Friday, January 29, 2010

Update on my Website Renovations

Just wanted to give you a heads up about the progress on the renovation of my websites. Finally, after 4 months of work, the site is almost ready to go live. I have just a few last minute tweaks and it should be ready to publish.

I hit a snag a few weeks ago, when I realized that I had to redo all the information pages in the research library, which made for a couple of stressful weeks.

I'm really happy with the new look of the site. It will have a full functioning search and shopping cart and a brand new and updated look.

More details to come in a few days. Here is a preview of the new look:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Michelle Obama latest - a Black Flowered Brooch

The First Lady Michelle Obama made an address to the military spouses at the joint annual Armed Forces Officer's Wives' luncheon this week. She announced an increase of over 3% in funding - a record $8.8 billion. The funding will be for military support programs.

Mrs. Obama wore a forest green sheath dress with a herringbone design, and accessorized it with a black flower brooch worn at her shoulder for the event. Green eye shadow compeleted the look.

As readers of my blog know, the first lady has a thing for brooches. This is one in a long line of interesting designs. She seems to favor flower pins, as is demonstrated here.

What do you think of the look?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kate Hudson Rocks the 2010 Screen Actor's Guild Awards Ceremony

The Screen Actor's Guild Awards was held last saturday, and the red carpet was full of stars dressed to the nine as well as those with short and flirtatious dresses.

As demonstrated during the Golden Globes last week, off the shoulder dresses were a big hit and the jewelry wasn't the prominent feature, although that point could be argued when Kate showed up in $1.75 million dollars worth of Cartier jewelry.

Her look was my favorite one of the night. Kate showed up in a form fitting open back wite Emilio Pucci gown with a Cartier diamond sautoir necklace draped down the back of the opening of the gown. I've seen necklaces used like this in the past, and also long strands of pearls used this way, and I love the look. Perhaps it will set a trend for 2010, but in a less expensive way.

Hudson finished off the dazzling look with briolette diamond and baguette diamond drop earrings, a 15.65 carat emerald cut diamond ring, and a diamond cocktail ring.

Now this is what I call an amazing entrance.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Vintage Jewelry Word of the Week - Aigrette

Today's vintage jewelry word sounds something like a long legged water creature, and actually has some similarity this exotic creature.

An aigrette is an ornate jewelled ornament which is worn in the hair. It is often decorated with feathers or glitter. Aigrettes were very popular in the early 20th century. The word comes from the the French word "egret", a white heron prized for its beautiful plumage.

The term also refers to a spray of gemstones worn on a hat or in the hair. One famous aigrette features a 61.50 carat (12.3 g) whiskey-colored diamond, "The Eye of the Tiger", was mounted by Cartier in a breathtaking turban aigrette for the Maharajah of Nawanagar in 1934.

The following are two photos of aigrettes. The second photo is the prized Eye of the Tiger.

Can you see yourself wearing one of these to your next cocktail party?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thomas Jefferson Hair Jewelry on the Auction Block at Christie's

I wrote recently about Victorian hair jewelry, so it was interesting to me to discover that a gold watch containing a braided lock of Thomas Jefferson's late wife will be soon auctioned at an upcoming Christie's New York sale.

The rare personal keepsake will hit the auction block at Christie's New York on January 22. The estimate for it is US$40,000-80,000.

Thomas Jefferson married Martha Wayles on New Year's Day in 1772. After the birth of their 6th child, she grew increasingly ill and died on September 6, 1782. Jefferson never remarried.

The front of the key is beautifully engraved with Martha Jefferson's birth and death dates, and the reverse bears a clear case in which the braided lock of hair is visible.

You can view more information about item and details of the other items for auction on this page of the Christie's site.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Golden Globes 2010 - Off Shoulder Dresses Kill the Necklaces again!

If you have read my other blogs about the latest red carpet events such as the Golden Globes and Oscars, you will know that I like to see necklaces worn and am usually disappointed. This year was no exception with the preponderance of 0ne shouldered gowns which make a necklace a near impossibility.

This lovely gown worn by Anna Kendrick demonstrates my point well. Where would you even put a necklace? Her earrings are lovely though and typical of the looks worn last night.

The look of the night seemed to be long dangle earrings in all manner of construction to very large rings and a few still large cuff bracelets.

A couple of notable exceptions to the look were Julia Roberts in a long vintage style pendant necklace and Lisa Edelstein with a brooch at her cleavage. These two looks seemed somewhat out of place for the consensus of the other stars, but I give them kudos for originality!







Friday, January 15, 2010

The Perfect Jewelry Choice for Valentine's Day

Where is the time going? Thanksgiving and Christmas went by in a blur and here it is - approaching Valentine's day again.

The traditional symbol of love is the heart, and the color red is also associated with love, so what could be a better choice for your loved one than a piece of red heart jewelry? It is the perfect choice for your other half, and also for other loved ones such as mothers, grandmothers, daughters and best friends.

Here are some choices. Perhaps one of them would be perfect for your cherished person.

The pieces are available on Vintage Jewelry Lane and Vintage Jewelry Mall. Just click the pictures to go to the items. Prices range from $8.99 to $19.99. Others styles available too!



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Exciting New for Vintage Jewelry Lane

Followers of this blog may have noticed that I haven't been writing to it every day like I was last year. The reason is simple -not enough hours in a day.

But the biggest reason is that I have been knee deep in a complete renovation of my two websites Vintage Jewelry Lane and Vintage Jewelry Mall. I've had to undertake this because I am adding a full fledged shopping cart to the sites and it was actually easier to redo the two sites instead of trying to fix the coding on the sites as they are now.

Easier, but certainly not without a huge amount of time. I've been working around the clock to get all the stock transferred to the new cart as well as recoding all the pages. Any of you who have ever done a website from scratch know what an undertaking this is!

The look will be more sleek and modern and the navigation will be vastly improved. Search will now give PICTURES instead of the words it does now. (One of my biggest loves) Believe me when I say, you will be in for a treat when the sites go live in a few weeks.

So this is just a tease to get you interested. Stay tuned. I'll keep you updated as I progress. There will be a few parts of the site not quite ready when I make the move to the cart. The resource library will be getting updated after the site goes live. I may also move the blog to the site to, so that everything is all in one house. I haven't quite made that decision yet.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Today's Featured Vintage Designer - Avon

Many of you know of the name Avon for perfumes and other body products, but Avon has also been making jewelry as a part of their line since the early 1970s.

In 1886 a salesman named David McConnell founded a company which he called the California Perfume Company. Initially, the company only had five lines for sale - all perfumes. David was later joined by Mrs. Persis Albee. They were both strong believers in the direct door to door method of marketing their product. P

Mrs Persis became the company's first "traveling sales lady" and soon doorbells across America could be heard along with the recognizable words "Avon Calling." By 1928, their products were being sold with the new name - Avon, but still through the direct marketing method.

The name of the company was officially changed in 1939 to Avon Products, Inc. The following years showed a huge increase in sales, with all products still being beauty product based.

In 1971, Avon began offering jewelry to their customers, and this trend continues through today. Avon jewelry is now sold in a variety of ways, including the internet, but most of their business still comes from direct sales.

The most collectible part of the Avon jewelry line includes designs by several well known designers, such as Kenneth Jay Lane, Elizabeth Taylor, Barrera, Coreen Simpson, Celia Sebiri, etc. These designs are always marked as "name of designer, for Avon."



The Avon jewelry line included a wide range of styles such as watches, earrings, brooches, bracelets and necklaces. They also regularly feature a line of holiday themed jewelry. Some of their numbered Christmas tree pins are very collectible.

The Avon Company mainly uses the word Avon in block letters, sometimes with a copyright symbol and sometimes without. However, in the 1980s and 1990s, with the advent of the new well known designers coming on board with them, they also used the design marks from the noted designers with the addition of the words "For Avon," so it is possible to see several different Avon markings today. Here are some examples of the signatures:


Avon jewelry is readily available and not particularly valuable, but is interesting to those who collect Avon Memorabilia. One should only purchase pieces in excellent condition, in original boxes, if possible. Prices most likely to increase in value are those by the noted designers such as KJL, Elizabeth Taylor, etc.

Here are some Avon designs:



Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January Jools at Vintage Jewelry Lane

It's a new year and time for some January jools to kick off the year in style. One of these might be just the piece to use some of that money that you may have received for Christmas.

This fabulous pinwheel brooch is a real stunner. It's made of marquis and chaton rhinestones in a domed design with super clear and bright diamante rhinestones. It's available at The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry for only $35.

How about this fabulous demi with red rhinestones? It might be just the perfect Valentine's day gift to yourself! Also available at the Finishing Touch for $35.

For the romantic person who loves flowers, this fabulous micro mosaic brooch might be just the stunner that you are looking for. Perfect to wait out the cold winter months until the flowers bloom again. It's $45 and is available at the Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Garnets - The Birthstone for January

The birthstone for January - garnet, is a stone that is generally thought to be blood red, but can be found in a wide color choice.

To get an idea of the normal garnet color, break open a pomegranate and inspect the tiny glossy red seeds inside the fruit. After doing this, you may understand why the word garnet comes from the Latin word "granatus" which originated when garnet grains in rock were compared to the dark red seeds of the pomegranate fruit.

Photo Courtesy of ebay seller BangkokGemMart

To the ancient gemologists, the garnet was a tiny glossy red gem, which was just bursting with fire and brilliance. Garnets are formed in nature when high temperatures and/or pressure are present. It can be any density from transparent to opaque and has a specific gravity between 3.4 and 4.3. Garnets have been used as gemstones in jewelry for thousands of years.

Even though people tend to think of a garnet as a blood red gemstone mentioned above, it actually occurs in every color except blue. The varieties are named for their color with names such as rhodolite (purplish red), hessonite (orange, cinnamon, or pinkish variety) and tsavorite (dark green) etc.

Garnets are of moderate hardness, ranging from 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. However, garnets lack cleavage, so when they break, they fracture into sharp, irregular pieces. Their durability and hardness make them popular gemstones for jewelry.

These gemstones are mined all over the world but the largest deposits are found in the Arizona, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Burma, Scotland, Switzerland and Tanzania. Unfortunately, many garnets mined are not of sufficient quality to be used in fine jewelry.

The garnet is the gemstone for those born in January and is also that associated with the Zodiac sign Aquarius. It is often given as a gift for the second or 6th wedding anniversary.

For those interested in metaphysics, the garnet has a long folk lore history tied to it. It is thought to have powers that affect healing, strength, and protection. Many people wear it to relieve inflammations of the skin, and is believed to regulate the heart and blood flow and aid in curing depression.

Are you a January baby? How lucky you are to have this wonderful gemstone associated with your birth month.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

LuShae Jewelry - Individually Handcrafted Designs

Normally, I write about vintage jewelry, but sometimes a modern company catches my eye and inspires me to mention them in my blog. Such is the case with a neat Australian company that I came across recently.

The site is called LuShae Jewelry and they have a lovely range of individually handcrafted jewelry items. The company specializes in cultured freshwater and saltwater pearls, precious and semi-precious gemstones, and precious metals in their designs. They cover most styles of jewelry but seem to focus on rings, earrings and necklaces.

I came across the site before Christmas and one of their lovely ring designs, shown in the photo here, ended under the tree for my daughter, who was just delighted with it. The design is called "Uptown Classic" and is fashioned in White Gold Rhodium with a Prong Handset Tanzanite Stone. It has an interlooping band design with clear cubic zirconias and is just lovely.

Although the company is based in Australia, the ring was delivered very quickly even though I didn't order it until December 14, so their customer service is also top notch. If you would like to view some of their other designs, please visit their Jewelry Art Design website.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year from Collecting Vintage Jewelry


Time for resolutions, planning and thinking ahead. I hope that 2010 will bring you the best of everything life has to offer. 'With all the financial problems our country encountered last year, I honestly believe that this year can only improve!

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