Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Guns Made into Jewelry - Great Use of Confiscated Weapons

Jeweler Makes Gun Parts into Jewelry

gun bracelet

If you haven't been living under a rock recently, you will know that gun ownership is a very hot topic.  No matter which side of the argument you agree with, you will probably still feel that illegal gun ownership is something needs control.

During the summer last year, the Newark Police Department had raids that produced a cache of weapons.  This gave the police department a new problem though...what to do with the confiscated material.

This situation has given the jewelry world a new designer - Jessica Mindich.  She is the CEO and found of Jewelry for a Cause. 

Mindich states"the Caliber Collection is a line of jewelry made in part from illegal guns and brass shell casings taken off the streets of Newark, NJ and a portion of the proceeds go back to Newark Police Department to benefit their gun buy-back/amnesty program."

Each bracelet was once a gun used on the streets of Newark to commit a crime and each bracelet is shaped like a trigger cage of a gun. The name "Newark" is stamped inside and along the outer edges is the actual serial number of the gun from which it was made, appears four times.

The bracelets aren't cheap.  Each one comes engraved with the serial number of a seized gun and retails for $150 to $300.

You can view the line at her website The Calliber Collection.

What do you think of the idea of making confiscated guns into jewelry?  Yay or Nay?  Please leave your comments below.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jewelry at the Oscars 2013

Oscars 2013 - the Stars Bring out the Bling.

Oscars 2013 was like all others. The runways were full of stars strutting out their finery. It did seem to me that jewelry was more prominent than years past.

Often, the stars will don gowns and the designers seem to want them unadorned for the most part so that the gown will do the talking.

This year the jewelry took more of a center stage.  Here were some of my favorites:

Jennifer Anniston, all decked out from head to toe.  Look at the ring!

Halley  Berry went for a more informal look with thse black earrings.  Match her dress beautifully though.

Jennifer Garner in a festoon necklace.  Love the design of this one. Looks very vintage.

More statement earrings by Catherine Zeta Jones. This time in brown and earth tone colors.  Love them!

Charleze Theron sports a big chunky bracelet.  Very popular style right now.

Jennifer Hudson in big statement earrings with both blue and gren. Love her hair for the occasion.

Did you notice that the jewelry made more of a statement this year? Or did it seem like other years to you?

Photo credit:  All Getty Images.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dating Costume Jewelry - Six Methods

Dating Costume Jewelry Can Be Quite a Task

dating vintage jewelry
Collectors of Vintage jewelry know that one of the most daunting tasks is dating a piece.  No one method will give results for all pieces, but there are six commonly used techniques.

  • Signatures.  This signature on a vintage jewelry piece will offer valuable clues to dating it.  Many designers of vintage jewelry only made pieces during a certain time period.
  • Copyright symbol.    Many jewelry designers applied for patents for their pieces to keep them from getting copied.  Both signature marks and actual designs were patented.  A study of patents will give exact dates if the designs were copyrighted themselves.
  • Signature Variations.  Most designers used a variety of signatures on their pieces over the years.  A good knowledge of the progression of these signatures can help pinpoint a design within a long time period.
  • Dating by style.  Vintage jewelry is like any other fashion style.  It has certain characteristics which were trendy at various time points during the 1935 to 1980 span, which is considered vintage.  Many vintage jewelry advertisements were used during this time.  Locating an ad for your piece or one like it will give an approximate age of the piece.
  • Resource books.  If you are serious about collecting vintage jewelry, it will help to have a library of resource material. 
  • Dating from the original source.  Provenance is defined as the original source.  In vintage jewelry terms, this would mean dating a piece with information obtained from the original owner of it.  If you are lucky enough to purchase an estate from the original owner, you may be able to get a lot of information about when it was originally purchased.  How lucky that would be.
Have you discovered other methods for dating vintage jewelry?  I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Napier Co.: Defining 20th Century American Costume Jewelry

New Napier Book Just Released.

Napier Jewelry is a fairly well known design mark for later 20th century jewelry.  While they are not one of the most collected designers, the company did put out very well crafted jewelry that stands the test of time.  I sell quite a lot of it in my various online stores.

The company has just released a new resource book about Napier jewelry.  The Napier Jewelry book is an encyclopedia of Napier Costume Jewelry. It tells the (before now) untold and phenomenal story of The Napier Co.’s inception, development, flowering, and ultimate success.

The book is written and resourced by long time jewelry collector Melinda Lewis.

The book chronicles the history of its management, manufacturing, marketing, and most importantly, the unparalleled beauty of Napier fashion jewelry. With approximately 4000 pictures of Napier jewelry history and over 250,000 words of text and descriptions, you will be taken step-by-step, decade by decade, through the development of the Napier style.

As a collector, you will learn to recognize the findings, materials, and designs to appropriately circa-date the Napier jewelry in which you are investing. As a lover of vintage costume jewelry, you will enjoy the drama and excitement of the trials, tribulations, and breakthroughs at each stage of the Napier journey.

In the end, you will have a deep and lasting appreciation of the romantic story infused into the metal, gemstones, crystals, cabochons, and elegance of each piece of Napier jewelry that you own or are considering owning.

The book not only talks about the Napier jewelry company but also the fashion jewelry industry as a whole, so it is a must read for all collectors of vintage and costume jewelry.

Here is a YouTube video which discusses the book and gives some photos and images from it.

My experience in collecting vintage has shown me that, once a designer is featured in resource books, the value of the pieces go up over time.  Perhaps now is a good time to start collecting Napier jewelry while it is still quite affordable.  The book gives fair market value of most pieces made between 1950 and the year 2000 which will be a great help to anyone deciding to start collecting Napier Jewelry.

The book can be purchased directly from the Napier Jewelry Company.

Are you a fan of Napier Jewelry?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Jewelry Store Opens at Amazon

 Jewelry Lane to Open at Amazon

I have been trying for years to get approved to sell jewelry on Amazon.   Most categories are available to anyone who wishes to sell there, but a few are closed categories which require approval before you can list items for sale in them.  This year, I finally got approval and have opened a store front on Amazon called Jewelry Lane.

The store will feature only new jewelry.  The vintage category has been closed for many years and Amazon is not allowing any new sellers to list vintage items.  Since my other stores are a mix of both vintage and new costume jewelry, this is not a problem for me.

I opened the store in early January and am in the process of listing items.  It is a slow process, since Amazon is very strict about the terms and conditions under which you can list items.  I currently have about 150 items for sale, but I plan to extend my range of jewelry to approximately 800 to 1000 items over the next 6 months or so.

Here are a few of my current listings.  You can click any of the pictures to go to the item page.

These are just a few of the many selections.  You can view my whole catalog in my Jewelry Lane store.

Do you sell on Amazon?  How do you find the experience compared to other venues?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Today's Jewelry Word - Lavaliere

 The Dangle is the Key to Lavaliere Necklaces and Brooches

There are many styles of necklaces available.  Everyone knows what a pendant is, but a lavaliere pendant is one that you may not be aware of.

 The term lavaliere is used for necklaces (and also brooches) which have a pendant that has a dangling tassel or stone hanging below it.  The word was made popular in the mid 17th century by the Duchess de la Vallire, who was a mistress of King Louis XIV of France.

In the jewelry world the term has been shortened to lavaliere, or lavalier. Either spelling is correct.
Many stones can be part of the dangle but pearls are one that is commonly used.  I've seen lovely aurora borealis tear shaped glass stones, used in conjunction with a pendant or even brooch with dramatic effects.

Occasionally the word will be used for pendants which have dangles within a part of the design rather than below it. I have also seen two strand necklace, each with its own pendant described as a lavalier necklace. To be technically correct, there should be a dangle though, as part of the design, not just two separate pendants.

Here are some examples of Lavaliere jewelry:

Kenneth Jay Lane dramatic lavalier rhinestone brooch.

Egyptian Inspired necklace with Lavaliere dangles.

Lovely rhinestone mid century lavaliere necklace.

I have lavaliere jewelry in my Vintage Jewelry Lane store at very competitive prices. 

What do you think of the design technique? Do you like the dangles or prefer a plain pendant?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Step Back in Time With Vintage Fashion and Clothing

It's Nostalgia Time with Vintage Fashion and Jewelry

I love looking back over fashion and jewelry in old vintage photos.  It is such a nostalgic look at the past and always seems to show that some styles really are timeless.

The general look may have changed but there are bits and pieces here and there that look as though they could be right out of current fashion ads.

Grab a cup of coffee and step back in time with me for some oldies and not so oldies.

The above photo really shows the connection between mid last century and today!

If you love these, then you will love my vintage jewelry choices. They too are also a step back in time.


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