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Flower Power Jewellery

Beautiful, timeless – the art of flowers in jewellery.

These beautiful faceted glass beads were made in China, and feature black and agoldstone effect centre colours, with pink flower detail inside of the bead.

These beautiful faceted glass beads were made in China, and feature black and agoldstone effect centre colours, with pink flower detail inside of the bead.

Stunning gold plated brooch, featuring carved pink coral gemstone flowers and green jade leaves.

Stunning gold plated brooch, featuring carved pink coral gemstone flowers and green jade leaves. These types of coral and jade brooches usually come in a variety of posy designs, though occasionally I’ve come across butterflies and fruit brooches too.

Vintage 1950s turquoise gold tone costume jewellery brooch

Vintage 1950s faux turquoise and gold tone elegant brooch. The imitation turquoise stones are probably made from Czechoslovakian glass, who supplied a lot of the glass stones seen in vintage costume jewellery.

 

Flower red blue cloisonne enamel gold tone clamper bangle jewelry

Gorgeous cloisonne enamel flower clamper bangle. Cloisonne costume jewellery is a personal favourite of mine; I adore the sheer variety of styles beautiful detail in every piece made.

 

 

Vintage circa 1950s reverse carved Lucite brooch, depicting pink flower and with unusual gold tone leaf detail. Making reverse carving Lucite jewellery and objects was a popular hobby around the 1940s and 50s – Morning Glory Antiques has a great article and info on this.

Vintage Eloxal gold tone snake chain statement necklace 1980s fashion jewellery

Vintage 1980s Eloxal lightweight metal snake chain necklace, with flower pendant detail. No clasp is needed, as the flower pendant moves up and down to create a length that suits you.

Adorable vintage Edelweiss flower earrings, made from carved white plastic and painted in the centre stamens with grey and yellow cold-paint enamel.

Adorable vintage Edelweiss flower earrings, made from cream white carved plastic and painted in the centre with cold-paint enamel.

Art deco stunning repousse 3-D flower and leaf statement cuff bangle, in brass metal jewelry

Art deco stunning repousse 3-D flower and leaf statement cuff bangle, in brass metal.

Adorable vintage white shimmering plastic bead 2 row necklace costume jewelry, with flower and leaf bead caps. Made in Japan, circa 1960s.

Adorable vintage white shimmering plastic bead 2 row necklace, with flower and leaf bead caps. Made in Japan, circa 1960s.

 

Vintage circa 1960s orchid flower brooch, with stunning orange, yellow and green cold painted enamel jewellery

Vintage circa 1960s orchid flower brooch, with stunning orange, yellow and green cold painted enamel.

Cute teapot pendant charm necklace, with glass flower centre

Cute teapot pendant charm necklace, with glass flower centre

Cute lampwork glass charm pendants and earrings ..

I love sparkles and crystals and all things glamorous, but often I just want to wear cute things too. In my shop, there’s a growing range of adorable animal, insect and bird costume jewellery and I’ve got a real soft spot for it! 🙂

pig pendant lampwork glass bead cute necklace animal farm charm silver tone jewelry

pink pig lampwork glass earrings unique cute charm silver tone jewellery

ABOVE: Some of my all time best sellers – pig earrings and pig pendant necklace. These beauties are made from glass, and unfortunately they no longer seem to be made! I’ve not got many left in stock, and am desperately trying to find if another supplier has them. Buy here.

 

lampwork bead penguin bird pendant charm silver tone necklace unique cute jewellery

Adorable black and white penguin, complete with an orange glass bobble hat I made for it! (the ‘bobble’ is a sparkling Austrian crystal). Buy here.

 

bumblebee Austrian crystal pendant enamel charm necklace unique cute jewellery

There’s been a real buzzz (sorry!) about these bumblebee earrings and pendant silver tone necklace, made from black and white enamel topped with sparkling Austrian crystals. Buy here.

enamel bee glass bumblebee crystal yellow charm earrings unique cute silver tone jewellery

pug dog Austrian glass crystal yellow and brown bead pendant necklace unique cute silver tone jewellery

Adorable pug charm pendant necklace, complete with brown and beige Austrian crystal details. Buy here.

 

dolphin crystal blue pendant necklace sea nautical unique cute silver tone jewellery

Jumping dolphin silver tone charm pendant necklace, with tiny sparkling sea blue crystal glass detail. Buy here.

 

dove bird crystal pendant necklace unique cute silver tone charm jewellery

Super cute flying bird silver tone charm necklace, with tiny sparkling sky blue Austrian glass crystal. Buy here.

 

uranium glass crystal frog pendant necklace unique cute silver tone charm jewellery

This adorable little green crystal glass frog pendant has a little secret ….

 

uranium glass crystal frog pendant necklace unique cute silver tone charm jewellery

It’s belly is made glows under Ultra Violet light! (for ages I had a bag of vintage 1950s uranium glass beads that I didn’t know what to do with, and when I found this frog charm, I knew they had to go together!). Buy here.

 

ladybird insect glass lampwork earrings crystal unique cute antique bronze charm handmade jewellery

Gorgeous red ladybird glass charm earrings, complete with with green glass crystal detail. Buy here.

 

ladybird insect glass lampwork leaf earrings crystal bracelet cute antique bronze charm handmade jewellery

I love these glass ladybirds so much I can’t stop making jewellery out of them! The leaves are also glass, and the clasp is strong magnetic (with safety chain). Buy here.

 

ladybird insect glass lampwork pendant necklace crystal unique cute antique bronze charm handmade jewellery

You can never have enough cute jewellery 🙂

 

UPDATE: I also have in stock pandas, mice, sheep and chickens!

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 🙂

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!)

Quiz time! Guess the age of this jewellery….

Bit of fun today  – try to guess the age of these seven items of jewellery…..answers at the bottom of page 🙂

Number 1 below:

Guess the age of the vintage jewellery

Red brooch

Number two:

Guess the age of the vintage jewelry

Rhinestone necklace

Number 3:

Guess the age of the vintage jewellery

Yellow bead necklace

Number 4:

Guess the age of the vintage jewellery

Cross pendant

 

Number 5:

Guess the age of the vintage jewelry

Plastic and rhinestone brooch

 

Number 6 below:

Guess the age of the vintage jewellery

Black bracelet

Number 7 :

Guess the age of the vintage jewellery

Orange necklace

 

ANSWERS: 

Number 1  Red Buckle Brooch:  This is a typical vintage Scottish agate buckle brooch, which dates from the antique Victorian period, circa 1880s.

Number 2  Glass diamante swag necklace:  Although it looks vintage, this necklace is a lovely modern reproduction. How can we tell? The clasp is a modern ‘lobster’ clasp with typical post 1990s long extender chain. Also, the spacing between the stones is longer than on vintage necklace.

Number 3  Yellow bead necklace:  The rounded patterned barrel clasp indicates that this necklace is art deco and dates from the 1920s.  Another give-away is if you shine a UV black light torch on the glass beads, they’ll glow in the dark*; early 20th century and art deco glass was sometimes had minute amounts of real uranium added to them intensify the colour.

Number 4  Cross pendant:  This kitsch looking item is decorated with glass tiles and is properly known as micro mosaic jewellery, a distinct looking type of jewelry which has been made in Italy for hundreds of years.  This Italian religious pendant is modern and dates from the year 2000 – it was made to commemorate Christs 2000th birthday and is dated on the back.

Number 5  plastic and rhinestone brooch:  Although it screams art deco period, this brooch actually dates from the 1970s (there was a big art deco revival during this decade).  The biggest give-away is the pin at the back, which has standard modern roll-over clasp.

Number 6  Black bracelet:  Believe it or not, this bracelet is over 120 years old.  It dates from the Victorian period and is made from Whitby Jet, a type of gemstone mined in the east coast of England, which is now rare.  Antique Victorian jewellery was so well made that a lot still survives in excellent and perfectly wearable condition today.

Number 7  Orange necklace:  This double strand kitsch looking necklace is made from real coral gemstone, and dates from the Victorian / early Edwardian period, circa 1900s.  Coral was worn by superstitious Victorians as they believed it enhanced their health, and protected them from other people’s jealousy.

Vintage uranium glass bead necklace deco jewelry under UV light

* here’s a picture of those yellow uranium glass beads under UV light: