Thinking of Vintage & Antique Costume Jewelry to invest in? Then Blow your trumpets angels because this area of Jewelry investing has a shipload of bargains just waiting for the savvy costume jewelry investor.
How to invest tips can be found right here on this website. Help Central is also a great resource to find answers to your questions. If it's costume cleaning tips your'e after - Cleaning Costume Jewelry Tips Can Be Found Here...
So what's so "Costume" about Costume Jewelry anyhow? This genre of jewelry was made to imitate fine antique jewelry and imitation is the best form of flattery. And here's the real juice that's not so imitation or even well known. Jewellers in this area threw caution to the wind, and used their artistic license to make innovative and large pieces owing to the lower material costs compared to the expensive precious metals and natural gemstones that were used in the making of fine Jewelry.
Vintage and Antique Costume Jewelry is a twentieth century term for jewelry made from non-precious metals and materials such as imitation gemstones and faux pearls made in the early 1900s through to the 1960s.
Very early Costume Jewelry dates back hundreds of years. As the Eighteenth century got underway a thriving costume jewelry trade developed in Europe as faux jewelry was becoming increasingly more desirable as it was a cheap alternative to Natural Pearls.
Costume Jewelry is a huge area and you might hear it referred to as Cocktail Jewelry, Retro Modern, Vintage Jewelry and the People's Jewelry. Costume Collectors wanting to hone their identification skills can find Identifying Costume Jewelry Tips further down on this page.
Costume Jewelry can be divided into two main areas:
FAUX Bling - dazzling fashion costume jewelry including the underestimated Rhinestone Costume Jewelry
FINE Bling - referred to as "Designer Costume Jewelry" An example is Chanel Costume Jewelry. A lovley little ares called Antique Paste Jewelry is included in fine Costume Jewelry; a period favourite of the Georgian era.
Don't forget vintage Bridal Costume jewelry and rhinestone costume jewelry which are two favorite collectible areas. And if you intend to celebrate this Christmas in grand style, wearing a Costume Jewelry Christmas Tree Pin is mandatory.
Most unsigned costume jewelry was never intended to be a financial investment when it was originally created. However, dealers know that this type of jewelry is highly collectible and profitable today.
Vintage costume jewelry started out as affordable jewelry and was produced in large quantities for the common folks; it was the peoples Jewelry, and because the people are the many, there is no short supply of costume jewelry in the market.
Costume jewelry is a descendant of Art Deco Jewelry. Coco Chanel put costume on the map when she exclaimed:
"Nothing looks more like a fake jewel than a beautiful jewel. Why get mesmerised by a beautiful stone? One might as well wear a cheque around one's neck."
Madame Chanel was no shrinking violet. Her statements like her fashion and Chanel Costume Jewelry reflected her dynamic personality.
Unsigned antique vintage costume jewelry is just as collectible, simply because these pieces are wonderful works of art in themselves; not because they have a famous name stamped on the back.
Costume Jewelry Investors can also indulge their fancy as there are so many fascinating themes to choose from. Some collectors are faithful to a favourite designer, while others may stream-line their jewelry pieces around figural objects found in nature such as, flowers, fruit, birds, beasts and even bugs!
Knowing how to use a jewelers loupe will save you time and money.
Forgeries are common at the upper end of the market. Trifari's jelly belly pins and Eisenberg Originals have been widely forged and often have a fake signatures.
If you're a budding collector, it will be prudent to buy pieces in the mid and lower price ranges, to avoid expensive mistakes.
"Yesterday's elegant-formal-wear-turned-dated-eyesore" is today's "must-have" accessory.
If you need proof, of just how desirable antique costume jewelry is, just check out the costume jewelry adorning today's Hollywood celebrities and royalty too!
Personal ornamentation comprised of non-precious materials still deserves thoughtful storage requirements in particular, unconventional and larger size pieces.
Jewelry storage, is an important consideration. Where and how to store unconventional jewelry.
When buying, think of Antique Costume Jewelry as 'a bulkier form of Art Deco'. It helps.
Instead of diamonds, rubies and sapphires set in silver or gold, early costume jewelry designers used bakelite, brass and other alloys, like celluloid, enamel, horn, paint, paper, rubber, textiles and wood.
Inside the art movements of the 1920s ‘material snobbism’ was tossed aside by young designers who rejected imitating expensive authentic jewelry and worked hard to make ‘fake jewelry’ acceptable.
Look out for sumptuous vintage costume jewelry in good condition and costume jewelry in red.
Silver costume jewelry, is making a big come-back and well worth investigating.
Don't be afraid to ask questions before you purchase antique vintage costume jewellery.
If the jewelry is signed, so much the better, it will fall into Designer Costume Jewelry category.
Both signed designer costume and unsigned costume jewelry are both just as collectible.
Cocktail Jewelry was made to show off in, to wear at the new cocktail hour that had taken off in the 1920s in Europe.
Bubbly and bold, women could dazzle away the evening with their fantastic jewels and glamorous evening wear.
Jewelry design of the 1930s was sleek, slim (1930s), architectural, and hard.
Major influences were cubism and futurism.
Early Antique Costume Jewels of the 1930s will appear geometric looking, like heavier versions of Art Deco Jewelry.
Royalty no longer held sway over the image of the women so much as the Hollywood movie stars such as Rita Hayworth and Veronica Lake.
Antique Costume jewels are full of life and strength and it thrived in the 1930s and 1940s when the right kind of jewels to go with that evening cocktail dress demanded luxurious costume jewels. Fake and sumptuous, they were well made and still quite expensive.
If you discover a piece of jewelry with gold work perforated with patterns either of little hexagons (a Van Clef & Arpels speciality) or overlapping semi circles like slinky scales you are looking at typical Gold Work of the period on your piece of Antique Costume Jewelry.
Keep your eye out for bows and knots of all descriptions, they were an essential motif forming the main motif or tied around the centre of a costume brooch forcing simple flower-heads into splaying fan shapes each side.
Bracelets were chunky with mechanical motifs, and some of the most beautiful were made only of gold, or colored gold in angular or chevron shaped links.
For the ultimate in luxury watches have a look at the cocktail wristwatches or 'montres bracelets' that were then popular. Often with a flexible gold band they were set with a huge central gem set surrounding the watch face.
Square cut rubies and sapphires were used or the little gems set in star settings. These innovative luxury watches were made in Switzerland, by leading watch manufacturers, Rolex, Baume-Mercier, Piaget, Patek Philippe, and Gubelin of Lucerne.
Dress clips was a 1940s phenomenon. They could be worn separately or fitted together as a brooch.
Cartoon like animals, rigid gold figures of scarecrows, clowns, ballerinas all set with tiny colored stones gradually crept into Antique Costume Jewelry design.
Antique Costume Jewelry is full of life! It's stylish and trendy jewelry and as fashionable today as it was the day it was made.
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