Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jewelry and Astrology - Cancer

This blog post is another in my series about choosing jewelry suitable for individual star signs. Today's astrological sign is Cancer, which is the sign for those born between June 22-July 22. The sign is depicted as a Crab and it is a water sign.

Zodiac Logo courtesy of

Those born under the sign of the Crab are said to be emotional and very caring. They are usually pet lovers and are very dependable. On the negative side, they can be a little oversensitive and prone to mood swings and a bit pessimistic.

Thinking about buying jewelry for your Cancer friend and don't know where to start? Let's examine some of these zodiac facts for a bit of inspiration.
  • Their primary color is silver
  • The birthstones are the pearl and moonstone
  • Lucky numbers are 8 and 3
  • Best locations - near the water
  • Gemstone is the emerald
  • Flower is the lily or any white flower

Since the sign for Cancer is a crab, you could choose any style of jewelry which features the crab as a motif. These cute crab earrings might be just the right gift. Or how about this cute cancer stickpin featuring a crab? Both pieces are only $5.99 in my online stores. Just click the pictures for more details.

Not interested in anything quite so Zodiac inspired? Here are a few other choices based on the facts in my list above. Since silver is the color, that leads us to any silvertone jewelry. My ebay store has a huge range of it for sale.

Cancer people like the seashore, so nautical jewelry or fish jewelry might be a good choice for gifts for them.

Since one of their lucky numbers is three, how about a pretty three strand bracelet like this fabulous glass three strand bracelet by high end contemporary design Anne Klein? The colors are just perfect for summer and it's available for only $14.99.

And with Cancer's fondness for white flowers and a pearl as a birthstone, you can't go wrong with any pearl jewelry. Here are a few choices for inspiration. Prices range from $12.99 to $27.99.

Have fun treating your friend with this interesting water sign.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Featured Vintage Jewelry Designer - JJ - Whimsicals, Figurals, Artifacts and More!

Collectors of figural jewelry, particular lovers of cat jewelry will be well aquainted with today's featured designer - JJ (Jonette Jewelry Company.)

The company was founded in 1935 in Providence, Rhode Island, under the name of Providence Jewelry Company. The owner was Abraham Lisker. Abraham was originally trained as a physician, but gave up this career to begin what would become his life's work. His brother Nathan joined the company in 1937 and the company became known as Lisker & Lisker.

Because of the popularity of some early mother of pearl figurals and ballerina pins, the company decided to focus on making figurals. Their designs are of above average quality and so whimsical and fun to wear.

The second world war interrupted the production of the company when Abraham closed the doors of the company and enlisted in the army for a two year tour of duty. He returned to Providence and renamed the company Jonette Jewelry Company - JJ for short - which was a combination of his father's name John and his mother's name Etta.

J.J. Designs are hallmarked simply with the letters JJ on a rectangular cartouche. I've also seen the letters placed directly into the metal itself as well. Most of the designs all had two things in common - great detail and whimsical designs. This is a photo of the hallmark:

The owner, Abraham, retired in 1972 and his son Gordon took over. In 1986 Lisker trademarked the name "Artifacts" which was an ethnic line with an antique finish, designed to look like historical artifacts. Another line at this time were those with a Southwestern motif such as coyotes, cacti, etc. The company closed in 2006.

Cats and dogs were popular subjects, but the company also did brooches and pins in a wide variety of other animal shapes. They also made a range of very interesting sports jewelry with bar pins and charm dangles featuring the sport.

JJ jewelry has always been widely collected by lovers of thematic motifs. Expect the pieces to raise in value with other collectors now that the company has ceased production.

Here are some photos of a few pieces to give you an idea of the whimsical quality of the JJ designs. All pieces are available in my online stores. Just click the photos for more details. Prices range from $9.99 to $14.99.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jewelry Find of the Week - David Andersen White Sterling and Enamel Leaf Set

I've been fortunate to aquire an estate collection of fabulous sterling silver Scandinavian jewelry recently. This week's jewelry find is a stunning demi parure by Norwegian silversmith David Andersen. The design features a gorgeous leaf design in sterling silver and white basse-taille enamel. Nice gold vermeil wash over the sterling.

The brooch has the harder to find four petal design and the earrings feature two petals.

Made in the mid 20th century, this design is part of a range of Scandinavian sterling silver jewelry which is much sought after and very highly collectible. It is featured in many of the resource books about jewelry from this period.

The brooch is 2 1/2 x 1 1/8" and the earrings measure 1 x 1 3/8". Fully marked on the back with the sign of the scales and the words D.A. 925s sterling Norway. There is also a W in a circle which refers to Willy Winnaess who worked for the company in the 1950s.

This lovely David Andersen sterling silver leaf set is available from my Vintage Jewelry Lane store for $149.99. I also have listed several other David Andersen sterling pieces this week from the same estate purchase.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Michon Jewelry Making Blog Giveaway - Beads and Yarn

There is nothing like a good giveaway promotion, especially when it involves jewelry in any way. I discovered a new one today when googling jewelry sites. The blog is called The Michon Jewelry Blog and is an interesting blog about all things jewelry - especially jewelry making.

The owner of the site has a promotion going right now. And it's easy to enter. All you have to do is tell her, in the comments section of her blog, what supplies you want her to give you. She has the goodies already made up and the answer that most closely describes her mystery package wins it!

She even gives a hint: the prize involves BOTH yarn AND beads. This promotion is called Crafty Goodness Giveaways, so head on over and tell her what you would like her to give you for your jewelry making projects.

If you are a jewelry seller and would like to have your site featured here, please email me.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Today's Vintage Jewelry Word - Cabochon

Our word of the day is cabochon. A cabochon is a stone or bead which has one flat side and the another side which is smooth and domed. The flat side is placed into a setting which has a flat finish and the rounded side is the top decorative side.

The word cabochon comes from the French word "caboche," which means a knob or small dome." A cabochon normally has no facets, although there are exceptions here too. Occasionally, transparent stones such as emeralds, amethyst and garnet, are also sometimes fashioned as cabochons.

Many cabochons are round or oval about other shapes are fairly common too, such as navette and marquis shapes. Cabochons can be made of various materials - glass, lucite, gemstones, etc. There are rhinestones which have flat backs too, but they are more commonly referred to as flat backed rhinestones rather than cabochons. has an interesting article on the process of cutting a stone cabochon that you may want to read if you would like further information on the subject.

Here are some photos of vintage jewelry pieces which use cabochons. All items are available from my store Vintage Jewelry Lane. Click the photos to go to the listing page. Prices range from $9.99 to -31.99.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Vintage Jewelry Resource Books - Which ones are right for you?

If you are going to collect vintage jewelry and have an eye on the investment value of the piece, then you may want to consider also investing in some vintage jewelry resource books. But with so many of them available how are you supposed to know which ones are most worth investing in?

I have a large number of them in my personal library and find that there are a few that I use most of the time, so I will outline the ones I find most useful for identification, information, and pricing. I will discuss a few general resource books and some that are designer specific.

1. Costume Jewelry 101 - The Basics of Starting, Building and Upgrading by Julia C. Carroll.

This is a personal favorite of mine and one to have if you are just starting to collect vintage jewelry. It gives a great introduction to the subject, outlines how and when to buy and gives very good overviews of four good designers for beginners. The book also outlines other designers in less detail. Photos are very good and the book also gives an idea of retail values.

2. Costume Jewelry 202 - The Basics of Dating Jewelry 1935 - 1980.

This is a follow up book to the one above and is for more advanced collectors. The book talks about 6 methods for dating jewelry and has patent numbers and patent design photos to help with the identification process. Lovely photos, retail prices and some examples of early vintage jewelry advertisements.

3. Unsigned Beauties of Costume Jewelry by Marcia "Sparkles" Brown.

This is a collector favorite! - This book has many photos of jewelry of various kinds. The price guide is reasonable but she does not take into account unsigned pieces that are known to be from certain manufactures which results in an under pricing for some of the items featured in the book.

3. Signed Beauties of Costume Jewelry (Volume I and also Volume II) by Marcia "Sparkles" Brown.

Each of the two volumes features different designers, so they compliment each other very well. The guide talks about each of the featured designers in great detail and outlines the markings used by them as well as design characteristics, although no pictures of the makers marks are shown. Wonderful pictures and suggested retail values are included.

4. Emmons and Sarah Coventry Jewelry Fashion Show - Deborah A. Robinson.

The book for collectors of Sarah Coventry Jewelry. I have several reference books for her pieces, and this one is the most complete, in my opinion. A huge number of her pieces are featured, with names of the designs, years of manufacture and suggested retail prices which are very accurate. Emmons jewelry is also featured to a lesser degree.

5. Copper Art Jewelry, A Different Luster - Matthew L. Burkholz and Linda Lichtenberg Kaplan

Fabulous book for collectors of copper vintage jewelry. Mainly discusses the work of Rebajes and Renoir/Matisse Renoir but also has a chapter on other signed and unsigned pieces of the period. No values, but clear photos with great detail. The book has a two page spread of design photos which gives the name to some of the Renoir piece, although not all.

6. Miriam Haskell Jewelry - Cathy Gordon and Sheila Damfiloff

The resource book for collectors of Miriam Haskell jewelry. It contains over 600 color photographs which are categorized design techniques. Both signed and unsigned pieces are included, and the book has very clear detailed photos of the back of the pieces to help with the identification process. Also includes retail prices.

7. The Art of Juliana Jewelry - Katerina Musetti

All Juliana pieces are unsigned and are identified by design techniques, so if you plan to collect Juliana jewelry, this book is a must. The book contains over 400 color photograph of Juliana jewelry made between 1947 and the 1990s. The first part of the book has chapters devoted to each style of jewelry made with clear photos of clasps, pin backs, stone settings etc. Retail prices are also included.

There are many other books which give a wealth of information, but these should get you started and will give you a good overview of information you will need in your vintage jewelry search.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thematic Jewelry - Great Gift Ideas

Many collector's of vintage jewelry look for particular designers or hallmark's or design technique. To them, the investment quality of a piece is the most important factor in choosing which piece to buy.

Other collectors purchase pieces that just appeal to them in various ways with no thought about the actual value of the piece itself. Those that are in this category might find themselves always gravitating to thematic jewelry - such as music jewelry, or cat jewelry, or coin jewelry, or any number of other themes.

One of my online stores - Vintage Jewelry Mall, specializes in various types of thematic jewelry. We have a wide range of all types of themes whether it be patriotic jewelry, teacher jewelry, animal jewelry, cowboy and western jewelry, zodiac jewelry, religious jewelry or Christmas jewelry. There is something for all tastes and budgets.

This type of jewelry makes a very good gift idea. Does your friend have a house full of turtle pillows and t shirts and figurines? What would be a better gift idea than this pair of cute JJ signed turtle earrings shown above? The price is only $9.99 so they won't last long.

If turtles aren't your thing, then have a look at some of these other thematic jewelry pieces. Prices range from $8.99 to $14.99. You can click the pictures for more information on the piece, or browse the thematic jewelry page of my site for more ideas.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vintage Jewelry Designer - Who am I?

Let's have some fun today. This is another in my ongoing guessing game blog about vintage jewelry designers. I'll give you some clues and pictures and you see if you can guess which designer it is. Ready?

Here are your clues:
  • Dates of operation were 1942 - 1971
  • Company founded in New York by a designer who originally worked for Coro during the 1930s
  • Imported most of his stones from Austria for the lead content
  • Had a highly collectible Christmas tree line which was made in Germany
  • Made many long stemmed enamel flower designs
  • Highly sought after and collectible designer today
Here are some pictures of my designs:

I am considered a high end designer and my pieces are very collectible, although not exhorbitantly expensive. For more information and the answer to today's riddle, you can go to this designer page of the resource library on my website Vintage Jewelry Lane. (answer is also shown reading backwards at the bottom of this blog post.)

I'll be doing more of these riddles over the next weeks and months. Have fun with the series. ANSWER: (read it backwards): ssieW

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jewelry Find of the Week - Purple and Green Flower Demi Parure

It's almost summer and nothing says summertime quite like flower jewelry. Our find of the week this week is a stunning flowered demi parure.

This bright and colorful set features a brooch and matching pair of pierced earrings. The flower looks like a pansy to me and the colors are so vibrant and bright.

The pieces are set in goldtone metal and feature purple, blue, pink and white enamel petals which have pave diamante rhinestones all around the edges. The two tone green enamel leaves complete the design beautifully.

This pretty set is available in my Ruby Lane Shop - The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry for only $45. You can even make me an offer if you would like to pay a little less for it. Fabulous gift for a flower lover!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Promotion for readers of my blog - 20% off

I'm running a promotion from today until the end of July 2009 in my online stores- Vintage Jewelry Lane - Vintage Jewelry Mall - The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry. (the code won't work in my ebay store. Ebay has no way to give discount codes.)

This coupon code is only available for readers of my blog or those on my newsletter mailing list. If you enter the coupon code july3255 (all one word) into the area for vouchers when you check out, you will receive a 20% discount on your purchase price. The voucher can be used as often as you like until July 31, 2009.

The coupon code works automatically for Vintage Jewelry Lane and Vintage Jewelry Mall. For my Ruby Lane customers, you will need to mention the code when you purchase, and I'll adjust the price when I get the purchase order. (please wait for my adjusted cost for the Ruby Lane Store before paying to get the discount)

Also - if your purchase is more than $100, I also offer free shipping. (this will be done automatically during checkout.)

If you would like to be notified of my newest listings an promotion offers by email, you can join my weekly newsletter mailling list. Just email me and I'll be happy to add you to the group.

Here are some sneak peeks, or you can go the stores through the links in the first paragraph to see the full selection.

Have fun shopping and save 20% until July 31!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Today's Vintage Jewelry Word - Torsade

Today's vintage jewelry word is torsade - pronounced TORE -SAHD. Literally, torsade is a French word that means twisting of the points.

In jewelry design, the word is used for a design which has many strands of pearls, glass, or beads pulled together at a single clasp to form a very thick piece of jewelry. Sometimes the strands are twisted, almost in a braided style, and sometimes they just hang loosely in a bunch. Some designs will use a larger focal beads somewhere on the piece to give some extra detail and dimension.

The design technique is mainly used in the construction of necklaces, but I have also seen bracelets and earrings with the same technique. The finished product often has a Bohemian retro look to it. Torsade necklaces were very popular in the 1970s and continue in today's jewelry designs.

Here are a few examples of torsade necklaces and bracelets, showing both the tight twisted effect and the loose style of design.

What do you think of the look?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Today's Vintage Jewelry Color - A girl's gotta have pink!

It's a girly color. All little girls love it, and we felt like young princesses when we wore it. As teens, it made us feel special and a bit "prissy," and as we age it makes us feel young again.

There are so many shades of this romantic color. The palest of pastel pinks will take us back to those moments of the pretty princess days. Bright and dark pink makes us remember the vibrant days of our teen years when we wanted to make a statement. And a combination of the various shades just makes us feel feminine.

So, let's take a step back in time and relive those days. These are some current offerings in our online shops. You can click any of the photos for more details. Prices range from $12.99 for the Trifari oval pale pink clip earrings, to $76 for the fabulous Kenneth Jay Lane pink rhinestone flower brooch.

And always remember...a girl's never to old to wear pink!