Vintage Jewelry Love

by Cindy on February 17, 2014

Vintage Jewelry blog post

Hello everyone

Thank you for stopping by today!

I suspect many of you have a thing for vintage jewelry, just like me.  I am always on the look out for tarnished treasures when I’m out antiquing.   Today I’m posting a round up of pretty pictures – pretty because they are full of the vintage bits and baubles and the sparkly things many of us like to collect.  I like to research my jewelry pieces when I can and I’m going to share some of it with you in this post.

A few links for learning more about vintage jewelry:

* A wealth of information and research on antique and costume jewelry (under Jewel Chat)

* Dating vintage jewelry and here

* A list of manufacturers and designers with dates.

* Manufacturers, time periods and styles

* Great tips on how to date vintage jewelry


Vintage necklace and bracelets - shabby chic

Here are a few flower bracelets and chokers, most likely from the 1950s – three are enameled and one has vintage Lucite flowers. Short necklaces and chokers were popular in this era as were matching sets (parurers).    Can you just picture the outfits that were once worn with these floral pieces?

Vintage enameled jewelry


I am so drawn to old velvet.   And satin.  Put them together and it makes an old jewelry box irresistible.  Some may see an empty, discarded box, but to me there is beauty not only in the box itself but also in the mystery of what it may have contained and for the occasion it was for…

This dark blue Felco box has a mother of pearl push-button.  The gold sticker is from the jewelry shop:  Milton E. Buch Jewelers, 21 North Sixth Street Reading.  I can’t find any information on this shop but just felt compelled to record it for posterity.  The box likely held a strand of pearls.

Antique velvet jewelry boxes


Felco Cultured Pearls

The very old rectangular watchcase/box on the left (above photo) is a special find.  It is from a NYC “watch and jewelry house” with an interesting history.  I did quite a bit of research online regarding the Benedict Bros who have a well-documented family tree.  The company was founded in Wall Street by their father, Samuel Benedict around 1821. Sons Ovington and Samuel carried on the business.

The satin and velvet box on the right (above picture) is from  J.M. Kreider Jewelers, Ephrata, PA.  I found this one while antiquing nearby in Adamstown.  Although this store closed around 1927 (and therefore I know this box is over 80+ years old), I was able to find a bit about its history thanks to the Cocalico Valley Historical Society.  The proprietor, J. Monroe Kreider, operated a jewelry store in Denver prior to opening his shop in Ephrata.  The PA store on 30 East Main St. was opened around 1907.  It’s amazing that I have driven down this street myself many times myself.

While gathering up blue jewelry boxes for this post, I had to include my favorite.  I couldn’t resist this sweet “BABY” ring and its original box when I found it back in 2011.  The ring came from Gale-Ford Jewelers (Granby St. Norfolk, VA).   By the hallmark inside the ring, I was able to identify the ring’s maker as Clark & Coombs – jewelry manufacturers in New England.  I found that the maker’s mark (c’s in a triangle flanking an ampersand) was used until 1915.

Researching this jewelry company’s past, I found a 1917 ad that advertised not only wristwatches, but swagger sticks as well.  It would make sense that being in a Navy town, this jeweler carried sticks that were once used by the military.  Are you familiar with them?  Not something you find in today’s jewelry store!

Gale-Ford Co. Inc. antique baby ring

Yellow gold, brass and bronze are popular today – and have been throughout different periods of time.   Here’s a selection of old brass chain and rhinestones – draped on top of one of my absolute favorite Victorian albums.

Vintage brass and rhinestone necklaces

And before I go, one last photo.  I’ve gathered a few of my latest vintage pieces that made their way home with me.  Pearls with rhinestone clasps are too pretty to pass up.  An empty watch face will be find new life in a future design.  A beautiful gold-filled Victorian braided bracelet with tassel.  Aurora Borealis rhinestone ear bobs.  Did you know – Swarovski developed the “AB” effect on cut crystal together with Christian Dior in 1956?  And the antique hand-held mirror….well, I’ll leave old mirrors for a future post. 🙂

Antique hand-held mirror with vintage pearls and rhinestones

For all of you vintage jewelry collectors, kindred spirits, thank you for stopping by!

– Cindy xoxo

Cindy Wimmer

Cindy Wimmer is a jewelry designer with a passion for combining vintage elements with modern wire design.  She is the co-founder of artBLISS, hosting jewelry and mixed media workshops in the DC area. Her first jewelry design book, The Missing Link, was recently released in the Fall.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky Pancake March 3, 2014 at 9:31 am

This is a very interesting and informative post. Thank you Cindy.

Lynda March 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm

What a wonderful post about your treasures! While I don’t collect vintage jewelry, I do have some that were my mom’s and you’ve inspired me to do a little sleuthing about their origins. Thanks!

Michelle Buettner March 3, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Wow, I need to take you w/me the next time I go to an Antique Shop! You’re a wealth of information. I love your photos – such gorgeous goodness. My hubby researches the stamps/makers mark’s from the pewter pieces he picks up here and there, but I’ve yet to really collect any true-vintage jewelry worthy of research – although I do like to handle it and dream of who/when/where, etc. And your pearl pieces above are just swoon worthy! Great post Cindy – thanks!

Vicki March 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm

A delightful read and pictures and stories. Amazing the stories old stuff has. My mind is a whirl with the dresses worn with the beautiful 1950’s flowers : big hats, elbow gloves, full skirts, cinched waists…

If you need a pearl knotting tute give me a holler.

Monique U. March 3, 2014 at 9:06 pm

I don’t collect or know much about vintage, Cindy, but I am always curious about the history surrounding these pieces. The quality is always so great, isn’t it? The embodiment of “They don’t make them like they used to!” Not to mention I’m a bit vintage myself LOL. My Mum was a 1920’s baby and a young bride in the 1950s, and I often wonder what happened to her little oriental jewelry box, and the colourful costume jewelry we were allowed to play dressup with as children 🙂

Kayla @ TheEclecticElement March 4, 2014 at 1:42 am

Oh man, you’ve got my vintage lover’s mind drooling with envy at your beautiful treasures and finds! I never really looked at boxes with curiosity before, but now that you’ve featured them, I may have to give them a second look 🙂

I can’t wait to see how you incorporate some of your finds in your future designs! I swear, one of these days we WILL go antiquing together <3

Kim (a Bit of Colour) March 5, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Thanks for all the info! I like to repurpose older pieces. Found this blog really informational for me.

cynthia March 8, 2014 at 8:23 pm

What a great post! I do so love vintage, and those mid-century pieces are awesome! I can just image what outfits went with those

Meg March 9, 2014 at 11:03 pm

So much great information in this post! The vintage boxes and advertising are amazing.

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