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Vintage Costume Jewelry

I have received a box of old costume jewelry some pieces are marked
and some are not. There is a variety and it looks like some are from
different countries. Some of the pieces are very intracate looking.

Some of the pieces are as follows:

A, )intricate emanel work a scene on both sides of the piece, one
side 2 men fighting on horses and the other side is a floral scene.
(possible from Afghanastan)

B.) Some filigree on a pin with 3 foil back stones to look like
amethyst with a plaque marking Blythe and Blythe

C.) Very intricate floral pin in metal, crystal beads, and
rhinestones with an artist palette plaque and the marking says
original by Robert

D.) large oval pendant with a painting of the signing of the

E.) pin with a woman (looks grecian) holding a gold colored metal
wine goblet,. pin back says made in Germany.

F.) another pin with a woman dressed in blue with I think they are
blue ribbons in her hair. The back of the pin looks as if someone
tried to carve hearts out of the metal and there are etched lines.

G.) Pin that says sterling and Siam with 2 people etched on the front
(I think a man and a woman)

H.) a swirly pin with green and aurora rhinestones marked kramer. I.)
another pin marked McClelland Barclay.(rectangular brass, amethyst
looking and rhinestones)

J.) a leaf pin with aurora rhinestones marked Coro I think.

There are many more pieces, and my questions are as follows:

  1. Does anyone have knowledge of the history or worth of pieces like

  2. I would like a recommendation on a worthwhile book I should buy.
    There were so many at the book stores and I did buy 2. (Warman’s
    Jewelry, 2nd edition and Unsigned Beauties of Costume Jewelry by
    Marcia “Sparkles” Brown)

  3. If these pieces are of any value and if restored does it take
    away from the value?

  4. Is there anyone on this list that restores vintage costume

  5. Are there any recommendations and advice on bringing this to get

I would appreciate any on where I should begin with this
costume jewelry. I have not decided as of yet what I want to do with

Thank you for any advice,

H.) a swirly pin with green and aurora rhinestones marked kramer. 

I do not know about the other pieces but the above piece is by a
pretty famous modernist art jewelry from NYC. You can research
Kramer on the net but I have seen his name in many modernist/art
jewelry books - i am in my store now…my books are at home so I can
not pass along any titles to you at the moment… try going on amazon
to - to track down books


Hi Diane: I dabble in collecting and selling vintage (Rhinestone)
costume jewelry.

The best place to find out the value of the jewelry is ebay. I had a
woman that wanted me to sell a lot of the jewelry. I mean she had a
shoe box filled, and she said she had a suitcase filled at home. The
jewelry was in good condition, and marked. I talked to several
auction houses in New York City, and was basically told ebay would
give the best prices. I usually put in Rhinestone to do a search.

I’ve gotten books with prices on jewelry, and I’ve seen the Antique
Road Show. The prices of both are usually inflated. Rule of thumb
in all things is the value is what a person is willing to pay. If
you have any pieces inscribed with Weiss, that’s a good one.

An example of pricing, the Coro pin would probably (and I said
probably) go for well under $100, probably under $50.

I hope this helps.

Colorful days:

Hi Diane, There is a big market in collectable costume jewelry. Check
out e-bay under vintage costume jewelry, there are thousands of
listings. Signed pieces and pieces in good to mint condition have more
value as well as pieces with original components. If you are going to
repair the pieces that you have, go on the web and look for bead
suppliers that sell vintage beads and findings and use those
components for repairs and you’ll maintain the value. I like B’Sue
Boutiques, she has a good selection and her prices are
reasonable.( also sells a repair kit
package as well as mixed lots of rhinestones.

There are thousands of books on the subject but the one’s I like the
best are ones that give some history, have color photos and have an
index section with illustrations of the trademarks. I’m at work right
now so I don’t have any of the titles in front of me, but that’s my
criteria when I’m evaluating a book for purchase.

I think some of the pieces you’ve described have some value, you may
want to try to sell them yourself on an auction web site or you might
try contacting some of the web sites that specialize in selling
vintage jewelry (B’sue Boutiques sells, the Tias home page has several
listings and there’s a good web site called AZillion Sparkles

I hope this has been helpful. I’m just a novice collector but I do
love the stuff. I would be interested in seeing the pieces you
described in items C,H and I, if you have pix that would be great. I
like Kramer and I believe Robert was a designer who worked for Miriam
Haskell. I love the construction techniques he used.

Chris Patterson

Diane, There is a huge site about costume/vintage jewelry with
hundreds of resource links:

Do a search within the section for books, there were a number of them

Nancy Bernardine-Widmer
Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry


I took a turn at appraising a while back, so I will give this one a
go, although I am not a costume jewelry expert. The books you have
should be a pretty good start. Jeanenne Bell’s books may also be
useful. My guess is that the books hit the high spots, the most
famous and the most valuable types of costume jewelry. I think you
can get a rough idea of what many things are worth by matching them
up to similar examples in the books. If it isn’t specifically
mentioned in one of these books, I would doubt it is worth a lot.
Most appraisers fall back on guide books because it is difficult to
have an encyclopedic knowledge of the field or to correctly research
an appraisal. For modern jewelry guide books are fair, because you
can figure out the value of the gold, the labor involved in making
the piece and the value of the stones and add it all together.
However, with antique or period jewelry, the proper way to appraise
(and really, even for current jewelry, this approach is best) is
through research on the price of recent transactions involving
similar pieces. To evaluate expensive period jewelry, one uses
things like the catalogs of recent shows by Sotheby’s, Christie’s,
etc. You may be able to find some of this info on the Net. Some of
it may only be available by subscription to appraisal services. If
pieces such as yours are not sold at auction, the guide books or ebay
reports are the only way I can think of to establish a value.

If you use an appraiser, be sure to find someone who isn’t defensive,
has some credentials (gemologist plus Master Gemologist Appraiser or
similar) and will tell you how they are arriving at their valuation.
They may just be looking at the guide book you have and guessing,