Thursday, December 2, 2010

Duchess of Windsor Panther Bracelet sets a New Record

Sotheby's Auction House recently auctioned 20 pieces of jewelry from the collection of the Duchess of Windsor. This collection was part of a fabulous collection of jewelry which was first sold for record amounts in the 1980s.

Once again, records were set. The panther bracelet shown herer was the highlight of Sotheby's sale of 20 pieces which raised £31 million, more than seven times the pre-sale estimated amount.

The panther bracelet itself set a new record. The hammer price of this fabulous onyx and diamond bracelet was a staggering £4.5 million ($7.036 million dollars ). At this price this bracelet is the the most expensive bracelet to ever be sold at an auction. It also set a record for a single piece of Cartier jewelry.
For more auction results from this fabulous sale, please visit this page of the Sotheby's website.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cyber Monday Sale and Beyond on Jewelry

Cyber Monday is considered the biggest online shopping day of the year. I have created a sale for readers of my blog and my newsletter at my two main websites which starts today and continues until December 15, 2010. This will give you a chance to purchase from my websites at reduced prices and still have time to receive it by Christmas day for US customers.

International and Canadian customers should shop early to ensure your package gets to you by Christmas day. For US customers, I also offer priority mail or express shipping for faster delivery if you shop later. (an additional cost is required for priority or express, just choose these options at checkout to see the cost.)

20% OFF ANY SINGLE OR MULTIPLE PURHCASES ON VINTAGE JEWERLY LANE OR VINTAGE JEWELRY MALL: The entire range of vintage and costume jewelry on both sites is eligible for the discount!! Just add the code cyber2010 for any purchase between now and December 15 during checkout to receive a 20% discount on your purchase. This code only works on my two websites. My Ruby Lane, Ruby Plaza and eBay stores won't accept the code. Shop early for best selections.

Just go to Vintage Jewelry Lane or Vintage Jewelry Mall, shop and enter the code at check out time in the box provided for discount codes.

Here are a few examples of the savings you could get on some top designer jewelry:

Beau Jewels Glass and Rhinestone Demi Parure - Normal Price $89.99 - after discount - $71.99

Sarah Coventry "Blue Lagoon" Rhinestone Demi - Normal Price $89.99 - After Discount $71.99

Matisse "California Dreaming" Demi Parure - Regular Price $199.99 - After Discount $159.99

Rebajes Mid Century Copper Pendant - Normal Price $72.99 - After discount $58.39

These are just a few examples of hundreds and hundreds of items for which the discount code will apply. Hurry in for best selection. The sale ends on December 15.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

4 yr old Boy Finds 16th Century Gold Locket with a Metal Detector

It appears that the UK is the place to use a metal detector. Several months ago, I wrote about a UK man who found an Anglo Saxon hoard of gold using the tool. Just recently, a 4 year old boy in Essex also use the metal detector to find gold.

James Hyatt, of Billericay, Essex found a gold pendant locket, which is believed to date from the 16th century. He found the relic which searching in a field in Hockley, UK.

The pendant is believed to be worth up to £2.5m, a sum which the Hyatt family would share with the landowner if the pendant is sold. The religious locket is diamond shaped and decorated with images of the Virgin Mary and the five wounds of Christ.

It appears that little James will not have to worry about paying for his college education in years to come!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kate Middleton's Engagement Ring

If you listened to the news yesterday, you will be aware that it's finally official. Prince William of England and Kate Middleton are engaged.

William wanted his mother to be a part of his happiness,l so he presented Kate with the 18 carat blue sapphire and diamond ring that once belonged to Prince William's mother, Princess Diana.

The couple will get married in either the Spring or Summer of next year and continue to live in North Wales while Prince William works as an air sea rescue pilot for the RAF. The couple became engaged during a recent holiday in Kenya having been together for eight years.

My guess is that sapphires, which are already very popular gemstones, will become THE hot gemstone in the next year or so.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Michelle Obama Makes Vogue's 10 Best Dressed List for 2010

The first lady, Michelle Obama, is no stranger to being featured in magazines this past year. She has done it again with a spot on the top "Best Dressed" edition of Vogue Magazine, on the newstands November 15.

The magazine has 129 glossy pages with the people on the list, which include Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga (oh my!) and others. Mrs. Obama is featured on six of the pages.

I haven't seen the magazine yet. It will be interesting to see if she is shown wearing jewelry or just having her clothing choices featured.

Mrs. Obama's pictures include designs by Moschino, Alaia, Talbots, Jean Paul Gaultier, Barbara Tfank, Narciso Rodriguez, Tracy Feith, Peter Som and Tracy Reese.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fabulous Pink Diamond is the Highlight of Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels Auction

The undeniable highlight of Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale is an exceptionally important and truly magnificent Fancy Intense Pink Emerald-cut Diamond weighing 24.78 carats. The auction will take place on November 16, 2010.

Sotheby's has a wonderful video of this fabulous jewel. Join David Bennett for an intimate view of this superb jewel in advance of its sale on the 16 November in Geneva.

To view more jewelry which will be featured in the upcoming auction, please visit this page of the Sotheby's website.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Duchess of Windsor Jewels to Be Auctioned at Sotheby's

The jewels of Wallis Simpson, The Duchess of Windsor, were first offered for sale in 1987. They originally sold for $50 million, with the proceeds going to the Pasteur Institute. The proceeds from the spectacular sale are reported to be a world record for an auction of a single owner's jewelry collection in the 20th century.

It is no wonder that the jewelry fetched such a high price, since the collection celebrates the famous story of the king who gave up his throne for the woman that he loved. The king abdicated in 1936 to become the Duke of Windsor and marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

Fast forward twenty-three years. Sotheby's will be offering twenty pieces formerly in the Collection of the Duchess at their November 30th auction in London. The Windsors were enthusiastic jewelry collectors. They commissioned pieces from Cartier and other makers during their courtship in Britain and married life in the Bahamas and France.

Sotheby's has a fabulous video on their website showing the original sale. They also have a catalog showing highlights of the collection.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Photos courtesy of Sotheby's.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Anne Hathaway on the Cover of Vogue

To me, Anne Hathaway has always had a nostalgic look about her, but never more so than in her photos from the cover of the November issue of Vogue Magazine. Hathaway, star of The Princess Diaries, Brokeback Mountain and the Devil wears Prada, is a vision in diamonds for her photo shoot on location at Maxim's in Paris.

Anne is shown wearing Van Cleef & Arpels diamond drop earrings. Cartier diamond-and-platinum necklace. a Chopard diamond ring and Roger Vivier clutch with crystal buckle. A Boucheron diamond, pink sapphire, and ruby brooch worn as a hair ornament completes the stunning look.

I couldn't help but be reminded of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. The resemblance and total look is uncanny! Festoon necklaces are all the rage this year, but this takes the look to a new dimension.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bvlgari Blue Diamond Sold at Christie's October Sale

Christie's was the place to be this week as excitement mounted in the crowded saleroom during the auctioning of nearly 450 items leading up to the highly-anticipated grand finale of the sale, the sensational two-stone diamond ring known as The Bvlgari Blue.

Auction history was made at Christie's in New York when this diamond, the largest triangular-shaped Fancy Vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction, sold for $15.7 million. The auction results made this diamond the top jewel sold at auction thus far in 2010.

The fabulous stone, which is mounted as a two-stone diamond ring, was designed in the 1970s by the legendary house of Bvlgari in Rome, and it was the star lot of Christie’s major Jewels: The New York Sale on October 20.

Photo credit Christie's Auction House.

The diamond has an interesting history. It was offered for sale by a private European collector who has kept the ring in his family for almost 40 years. The gentleman had originally purchased the ring at Bvlgari's flagship boutique on Via dei Condotti in Rome in 1972, as a gift for his wife in celebration of the birth of their first child, a baby boy - thus the blue color. The final sale price in 1972 was about $1 million US. Quite an appreciation in price over the 40 years!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Michelle Obama's Latest Statement Necklace

The fashion news for 2010 has been the preponderance of statement necklaces. They are seen on all the red carpet runways. The first lady, Michelle Obama also seems to favor them, which makes their popularity a sure thing, it seems.

She is seen here sporting her latest, a chunky design by Erickson Beamon, which accents her knee-length, draped halter dress from the Donna Karan Collection. She is joined in the photo by Sarah Jessica Parker, also a lover of vintage jewelry, and Dr. Jill Biden at a democratic fundraiser in New York earlier this week.

I prefer festoon statement necklaces to the pendant styles, but this piece still is also lovely. What do you think of the look?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Katerina Musetti - Author, Designer - Juliana Inspired

One of the foremost books on the subject of Juliana jewelry is a reference book by Katerina Musetti called "The Art of Juliana Jewelry." It is a fabulous book, just chock full of photos and information about design elements of the jewelry.

If you collect vintage jewelry, you will be familiar with Juliana jewelry. These pieces make use of fabulous rhinestones and glass cabochons and were made by William DeLizza and Harold Elster during the period from 1947 to the 1990s.

Collectors of Juliana designs know how important design information is, since none of the Juliana pieces were marked on the jewelry - only on hang tags which were often discarded. A true fan of Juliana will need to be well informed to make sure that they are purchasing genuine D & E Juliana pieces.

I've become friends with the author of the book and have been delighted to learn that she is also a designer of jewelry. Katerina works with rhinestones, beads and polymer clay, and her creations are fabulous. Her bead and rhinestone works are jewelry pieces, but the polymer clay designs are lovely vessels and purses which are a feast for the eyes!

Of particular interest to me are her rhinestone designs. One can easily see the Juliana influence. But all of her creations are just fabulous. Here are a few pieces to give you an idea of her talent.

For more information on Katerina's designs, please visit her lovely website - Katerina Musetti Designs.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Endless Pearl Necklaces are back in Stock!

Pearls are one of this years hottest trends in necklaces, thanks partly to the first lady - Michelle Obama's love of them.

One of my best selling necklaces is a lovely single strand which is 120 inches long and is made of glass. The pearls have a fabulous luster and can be worn long and loose in a flapper style, knotted, down the back of a strapless dress or wrapped several times the way it is shown here. The necklace is an endless style with no clasp. Imagine the possibilities for wearing it!

I have the this pearl necklace and many other styles available in white, creamy ivory, or black at my Ruby Plaza Shop - Jewelry Lane, and Carolina Collections at eBay.

This necklace is priced at only $19.99 and you can even make me a close offer for consideration. Here are some photos of the pretty design.

I also have several other styles and colors of glass pearls available at Vintage Jewelry Lane.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Big Necklaces all the rage for Fall 2010

Looking at the runway photos of some of the hottest designers proved one thing to me. The minimalist jewelry look that has been so favored in the last few years won't be in evidence this fall. Far from it. Big and bold necklaces were everywhere from designers such as Donna Karan, Lanvin, Vera Wang and Proenza Schouler, to name a few.

Photo credit Lanvin Fall 2010

Expect to see huge festoon necklaces with unusual combinations of beads and many multi strand designs. Look for big metal flowers with large stones - the necklaces will want to make a statement.

Animal prints are once again going to be popular in the fall. But the look will be more diverse shapes and patterns combined with each other. While last year showed us a preponderance of leopard prints, this year the animal prints will be combined with lots of metal chains.

The earth tone colors will be the most popular shades, as well as grays, blacks and browns. They remind us of nature and go well with the muted colors that fall jewelry will have.

My stores at Vintage Jewelry Mall and Ruby Plaza both have a large range of this style of necklace just placed into stock at very competitive prices.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bigger is Better in Jewelry for Fall 2010

I've been having a look at the latest trends from the runways and from wholesale jewelry offerings for the last few weeks, and it appears that bigger is better for fall 2010 when it comes to jewelry trends.

For the next few blog postings, I'll feature some of the up and coming trends. Today peek ahead is for the birds!

The biggest news is feathers. While animal prints like leopards were all the rage last year, this year the birds take center stage. Whether it is just a simple set of ostrich feather earrings, an ornate brooch with feather fringes, an elaborate fur bracelet design, or a huge statement necklace with fringes of feathers, the effect will be the same - in style!

Here is a preview of some of the looks that you can expect to see in trendy boutiques and on the red carpet for some of the upcoming events which will make the news.

What do you think of the look? Yay or nay? Stay tuned for more trends in later blog postings.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vintage Jewelry Word of the Week - Ivory

There are so many materials out there in the retail world which are labeled ivory. Some just refer to the color and some refer, either truthfully or not, to the material.

Ivory a smooth grained material which is made from the tusks of elephants, walruses and other animals with tusks. It is creamy white in color, usually with a cross hatching type of grain. It is a natural material. Not ivory will show this cross hatch grain, depending on the way that it has been cut, but it will always have a prominent grain mark of some sort.

Beware though, the product may be called ivory, when it is, in fact, bone - another natural material with a similar look.

Although bone has a similar look, it does not have the telltale ivory cross hatch grain. The photo shown here is an example of the ivory grain which has been magnified. The grain line in bone is more often a series of parallel lines. Bone also often has pits and other imperfections which are not usually apparent in ivory pieces. The following photo is a good example which shows the grain of bone as well as the pits and imperfections often found in it.

Ivory is highly collectible and the import of it into the USA has been banned since mid June 1989. Items labeled pre-ban ivory are those which were made and imported into the USA earlier than this period.

One way to determine if the item is real ivory is the hot pin test. BEWARE: if your item is not ivory, you will damage it. True ivory is virtually impenetrable with heat. Take a large pin or needed and heat the pin until it is red hot. Poke your item somewhere that will not show. If it is real ivory it will not penetrate, but will only leave a tiny mark. Bone is also resistant to heat but not as much as ivory, so if your mark is much larger it is more likely bone. (also ivory smells like burning teeth and bone has much less of a smell.

Here are a few examples of some pre-ban ivory jewelry items.

Visit Vintage Jewelry Lane for more details and prices on ivory jewelry.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Patina Gallery to Showcase Atelier Zobel's Jewelry

Patina Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico is an international destination for collectors and connoisseurs of contemporary hand fabricated jewelry, textiles, and sculptural objects in metal, clay and wood by leading American and European artists.

Their website has details of both real and virtual exhibits and is a fascinating place to spend a few hours exploring the various artists which they feature.

The gallery has been running a fabulous exhibit which will end on September 5, 2010, and which features the remarkable works of a German master, Michael Zobel. This will be the ninth return engagement by the Atelier and as always, it is eagerly anticipated.

Their website says that The jewelry of Atelier Zobel redefines metalsmithing. Through a painterly use of metals and selection of gems, the Atelier emphatically elevates jewelry into the realm of fine art.

The bracelet shown here is made from Oxidized Sterling Silver, 22k and 24k Gold, Turquoise, and Coral, with Champagne Colored Diamonds. It has a value of $16,085.

You can view more items from their exhibit on this page of the Patina Gallery website.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Vintage Boucheron on the Auction Block at Fellows and Sons

One of my favorite auction sites is Fellow's and Sons in Birmingham, UK. Normally, they deal in moderately priced vintage and antique jewelry items with a bit of an emphasis on gold jewelry.

I was, therefore, interested to have a look at this interesting vintage Boucheron brooch with an estimate of £12,000 - £18,000.

The piece is a real stunner. It is a diamond brooch, from about 1955, in the form of two stylised leaves with an inner central curve of baguette cut diamonds and outer claw set round brilliant diamonds. The border is set with three old European/round brilliant diamonds surrounded by scattered pear and baguette cut diamonds. One tapered hoop is hinged allowing the two sections to be detached and form double clips. Estimated total diamond weight 19.50cts.

The antique and modern jewelry auction will take place on Thursday, the 2nd of September. For more details of the auction, please visit this page of the auction web site. They also have online bidding available.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to work!

Sorry for the long hiatus from blogging. I've been on vacation in Maine for the first part of August, and decided to just take a break from everything, including blogging.

This picture gives a pretty good idea of what I've been doing for the last few weeks. The only things missing are a few jools!

Do you ever notice when you've taken time off work that you get energized and eager to get back to it? I sure do. Stay tuned for new articles soon!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today's Vintage Bling - Weiss Smoke Gray Brooch

Weiss jewelry is known for their well made designs with great attention to detail and use of lovely stones. They are at the top of the list of vintage jewelry designers for those who collection high end rhinestone costume jewelry.

Today's vintage bling is a lovely Weiss brooch which is subtle in design and which would be perfect for many fashion color choices.

The brooch is set in silver tone metal and features a stunning layered design with prong set smoke gray rhinestones in a rising circle setting. The top layer of stones also features small silver tone leaves which are covered with clear pave rhinestones for a special and very glittering effect.

The brooch has a built in pin back and cartouche with the word Weiss. It is in excellent condition and is available from my Ruby Lane store - The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry. Priced at $75, it won't last long. You can even make me a reasonable offer.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rosalie Sayyah Talks to Collector's Weekly about Repairing Rhinestone Jewelry

I get emails from viewers on my main website, Vintage Jewelry Lane, almost every week asking me how to repair rhinestone vintage jewelry. The questions range from which type of glue to use, where to find vintage rhinestones, and how to actually go about the process.

So, I was interested to read one of the recent interviews done by my friends at Collector's weekly. The interview is with Rosalie Sayyah, an appraiser on the famous PBS show, Antiques Roadshow and the owner of an interesting store in Seattle, Washington called Rhinestone Rosie.

Photo Courtesy Rhinestone Rosie Website.

In the interview, Rosalie talks about the most common types of costume jewelry repairs, her job as an appraiser on Antiques Roadshow, and the history of the use of rhinestones in vintage jewelry. She also discusses the use of Swarovski rhinestones, and some of the most famous designers who used rhinestones in their vintage jewelry designs.

One thing that Rosalie mentions, which I have also found, is that there is a real lack across the United States of people who actually do the type of repairs about which my customers are constantly inquiring. Her store actually specializes in this type of restoration. If you live in Seattle or any other place in the US, she would be willing to have a look at your piece. This wouldn't be feasible if your piece is a low end costume jewelry piece, but if you have a Haskell, Eisenberg or other famous designer piece which needs repair, you might consider giving her an email.

You can view her whole interview on this page of the Collector's Weekly website.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What do you Wear with Turquoise Jewelry

Turquoise is this season's hottest gemstone. It is earthy and has long been a favorite of those who collect Native American jewelry. But right now, turquoise is seen in all the trendy boutiques too.

What do you wear with turquoise jewelry? It is such a dramatic color that it might seem to overpower other colors. But the richness of it fits right in with so many earthy shades. This means that it will translate well with fall colors too, so your purchase of turquoise jewelry today should keep you in style for several seasons.

I've been playing around on Polyvore again. It is such a fun site to get an idea of how to use jewelry (and clothing styles) to their best advantage. The set that I've put together here shows how well turquoise earrings and a single strand of turquoise beads look with tans and browns. It's a real winner.

I have a huge range of genuine turquoise jewelry in my online stores. Most of the styles are brand new, with a few vintage pieces as well. We have items in all price ranges. Here are a few examples to whet your appetite:

Do you love turquoise jewelry too? Grab one today!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mosaic Jewelry Seminar to be held in Chicago

Mosaic jewelry is one of my favorite forms of Italian jewelry (along with cameos of course.) The workmanship and attention to detail is just stunning, and the designs appeal to the romantic in me.

The Chicago Mosaic School is the only non-profit fine art school in the world dedicated to preserving and promoting the mosaic art form through education and community partnerships. The school was formed in early early 2005, and has been committed to providing an inspirational and creative environment that fosters an appreciation and awareness of both classical and contemporary mosaics.

On August 18.2010, the school will hold a hands on seminar where the participants will make two mosaic jewelry projects showcasing the designer's personal, one-of-a-kind sense of fashion. Earrings, pendants, rings, and belt buckles are all styles that one can construct.Rudimentary mosaic techniques, methods, and application will be covered in the seminar. No prior mosaic experience is necessary! All materials and use of tools provided by the school.

For more information on the seminar, you can contact the organizer at Their website is very information and has some lovely gallery pictures. It's almost like a virtual museum of mosaics of all types.

Vintage Jewelry lane has mosaic jewelry as one of its specialties. We offer many lovely micro mosaic and pietra dura styles at affordable prices.


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