Posted on

Lost Jewelry In A Graveyard

A while back, I met a lady at a local Steak n Shake parking lot to buy jewelry. It was night but I was able to see the jewelry (kind of ) from the streetlights. After completing the transaction, I told the lady goodbye and started to drive home. I’d gone a little ways when I realized that I couldn’t find one particular piece so I decided to stop the car and search. I pulled into the closest driveway and stopped the car. The driveway happened to be the entrance to a graveyard, which didn’t necessarily bother me. I stopped the car and went around to the passenger’s side to open the car and search. When I opened the door, one cardboard box of jewelry tumbled out. Some jewelry fell inside the car and some fell on the ground. Some fell under the car. So here I am in a pitch black graveyard, feeling under my car for tumbled-out jewelry and laughing/cursing my stupidity. I pawed around and picked up everything I could see. As I backed the car out of the driveway, I used my headlights to illuminate the ground and found a couple more pieces peeking out of grass clumps.

Posted on 1 Comment

I went to my local thrift shop yesterday to drop off some donations. I always give the jewelry cases a cursory look but NEVER find anything of value to buy. Actually, most of the jewelry appears to be junk jewelry that I’ve donated in the past. But yesterday was a different day. In the back of the showcase was this swirled medium green bakelite bead necklace and matching screwback earrings for $4.00. I snatched this set up immediately. My only other “find” here was years ago and I really regret reselling it for a song. It was a vintage lucite chair — probably worth many times the $40 I sold it for. Oh well…..

Posted on 1 Comment

Searching For Antiques in Southern Ohio

On my way to an antiques auction yesterday, I passed this cute antiques store. The store in located in Seven Mile, OH, which is a charming wide spot in the road. I love country antique stores like this. It seems that there are fewer and fewer of them around.

Anyway, the store had a charming interior. The wood burning stove and the shaggy pet dog added to the quirky atmosphere. Lots and lots of antique furniture.

Posted on

Antiques Auction at the Preble County OH Fairgrounds

I went to an auction yesterday at the Preble County Fairgrounds in Eaton, Ohio, known as the birthplace of Swine Improvement in America. No swine were visible yesterday. The crowd included farmers, townspeople, and the same old antiques dealers and gold buyers whom I see at every auction in Cincinnati.

There was so much to sell that it filled two large rooms inside the fairground buildings. I love auctions like that because it usually helps keep prices down when there is an abundance of goods. Yesterday, though, auction bids were surprisingly high….apparently the recession hasn’t hit Eaton, OH. There were at least 200 ziploc bags of jumbled vintage costume jewelry for sale. I competed against one particular guy in overalls (!) and paid dearly for about 20 bags.

There was half of a room dedicated just to sewing supplies. In boxes of supplies, I would see a bakelite clip here and a bakelite clip there. I intended to stay and bid on these boxes but eventually ran out of time.

My best purchase was a 1970s Lanvin signed colorful enamel pendant necklace. Very Pucci looking. I hope to list it on eBay sometime next week.

Visit My eBay Store: MidCentury Jewelry
Posted on

How to Slenderize With Jewelry

Depending upon your body type, certain jewelry looks better than others and accentuates your good points. I know you know that already!

To look thinner, I recommend long chain style necklaces with dangling pendants. Do not wear a necklace where the bottom rests on the boobs. It needs to be a little shorter than that or you’ll look as wide as a battleship in your side view.

Symmetrical pins, worn alone on a coat collar or lapel or used to anchor a scarf, are an excellent look.

For earrings, long chandelier style earrings are a good look. Hoops look good on everyone. I’d avoid round, button style earrings. They tend to widen the look of the face.

Stacked bangles in a variety of patterns and colors draw attention to the wrists and can hide a thick wrist. I’d avoid tight cuffs. I also wouldn’t waste my time with a delicate bracelet, like a tennis style bracelet. If I’m going to wear a tennis style bracelet, I try to wear several constrasting looks.

When I wear rings, I tend to go for the larger stones. I want to draw attention to my hands.

I’d avoid anything tight, tight choker necklaces, tight bracelets, tight rings, cuff bracelets, tiny pins, button style earrings.

Posted on

What Is Thermoset Lucite Jewelry?

Thermoset lucite jewelry was manufactured predominantly in the 1950s-1960s by many costume jewelry companies. It was great for jewelry because the lucite (a heavier plastic) could be molded into many creative shapes and designs. I’ve seen many examples of thermoset lucite by well-known manufacturers such as Lisner, Coro, BSK, Trifari as well as other makers signed and unsigned.

Lucite can be opaque or translucent. It can also have objects embedded into it….objects such as abalone pieces, or shells, or confetti or glitter. Confetti lucite is exactly as it sounds: lucite with confetti or glitter embedded inside. The bracelets pictured are wide with lucite pieces with embedded items. They are available on my web site with the link below.

Posted on

How to Polish and Restore The Finish to Dull Bakelite

Sometimes a piece of Bakelite has been made dull from overzealous rubbing or testing, or from age and use. It is possible to restore the original sheen of Bakelite at home. Simichrome polish or Maas Metal polish are small tubes of slightly abrasive (like toothpaste) cream that are sold in hardware stores. Both of these polishes are excellent for restoring the original sheen to Bakelite.

To restore, squeeze a pea-sized amount of polish on a clean soft rag. Rub the cloth all over with a little bit of elbow grease, then polish with a clean cloth. It may take several rounds of polishing the Bakelite but the dullness and light scratches can be removed by employing this method.

Both polishes are also useful in identifying Bakelite. Unless a piece of Bakelite (like black Bakelite) has a coating on it, a small amount of polish rubbed on with a cloth will come away slightly yellow when applied to true Bakelite.

Posted on 1 Comment

The Recession Has Hit Vintage Costume Jewelry Sales

The recession can be felt by jewelry sellers on eBay and the Internet. I belong to a vintage jewelry seller’s group and everyone sees a drop in their sales as a result of the recession. I have documented a drop in the average dollar amount per item I am receiving on eBay sales these days. I’m not complaining….it’s just something I have to live through until things get better.

The 1950s-1960s Winard signed gold filled cameo and matching clip earrings featured above sold this past week in my eBay store for $9.99. A heart-breaking price for me to accept, especially since a set like this would have sold for $45-50 this time last year. There are definitely bargains out there for people still buying.

Surprisingly, the competition among resellers at antiques auctions for jewelry continues to be strong in my area. Sometimes I see resellers purchasing jewelry at higher prices than I can resell it for. Either they know something I don’t or they’re not very smart. Also, winter seems to bring out people who are desperate for more stock when the pickings are slim in the cold weather months.

In my opinion, the market will continue to be depressed for a while. I think that some sellers will not survive the recession. Those who can hang on will be the sellers who already had strong customer bases and sufficient capital to survive the down times.

Posted on

Mid-Century Copper and Enamel Pendant Set — Signed Le

I need help identifying the maker of this copper and enamel pendant and matching earrings. The set has a bright orange background with raised flowers on the front. The backside of the set is also enameled. The pieces are of obvious high quality but I have not been able to identify the maker’s mark on the attached sticker. I’ve asked everyone I know in the vintage jewelry trade and still don’t know. If someone out there knows who this maker is, please email me! Thanks!