Saturday, November 28, 2009
Some rhinestone pieces are very valuable and worth the effort and cost of the restoration. There are several places that sell vintage rhinestones. One company that I have used and recommend is Matthew Ribarich's site called MrStones.
But what do you do when you have a vintage rhinestone piece that has badly damaged foil, you have searched high and low, and you still can't find a stone which will blend in well with the others?
Rhinestone foil backings such as those used by Swarovski and other rhinestone manufacturers involves a process similar to that used for the silvering of mirrors. The original process involves some tricky chemical processes. Actual silver is applied to the back of a mirror and then a paint-like coating is applied to protect the silver from oxidation and darkening. Re-silvering a mirror is a process often done and the end result is usually very satisfactory.
To duplicate the process with something as small as a rhinestone would take a miniature set up of the same process and would be quite specialized. You could contact a glass seller who resilvers mirros and ask them if they would undertake the job of resilvering your rhinestones. Don't be surprised if you are greeted with widened eyes and a dropped jaw at your request, since you may be the first person to ask them about this.
A curator at a nearby museum might be able to give you some names of those craftsmen that they use for preservation or restoration. These craftsmen who may know of some other techniques that will assist you. Obviously, this step would only be undertaken as a last resort and if the piece is particularly valuable and suitable for the expense of this type of repair.
If you have a piece which you adore which has damaged stones but it doesn't warrant the expensive of a professional repair, there are vintage rhinestone re-foil kits available. I have seen them on ebay, but haven't tried the product, so I can't guarantee that you will like the results.
Quite honestly, I would be surprised if there is a suitable paint easily applied which will blend well enough with the original silvering or golding. If you do decide to use this process, be sure to remove all of the old silver or gold coating first and then tackle the painting job.
If you do purchase this re-foil product and use it, please publish your results in the comments. I'd be interested to see how it works.
Friday, November 27, 2009
During the process, the metal is engraved deeply enough so that the enamel can be held when heated. It also has sides high enough to be sure that the colors of the enamel are kept separate. The addition of the translucent enamel allows light to reflect from the relief and creates a very artistic effect. The end result has a lovely play of light and shade and a brilliance of tone.
The process of basse-taille was first developed in Italy in the 13th century, and was especially popular in Europe during the Gothic and Renaissance periods. This technique was also very popular with mid 20th century Scandinavian silversmiths such as David Andersen, Hroar Prydz and Askel Holmsen. The technique has also been called "translucent enameling."
Here are some xxamples of basse-taille jewelry:
Thursday, November 26, 2009
This year, I am most thankful for my health and that of my family and loved ones, and that my daughter is having a great year at university with roles in many of the college drama productions. It is nice to see her so happy and involved.
I hope that you also have much to be thankful for. With all the problems in our economy, it is nice to take the time to think of little things that are good in our lives.
What are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Christmas brooches come in a wide variety of designs and one of the most popular style is the candy cane. These are made in a myriad of designs and materials - with the most popular being enamel and rhinestone designs.
Most of the major vintage jewelry designers included them in their range of designs, and contemporary designers seem to come up with new ideas for the motif each year.
Here are a few for you to choose from. Each of my online stores also has a larger range of styles. One of them is sure to make a cute stocking stuffer or even a present to yourself! You can click the pictures for more details and additional photos. Prices range from $8.99 to $16.99.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thinking about buying jewelry for your Sagittarius friend and don't know where to start? Let's examine some of these zodiac facts for a bit of inspiration.
- Their special colors are yellow and orange
- The lucky numbers are 1,3,5, and 9
- The gemstones associated with this birth sign are Amethyst, and Turquoise
- Their animal symbol is the horse
- Flowers that Sagittarians love are pink flowers, carnations and thistles
This genuine turquoise necklace would be a lovely choice:
And for the horse lover Sagittarian, this lovely Gerry's Christmas horse drawn sleigh pin would be a perfect stocking stuffer:
This wonderful bakelite demi parure which combines yellow and orange into one pretty hue would also make a great choice:
Friday, November 20, 2009
The bracelet is set in silvertone metal and features three rows of clear diamanted rhinestones in prong settings. The bracelet is 1/2" wide and is an expansion style so it should fit most wrist sizes.
It is signed Made in Japan on the inside of the bracelet. The lovely piece is available from my Ruby Lane shop - The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry for only $25.
Rhinestone expansion bracelets were all the rage between the 1930s and 1950s and they have recently had a resurgence in popularity. This lovely example is in gently used very fine condition with clear and bright rhinestones.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
If you are a fan of Elizabeth Taylor, you may be interested in the book Elizabeth Taylor’s Personal Jewelry Collection – My love affair with Jewelry. Known for her beauty, her seven marriages, and her stunning jewelry collection, screen star Elizabeth Taylor treats us to a first look at her jewelry, in gorgeous actual-size photos and in personal photos-some never before seen publicly-of herself wearing them. This book showcases many of the pieces from her collection with 125 stunning photographs.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
This pretty pin is just adorable! It is set in goldtone metal and has a 1950s riveted back setting and great depth and detail.
The petals are made of prong set dark pink rhinestones and the top layer of leaves has a translucent basse-taille enamel coating in light pink. The lower layer of leaves are also very nicely detailed.
There are no markings on this beauty, but the design and weight of the piece reminds me very much of Austrian jewelry from this same period. Priced at only $26.99, this piece would make a great gift for someone who loves pink jewelry. For more details on this pretty pink rhinestone flower brooch, you can visit my Vintage Jewelry Lane online store.
Friday, November 6, 2009
I've recently purchased a large warehouse buy out of old stock of men's cuff links, key rings, money clips and the like. All of the items are from dealer stock from the 1980s or earlier and none have been worn. They would make fantastic stocking stuffers.
Here are a few choices from my ebay store Carolina Collections Vintage Jewelry. Prices range from $8.75 to $16.99. All of my other online stores also have a great range of men's jewelry. You can click the links on the top right corner of my blog to go to my stores to see the whole collection.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The Beatles were on stage and about to sing Twist and Shout for the Queen Elizabeth, the queen Mother, and Princess Margaret. In the clip you hear Lennon say, “For our last number, I’d like to ask your help. The people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, just rattle your jewelry.”
Here is the YouTube Video from the performance 46 years ago yesterday.
Now this is a creative use of vintage jewelry!