

Today collectors are faced the dangers of fakes or reproduction pieces being blatantly passed of as originals ...Placed to truly deceive you can follow a few steps to help weed out the real from the unreal
Try to educate yourself hands on as much as possible
Antique fairs,shows,fleas markets ,and local auctions are some good venues to view and discuss your pieces
BE OBSERVANT ...don’t be shy to use a jewellers loupe and take your time especially with larger priced items
More often than not with the older end of the market expect some corrosion or wear to the metal, darkening of stones and old style clasps also old makers marks such as Gold Filled (GF) or 1/20 for overlayed items 
The old rule of thumb if it looks new it probly is!!

Designers & Manufacturers

For designer Advise I have found the best resources on the net is and click on researching costume jewellery
They even have photos of all the stamps cannot get any better!!


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