Cool Clip On Earrings

Add a dash of kook to your look with these adorable clip on earrings – piercings not required!

vintage 1950s turquoise glass bead clip earrings drop jewellery

These vintage 1950s turquoise glass bead clip earrings are a gorgeous mix of blue and brass colours

vintage chess board faceted carnival glass clip on stud earrings jewellery

Not sure what colour earrings to wear with your outfit? Try these vintage chess board faceted carnival glass clip on stud earrings, which have hues of rich purple, blue pink and even green sparkling in them.

vintage 1960s silver tone marcasite small clip on bridal earrings jewellery

Marcasites are perfect for those times when you want a glam finish, but don’t want the in-your-face dazzle og rhinestones, like these vintage 1960s silver tone marcasite clip on earrings

vintage blue & cream flower carved plastic clip on earrings jewellery

Beautifully cute without being too kitschy – loving these vintage blue & cream flower carved plastic clip on earrings

vintage 1960s blue large rhinestone paste clip on bridal spray earrings jewellery

If you prefer some bright sparkle then these large vintage 1960s blue large rhinestone spray clip on earrings are perfect!

vintage 60s purple glass AB rhinestone paste screw clip on flower earrings jewellery

Clip on earrings come in some gorgeous ‘stud’ styles, like these vintage 60s purple glass AB rhinestone paste clip on flower earrings

vintage 1960s turquoise blue white glass rhinestone paste clip on earrings jewellery

More stud styles – vintage 1960s turquoise blue white glass rhinestone paste clip on earrings jewellery

vintage 1970s pearl drop glass paste filigree gold tone clip on earrings jewellery

While antique in style, these vintage pearl & glass paste filigree clip on earrings date from circa 1970s. Clip ons were invented in around the 1920s; before that people wore pierced earrings only.

vintage Scottish thistle purple glass paste stone clip on earrings Celtic jewellery

Vintage Scottish thistle purple glass paste stone clip on earrings. Thistle jewellery is always popular as it is the emblem of the country of Scotland.

vintage 1960s faux Lucite pearl bridal wedding spray clip on earrings diamante jewellery

Perfect for brides! Loving these vintage 1960s faux Lucite pearl bridal wedding spray clip on earrings

vintage 1980s cream enamel rivoli rhinestone clip earrings statement jewellery

Vintage 1980s cream enamel rivoli rhinestone clip earrings

vintage faux marcasite rose pink gold tone leaf clip earrings 1960s jewellery

Rose gold jewellery has made a huge (and expensive!) comeback these past couple of years, but if you’re on a budget then vintage rose gold costume jewellery is out there waiting to be re-discovered, like these fab faux marcasite rose pink gold tone leaf clip earrings 1960s jewellery


Top ten no-nonsense tips for vintage jewellery shopping ..

I love shopping for vintage costume jewellery, but looking back I remember being really intimidated by it all when I first started out back in the 1990s. Over the years I’ve found some bargains, made some awful mistakes, and had the chance to discover towns and cities I’d never consider going to if I weren’t for my treasure hunting passion!

So here are my top tips for vintage costume jewellery shopping ..

1. Vintage jewellery is uncommon to find in ‘real life’ shops, unless it’s a specific vintage shop.  Charity and thrift shops do sell it occasionally (I absolutely LOVE charity shopping for vintage and make a day of it), but you have to search them out to find the best places, and even then they’re not consistent; a town bursting with unbelievable retro treasures in January may not produce anything else vintage jewellery-wise for the rest of the year. I actually keep a little calendar log of the towns I’ve visited, and don’t visit the charity shops there more than four times a year – yes, I’m that dedicated about it!

formby sefton coast beach merseyside pine trees free photos images beach sea (50)

When vintage and thrift shopping, always have a fun plan B if it’s one of those days where nothing is showing up. If I go to Merseyside, I make time to go to the lovely sandy beaches there on the Sefton coast (above), or a trip to rural towns normally means a countryside amble too. I  always shop in sturdy shoes, so I’m prepared for those unexpected detours!

2. Not everyone like treasure hunting, so if you want to buy a vintage jewellery without the hours of rummaging through crappy stuff, then a good bet is to head for areas in cities which have a cluster of dedicated vintage shops in one road (often in student areas). A concentration of shops means competition, which often equals better quality goods at lower prices. A single vintage shop in a town or district can sometimes mean higher prices for a more limited range of items.

3. Have some background knowledge to what you want to buy if possible, especially when it comes to dating vintage stuff, or looking out for fakes. Ask your seller questions about an item, and trust your instincts. I’ve written some guides to dating vintage jewellery which can be found on this blog, or ask away here!

4. Quick vintage jewellery dating tips: Any necklace that has a lobster clasp is generally modern.  T-bar hinges on brooches mean very old antique jewellery (yay!). Gloopy pearlized enamel is generally modern. Aurora borealis (also known as ‘AB’) is a special type of rainbow lustre found coated on glass stones and beads, and was invented in the 1950s; therefore it’s never found on art deco nor antique jewellery.

Tips on shopping for vintage fashion costume retro shop jewellery

MAIN: a T-hinge brooch, only found on real antique jewellery
TOP RIGHT: glass beads/ stones coated with Aurora Borealis lustre, which is a guarantee the beads or stones were made after the 1950s.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Gloopy pearlized enamel (as seen on this bracelet) is generally modern.

5. Try not to buy vintage jewelry which is damaged – things like flaking pearls and damaged enamel are not fixable and will only get worse, and definitely avoid metal that has little green patches (called verdigris) which will only get worse no matter how you try and clean it, and it will spread to other jewellery it touches too).

6. You may hear people talking about ‘signed jewellery’. This means that the company which made the piece has had it’s name stamped on the back (eg Trifari, Napier, Hollywood, Exquisite). Unless you specifically collect vintage costume jewellery (which is a big passion for many people, but a subject for a different blog post), I wouldn’t be too concerned about this, and certainly don’t pay over the odds for something your not 100% in love with just because it has a stamped ‘name’ on it. Some of the most stunning vintage jewellery I’ve come across has been ‘unsigned’ (ie, no stamp), and it’s been whole lot cheaper too (WINS all round :))

7. If you fall in love with jewellery which is damaged and you know how fix it (eg, replace missing stones) then have a go at (nicely and respectfully) haggling the price down if you feel it’s too high. While vintage will show signs of light wear (eg, gold tone metal fading, slightly dull rhinestones), don’t fall for some dealers sale speak of damage being a ‘natural’ part of owning a piece of vintage –  it isn’t.  If you want your items to last (or sell on at a later date) then the jewellery should be good condition.

vintage 5 row pearl glass bead necklace repair (2)

This broken vintage faux pearl necklace was on offer for almost the same price as a good condition one. Use common sense, and only buy things which are in good condition (or if your crafty, fixable and at a discounted price).

8. You can find some real bargains at auctioneers – not the famous Internet ones, I mean the real life ones, with humans and hammers and dodgy winks and head shakes. In my experience,  they’re great for buying vintage costume jewellery in bulk, or individual items of vintage fine jewellery (ie gold or gemstones) at a bargain.

9. You never know what lies inside that town or small city your innocently passing through. My best finds have been: a pile of art deco Bohemian glass necklaces in Accrington (£1 each), a huge 1950s rhinestone brooch from Carlisle (£3), an antique Victorian Whitby Jet necklace from Knutsford (£4), a carved 1950s mother of pearl powder compact from Kendal (£5), a carved art deco Bakelite bangle from Chorley (£1), some 1940s reverse carved Lucite jewellery from Altringham (£3 each), and an art deco glass paste bracelet from Caernarfon (£4).  BTW, in the interest of balance and honesty, I usually don’t find one single thing when I’m out on a treasure hunt!

10.  It’s what you’ve been hoping for all blog post – where to shop (ie, outside London, as that’s a blog post for someone who actually knows London well and who isn’t an odd day tripper like me). I’m not going to give away all my favourite places, but here’s a random 5 to get you started. In no particular order:

  • Glasgow: Byres Road area, which is near Glasgow University. A treasure trove of good quality vintage shops at proper prices (hint – don’t forget to investigate the cobbled side streets off it too – some of the best shops are found down there).
  • The cities of York and Chester – different counties but similar in enchanting olde world feel, and both a treasure trove of good quality second hand shops that don’t overcharge. If in Chester and you’ve got time, nip over to Wrexham too.
  • If you want proper couture and luxury designers such as Chanel, then head over to Alderley Edge in Cheshire (apparently the town with the highest concentration of millionaires or something). As seen with my very own eyes when I decided to have a quick nosy in while passing through on other business, the charity shops there are rightly the stuff of legend.
  • Ramsbottom in Lancashire has some great charity shops, and for the full vintage experience you can even catch an old  vintage train there too. It’s also home to the incredible ‘Memories Antiques’ vintage emporium centre, which is bursting at the seams with stalls selling vintage clothes and vintage jewellery from floor to ceiling, all at very reasonable prices too. Even thinking about it brings a warm smile to my face and song to my heart.
  • And last but not least, take a day out along the lovely North Wales coast, from Prestatyn to Colwyn Bay and ending in Llandudno. All three are packed with charity shops and the odd old fashioned antique curiosity shop (the one in Prestatyn is legendary), and what the heck, ambling along these neighbouring seaside towns is just lovely way to spend a day.
views from great orme llandudno wales

Vintage shopping along the North Wales coast, Jewellery Muse style (be sure to pack those walking boots to take in the view from the top of Great Orme!)

Gorgeous vintage jewellery for the Christmas party season

Stuck for jewellery ideas regarding your Xmas and New Year party outfit? Don’t want to be caught out wearing the same accessories as everyone else? Let this mass of sparkling authentic vintage beauties give you some ideas ..

Vintage 3 row AB crystal necklace bead bridal jewellery

Sparkling vintage aurora borealis crystal bead necklaces from the 1960s and 70s can be found easily online, and are perfect for adding that pure retro glamour to your party look without too much bling.

Art deco vintage pink glass paste brooch jewellery

The right brooch can change your look from ordinary to extra-ordinary. This vintage art deco pink glass paste brooch is from my own collection. In the past I’ve used it to scrunch up and tighten a dress which was too loose around the waist, hold fly-a-away scarf down, decorate a tired looking evening bag and to secure a side-wrap top in place. The beauty of a brooch like this is that while solving your secret outfit dilemmas, it becomes a gorgeous focal point to your look.

vintage 60s marcasite shell cameo drop deco pendant

A vintage genuine shell cameo, like this marcasite encrusted chic pendant from the 1960s, oozes elegance, and makes a beautiful, classic statement.

vintage 1970s cape cardigan clip brooch glass diamante jewelry

Capes are a beautiful way to finish a glam winter outfit – for the ultimate in chic add a vintage cape/ cardigan clip, like this vintage 1970s glass rhinestone deco revival clip, to hold it in place.

vintage 1970s french jet glass diamante black tassel drop brooch jewellery

French Jet adds a touch of drama to any look, and this 1970s Victoriana tassel brooch is a stylish mix of prim and party.

vintage 50s glass paste rhinestone baguette bridal tassel drop necklace jewelry

Raid your Great Aunties jewellery box for her vintage glass paste necklaces – this beauty from the 1960s is made from dazzling individually faceted glass stones and is bang on trend this season.

Vintage turquoise, pearl and black diamante rhinestone cocktail ring 1970s jewellery

Cocktail rings come into their own over the Xmas party season, like his vintage 1970s turquoise-glass and pearl stunner.

Victorian antique horn and jet mourning bracelet jewelry

If you like your jewellery to be a talking point then go for genuine antique, like this Victorian circa 1880s bracelet made from rare Whitby Jet and pressed horn. Jewellery made before the 20th Century look so striking, and can still be picked up for a reasonable amount. Prices for basic Victorian costume jewellery brooches start from as little as £10 online, though search for proper vintage jewellery dealers so you’re not sold a fake!

vintage style glass bead silver swag bag

Even though I love real vintage jewellery I have no problem mixing and matching old and new. This modern silver glass bead evening purse handbag is a favourite of mine, and looks amazing when teamed with a piece of authentic vintage jewellery.

vintage 1970s snake brooch large blue red glass diamante rhinestone jewellery

Statement brooches are not for the faint hearted, though with a little extra effort they can look seriously amazing. This massive vintage 1970s glass diamante snake brooch would need careful experimentation with lots of outfits, but get it right and you’ll stand out from the crown beautifully.

Vintage 80s glass pearl bracelet jewellery

If you’re stuck for a way to accessorize your look, you can’t go wrong with pearls. This elegant 3 row cuff bracelet dates from the 1980s and is made from ivory colour glass pearls, in a exquisitely chic twisted design.

vintage 1970s purple marquise glass rhinestone clip earrings

Plum colours are big news this winter, so mix the glamour of glass paste with the shade of the season with these sparkling vintage plum purple rhinestone earrings.

art deco blue glass crystal faceted bead necklace boho 30s jewellery

Why not experiment with vintage glass beads? They come in an infinite variety of shapes. styles and colours, while many (like this 1920s art deco Bohemian blue glass bead necklace) are collectors items in there own right.

Vintage 70s chunky red glass stone paste bracelet jewelry

If your outfit doesn’t leave space for a necklace, then statement wrist-wear is a must, like this ultra chunky red glass stone vintage bracelet, dating from the 1970s.

vintage 1960s glass paste rhinestone baguette drop screw clip on earrings bridal jewellery

Choose your earrings carefully – all that drinking, dancing and partying can lead to unwanted incidents in the earrings department. Try and source some screw back earrings, like these gorgeous 1960s crystal drop clips. The screws hold the earrings more securely in place than normal clip-ons, and if you do have an accident on the dance floor (I’m thinking tangled hair and arms here) you don’t run the risk of having the posts ripped out of your ears (ouch).


Tartan clothes and Scottish agate jewellery – a perfect combination ♥

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…

Antique Victorian Scottish agate brooch jewelry

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.

Antique Victorian Scottish agate brooch jewelry

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.

Antique Victorian Scottish agate brooch jewelry axe silver

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.

Antique Victorian Scottish agate cross pendant jewelry

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 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.

Antique Victorian Scottish agate plaid brooch silver jewellery

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.

Vintage 70s costume jewelry Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch

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.

Vintage costume jewellery Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch Hollywood Exquisite

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.

Vintage costume jewelry Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch

A circa 1980s imitation Scottish agate brooch, set into bronze tone metal

Vintage costume jewelry Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch iona Celtic

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.

Vintage costume jewellery Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch

Iona stone from Scotland is a popular choice for Scottish agate lovers (as seen in these lovely earrings)

Vintage costume jewellery Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch bracelet

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.

Vintage costume jewellery Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch signed Miracle

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.

vintage scottish agate earrings citrine thistle clip ons

Thistles are the emblem of Scotland, and when seen in jewellery the flower part often made of quartz from the country.

Scottish Celtic Heathergems thistle stone brooch jewelry
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!

Antique Victorian Scottish agate buckle carnelian brooch jewelry

Buckle motiffs never date. This fabulous vintage Scottish agate brooch is fully articulated, and was made in the Victorian period circa 1870s. Love it!

Cool jewellery for hot summers …

Fab jewellery ideas for your hottest summer look ..

 polished agate gemstone stretch bracelet

Metal parts in the heat can feel annoying against the skin – try wearing elasticated jewellery instead. This polished agate gemstone stretch bracelet is a perfect combination of bright colours and a natural cool earthy vibe.

Antique Victorian Edwardian coral gemstone strand necklace jewelry

Coral jewellery oozes fun and summer chic, and is bright enough for lazy summer days, and yet beautifully sophisticated for enough hot summer nights.

Vintage 1970s malachite gemstone green bead graduated necklace jewelry

Want jewellery that may actually keep you cool? Look no further than the gorgeous malachite gemstone. The way it’s chemically made up means that it always feels cold to the touch, and rarely warms up (you can also use this tip for identifying real malachite from imitations – if your ‘malachite’ starts to warm up to your hands temperature when held, it could be a sign that it’s fake – real malachite takes a long time to warm up – it’s a cold gemstone. In fact, many gemstones have this ‘cold’ quality, including some quartz).

Vintage 1960s kitsch green plastic Lucite bead 2 row collar necklace jewelry

Summer means fun, which equals loud and proud statement jewellery, like this in-your-face vintage 1960s green Lucite bead necklace.

Vintage 1980s yellow red mop shimmer Lucite bracelet panel jewelry

Sweet colour combinations in this vintage 1980s Lucite elasticated bangle ..

Vintage 1960s kitsch flower plastic orange yellow white bead necklace jewelry

Haven’t the patience for making a daisy chains? Go for the next best thing with super kitsch vintage plastic flower jewellery from the 1960s – cute, fun and unique to you.

vintage 1960s yellow Lucite plastic bead bib statement necklace jewelry

Nothing sums up summer better than yellow, but it’s a hard colour to pull off, and get it wrong means you could end up looking like a giant walking lemon! Jewellery is a perfect way to inject a flash of the bright stuff, as demonstrated in this fab vintage 1980s statement yellow bead necklace.

Vintage 1990s rave fluorescent oval bangle yellow glow dark jewelry

Summer? Check √ Bangles? Check √ Fluorescent colours? Perfect! ☼

vintage 1970s green and brown plastic chain bead necklace jewelry

Gorgeous green and brown plastic chain bead necklace

Vintage 1980s shell mop mother of pearl panel stretch bracelet jewelry

Shell and mother of pearl jewellery belong to the summer.

Vintage 1980s chunky statement green plastic Lucite pendant and gold tone chain necklace jewelry

If you can’t be without a bit of bling in summer, check out some vintage 1970s and 80s costume chain jewellery. A lot of it was made using a type of metal which was tarnish-proof and incredibly light in weight, so it won’t feel as clogging against your skin.

  Have fun!!!!!☼☼☼☼☼☼ 

New to vintage jewelry?

If you are new to vintage jewellery, where do you start?

Treat yourself to a vintage brooch to begin with – they’re so pretty and can be worn in a variety of ways:

  • Brighten up old jackets and coats with a brooch which suits the occasion – daytime wear looks fab with kitsch 1940s vintage reverse carved Lucite brooches, while a sparkling 1960s vintage rhinestone brooch will get people talking for all the right reasons when pinned to your jacket.
    • How to wear vintage jewellery jewelry fashion ideas brooches

      Vintage 60s rhinestone glass paste brooch

    • Tartan and tweed makes another return this season, and what better way to cleverly kook up your outfit and pin together your cape/ scarf than with a fantastic Scottish agate brooch.  For those on a tight budget look out for Miracle jewellery, who make superb Scottish style jewellery using glass instead of real agates.  If you want the real thing then prices start at around £70 for a standard vintage Scottish agate brooch, with the finer antique brooches going selling in the £100s.

      How to wear vintage jewellery jewelry fashion ideas brooches Scottish

      Antique Victorian Scottish agate brooch

How to wear vintage jewellery jewelry fashion ideas brooches

An antique Victorian circa 1880s ivy brooch, made from Vulcanite

  • If you’re loving the Gothic trends at the moment then why not decorate yourself with genuine  jewellery from the Victorian era – much of it looks as brilliant today as it did when it was first made.  Modern plastic cameo jewellery compliments the look, though if you’ve not already done so then you should treat yourself to a real handmade one-of-a-kind cameo! Seriously, once you own your first proper cameo, and see what jaw-dropping beautiful works of art they really are, you’ll never go back to cheap high street one’s.

    How to wear vintage jewellery jewelry fashion ideas cameo brooch

    Vintage hand carved shell cameo brooch

Remember, vintage brooches don’t always belong on the lapel or shoulder.  Try pinning them onto purses and handbags for a touch of 1950s starlet glamour.  A vintage brooch look stunning when holding your scarf, cardigan or cape in place, while all types of hat can be utterly transformed with a cute brooch You can also buy brooch ‘transformers’, handy little removable gadgets which clip onto your brooch pin and turn then into a pendant without damaging them.  If you’re a dab hand at crafts, you can wrap wire around vintage rhinestone brooches and tie them to plain hair slides, turning them into fabulous hair clips and tiaras.

Vintage 70s huge snake rhinestone glass brooch jewelry

Vintage 1970s huge snake rhinestone glass brooch

How to wear vintage jewellery jewelry fashion ideas lucite brooches

This adorable vintage circa 1940s brooch is perfect for everyday wear, and is made from reverse carved Lucite (a type of plastic).

How to wear vintage jewellery jewelry fashion ideas brooches

This stunning old art deco brooch dates from around the 1930s, and though it looks old and well loved it still oozes glamour (and makes a fab talking point too).

How to wear vintage jewellery jewelry fashion ideas brooches

This lovely brooch is perfect for adding a truly Gothic edge
to lace, and dates from the 19th Century Victorian era. It’s made from hand carved Whitby Jet – a highly sought after gemstone. Whitby Jet
items never go out of style and can be very dramatic, though they can
also hurt those purse strings as it demand a high prices due to its rarity.
Why not do what the Victorian fashionistas did (yes, they existed back then
too) and buy imitation Whitby Jet, made from black glass (a.k.a French
Jet). It’s much cheaper, and looks just as gorgeous.

How to wear vintage jewellery jewelry fashion ideas brooches

A 19th Century Victorian French Jet (ie black glass) brooch – a cheaper alternative to Whitby Jet.

How to wear vintage jewellery jewelry fashion ideas brooches siam silver

For those who love kitsch then vintage Siam Silver jewellery
is perfect. It comes in lots of colours (though black is the most
common) and the images on the enamel work vary from piece to piece. This
brooch shows Mekkalah, the Goddess of Lightening, who in Eastern and Thai
mythology beat Ramasoon (the God of Thunder) using lightening after he
got a little too aggressive with her for spurning his affections

How to wear vintage jewellery jewelry fashion ideas brooches

Vintage 1970s glass micro mosaic brooches are so cute and
lots of fun. Most depict kitsch flowers and are perfect for everyday