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Bridal Wedding Bouquet with Vintage Rhinestones

Selling vintage jewelry at the Burlington (KY) Antique Show this summer, I had more brides than I can count looking for rhinestone pins to add to a bridal bouquet.

Most of the brides I spoke to were looking for one showstopper piece to add to a bouquet of blooms.

Others were making an entire arrangement out of rhinestone pins and earrings.

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Mid-Century Wingback Earrings – Judith McCann Invention

What are wingback earrings? Wingbacks were a 1940s invention of jewelry designer Judith McCann, for women who didn’t want to wear the clip earrings of the time. Wingbacks have an unusual 2-part wire setting in back. There is a t-bar shaped piece that fits inside the ear, resting on the top of the lobe. The upward-facing single wire fits securely behind the lobe and holding the earring in place.

Every pair of wingbacks that I’ve sen are stamped “WINGBACK” on the side of the long wire in back. There is always the patent number for this invention stamped after the Wingback name.

Most wingback earrings are substantial in size. I’ve seen them in rhinestones, enamel and beaded.

Photo of Wingback ad courtesy of

Rhinestone wingbacks are available in my eBay store.

Visit My eBay Store: MidCentury Jewelry
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Vintage Rhinestones Can Look Like Golden Globes Diamonds

Eva Mendes shines at the 2009 Golden Globes awards show in a Dior dress and Van Cleef & Arpels jewels. Vintage costume jewelry can approximate the real jewels shown at the Golden Globes. Eva’s earrings are a classic look that can be found in multiple vintage rhinestone cluster earrings. Most of my personal rhinestone necklaces are not as intricate and chunky as the one worn by Eva but can be found on the market at other sites.

The vintage jewelry photographed below Eva is on my site

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Youthful Fashions With Rhinestones

I’m still on my “How to wear vintage costume jewelry without looking like a granny” thread. It IS possible to wear vintage costume jewelry in a youthful way.

America Ferrara is wearing a large slightly curved rhinestone pin directly on the shoulder of a gown with a simple line. It’s fresh and unexpected to see a pin in this location.

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Michelle Obama Wears Costume Jewelry To Inauguration

Michelle Obama wore a costume jewelry piece to the 2009 Inauguration. The colorless rhinestone piece appears to be attached to the sparkling Isabel Toldeo designed dress.

Note that the length and width of the piece is a perfect addition to the neckline of the dress.

This look proves that it’s OK to wear big rhinestones during the day, as long as they complement the oufit and don’t overwhelm it!!!

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How To Identify Celluloid Jewelry

Celluloid was manufactured as an early plastic. Jewelry made of celluloid dates to about 1900 and was quite popular during the Art Deco period.

It is a lightweight plastic, many times a cream color. Sometimes the cream celluloid is painted to add color, though.

In the 1950s, a lot of celluloid jewelry was manufactured in Japan. Celluloid can be quite distinctive looking, many times with rhinestones embedded into the jewelry or molded/carved into floral designs.

Smell test: Hold your celluloid jewelry under hot water for 30 seconds. Now, put it up to your nose and smell it. You should smell a camphor or vinegar-like scent.

Weight: Celluloid feels very lightweight in the hand.

Needle Test: There is a test where you can apply a hot needle to celluloid to bring the camphor-vinegar smell out. Celluloid is FLAMMABLE so I would NEVER recommend this test!