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?
Made from a mix of Mother Of Pearl inlay and hard plastic, this vintage harlequin bracelet dates circa 1980s.
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)
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.
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 🙂
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.
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!
There are things in modern life that are certainties; death, taxes, and of course the autumn/ winter fashion designers rule which states that either army fatigues, the ‘Gothic look’ or head to toe tartan will be the next big thing (oh, and that some colour other than black will be the new ‘black’).
This year it’s tartans turn back on the runways (you can see some stunning Saint Laurent, Mulberry, Givenchy, Versace collections here). And if you happen to love tartan then why not finish your look with some rather gorgeous pieces of Scottish jewellery? Here are some beauties to wet the apatite…
This Scottish agate brooch is a real genuine antique, and dates from around the 1880s. Jewellery made from agate and quartz gemstones found in Scotland has been around for hundreds of years.
Another antique Scottish agate brooch from around the late 19th to early 20th Century. Old Scottish jewellery has a big following around the world, and many experts can even tell what part of Scotland the agate came from just by looking at at.
An antique Scottish agate axe brooch, circa 1880s. Most antique Scottish agate jewellery was set into either base metals, gilt, un-hallmarked silver, or occasionally gold. A simple ‘925’ stamp on Scottish jewellery is generally only found on post 1950s silver tone pieces.
In times gone by, Scottish agates were used to make brooches, necklaces, bangles and pendants, like this tiny Victorian cross charm.
A collection of old Scottish agate jewellery. From top: a vintage 1970s brooch with huge yellow centre stone, a 1920s silver dirk pin in the shape of a tiny dagger, and a tiny early Victorian cross brooch.
A stunning example of an antique Scottish agate brooch, made from a variety of agates found around Scotland’s coastline. Note the perfectly flush settings – found in only the best examples of the genre.
Scottish jewellery has never gone out of fashion. The real stuff can be expensive, but fear not – there are some gorgeous costume jewellery imitations available. This vintage modernist style brooch was made in the 1970s, and uses a real agate set into base metal.
Even the famous vintage costume jewellery designers of the 1950s and 60s brought out collections that imitated Scottish agate jewellery, including ‘Exquisite’ and ‘Hollywood’. The stones were made from colourful glass, and set into base metal.
A circa 1980s imitation Scottish agate brooch, set into bronze tone metal
Celtic knot work (as seen on this stunning circa 1980s brooch) is a sign that the brooch was made post 1960s – older Scottish agate jewellery was decorated with non-Celtic scroll work and typical Victorian flourishes.
Iona stone from Scotland is a popular choice for Scottish agate lovers (as seen in these lovely earrings)
Real Scottish agate bracelets and bangles are rare and cost hundreds of pounds, so if you’re on a budget why not treat yourself to a costume jewellery imitation? Prices start from about a tenner.
One of the most famous modern makers of Scottish agate jewellery is the ‘Miracle’ company, who make both costume jewellery pieces and high quality fine silver reproductions.
Thistles are the emblem of Scotland, and when seen in jewellery the flower part often made of quartz from the country.
This beautiful Scottish thistle brooch is made by another famous jewellery company called Heathergems. The stone isn’t a real ‘stone’ at all – learn more here!
Buckle motiffs never date. This fabulous vintage Scottish agate brooch is fully articulated, and was made in the Victorian period circa 1870s. Love it!