Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Jewelry - Past and Present

It's that time of the year. It seems to come around more quickly each year, doesn't it? This is the time of the year when there doesn't seem to be enough hours in a day.

Out come the decorations, and off to the store for shopping. It's also the perfect time of the year to bring out your seasonal jewelry from past years, or to shop for a new item to add to your collection.

Anyone who collects vintage jewelry probably has a few Christmas pins - particularly Christmas tree pins, which seem to attract most collectors. There is a whole collecting field in vintage jewelry devoted to it, and many books have been written as reference books for collectors.

Two of my favorite books are Christmas Jewelry by Mary Morrison, and Christmas Pins, past and present by Jill Gallina.

Many of the popular vintage jewelry designers had at least a few pins in their range of jewelry. Some of the most popular ones who put out quite a number of them are Gerry's, Tancer, Mylu, and of course Eisenberg.

The number of ways that a Christmas tree can be fashioned into a jewelry item seems to be limitless. The trend continues through today's designers with Kenneth Lane, Ron, and Christopher Radko being some notable designers of more recent Christmas tree pins.

Many of the older designs also seem to find their way into today's jewelry. Collector's often note, with either delight or disdain, depending on one's point of view, that the old pieces have been refashioned into new designs.

It is not only Christmas trees which find themselves designed into a jewelry piece, but bells, reindeer, sleighs, Santa Claus figures, snowmen, and all myriad of Christmas themes.

Here are a few designs from my stores. You can find more selections by just using the word Christmas as a search in any of my stores. I have dozens and dozens of designs to choose from in all price ranges.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Selection of Rhinestone Pins in my Ruby Lane Shop

This is the time of the year when the jackets and blazers come out and this makes it the perfect time for the addition of a new rhinestone pin for your collection. Nothing looks better on the lapel of a jacket than a fabulous brooch!

I've just listed a few vintage brooches in my Ruby Lane shop - The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry. They are all very affordably priced and have a wonderful array of all sorts of rhinestones in fabulous colors.

Here are a few to whet your appetite. You can view the whole range of rhinestone pins in my Ruby Lane shop. If you can't find one to suit you at the Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry shope, I also have a large range of rhinestone pins in my Ruby Plaza shop Jewelry Lane too.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hottest New Earring Trend - Basketball Wives Inspired Hoops

If you like reality TV, you are probably a fan of the VH1 Cable Network program called The Basketball Wives. The show features the lives of a group of women who have all been romantically link in some way to professional basketball players.

The designer of the original Basketball wives earrings is POParazzi. But there are now dozens of imitators (at much reduced prices) so the trend has really taken off.

I have just listed a big range of Basketball wives inspired earrings in my eBay store and also in my Ruby Lane store Jewelry Lane.

These earrings are not for the faint of heart. They are big, bold and will make quite an impression when worn. The size is at least 3" for most of the pieces I have listed. In spite of this big size, though, the earrings are not heavy when worn.

Here are a few designs. You can view more by visiting my Jewelry Lane shop.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Feather Jewelry Continues to Set Trends

Each season, there seems to be some new style or material in jewelry that takes off and becomes a fashion trend. For the last few seasons, it has been feathers and fur. And this fall will be no exception. Feathers are still prominent on the fashion runways, and my suppliers are offering more and more of it each time I go to see what is new.

Feather jewelry was confined to mainly earrings for the spring and summer season, but this fall, I am seeing necklaces, sets, rings, bracelets, earlaces, (another new trend which is very popular), and of course lots and lots of styles of earrings.

Here are a few styles to give you an example of what is available. You can also head on over to Jewelry Lane at Ruby Plaza, or my ebay store for really large selection which changes daily.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Gemstone Imposters - The Name is the Key

Go surfing online for genuine gemstone jewelry, whether it be antique, vintage or contemporary, and you will more than likely come across a jewelry title with very descriptive words added to the gemstone which is, sadly, often an impostor.

Picture this - your best friend has just told you that she got a real steal on an American Ruby. Do you have the courage (or the knowledge) to tell her that she may have just purchased a garnet instead?

Diamonds are notorious for being described with additional words in the title, when they are actually various forms of quartz. Here are a few which are all quartz in some form:
  • German diamond
  • Herkimer diamond
  • Bohemian Diamond
And it is not just diamonds that are the culprits. Colorful gemstones being sold with descriptive words in their title are also very misleading to consumers too. Sometimes the added word will make a simple piece of glass sound more like the real deal and other times, it will be used to signify one precious or semi precious stone, when a lesser value one is actually being sold.

Here are some common gemstone impostors. There are dozens more if you do your homework:
  • Oriental Emerald (green sapphire)
  • Australian Jade (treated quartz)
  • Roman pearls (glass beads)
  • Ceylon Opal (moonstone)
  • German Lapis (dyed Jasper)
All of the above may be the item that is just what you have been searching for, albeit not the real deal, and in that case, go ahead and purchase it. But do your homework first to help you understand what you are really buying, lest you purchase a Spanish emerald, only to discover later that it is a piece of colored glass.

A quick search on Google of the name of the advertised gemstone with its descriptive add on will usually tell you what you may really be buying. And use common sense. If it is a deal too good to be true, it may very well be a fake. Synthetic stones are usually moderately priced simply because they are not as rare as real gemstones.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Love Tokens - Lockets - Timeless Treasures in a small Design

As many women have discovered, a locket is a wonderful place to keep a tiny memento of a loved one all wrapped up in a pretty jewelry design.

There are so many styles and shapes now. Gone are the days of only wearing a heart shape around your neck with a picture of your child. Let your imagination go wild. Today's styles are all shapes and sizes, sometimes even shaped like animals or hand painted with pretty floral motifs. I even have one that opens up to the shape of a shamrock for good luck!

If a memento isn't what you would like to place in your locket, then a perfume locket may be just the thing for you. These pretty designs hold a solid perfume block so that you can add scent on the go. I have one in my Ruby Lane shop in a ring design instead of a necklace.

Here are a few designs from my Ruby Plaza Shop - Jewelry Lane. I am partial to flowers, so I love the hand painted ones. Which are your favorites?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Body Chains - Not just for Belly Dancers!

If you are a typical woman, you probably have a variety of chain necklaces in your jewelry wardrobe. Most of us might several different styles. They seem to add just the touch of pizazz to any neckline. Add a pendant to the look and you have a lovely accent to your outfit.

A hot new trend this season seems to be taking chain necklaces and pendants to a whole new level with the introduction of a piece of jewelry called a body chain. They have recently been spotted on a host of Hollywood starlets and this has given the jewelry makers the impetus to add them to their contemporary jewelry lines.

What is a body chain? It's is a combination of chains which combine the look of a pendant necklace with what might simply be described as a light version of chain mail! When I first started seeing them, the look reminded me a bit of the sorts of styles women used to wear when they were belly dancing. But you don't need to be in a harem to enjoy this popular new look.

The pendant part of the necklace is usually joined with vertical rows of chains and then the chains are joined at the hip or waist area with a long single chain. The whole thing drapes over a shirt, blouse or slim fitting top. With the summer season here, another popular look for them is to wear the chain over the top of a bikini for a sexy, hot look.

What do you think of the look? Yay or nay? The look is so sexy and alluring, I am guessing the guys will definitely vote yay!

The style shown here is one that I have recently added to my Jewelry Lane shop at Ruby Plaza. Priced at just $22, it's can be affordable new addition to your trendy jewelry wardrobe.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hot New Fashion Trend - Earlaces - Rihanna Style

One of the hottest new trends in jewelry is a combination of earrings and necklaces called an earlace. The style has become very popular after R& B star Rihanna was seen wearing a pair recently. I can't keep them in my stores.

What is an earlace? Simply put it is a pair of earrings which is normally joined by a series of chains. Ever since the style became popular all sorts of embellishments have been added to the chains - rhinestones, glass beads, and most recently feathers, another fashion trend this season. I also have some with peace logo motifs and flowers in filigree settings which join the chains to the earrings.

Who knows whether this fashion trend will last, but right now, they are selling well, and I keep relisting them.

What do you think? Is an earlace the style for you?

Here are a few examples of some of the styles that I have just added. For more designs, head on over to Jewelry Lane at Ruby Plaza or my ebay Store Carolina Collections Jewelry.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Angelina Jolie to Launch a New Jewelry Line

Those of you who love to keep up with the latest in contemporary jewelry fashions may be interested to know that Angelina Jolie has launched a new line of jewelry called Style of Jolie.

Ms Jolie has been involved in the design process since she wanted to create some beautiful art around jewels with the mission of helping children.

YouTube has an interesting video of the collection that you can find here:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Religious Jewelry is Always a popular choice

Wearing religious jewelry has always been a way for the faithful to proudly display their faith in a elegant way. But gone are the days of the only choice being a rosary or a small beaded bracelet.

Current fashion trends have changed all that and now the range of jewelry with a religious theme is vast and includes bracelets, pins, pendants, rings, earrings and the ever popular cross necklace.

I have just received a large range of religious jewelry styles and am listing them in my online stores. The designs are lovely, with many having rhinestone and turquoise gemstone accents.

Here are a few examples to give you an idea of the range. Prices start at about $6.99 and range to approximately $30. Some designs are limited in quantity, so hurry in for best choice.

You can view the whole range at my shop at Ruby Plaza - Jewelry Lane, or my Vintage Jewelry Mall Shop.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's Sale time at Carolina Collections - Cameos!!

Each week in my ebay store - Carolina Collections Vintage Jewelry, I offer a few items which I have placed on sale. This week is no exception. And this sale is close to my heart, as readers of my blog will realize. I've marked down a nice range of cameo costume jewelry. Here are a few pieces to whet your appetite. You can view the whole range of cameo jewelry which is reduced on the mark down page of my shop. Hurry, though...the sale ends in just a few days.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Red Rhinestone Vintage Jewelry is a Hot Seller

Anyone who has dabbled in selling vintage jewelry will agree that red is one of the colors that always gets the most watchers and bids. It is so rich and regal, makes a perfect Valentine's day or Christmas present and can be worn anytime and still looks perfectly in fashion.

I have been lucky enough to acquire a fabulous full parure, pictured here, by vintage designer Judy Lee. Judy Lee was a signature used by Blanch-ette, Inc. and was founded in 1949 by Blanch and Aldo Viano in Chicago, IL, and was sold through home parties. It is rare for a set of this condition with all pieces intact to be offered together.

The set consists of a brooch, pair of clip back earrings and matching cuff bracelet with an open back. All of the pieces are set in gold tone metal.

The bracelet has a cut out design with a 1" band, and a front section with red glass rhinestones in dog tooth and prong settings. The earrings have a design which matches one half of the bracelet setting. The brooch features three of the clusters in a modified triangular shape. it also has a bale on the back, so that you can hang it from a chain if desired. (no chain is included.)

For more details and additional pictures, please visit my Ruby Lane Shop - The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry. The set is affordably priced at $135 and will not last long.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Turquoise Jewelry Comes in Many Forms

One gemstone which always seems to be in fashion is turquoise. It is noted for its use in Native American and South West jewelry designs, often fashioned in sterling silver. For thousands of years, turquoise has been highly valued and much sought after.

A quick search on Google for turquoise jewelry will give you so many different results that your head will spin. Is all of this jewelry genuine turquoise? Is some of it fake? Or is much of it in between the two?

Photo credit: Wikipedia

The high demand for turquoise jewelry has led to the development of enhancements for the gemstone. These enhancements have added to the look of turquoise, but have also made it difficult to tell the difference between real and fake turquoise.

As a gemstone, turquoise is a soft, sometimes even brittle, stone and is thus susceptible to fracture. The maximum hardness of the stone is under 6 on the Moh's scale, much less than many other gemstones. Also, turquoise is quite porous. Because of this, it is susceptible to staining, discoloration and fading.

These two problems can be addressed in several ways, but most commonly, turquoise is stabilized. During the process, the turquoise is treated with a clear epoxy, resin or other form of liquid plastic. The raw stone is soaked in the hardening liquid, or more recently, pressure is used to force the hardening solution into the rough turquoise. This makes it harder and more resistant to staining. The treated turquoise can then be color treated. This can often be done simultaneously with the stabilizing process. Purists may accept the stabilization, but reject the use of added dyes. It is a personal preference.

Naturally formed turquoise jewelry, without any further treatment, and stabilized turquoise jewelry are both forms of genuine turquoise. But what about reconstituted turquoise? Is this genuine? The quick answer is yes and no, with a leaning to the latter.

Reconstituted turquoise does contain some genuine turquoise. As stated above, turquoise is very soft and brittle in a natural state. Because of this, it can be ground. To make this "reconstituted" turquoise", genuine stones too small to be used for cabochons, beads or free-form nuggets are powered. Resins, and in some cases, dyes are then added to the mixture and poured into molds and then dried. Pyrite is also sometimes added to give the finished product a more natural look.

Reconstituted turquoise can be attractive, but buyers should know that the stones in the jewelry are only part turquoise. As is normal in marketing, not all sellers are honest about the stones, so it is wise to be prepared and to ask questions if you are unsure.

The price of reconstituted turquoise is much less than genuine turquoise, but this is not always the case, particularly with unscrupulous sellers.

A form of turquoise, often found in jewelry imported from China, is wax treated turquoise. This form is wax impregnated with paraffin, which deepens the color and stabilizes the stone, but this process only affects the surface of the gemstone.

Finally, there is a form of imitation turquoise called "block turquoise." This contains no genuine turquoise at all, as does reconstituted turquoise. It is completely synthetic. Block turquoise is often used in inlaid turquoise jewelry.

In doing my research, I came across a site which has a grading page for the various forms of turquoise jewelry from the highest to lowest grades.

Here are some examples of reconstituted turquoise jewelry available in my eBay store - Carolina Collections Vintage Jewelry:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Karl Eisenberg talks to Collector's Weekly

Collector's Weekly is a wonderful website that often has interviews with people in the antique collecting fields. I'm always interested when one of their latest subjects is someone connected with vintage jewelry.

Karl Eisenberg, grandson of Jonas Eisenberg, of Eisenberg jewelry, recently talked to Collector's weekly. The interview is very information and full of information which will prove interesting to collector's of Eisenberg jewelry.

Photo credit: Collector's Weekly

The interview is full of history about the formation of the Eisenberg jewelry company and tells how the former ladies fashion company came to be one of the foremost vintage jewelry companies in the 1950s.

The article is a must read. You can find it on this page of the Collector's Weekly website.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Vintage Brooches - Different Ways to Wear them

The first Lady, Michelle Obama, has a fondness for vintage brooches, which seems to have given them a come back in the world of fashion. They are certainly beautiful, but often an outfit can seem dated if they are worn in the traditional way.

I thought it would be fun to think of other creative ways to wear brooches which will give this fashion choice a new lease on life and won't make you feel like you are wearing jewelry like your great grandma does.
  • Pin a brooch onto an evening bag. This method looks best when the brooch is pinned onto a clutch or other small evening bag. Pick a brooch that matches a color or detail in your dress, and it will really help tie the bag into the look.
  • Want your outfit to have little French chic? Simply wrap a scarf around your neck and fasten it in place with a brooch. Very simple but effective. For a slightly more modern take on this look, place the scarf around your waist or hips instead to draw the eye downwards and accentuate your figure.
  • Do you have a sweater that is too big? Use a vintage brooch to make it fit better. In the back of your sweater, about where it hits your waist, pull the extra matieral together and fasten it with a brooch. You'll have a better fitting garment and a fancy new detail in the back. This really spices up an outfit.
  • Another neat idea takes a bit more creativity. Use a brooch as a hairpin. Make a bun or french twist extra glamorous by pinning a brooch in your hair. This usually looks best in the back of your hair, but use your judgment depending on the style. You will need bobby pins for this technique, since brooches are decorative but aren't great at holding hair in place by themselves.
  • Do you have a plain belt? Jazz it up with a vintage brooch. You can either pin the brooch directly onto the belt, or for leather or delicate items, use a piece of ribbon to hang the brooch or tie it in place while protecting belt.
Ready to try some of these ideas? Be sure to visit my website Vintage Jewelry Lane for a huge range of vintage brooches. Here are a few choices to whet your appetite.