I’m still looking for photos of celluloid jewelry to show you the different characteristics of vintage celluloid. Another example of are celluloid rings. The ones photographed here were made by Bob Dodd, a well-known celluloid artist. The variety of his designs was amazing!
Some rings of this style had photos underneath clear lamination. Over time, the lamination becomes yellowed but this is to be expected.
Prisoners made many of these style rings. I’ve heard them called “prison rings”.
Celluloid rings in the styles I’ve discussed have become increasingly hard to find. I haven’t seen one for sale in my area for a few years.
The two bangles with rhinestones are celluloid. These are unusual in that the most common type of celluloid jewelry I see are celluloid bangle bracelets and pins in a pale cream or white color, with molded flowers painted in a pastel color. Celluloid was used to make pins, hat pins, bracelets, beads, etc. Today it is still used to make guitar picks.
The dress clip shown below is more typical of the type of celluloid flower jewelry you might run across in the marketplace.
Celluloid is many times quite lightweight and the creamy colors remind me of chalk. It did come in black, which I haven’t often seen. I have a red bangle which has been coated in red, then carved so that the creamy white color underneath is exposed.
To test for celluloid, do NOT perform any type of pin test. My advice is to google lots of photos of vintage celluloid and get a feel for the common styles of celluloid jewelry. Pinterest has some excellent examples of the common styles of celluloid jewelry as well as some fantastic colors and designs in less common pieces.
I am happy to look at photos of your jewelry if you need some direction. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I did not expect these black and white cameo earrings to be from Mexico but they are. Each one is set in sterling silver. The cameos appear to be made from glass. Each one is stamped with the maker’s circular mark BGM Hecho en Mexico DF 0.925. The earrings were made by the Mexican silversmith with the initials BGM in Mexico City. The hallmarks date the earrings from approximately 1945-1980.
Siam Sterling jewelry was a popular motif in the 1950s and 1960s. It is usually stamped “Siam” or “Niello” on the back. You will find common examples with Siamese dancers on bracelets, earrings, and pins. The peacock pictured is another popular design. All Siam sterling is sterling silver and will usually have some type of black, white or colored enamel as part of the design.
This is a 1949 patented Trifari signed necklace designed by Alfred Philippe. I have attached a copy of the patent itself so you can see what a jewelry patent looks like. An excellent website for researching vintage costume jewelry patents is www.jewelrypatents.com.