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Arm candy

Gorgeous bracelets and bangles overload …..

lucite harlequin plastic cuff bangle jewelry

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

vintage bird cloisonne enamel clamper bracelet jewellery

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

vintage mop lucite bracelet signed germany

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

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

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

 

 

 

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Favourite coloured enamel Siam silver jewellery

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

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

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

Vintage red enamel Siam Silver fan and heart brooch jewelry

Vintage red enamel Siam Silver fan and heart brooch

Vintage turquoise blue Siam silver large leaf brooch jewelry

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

Vintage turquoise blue Siam silver enamel panel bracelet jewelry

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

Vintage turquoise blue Siam silver enamel flower brooch jewellery

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

Unusual red and royal blue vintage Siam silver enamel brooch jewerly

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

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

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

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

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

Vintage white enamel ship Siam silver brooch jewellery

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

Ten jewellery stones that are totally cool (and not a diamond in sight!)

Bored of bling?

Fed up with playing it safe?

If it’s amazing character and a touch of the unusual you’re after in your jewellery, then check out these eye-catching stones  ..

 

Vintage Scottish agate and silver brooch with citrine gemstone jewellery deco

Citrine  is the official name bestowed upon orange to yellow colour quartz gemstone. When it’s this size, and bursts with this much fire, it blows other gems out of the water.

 

9k yellow gold blue topaz trilogy ring jewellery 9ct

If you want big statement rocks that ooze quality, but are also on budget, then topaz is your best friend! With its huge variety of colours and almost pure water like clarity (even in big stones – few inclusions with this baby!), topaz is the perfect go-to all rounder gemstone.

art deco foil backed glass opal pink paste ring vintage jewellery

Is it an opal? Is it a rare rock crystal? Nope, this beauty dates from the 1930s,  is made from good old glass.

vintage 60s butterfly wing earrings jewellery morpho

Though not everyone’s cup of tea, butterfly wing jewellery is made from yep, you’ve guessed it .. the real butterfly wings of the Morpho butterfly.  Before recoiling horror too much, the butterflies involved passed away naturally before being collected up and used to create stunning jewelry. There are surprising conservation aspects to this type of jewelry too – areas of South American rainforests have been saved and even re-planted for the sole purpose of encouraging the breeding of Morphos butterflies for jewellery.

Art Deco carved agate hardstone cameo ring in 9ct gold vintage jewellery

Cameos are one of the oldest forms of jewellery in the world. Get a good quality one, and it’ll be a talking point (and heirloom) for years to come.

Antique Victorian Pietra Dura micro mosaic brooch jewelry

Pietra Dura jewellery involves placing carefully selected thin slivers of real gemstone such as Malachite and Lapis Lazuli, and setting it into carved out onyx to create stunning pictures. Most examples date from the 1800s, like this exquisite Pietra Dura brooch, which originates from Italy, circa 1870s.

vintage art deco pools of light rock quartz crystal onyx gemstone undrilled bead necklace silver jewelry

Pools of Light necklaces are made from undrilled and highly polished natural water-clear rock crystal orbs wrapped in patterned sterling silver, and are sought after around the world, both by jewellery collectors and crystal healers. When one these beauties catches the light, you’ll know about it! The necklace shown has the added bonus of being made with an unusual mix of clear rock crystal and black onyx gemstone-  some crystal healers believe onyx enhances the effect of any gemstone it is placed with.

18ct gold alexandrite russian gemstone colour change jewellery 18k

Often called the stone of true gem connoisseurs, Alexandrite has a stunning quality which means it changes colour (from emerald green to ruby red) in different light conditions.  It is also very rare, and was the favourite gemstone of Russian aristocracy.

vintage blue john quartz silver drop earrings jewellery

Did you know that England has it’s very of internationally sought after gemstone? Deep in the hills of Derbyshire is a gemstone called ‘Blue John’, noted for it’s beautiful blue-purple colour and vivid golden veining.

Victorian Scottish Agate plaid pebble brooch, vintage antique jewellery

With its infinite variety of colours and one of a kind range of patterns, the humble yet beautiful agate is found all around the world. This antique Victorian brooch was made in Scotland circa 1870s, and displays the types of agate found around the Scottish coast – agate experts are able to immediately identify the exact part of Scotland each slice came from!

 

Further reading:

More info about butterfly farming and conservation:

Papillon Belle

Meet Me On The Bright Side

A blog post I wrote about about butterfly jewellery can be found here

 

The Blue John from Derbyshire, England:

Blue John on Wikipedia  – great article

Blue John mine tours can be found here and here

Here’s a past blog post I wrote about Blue John.

 

A day in the life of the Jewellery Muse: West Kirby in North West England

I love traveling around searching for the latest bargains, and if I can combine this with a beautiful walk in the outdoors then all the better! Last week I took a trip over to the gorgeous Wirral coast around the Dee Estuary – if you’re a nature lover it’s a must see.  Anyway, not much jewellery was found this particular day, but I did bag the possible bargain book of the year, called ‘7000 Years Of Jewellery’ for the grand price of £3.50 in a second hand shop (that’s my bedtime reading sorted for the next two years!)

Here’s a tip – if you’re planning to go to the Merseyside area then take advantage of the Merseyrail Day Saver ticket – less than a fiver will let you hop on and off trains all day – and yes, in the whole area (which covers Chester up to Southport, all round the Wirral and of course Liverpool. I’ve been known to visit 5 places in one day on that ticket!)

View from the beach to West Kirby Wirrel Merseyside

West Kirby, where I found my fab book. It has some great shopping, friendly atmosphere, a Morrison’s supermarket next to the beach (perfect for alfreso lunch supplies), miles of clean golden sands and beautiful nature walks close by. Love the place! Oh, and some of the best skies and sunsets in the UK.

West Kirby beach

I wasn’t joking when I said it has miles of sandy beach!

sunset west kirby wirrel merseyside (640x561)

I wasn’t joking about the stunning sunsets either 🙂

West Kirby beach, with view towards Hilbre Island Wirrel

Get the timing right with the tides, and you can walk out over the sands to Hilbre Island from West Kirby, which is nature reserve with a fascinating history and a great place to spend a few hours. Great for birdwatching, rock pool exploring, saying hello to the grey seals that live there (seriously!) and if you’re very, very lucky you might even see the odd dolphin or porpoise.

Brent geese birds, Hilbre island, West Kirby, Wirrel

Brent geese enjoying the sun on the beach, and letting everyone know about it (they are noisy dudes!)

Jewellery history book Jewellery Muse

Bargain book of the year 🙂

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