Before Buying Vintage Estate Jewelry

For people who enjoy old collectibles as a way to keep in touch with the past, a trip to an estate sale can be a real treat. Jewelry lovers can usually find at least one or two items that interest them at bargain prices. Many women, and even some men, enjoy collecting jewelry. Vintage estate jewelry offers the opportunity to connect with the styles and fashions of the past that are now sometimes difficult to find for sale at retail outlets. If you are spending a minimal amount of cash, then buy to your heart’s content. If however, you are thinking of making an investment in a very expensive piece of estate jewelry, you should take some precautions.

An investment in vintage jewelry can bring great returns later on, but you must make sure that what you are buying is worth the asking price. Beware of fake stones when buying vintage gemstone jewelry. You should do a bit of research to educate yourself in the ways to identify authentic stones. The idea of reading a book or doing online research simply to prepare for the purchase of a piece of jewelry may seem extreme, but the knowledge you gain will be yours forever. If you intend to continue purchasing estate jewelry, the few hours spent studying could be worth a considerable amount of money down the road.

You should learn about how to identify a variety of gemstones, but one of the most commonly seen gems on sale at estate clearances are diamonds. Most people have heard of the “four C’s” as they pertain to diamonds. These identifying characteristics are cut, color, clarity and condition. You should make yourself familiar with the definitions of these terms as well as how to determine the quality of any stone you are considering.

The phrase buyer beware holds especially true at estate sales. You should not necessarily trust the appraisals you are given by the seller of the jewelry. They obviously have everything to gain by misleading buyers. This is not to say that all people selling at estate sales would cheat you, but you should certainly be careful, as many sellers have a no return policy. Most areas have a few prominent estate companies who handle the bulk of estate sales in their region. Try visiting the sales they host on a regular basis, and if possible, get to know the owner of the business to get a feel for whether or not you think they are completely trustworthy. Once you are familiar with both the process of purchasing vintage jewelry and the people selling the merchandise, you may be able to find and buy yourself some wonderful vintage treasures.

The Jewelry Armoire That Saved My Apartment

I am a jewelry addict. I’ve loved to collect jewelry, much like one might collect stamps or sports memorabilia. I have it all – bracelets, earrings, anklets, toe rings, brooches, lockets, and thumb rings. I’ll admit, it’s gotten a bit out of hand. I realized that it was becoming a problem shortly after I moved into a new apartment that was much smaller than the place I’d previously lived. Soon, my abundant jewelry collection seemed to take over the space. It was spread out over the kitchen table, on countertops, atop the bathroom vanity, and on pretty much every other available surface. It was getting ridiculous, and I was becoming frustrated by the chaos. When I lost one of my favorite pieces, I decided that something had to be done. So, I looked into purchasing a jewelry armoire.

I was hesitant at first. I worried that it would be a waste of money and just one more item to clutter up my tiny apartment. I wondered where I would even put it – space was incredibly limited in my suite. But, after I did some research, I learned that armoires come in a variety of sizes and styles, and the price range varies. There really does seem to be something for everyone when it comes to armoires, regardless of your price range, space limitations, or desired style. I decided that a tall, skinny one would be the best for me, because it would take up the least amount of space. But, then I found something even better.

What I stumbled upon was an armoire that is mounted right to the wall. This was perfect for me, because it hardly took up any space at all. The one I selected is beautiful oak, and blends in nicely with the rest of the furnishings in my apartment. It also doubles as a mirror, which is a neat feature. It has a mirror on the top, and compartments along the sides and bottom for my jewelry. Now I’m able to put everything away where it belongs. It’s no longer taking over my apartment, and I can find what I’m looking for without all that frustration and panic to which I’d grown accustomed. My jewelry armoire is something that I know I’ll use for years to come, and that makes the cost of it seem worthwhile. As an avid jewelry collector, it’s important to me to know that my prized possessions are safe and that I can find them quickly and easily.

Jewelry Boxes in Endless Variety

Collecting jewelry boxes can be fun and interesting encompassing everything from famous people to different eras in our history. A collection can focus on ancient Egypt with beautiful wood boxes with mother of pearl inlaid in rectangular and octagon shapes or a hand painted cast metal box with scarabs and lotus.

Most are lined with velvet of a coordinating color. A fun collection would be one of Disney characters with the most popular ones being Tinker Bell and Cinderella. There are jewelry boxes shaped like the Cinderella castle that open with a drawbridge. Imagine a shelf of jewelry boxes with all the Disney princesses and a castle. That would be a beautiful and fun display in any room.

Like animals? A cute green turtle jewelry box or an elephant or a dolphin jewelry box all can begin a great collection of sea animals or African animals. Maybe you would like a collection with various animal patterns such as snakeskin and leopard spots? Do you have a friend that collects lighthouses? A jewelry box in the shape of a lighthouse or a fine wooden box with a beautiful painting of a lighthouse on the shore with waves lapping at the rocks can be a meaningful gift to a collector.

A collection of jewelry boxes does not have to be the large boxes we normally see on dressers that have hooks for necklaces and drawers for rings. There are trinket boxes that usually range in size from an egg to a coffee cup. These can be made of wood, metals, plastic and even box materials. The lids either left off or up or slide to one side and are often the most decorative part of the trinket box. These are a great collection starter for a child due to their size and cost.

Some people collect based on the material the jewelry box is made from or the decorations on the box whether it is carved wood or inlaid mother of pearl on the lid. Others collect based on the designer or manufacturer. A collection of any type can reflect your personality and provide you with pleasure and satisfaction.

Remember that little pink jewelry/music box with the ballerina that popped up and danced to a love song? I wonder how much mine would be worth in a collection or even more, what it would be worth to my granddaughter if she had it sitting on her dresser?

Beautiful Bakelite Jewelry

There is more to collecting jewelry than just focusing on precious metals and rare gemstones. A very popular market in the second hand market has sprung up and people are willing to spend fair amounts of cash to add these items to their personal collections. Vintage costume jewelry is a hot item. Specifically items made from vintage forms of plastic have become quite popular.

One of the most popular forms of old plastic jewelry sought after by collectors is Bakelite. Bakelite was a type of plastic used in a great number of household items ranging from flatware to telephones. It did not take long for it to catch on as a wonderful material for making jewelry as well. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces and all sorts of fashionable accessories were produced to take advantage of the plastic’s ability to show off amazing colors and stand up to daily use. Now these old relics are back in style and their sturdiness is paying off.

Many women who are in their later years already have a splendid variety of these now valuable baubles stashed away in jewelry boxes. Most probably do not realize how valuable their collections have become over time. Frequent visitors of estate sales know that one of the first places they should check when they arrive is the jewelry table. Vintage Bakelite jewelry gets scooped up in a hurry at these sales and is often resold on sites like eBay for a nice profit. The irony is that these items were first produced as a less expensive alternative for women during the war years of the 1940’s.

Bakelite was a welcome advance in the development of plastics. Earlier forms of plastic, such as celluloid were popular, but were also extremely flammable and less stable than Bakelite. This is not to say that Bakelite cannot be damaged. On the contrary, if you own any old jewelry made of this type of plastic, you should clean it with care and protect it as much as possible to maintain its wonderful finish.

Collecting jewelry is a great way to keep in touch with the past and celebrate fashion history. Vintage pieces of jewelry do not have to be filled with diamonds or emeralds to be valuable. Costume jewelry that has stood the test of time has earned a place in modern collections. Jewelry that has passed from one generation to the next can be especially precious to the lady wearing it. If you enjoy jewelry, take a look to the past. You might be surprised at the beautiful treasures you have been missing.