Jewellery tips

Latest Jewellery Questions And Answers

Work has been pretty hectic over the past few months.  I’m in the process of finishing some new handmade jewellery collections, as well as bringing you a many more lovely pieces of vintage and antique jewels; I’ve had boxes of old costume jewellery in storage for a while now, and have finally got round to sorting through them all. They’ll be ready to be put in my shop in the coming weeks.

A tiny handful of the vintage jewellery I've been going through and sorting, ready for sale soon.

A small handful of the piles of vintage jewellery I’ve been going through and sorting.

 

In the meantime, it’s been a while since we’ve had a Q & A session! So here are the latest jewel queries and questions that have been asked (and if you’d like to ask a question please get in touch or leave a message in the comment section below – no question is too small or far out 🙂

 

Readers Q & A:

 

Can you share any tips to find beaded necklaces on Ebay?

My first tip would be to write in the search box both ‘bead’ and ‘beaded’, as they’ll bring up more results. Also, do use the ‘Item Specifics’ area on the left hand side of the page – there are tick box lists to help narrow down your search and help filter out 1000s of unhelpful listings, including excluding International sellers (eg, if you need a necklace quickly and can’t wait for longer shipping from overseas).

Be as detailed and specific as you can; what is it that you’re looking for? Glass beads? Plastic? Faux pearl or cultured? Gold colour or bronze metal? Long or choker? Write it in the search box, don’t be afraid to use lots of words – sometimes I’ll type in a long sentence that over fills the box! If listing results are coming up that are no good for you (eg, you are searching for sparkling crystal beaded necklaces, but you’re having to go through hundreds of adverts for wooden religious rosary’s), simply put a dash mark: minus mark directly in front of the exact word you wish to remove; so if I wanted to search for a white glass bead necklace but didn’t want to see any wooden rosary’s, I would type in the search bar:

White bead glass necklace rosary rosary’s wood wooden

and this should remove all wood rosary listings from your search. Finally, some people swear by searching for miss-spelt listings, so in your case try “knecklace” “neckless” or “necklese” to perhaps strike it lucky and find the stuff no one else can see.  Hope this helps 🙂

 

What does the lion and anchor on jewellery mean?

A lion signifies that the piece is sterling 925 silver, and the anchor means is was tested and passed as genuine sterling silver (correctly called ‘Assaying’) in the city of Birmingham Assay Office in the United Kingdom. This beginner’s article on How To Read A British Hallmark should help you further.

identifying hallmarks UK British help and tips

A sterling silver 925 ingot pendant, with good large clear hallmarks. From the top: a leopard’s head, which tells us it was tested at London Assay Office, a lion ‘passant’ which confirms the silver is genuine 925 sterling, a ‘c’ (1977) which tell us the year it was tested/ made, and on this particular piece a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, as it was the Silver Jubilee 1977 celebration year.

 

Is there a fast way of dating cameo jewelry?

Generally speaking, the quickest way is to look at the quality of the carving. Smooth and beautifully detailed cameo’s tend to be pre-1920s, whilst ‘sharper’ crudely carved cameos are post 1940s. Roman mythology cameos are usually 18th to 19th Century, while pretty side profile portraits of young women with shorter or ponytail hair tend to be 1960s onward (though any type of male portrait tend to be 18th to 19th Century, just to confuse things). Pictorial / rural picture scenes are generally 19th to early 20th Century. Please note these are general guidance only, and not hard rules (eg, there are some modern cameos which are so well carved they look Victorian). If it’s a cameo brooch, I’ve written a photo guide on How To Date A Vintage Brooch, which may help.

A circa 1950s shell cameo pendant, quite crudely carved.

A circa 1950s shell cameo pendant, quite crudely carved.

A Victorian nicely carved shell cameo brooch, depicting Hebe and Zeus as an eagle, from Roman mythology.

A Victorian circa 1880s carved shell cameo brooch, depicting Hebe and Zeus as an eagle, from Roman mythology.

Thank you so much for this question, it’s given me a good blog post inspiration to do a quick-glance photo guide to dating cameos 🙂

 

How do you make micro mosaic jewellery?

Very briefly, tiny tiles (or tiny uniform pieces snapped off thin lampwork glass rods), are placed in a setting that has a strong glue or cement base in it, to form a picture such as flowers. Once everything is set and the glue/cement has dried, a type of grouting is placed over the tiles to secure them in. Unlike most other jewellery, micro mosaic making processes tend to be close guarded secrets, though these Youtube videos here and here may hopefully help further.

How to make micro mosaic jewellery tips help

A standard mosaic brooch, made from tiny glass tiles (approx 2mm to 4mm) set in cement and a gold plated frame.

Proper supplies are almost impossible to get hold of  – I’ve found that searches for micro mosaic tiles only bring up ‘small’ tiles, not the proper tinier micro mosaic jewellery ones. When I was planning on having a go at making micro mosaic jewellery myself a few years ago, the nearest tiles I could find were sold by this supplier who offers a range of Smalti tiles, (I planned use glass nippers to try and cut them even smaller).  I never ended up getting round to making traditional micro mosaic jewellery as I didn’t have the time, but if anyone does, please do let us know how you get on, I’d certainly be fascinated 🙂

If you’re not too concerned about keeping to the ‘traditional’ methods of using glass tiles, but are more interested in the final effect of micro mosaic jewellery, I’ve seen some absolutely stunning examples people have made from polymer clay. Glass seed beads set sideways (so you can’t see the hole) may also be an alternative to experiment with.

 

What does a 1/5 9ct.r.g .. m.k&co ..  stamp on my gold bracelet mean?
Any time you see a math fraction mark on gold-looking jewellery, it usually indicates a type of “gold filled” or “rolled gold” metal finish. Rolled gold is a sort of thicker gold-plating on base metal; it’s better than standard gold plating, but not as good as proper 9k/10k gold. The marks on your particular piece of jewellery mean it’s made from rolled gold, while the “m.k&co” stamp is likely to be the jewelry makers initials. You can discover more about the world of gold plating and the strange letter stamps on gold-looking jewellery here (reading it may also save you from getting ripped off by dodgy jewelry dealers!)
Helpful jewellers stamping "rolled gold" on the bangle rather than confusing us with mysterious fractions and letters.

This helpful jeweler stamped “rolled gold” on the bangle rather than confusing us with mysterious math fractions and letters.

 

How can you tell if jet is genuine?
Surprisingly, real jet feels more like plastic than like glass or gemstone – it’s lightweight, warm and has a slightly ‘oily’ texture (rather than heavy, cold and hard like glass or onyx). Looking at it through a strong magnifying glass or jewellers loupe will reveal some surface texture, not a glass like smoothness. Many people like to use a tile test – ie, scraping a piece of jet lightly on the rough unglazed underside on a tile to see if it leaves dark brown streak, but it’s not something I would personally recommend; it can badly damage the polished surface of the jet, and some materials that look like jet but aren’t, can stain the tile in a similar way too.
Close up detail of genuine Victorian Whitby Jet beads. Whilst the surface is shiny, it's nowhere near as glossy as onyx or glass jewellery. When held, it was also quite light in weight.

Close up detail of genuine Victorian jet gemstone beads, made with jet found at Whitby Bay in England. Whilst the surface is quite shiny, it’s nowhere near the mirror-like glossiness of onyx or black glass. When held, it’s also quite light in weight.

 

how to id identify genuine real jet and glass onyx photos

This is a close up of black glass beads – note how shinier and more sparkling it is than the above picture of the genuine jet gemstone (onyx is very similar looking to black glass as well). Just to really confuse things, black glass is sometimes called ‘French Jet’ by jewelers to make it sound more fancy.

I have a vintage Delft brooch, is it worth anything?

Whilst a lot of people do collect Delftware, the jewellery has unfortunately never really been worth that much, which is as shame because it’s really pretty. Generally speaking, I’ve found that vintage Delft brooches sell for between £3 and £10 ($5 to $12 USD), though once or twice I’ve seen them sell for around the £20 mark ($25 USD) – this is not a valuation, just what I’ve personally seen them sell for over the years.

A pair of pretty blue and white Delft earrings, with distinctive Dutch windmill detail.

A pair of pretty blue and white Delft earrings, with distinctive Dutch windmill detail.

 

Does sterling silver from England always have a lion imprinted on it?
No, a full lion hallmark is only legally needed on British sterling silver that weighs over 7.78g 🙂
What does a crown 585 symbol on my gold jewellery mean?
A crown symbol means it’s genuine gold, and the 585 mark means it’s 14ct gold. Birmingham Assay Office has a helpful guide to hallmarks here.
In old Victorian morning jewelry what do grapes mean?
They were often to do with Jesus Christ; representing the wine of Eucharist and the ‘blood’ of Christ. However, grapes could also symbolize fertility and hospitality, whilst vines and grapes together were a symbol of deep intimate bonds.
I struggle putting on necklaces and bracelets because of the fiddly clasps. Is there anything I can do?
It sounds like magnetic clasps may be your answer. You can buy plain one’s which attach to the clasps already fitted on your jewellery, or if you are buying handmade, many artisans have really pretty one’s that they can fit instead on normal clasps (on bracelets also ask for a safety chain to be fitted, for extra security – any decent jeweler will be happy to do this for you).  Magnetic clasps are stronger than people realize, and I’m a great fan of them.
If for any reason you can’t be wear magnets, a shepherds hook clasp and chain can be a secure alternative both on necklaces and bracelets, and for bracelets why not look out for wrap bangles – these are made from memory wire which is strong, flexible and permanently keeps its shape – it literally wraps around your wrist to create a bangle, no clasp needed.
A fancy diamante studded magnetic copper clasp fitted to a glass bead bracelet.

A fancy diamante studded magnetic copper clasp fitted to a glass bead bracelet.

Handmade nature ladybird lampwork glass bracelet stylish bronze colour magnetic clasp, with a safety chain for added security

Handmade nature ladybird lampwork glass bracelet stylish bronze colour magnetic clasp, with a safety chain for added security

types of clasp alternative to lobster in jewellery making

This long turquoise Czech bead necklace was decorated with huge focal wedding cake glass beads, which made the necklace very heavy. A normal lobster clasp wouldn’t have lasted very long with such weight, so I made a bronze shepherds hook clasp instead, which was both easier to use for the client, and will last for years without breaking.

 

Handmade memory wire wrap bridal bracelet, made with vintage ab crystal beads.

This sparkling bridal bracelet was created using aurora borealis glass beads, threaded onto memory wire, which is strong yet flexible. To put it on, the strand is simply pulled straight, and then wrapped around the wrist- it will quickly snap back into place.

French jet black glass torque bracelet, made from memory wire

A different way of using memory wire is to cut it into a torque design, and then thread beads onto it, as seen in this black glass bracelet; the wire is flexible enough to pull open, yet strong enough to securely flip back into shape once on the wrist.

I hope you have found these months Q and A helpful, and as always please do get in touch if you have any jewellery queries, need help or just want to say hi! Many thanks for stopping by 🙂

 

References and further reading:

Language of Flowers lists:

http://www.daleharvey.com/Directory/articles-of-interest/LANGUAGE+OF+FLOWERS/Meaning+of+Flowers.html

https://artofmourning.com/2010/12/26/symbolism-sunday-the-grape/

http://www.langantiques.com/university/Symbolism_in_Jewelry

Antique mythology cameos ID and information:

(Scroll down) http://www.langantiques.com/university/Symbolism_in_Jewelry

Making micro mosaic jewellery

Tile supplies: http://www.mosaicsupplies.co.uk/product-category/micro-tiles/

Making a micro mosaic pendant (using Fimo clay to set the glass tiles): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDYPe07LIHU

Examples of some fabulous modern micro mosaic fine jewellery: https://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/blog/magic-micro-mosaic-jewelry/

 

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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.

 

 

 

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!

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 🙂

What is French Jet jewellery made from? Info and guide here!

Shopping around for black jewellery, you many come across a term called ‘French Jet’. While it sounds romantic or even like a gemstone in its own right, French Jet simply a fancy word for good old black glass.

It became popular during the Victorian period (1837 – 1901) when black jewellery was very fashionable. Genuine Jet (which is a real gemstone, most famously found in the Whitby area on the east coast of England) was the most sought after material for making black Victorian jewellery, but due to demand and increasing scarcity it was became expensive. Black glass was a much cheaper alternative.

Where the actual name French Jet comes from is unclear. The glass beads and stones themselves were usually made in the great glass making countries of Europe, such as Austria and the Czechoslovakia regions, and then sent through to other countries (including England and France) to be made into jewellery.

Other black materials used in Victorian mourning jewellery are: onyx, Vulcanite (a type of early rubber), Gutta Percha, genuine real jet, and bog oak (ancient fossilized wood type material usually found in Ireland).

Quick glance identity to mourning jewellery materials:

vintage french jet glass large earrings glass 60s

French Jet = made from glass, feels cold, hard to touch. Can be quite heavy. Shiny and reflective. Will warm up when held in you hand. Makes a distinctive high pitched ‘chink’ sound if gently tapped on teeth.

 

antique vintage victorian whitby jet two row bead necklace jewellery mourning

Genuine Jet gemstone (eg Whitby Jet) = feels warm, quite soft to the touch, with an almost plastic/ oily feeling. Makes a much duller ‘chink’ when held.

 

Onyx vintage sterling silver brooch jewellery

Onyx = very cold, hard to touch. Heavy to hold. Shiny and reflective. Will not warm up when held in you hand and will remain cold ( here’s a tip – many natural gemstones won’t warm up when held). Makes a distinctive high pitched ‘chink’ sound if gently tapped on teeth. Easily mistaken for glass – if in doubt get it looked at by an expert.

Bog Oak = usually only seen in brooches. Look under a magnifying glass to see wood grain texture. Often depicts Irish scenes, castles and motifs.

Antique Victorian Vulcanite Ivy leaves brooch jewellery mourning

Vulcanite = warm and soft like plastic. Originally black like jet, it often fades with age to a brown colour. Rub Vulcanite and you’ll smell rubber.

Gutta Percha = rare, similar to Vulcanite except one important difference – the taste test. Be careful with this, as moisture can permanently stain old Gutta Percha. With a dry tip of the tongue, gently press your tongue on the jewellery. Gutta Percha tastes very salty!

 

Some gorgeous vintage French Jet jewellery ..

Antique Victorian French Jet bar mourning brooch jewellery

Antique Victorian French Jet bar mourning brooch jewellery, circa 1880s.

Vulcanite and French jet Victorian pendant

Vulcanite and French jet Victorian mourning pendant jewelry circa 1880s – an unusual mix!

vintage 1980s french jet glass clamper black bangle jewellery

vintage 1980s French jet glass clamper black bangle jewellery

vintage 1970s french jet glass diamante black tassel drop brooch (2)

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

 

french jet oval faceted pendant glass bead necklace (2)

Modern French jet oval faceted pendant glass bead necklace

vintage exquisite signed french jet 2 row necklace 60s

Vintage 2 row French Jet necklace with stunning diamante clasp, signed Exquisite, circa 1960s.

 

Quick tip! Find out the value of your jewellery… DIY valuations!

Do you have a piece of jewellery you think may be valuable?

Don’t know where to start, or wouldn’t know who to approach to get some guidance?

Fear not! Because in this post I’m going to show you how I find a basic valuation to vintage jewellery.

The main thing I do when I’m looking for a possible valuation, is to use the Ebay search facility. Ebay sells pretty much everything, and in my opinion, is the best place to research an up to date bottom price estimate of a vintage item (the up to date part is very important as vintage prices can fluctuate wildly from month to month). The following info is for Ebay.co.uk, as I’m in the UK, but I imagine other Ebay sites around the world are probably quite similar. So let’s get started!

1.Go to Ebay.

2.Now, type into the search bar at the top of the page, your jewellery item. So for this example, let’s type in “vintage Trifari necklace” and click the search button.

3. So, having typed in our search term (eg, “vintage Trifari necklace”), a new page will appear, with lots of options and categories in the left hand column of this page. Slowly move and scroll down the page until you come to an option called “Sold Listings”, on the left hand column. Click on this link.

4. Having clicked the “Sold Listings” link, a new page should appear, showing all of the jewellery which has been sold in the past few months, that was in your search query, and most importantly for what price it sold for (the sold prices are written in green). So in this example, all of the “vintage Trifari necklaces” that have been sold will appear.

5. And that’s it! Average the prices out, and you have your very first valuation. From here, you can go onto other jewellery and vintage websites and see what they are selling their similar jewellery for. However, do keep in mind that there’s a world of difference between what people try and sell their jewellery for, and what customers actually end up paying for it! If an item is for sale on one website for £100, but the average selling price on Ebay is about £15, you need to use common sense and work out an average price.

One last thing. You’re best going into any valuation with the mindset that your item isn’t valuable. Old doesn’t mean expensive, and there is a chance that your 50 year old heirloom brooch is worth as much as a coffee + sandwich and not much else!

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).