Archive by Author | Nic

Celtic inspired and Scottish style agate glass costume jewellery

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch info

Celtic inspired and Scottish glass agate costume jewellery is very distinctive , with the designs often based on earlier Victorian and pre-antiquity pieces. Made from glass stones (created to imitate the agates) which are set into non-precious mixed metal, they are a beautiful mix of intricate patterns and bold statement features.

Notable makers are Miracle and Heathergems (who ingeniously use compressed real heather found on the Scottish moors to create stones,) though collectors might also come across vintage producers no longer in business, such as Jacobite and Hollywood; look for ‘signatures’ and makers stamps on the back of the jewellery as often (but not always) jewellery might be signed.

Telling the difference between modern Celtic inspired and Scottish costume jewellery and older ‘real’ antique  agate jewellery can be tricky at first. As a general rule, antiques tend to be more delicate and intricate in nature; look for fine etching, flush stone settings and top quality scroll patterns. T-bar pins and long pins are a sign of antique brooches too (see here for my guide to dating antique brooches for more info). Antique Celtic inspired and Scottish jewellery is made from real agates and gemstones.

How to id identify antique vintage scottish agate jewellery and costume jewelry

ABOVE: a real circa 1870s Victorian antique Scottish agate sterling silver brooch. Notice the quality flush settings of the agate stones (each one from a part of the Scottish coastline), intricate scroll work around the sides, and long pin which sticks out from the side of the brooch.

 

More modern Scottish costume jewellery dates from circa 1950s to today, and is usually made from glass, enamel or other imitation ‘stones’. The pieces tend to be much chunkier, and often include thistles and Celtic knot work patterns (surprisingly, real Victorian antique Celtic and Scottish jewellery rarely shows thistles or Celtic knot patterns, instead using popular Victorian era scroll patterns of the time instead).

 

How to id identify real antique vs costume faux Scottish jewelry

ABOVE: a more modern costume jewellery circa 1980s glass agate brooch. Notice the chunky stone settings, Celtic patterns and ‘mottled’ stone colours of the glass (which is trying to imitate agates.

 

Here are some of my favourite Celtic inspired and Scottish costume jewellery designs:

 

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Beautiful simple Celtic cross brooch, with brown banded glass stone, made circa 1980s. A sign of more modern Celtic inspired and Scottish jewellery is the use of the cross in the design, along with Celtic patterns.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Some costume Scottish or Celtic inspired brooches do have gemstones set into them (such as this quartz), though note the metal is still mixed/non-precious, as seen in this lovely modern brooch.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Gorgeous circa 1970s Scottish inspired brooch. Whilst the patterns are intricate, the stones (made from glass) are glued in quite crudely, and not flush set.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Unusual Celtic glass agate brooch, set into imitation gold colour metal.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Chunky, bold and vivid colourful design – a hallmark of more modern Scottish agate glass inspired brooches.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Stunning circa 1950s glass stone brooch.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Lovely penannular style brooch, made from mixed metal and glass. Genuine penannular brooches are a type of cloak fastener rather than decoration brooch – though note the costume jewellery designs (such as this one) are decoration only, and don’t work!

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Magnificent Scottish glass agate costume jewellery brooch, set in bronze colour metal.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Whilst brooches are the most popular type of Scottish and Celtic inspired costume jewellery, pendants, bracelets and rings are made too.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Outstanding and rare design huge Celtic costume jewellery brooch, made with orange speckled glass stones and set into pewter tone metal.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery cross pendant necklace

Lovely glass agate cross pendant

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Unusual black glass agate costume brooch

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery cross bracelet

Whilst brooches are the most popular type of Scottish and Celtic costume jewellery, pendants, bracelets and rings are made too.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery earrings

Gorgeous little Scottish thistle costume jewellery earrings, with glass ‘amber’ flowers.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Lovely Heathergems stone thistle brooch. You can learn more about the amazing way heather flowers are turned into Heathergems jewellery here.

vintage modern Celtic Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Stunning thistle design Scottish glass agate brooch

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Rare fan posy design Scottish and Celtic inspired brooch – note the good quality faux bloodstones, which have been made out of glass

vintage modern Celtic Scottish agate glass costume jewellery pendant cross necklace

Huge Celtic glass agate cross pendant necklace

 

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Very unusual circa 1960s modernist Cetic inspired brooch, with green marble stone. There is a signature to this piece but it’s an unknown maker.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Detail of the above brooch – this is the signature to this piece but it’s an unknown maker.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Vintage circa 1960s Scottish Celtic inspired pendant, made from glass stones, and signed ‘Hollywood’ on the back. Hollywood were a well known costume jewellery makers during the mid 20th Century.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Stunning pre-antiquity-inspired modern Celtic brooch made with brown glass stones in bronze tone metal.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Gorgeous Scottish style thistle brooch, detailed with blue and purple glass banded stones.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Stunning Celtic pattern green glass stone costume jewelry brooch – top quality, and signed ‘Jacobite’ on the back.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery ring

Whilst brooches are the most popular type of Scottish and Celtic costume jewellery, pendants, bracelets and rings are made too.

 

 

References and further reading:

Miracle Jewellery shop: https://www.miraclejewellery.co.uk/

Vintage Miracle and Jacobite costume jewellery info: https://www.vintageandhandmadejewels.com/signed-uk-jewellery-439-c.asp

Vintage Hollywood costume jewellery info: https://www.vintageandhandmadejewels.com/signed-uk-jewellery-439-c.asp

Heathegems shop: https://www.heathergems.com/

Guide to Victorian Scottish jewellery: https://jewellerymuse.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/vintage-and-antique-scottish-agate-jewellery-info-guide/

How to date vintage and antique brooches: https://jewellerymuse.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/tips-on-how-to-date-a-vintage-brooch/

 

I sometimes have Scottish and Celtic jewellery in my shop – please check here to see there is any in stock.

 

 

 

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Types of gold plating .. what do those letters on gold tone jewellery mean?

 

 

RG…..GF…… gold HGE……Gold bonded……GP…..Vermeil……Gold layered.

 

Have you ever looked at gold jewellery on a website and come across the above words and initials in the description? Do you wonder what they mean?

identifying initial letter stamps on gold plated jewellery fakes GP HGE tips

Read on for tips on how to identify your gold coloured jewellery!

You’re not alone. I’ve had quite a few emails over the years which have asked for my help in explaining the letters on gold looking jewellery that someone has purchased. Virtually every time I’ve had to be the bearer of bad news; they’ve been conned and their expensive ‘solid 18kgp ring’ is actually gold plated costume jewellery.

Sadly, some unscrupulous sellers give a rather ‘creative’ description of their jewellery for sale, which tries to gloss over the fact that their jewelry is not real – it’s gold plated.

So today, look no further than the Jewellery Muses’ quick glance guide to identifying letter stamps and initials on jewelry which are used to describe gold-tone/ gold-plated metal …

~ RG – means rolled gold.  This is gold sheet (usually 12K or 14k) that is rolled into a tube, and then filled with a base (ie non precious) metal such as brass.  This process gives a longer lasting gold colour than normal gold plating, and is often stamped on jewellery: 1/20 12kt GF or 1/20 14kt RG for example.

vintage rolled gold pink deco glass bead necklace

Many old vintage glass bead necklaces were threaded on rolled gold wire, which is most commonly slightly square shaped and thicker than normal wire. Rolled gold wire also develops a nice patina like normal low grade gold (eg 9k), and is not prone to wear.

~ GF – means gold filled, which is simply another name for rolled gold.  RG and GF are more durable than gold plated metal.

art deco vintage pink glass opal diamante ring

A ‘RG’ stamped rolled gold art deco ring. Note how well it’s lasted; rings are notoriously prone to damage, yet this one is nearly 100 years old and is only now showing signed of wear to the metal. Rolled gold (aka gold filled) metal is a perfect bridge between costume jewellery and more expensive fine solid gold jewellery.

~ GOLD OVERLAY – again means a type of rolled gold; a gold sheet (usually 14k) that is rolled into a tube, and then filled with a base (ie non precious) metal.

~ GP – stands for gold plating, a process which involves spraying a fine layer of gold onto base metal.  GP jewelry tends to lose the gold coating with day to day wear after a while.

vintage 70s toledo damascene pendant jewelry

The back of what was once a brilliant bright gold-plated circa 1980s pendant, which has now faded and worn out

~ HGE – means Heavy Gold Electroplate, a slightly thicker coating of gold onto base metal than standard gold plating.

~ HGP – also see HGE, means a heavier gold plate, a slightly thicker coating of gold onto base metal than standard gold plating.

vintage sapphire glass paste cz ring deco (2) (640x617)

Some rings offered online have  ‘creative’ descriptions, such as ‘For sale: solid 18KHGE white gold and blue sapphire CZ ring‘, a description which in real life means nothing more than a cheap and pretty costume jewellery ring made with a sapphire coloured fake stone and white gold plated metal.

~ LAYERED GOLD – another type of gold plating.

~ GOLD BONDED – another type of gold plating, or occasionally used to describe rolled gold.

~ VERMEIL – this is genuine 925 sterling silver which has been given a thick coating of gold (normally 14k or 18k).  Base metal which has been gold plated cannot by law be described as vermeil, only genuine gold-plated sterling silver can.

vintage shell cameo brooch

If you come across a piece of jewellery that has a ‘925’ stamp on it, but it’s gold coloured, then you have a piece of true vermeil jewellery, like this vermeil frame shell cameo brooch.

~ HAMILTON GOLD – brass toned metal with gold plated finish; generally only used on watches.

~ PINCHBECK GOLD – an early gold imitation, invented in the 18th century and made from an alloy of zinc and copper.  True pinchbeck items are very rare and worth a lot of money.  Nowadays, the term ‘pinchbeck’ generally means any type of antique faux gold.

Antique victorian carved shell cameo brooch jewelry

Many dealers will describe any type of antique gold looking metal as ‘Pinchbeck’, but real genuine pinchbeck is hard to find! Always ask a seller if their pinchbeck is real, or just their general description for gold plate.

~ GOLD TONE / GOLD – COLOUR – jewellery that is gold coloured, not real gold.

vintage 80s gold tone snake chain flower necklace drop daggers (3)

A cute gold tone necklace. Gold tone costume jewellery is often described as being made from ‘pot metal’ ‘mixed metal’ or ‘base metal’, which means there is no real gold used in the item (other than perhaps a thin layer of gold-plate)

~ GOLD LEAF – a type of gold plating.

Look out for descriptions such as “fantastic genuine solid 18k HGE gold ring”, or “solid 14KGP gold ring”.  If you see any of these phrases, words or initials in the description of a jewellery item then be aware that the jewellery will not be genuine solid gold.

Two Final Quick Tips:

~ Just because something has a gemstone in it doesn’t mean it will automatically be encased in real gold. Low grade gemstones (or lab created gemstones/lab-diamonds) can be dirt cheap to buy, and might be used to make gold plated jewellery appear more ‘real’.

 

Quick ID guide to different types of cameo .. Part 1: Plastic cameos

I’ve recently had a couple of emails from readers asking for help in identifying what their cameos are made from, so it’s given me an idea to do some blog posts on the different type of cameo available.

Let’s start with the cheapest type of cameo – one’s made from plastic resin. Generally costing between £2 and £15, they are perfect for everyday wear, and many are beautifully detailed.

Tips to identify:

  • Plastic cameos tend to feel slightly dense and heavy, and make a dull sound when gently tapped on the teeth.
  • Hold a piece of shell or smooth glass/ pebble in your hand – it’s feels cold. Now, hold a plastic cameo – it will feel warmer and softer in comparison (this is a great tip for identifying plastic beads too).
  • Stand in front of a window, and with the front of the cameo facing the window (so you are looking at the back of it), a hold a plastic cameo up to the light – it’ll be quite dense and opaque, where as shell cameos would still be detailed and quite transparent.

 

Here are some pictures of plastic cameos I’ve had, with further identification details:

 

vintage art deco plastic cameo clip on earrings

Vintage art deco circa 1930s clip on plastic cameos earrings. Note the glue marks around the face, where the white ‘face’ of the cameo has been glued onto a red background (real cameos are carved complete from one shell or hard stone). These plastic earrings have had a lot of thought put into them, as each face is slightly different, as would be the case with real shell cameos.

 

vintage 1970s plastic cameo brooch jewelry

Vintage circa 1970s plastic cameo brooch. There was a big art nouveau and deco revival in both the 1960s and 70s, and many pieces I have seen advertised for sale as genuine art deco often date from this much later period. The technique for this brooch cameo is the same as the above earrings – a separate plastic molded white figure glued to maroon background.

 

Art deco plastic resin cameo vintage brooch 1930s costume jewelry Adam and Eve

An old art deco superb quality molded plastic cameo brooch, depicting Adam and Eve from the Old Testament Bible. This stunning piece dates from around the 1930s, and was completely molded in a cream piece of plastic as one piece, with a darker beige ‘background’ painted on after the molding took place.

 

Plastic kitsch cameo girl pendant charm jewellery

Probably the most famous and well known type of cameo is this plastic side-facing pony-tail lady, first seen around the 1980s and still being mass-produce made today. Quick ID tip! Plastic cameos tend to be glued into their metal frame setting, as you can see with this one (it has a slight gap around the edges where it doesn’t sit flush to the setting. Real shell cameos tend to be flush-bezel set or prong set into the frame, with no gaps.

 

Vintage art deco plastic resin cameo brooch

A well detailed vintage art deco circa 1930s cameo brooch, made from one piece of cream molded plastic, with darker orange painted background and metal filigree detail.. Old art deco plastic cameos can be well detailed – plastic was a new and exotic material to work in, and I have a feeling the complexity of some these deco cameos may have reflected perhaps a desirability of this new ‘plastic’ material at that time.

Vintage circa 1950s plastic costume jewellery cameo brooch

I purchased this cameo brooch as a gamble a few years ago, from an online auction site, hoping it was real shell. It wasn’t – but instead was a lovely quality plastic cameo, nicely bezel set (the type of metal and brooch back dating it to circa 1950s)

 

Vintage 1980s plastic resin cameo costume jewellery brooch dancing people

Beautiful quality circa 1970s plastic cameo brooch. I’ve come across a few of this type (ie, intricately detailed romantic scenes) and they are so realistic they could be mistaken for real cameos. However, on close inspection you can see they are molded; they also are quite heavy, are not very see-through when held to the light, feel warm to the touch compared with glass or stone, and make a dull muffled cluck sound when gently tapped on the front teeth (where as shell/ gemstone will make a high pitched sharp ‘clink’ sound).

 

 

 

Further reading:

Five tips on how to date vintage brooches – with photos to help!

A beginners guide to cameo jewellery (there are pictures of two very good quality plastic cameos in this article).

 

 

 

Vintage marcasite jewellery

If you want sparkle, but prefer an understated look, then marcasite gemstone jewellery may be perfect for you.  These semi-precious stones are a type of mineral, which range in colour from silver-yellow to bright white silver. When faceted and set into jewellery, they create a subtle sparkling effect, rather than a full on glitz – perfect for adding a hint of shimmer.

Close up of loose marcasite gemstones

Above, a varied selection of vintage marcasites, harvested from old broken jewellery. Notice how some are flat-backed (near the back), and some are the traditional ‘diamond’ shape, depending on the setting of the jewellery they came from. Marcasites generally vary in size from approx 0.5mm to 1.5mm. They are seriously tiny!

marcasite gemstones size close up next to finger

Marcasites next to my pinky finger!

vintage marcasite pave sterling silver ring jewelry

Marcasites can be set into all types of jewellery, and were a popular gemstone to be used in art deco rings.

vintage marcasite swirl silver tone bridal wedding necklace jewellery

Marcasite necklaces have been worn since the 19th Century, and are still hugely popular today. This vintage beauty dates from around the 1960s.

vintage marcasite swirl silver necklace jewelry

The above marcasite necklace when worn

vintage marcasite bow silver brooch jewellery

Marcasites can sometimes develope a yellow/ brown colour over time, as seen in this adorable vintage circa 1970s bow brooch – this is simply age and nothing to worry about 🙂

vintage silver marcasite carved shell cameo brooch jewellery

Had normal glitzy glass paste rhinestones been used to frame this lovely carved shell cameo, they would have detracted from its beauty. Marcasites however, are perfect for giving a crisp finish without over awing the jewellery itself.

vintage cold painted enamel marcasite flower basket brooch jewellery

Flower basket brooches were hugely popular in the 1950s – some were plain or set with rhinestones, while others were encrusted with diamonds and coloured gemstones (depending on your budget!). Marcasites are the happy medium between costume jewellery and fine jewellery, and suit most budgets.

vintage 1950s cold painted enamel marcasite flower silver brooch jewelry

This outstanding marcasite flower brooch has been ‘cold painted’ with enamel (ie, using a paintbrush and enamel paint, rather than more complex true vitreous enamel work which involves firing powdered glass in an oven). Cold painted marcasite enamel jewellery was popular during the 1950s to 1970s, and on a personal note, is one of my all time favourite types of vintage jewellery – it transcends ‘accessory’ and becomes ‘art’.

vintage 60s marcasite collar necklace leaf wedding bridal jewellery

Vintage circa 1960s marcasite and silver tone leaf necklace

vintage marcasite clip on earrings swallow bird silver jewelry

These marcasite bird clip on earrings look like they could have been made recently – but they actually date from the 1950s. Cuteness never goes out of style 🙂

vintage 1970s cultured freshwater pearl marcasite swirl circle brooch jewelry

While a couple of stones missing from vintage marcasite jewellery is quite normal, any more and I consider it damaged and in need of repair (with prices to reflect this.

repairing marcasite stone jewellery

Repairing marcasite jewellery yourself is tricky, but can be done with a steady hand and the right tools. Firstly, you need a good stock of marcasites harvested from other broken jewellery (or buy some online). Match up the sizes to the rest of the marcasites in the jewellery you wish to repair. Next, get yourself some proper ‘jewellery cement’ such as “GS Hypo Cement” – it’s a strong clear specialist jewelry glue that has a super fine nozzle – perfect for tricky work (never use superglue – it dissolves marcasites, as I found to my horror many years ago at my first attempt at marcasite fixing!). Put a tiny dab of cement in the hole you which to place the stone in, and then pick up the marcasite by pressing your finger on it – the natural moisture on your finger will temporarily hold it on. Finally, place it in the hole, and adjust with a pin if needed. This is tricky work, and it may take a few attempts before you get it right.

vintage 1960s marcasite gold tone maltese cross teardrop pendant necklace jewelry

An unusual vintage circa 1960s Maltese cross pendant – gold tone, but set with silver colour marcasites

vintage 60s faux marcasite horse pony eloxal brooch silver jewellery

Spotting faux marcasite jewellery can be hard work, especially because modern real marcasite jewellery can look very similar to vintage faux marcasite jewellery! A good giveaway is the weight – vintage faux-marcasite jewellery, as seen in this cute pony brooch, was made from a metal called Eloxal (a type of aluminium) which was very light in weight – almost weightless! (Vintage Eloxal jewellery was usually made in West Germany and occasionally East Asia, and was popular during the 1960 and 70s because it never tarnished or discoloured). Grab a magnifying glass and have a good look at the stones – if they appear too ‘perfect’ and flush set, it could be faux marcasites (real marcasites are a pain to set straight, and are often even purposely set slightly crooked to give better sparkle and depth to the whole piece of jewelry).

vintage 1960s faux marcasite eloxal panel bracelet chunky jewellery silver celtic knot pattern

A beautiful Celtic inspired vintage circa 1970s faux marcasite panel Eloxal metal bracelet. Two give-aways in identifying the jewellery was its weight (almost weightless when held – a signature of vintage Eloxal metal), and the uniform shape and settings of the ‘stones’. Vintage Eloxal jewellery is a collectable in its own right, and I absolutely love this bracelet!

Arm candy

Gorgeous bracelets and bangles overload …..

lucite harlequin plastic cuff bangle jewelry

One of my very own – an stunning ultra chunky Lucite bangle which had gorgeous pearlized confetti Lucite pieces encapsulated within. I picked it up in a thrift shop, and have no idea who made it. Anyone any ideas?

 

 

vintage harlequin rhombus mop shell mother of pearl panel stretch bracelet (1)

Made from a mix of Mother Of Pearl inlay and hard plastic, this vintage harlequin bracelet dates circa 1980s.

antique vintage persian painted mop pearl panel repair bracelet (5)

Often called Persian Storybook bracelets, these very old antique beauties have individual pictures painted directly onto the exquisite Mother Of Pearl panels. Each painting was done by hand, and then the panels linked together using wire. They date from around the early 20th Century, and vary in quality from quite crude to outstandingly detailed. PURCHASE TIPS: Study the pictures carefully, as the enamel work is very prone to wearing off, and this affects value. Also, the wire work can snap with age (as seen in the photo), so make sure everything is intact (or nicely haggle down the price if you are able to fix it yourself)

vintage 40s 50s deco 60s glass rhinestone paste loop glass bracelet (2)

Real art deco costume jewellery is actually quite rare – a lot of what is advertised as deco actually dates circa 1960s to 1970s (when there was a big deco revival going on). This beauty dates from that later period, and has a gorgeous and very unusual deco inspired loop design – it’s one of the best 1970s deco revival pieces I’ve seen.

vintage bird cloisonne enamel clamper bracelet jewellery

Forecasting future costume jewellery collectables is hard, but I honestly hope that cloisonne jewellery from the 1990s onwards becomes a must have in 30 years time. Why? The workmanship on these pieces is stunning, the colours and textures exquisite, and the subjects are so varied (eg, birds, animals, fish, flowers, insects, even unicorns!). I LOVE cloisonne enamel jewellery, and this bangle has to be one of my favourites 🙂

vintage mop lucite bracelet signed germany

Eloxil is a type of very lightweight, almost featherlight pot metal, and was a popularly used in 1960s and 1970s jewellery as it contained alloys which didn’t tarnish nor rust. West German jewellery makers of the 1960s and 70s were experts in using it to its best effect, as seen in this gorgeous German  vintage bracelet – the panels are Lucite (with a mother of pearl effect), while the sparkling stones aren’t actual marcasites – they are molded Eloxil onto the Eloxil panels.

vintage reloved corsage pearl bead multi bracelet diamante brooch glass bridal jewellery

One from my shop, I handmade this bridal bracelet using a mix of 1950s glass pearls and modern crystals. The focal is pure vintage 1960s, making this bracelet one of a kind. I wish I could find more of those vintage focals as they are sooo beautiful!

 

 

 

Favourite coloured enamel Siam silver jewellery

Adding an earlier post on vintage Siam Silver jewellery from Thailand, here are my favourite coloured enamel pieces that I’ve been lucky enough to own ..

Vintage orange, blue, green, black and turquoise enamel Siam silver bracelet jewelry

Vintage multi-coloured orange, blue, green, black and turquoise enamel Siam silver bracelet. While black niellowork seems to be the most sought after type of Siam silver, there is a growing niche market for more colourful pieces too, which (judging by the clasp settings and signatures on the jewellery) are generally from a later period.

Vintage red enamel Siam Silver fan and heart brooch jewelry

Vintage red enamel Siam Silver fan and heart brooch

Vintage turquoise blue Siam silver large leaf brooch jewelry

Vintage turquoise blue enamel Siam silver large leaf brooch. While the more common black niellowork enamel is smooth and flat, by contrast a lot of the colourful enamel has a textured background, to give more depth to the piece.

Vintage turquoise blue Siam silver enamel panel bracelet jewelry

Vintage turquoise blue Siam silver enamel panel bracelet. Again, note the hand carved textured background.

Vintage turquoise blue Siam silver enamel flower brooch jewellery

Vintage turquoise blue Siam silver enamel flower brooch. Not long after this photo was taken the enamel work cracked and began to fall out, which is sadly something which Siam coloured enamel work occasionally suffers from (especially this tone of turquoise-blue for some reason!). If you plan on starting a collection, make sure you can see the enamel work clearly before buying – missing or damaged areas are not desirable, and can render your piece almost worthless.

Unusual red and royal blue vintage Siam silver enamel brooch jewerly

A rare two tone red and royal blue vintage Siam silver enamel brooch

Vintage white enamel Siam silver brooch jewelry, showing a beautifully detailed Mekkalah, Goddess of Lightening.

Vintage white enamel Siam silver brooch, showing a beautifully detailed depiction of the South Asian Goddess of Lightening, Mekkalah.

Vintage white enamel Siam silver brooch, showing Hanuman and Matcha from the Ramakien (Thai Ramayana)

Vintage white enamel Siam silver brooch, which depicts Hanuman and Matcha from the Ramakien (the Thailand version of the great Hindu epic the Ramayana)

Vintage white enamel ship Siam silver brooch jewellery

Vintage white enamel ship Siam silver brooch. White enamel is the most durable of the coloured enamels (in my opinion even more so than black niello work), and never seems to crack or even scratch.

This month’s jewellery questions and answers ..

Your latest quick Q & As about jewellery ..

 

natural genuine malachite gemstones oval earrings jewellery How to tell real malachite from fake?

Some people test is to rub it very lightly and feather-soft gently on an unglazed tile – it will leave a green streak. HOWEVER, this will damage the malachite (especially if it’s polished – it will leave a permanent damage mark) so I don’t recommend it under any circumstances. Malachite is very heavy (heavier than glass), and ice cold – it takes a long time to warm up when held in your hand. More info on Malachite identity here.

 

vintage job lot mixed vintage jewellery brooches necklaces spares repairs harvest aug26th 13 (5) (595x640) I’m looking for old duplicate jewelry for drama stuff ..

Best bet is probably good old Ebay. Search for the term ‘job lot of vintage jewellery’ (or job lot of necklaces/ bracelets etc), also use key words such as ‘old’, ‘junk’, ‘pile of’ if the term ‘job lot’ isn’t yielding decent results.

 

Antique Victorian blonde hair black enamel mourning vintage brooch Looking for beginners info on Victorian antique jewellery  – help!

Check out my guide here.

 

vintage lapis lazuli & silver bracelet - how to identify How to tell if lapiz lazuli is real?

Check out my guide here.

 

vintage brooch backs jewellery identify age I’m looking for info on antique brooch clasps ..

Check out this article here, which includes a bit on identifying brooch clasps to their historical period – hope this helps 🙂

 

Info on a 10k gold bracelet with a crown symbol?

I’d have to see a good quality close up photo of the stamp, but right now, I haven’t a clue! Anyone any ideas?

 

amber ring - identify gemstoneHow to test amber?

It’s tricky, especially if the stone is set in metal and not loose. Two quick tips – amber is warm and soft, and feels quite plastic-like (which unfortunately means there are lots of plastic fakes around); it’s not cold and not hard like glass or other gemstones. Check out more amber ID info here.

 

what is gold tone jewellery - vintage 1980s faux baroque pearl mega swag gold tone filigree pendant statement necklace collar (1) What is the meaning of ‘gold tone’ jewelry?

It usually means that the item is not solid gold – it’s non-precious metal which is gold in colour, or gold plated. Check out this article here.

 

vintage 60s marcasite shell cameo drop deco pendant (3) Any cameo testing jewellery tips?

Check out this article here – the testing tips are a bit further down.

 

Do you have a jewellery query which you can’t find answers to? While I’m not a professional expert, I have collected many types of jewellery (modern, antique and vintage), gemstones (and costume) for over 20 years, so even if I don’t know the answer to your query,  I can hopefully point you in the right direction.

 

Ask away 🙂