“It belonged to my grandma”. How many times have you said this when receiving a compliment on a piece of jewelry or other item in your home. For you it may have sentimental value. But guess what! Grandma’s costume jewelry may have $$$ cash value! Just because it is costume or in some cases called “junk” jewelry does not mean you should sell it in the next garage sale. But if you do, some smart collector may get a great buy.
Look closely at your mother’s or grandmother’s jewelry. Is there a name on the back? Collectible jewelry includes Boucher, Kramer-New York, Eisenberg, Hattie Carnegie, Miriam Haskell, Jerry, old Sarah Coventry, Coro, Weiss and old Trifari. Other names you may find are Jomaz, Dior, Givenchy, Ciner, and Policini. Jewelry made prior to 1950 is considered antique by most collectors. Many of the fine crystals and stones used in this jewelry were imported from Europe.
Figurals, animals especially butterflys, bracelets, brooches and necklaces are often the most popular items for collectors. A matching set comprising earrings, necklace, brooch and bracelet is called a parure.
Hair jewelry is also very collectible and expensive. This is a tradition dating to the Victorian era when ladies wove hair into jewelry such as bracelets, pins and earrings. Jewelers fitted the completed pieces with clasps and in some cases compartments for photographs. Keeping a lock of a loved one’s hair in a special compartment in the back of a brooch, a locket, a ring or a watch fob was very popular and kept your loved one close to you.
There are many good reference books on costume jewelry and costume jewelry marks. Marks are used to date the piece as well as identify the maker.