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Why Vintage Costume Jewelry?

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Why do we prefer vintage collectable costume jewelry? Many reasons – the sheer beauty. The craftsmanship and detail are unbelievable. It’s a piece of our history -different eras of our history also yielded different styles of jewelry. Jewelry in some form or fashion – has been a part of our world since almost the beginning.

Vintage costume jewelry has become quite the rage. It is not the least bit unusual to see a supposedly rare original piece sell for thousands of dollars! This of course invites the unscrupulous and the counterfeiters.

It is easy enough to fall prey to these scoundrels – we have been fooled, as has probably every expert around today. It’s the age-old adage – if it looks too good to be true – it probably is! Today’s successful scoundrels will produce a beautiful reproduction and then insert an older, darkening stone or hit it lightly with an abrasive to “age” the piece. We will try to help you date and authenticate your pieces. An informed buyer has a better chance – knowledge is power.

What should you buy? Buy what you like! Don’t buy what we like or another expert tells you to like! One of our pet peeves is the blatant prejudice within this field of Vintage Jewelry. So many experts discredit whole lines of jewelry because the mainstream never accepted the company. We have read countless books and articles that completely omit some of the major players and deem them not acceptable. It is absolutely unforgivable to buy a book on vintage jewelry and find no mention of Sarah Coventry, Avon or BSK.

We must admit that we have been guilty also. Not long ago – I learned a valuable lesson. While investigating one of our resources – I saw the most beautiful necklace. It was/is one of the most beautiful I had ever seen! Truly exceptional – one of those rare pieces that just reaches out and slaps you when you walk by! I had forgotten my glasses and loupe but could tell it had a signature. We purchased it along with a few other items and rushed home to determine just which one of the accepted companies made this exceptional creation. Much to my surprise – it was signed AVON.

Why Vintage Costume Jewelry?

I was shocked and then I was ashamed. I had often berated the “experts” for their prejudices and I was guilty also. A lesson learned that day. Prejudice in any and all things is truly a sin. Not only do you deny those you seek to ignore but also you limit your ability to share and enjoy all the beauty around and within.

We love Sarah Coventry Jewelry! Our personal collection of just Sarah Coventry is well over five hundred pieces . Most experts either ignore it or might give it a quick mention and move on. I find this inexcusable.

I grew up in a poor area. If you ever saw the movie Norma Rae – I grew up in that town in North Carolina. I worked in those cotton mills while in high school. We never had stores that carried the high-end designer jewelry. None of the main players in the industry cared enough or found the market suitable for the “high-end” designer jewelry in this small cotton mill town – but we had Sarah Coventry and Avon. My mother and grandmother worked in the cotton mills to help support their families and could not have afforded “the” designer jewelry. But, they had Sarah Coventry and Avon and wore it proudly. I have several pieces left to me from my mother that are way more valuable to me than the rarest of the rare. I consider this jewelry to be America’s Jewelry. They made beautiful pieces and made them so the less privileged could still afford them. Sarah went to church with my mother every Sunday.

I have read that Sarah and Avon and BSK are of lesser quality, unimaginative and not as desirable as some others – I strongly disagree and have pieces of all three designers that I will put up against any other designer in a blind test. The funny thing is that Sarah Coventry – never had a jewelry producing factory. Sarah Coventry often commissioned local producers in the Providence, Rhode Island area. Sarah Coventry used to offer a lifetime replacement warranty and I have personally seen a Sarah Coventry Demi – Parure with a signed Sarah Brooch, one earring signed Sarah and the other identical earring signed Coro. Obviously, one had been broken and the replacement earring slipped by with the original manufacturer’s signature. Those that would turn their nose up at Sarah Coventry and gladly buy Coro and other manufacturers are only fooling themselves.

If you are looking to resell then you might want to stick with the more accepted designers but you will severely limit your horizons and quite possibly fall victim to reproductions and fakes. Good luck with whichever path you choose to take.

Since our rediscovery of Avon – we have researched and found an amazing amount of exquisite jewelry. Avon had guest designers and some of the pieces are absolutely beautiful! Kenneth Jay Lane – Elizabeth Taylor – Jose Barrera – Shaill Jhevari – Coreen Simpson – Seymour Kent – Louis Feraud – Trifari – Celia Sebiri as well as some unidentified designers. Tremendous talents within the design world and the results are evident!

We have been fortunate enough to find some extraordinary pieces in a relatively short period of time. Are you afraid to waste your time and money on these “lesser” pieces as most experts regard them? I was! As the saying goes – I had my eyes wide shut. Now we are buying these pieces just as hard and fast as we can. Because we like them? Yes. Because they are well made and beautiful? Yes. Any other reason? YES!

We recently bought an exquisite AVON designer set – we paid more money for it than any Eisenberg or Miriam Haskell in our collection. We paid more for it than any other set in our entire personal collection. Outrageous to pay that much for Designer Avon? We don’t think so – we searched extensively and found only one full set such as this on the whole world wide web. Once we had ownership – we had a set valued and offered for sale at almost six hundred dollars more than we invested. We have the set to enjoy and still a wonderful investment. The profit is there any time we wish to take it.

What will this jewelry be worth in years to come? It’s true – vintage costume jewelry does cycle. Everything does. But vintage and discontinued and never to be made again jewelry – will go up in price over the years. It’s much like buying land – they just don’t make it anymore!

What will happen to the prices of the Elizabeth Taylor and Kenneth Jay Lane collections when they are no longer with us? I bet they go up drastically. Limited supply and unlimited demand. We choose to put our money in this wonderful commodity instead of a checking account that draws a pitiful return or even a mutual fund hoping for a ten percent return. We have a personal collection valued (granted, by my educated estimates) at well over a $100,000 with an investment of less than $10,000. Quite a bit less actually. Armed with knowledge and the desire – you can do the same!