Tag Archives: vintage jewelry

Costume Jewelry…Valuable?

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Most people are aware if they possess a valuable piece of jewelry (it’s a pretty safe assumption your diamond engagement ring is real…right?)  By the same token, many of the masses just figure that whatever costume jewelry they have in their jewelry box is relatively worthless.  In the majority of cases, this would be correct.  However, there are some glittering baubles out there that fit into the costume jewelry category that may actually garner quite the pretty penny.  So how does one determine if that armadillo pin with the rhinestone eyes that belonged to your great Aunt Trudy is worth anything or not?  Read on, for some eye-opening (and wallet fattening) tips.

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First, assess the age.

Are some of the costume jewelry items you own hand-me-downs from your grandmother?  Well, using the powers of common sense, you can deduce that these pieces may be old.  Certain costume articles that were made during the 1920’s, through the 50’s, have ‘vintage’ status and are highly sought after by certain collectors.  Try to identify any defining characteristics they possess and then search online for jewelry with the same qualities or demarcations.  You may see an identical piece selling on eBay for several hundred bucks.

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Make sure it actually is “costume.”

Some jewelry articles may really have that costume feel to them (they look plastic-y, are very lightweight, are now dusty/dirty with age).  In actuality, though, they may be in fact made out of valuable materials.  Since gold naturally is a fairly light metal, it can often be mistaken for a cheaper one.  If in doubt, take your pieces to a few different jewelers to see what they say (always get a couple of opinions; you never know who will try to take advantage of a situation due to your naivety; telling you they will “take it off your hands” for a few bucks).  If the piece itself holds no value other than the intrinsic worth of the gold, you can check the market rate yourself that day to get an idea of the cash you should receive for it (at your piece’s particular weight).

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Is it “marked?”

Costume jewelry that comes from a reputable store/brand can have significant value.  The way to determine this is to look for a jewelry “mark.”  This is a brand name or intaglio embossed, stamped or etched into the jewelry.  Some of the more prominent ones include Chanel, Monet, Wiess and Trifari, but any familiar brand may hold some worth.  The often minuscule marks can be hard to spot with the naked eye, so use a high powered magnifying glass when inspecting your jewelry.  If you catch a glimpse of that elusive mark, then hit the internet and see what it may fetch.

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Determine the degree of detail work

The “detail work” of a jewelry piece refers to the way that it is constructed or designed.  If an item has detailing that is finely executed (not messy and irregular) and intricately held together, that obviously means that is was made well (possibly by hand) and can hold a marked value.

Try not to “go green.”

If your jewelry pieces have a greenish tinge to them, that is a sign that they are oxidizing and are most likely of poor quality/little value.  Another sign in the detrimental category is if the jewelry is enameled and this sheen has worn away considerably.  More valuable pieces typically have superior quality enameling.

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As with any potentially valuable commodity that you own, you should always seek the help of a (trustworthy) professional to determine it’s true value.  Costume jewelry can be fun to wear, but also may just earn you some solid dollars too.  If you are looking to sell jewelry of even greater value, the same applies to finding a reputable place to sell it at.  Diamond Lighthouse helps people sell their diamond jewelry.  We take a commission of 10% (from diamonds 1 carat and higher), so our goal is always the same as yours: to get you the most money possible.  Find out more about our trusted and 100% safe selling platform here.

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-costume-jewelry-bulldog-princess-cute-Joe Leone

Engagement Ring #Trends: Fall 2015

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

When it comes to buying engagement rings, most people tend to (smartly) play it safe.  Jumping on some new and zany trend clearly may not be the most practical move when we’re talking about an item that is supposed to last for the duration of you and your partner’s *eep* lives.  Luckily, there are some jewelry “trends” that do such an exquisite job of staying within the boundaries of class and sophistication, they will undoubtedly be able to go the distance.

The following styles are not just currently popular; they each hold a certain uniqueness that right recipient may verily identify with.  Read on to see which variety may perfectly suit your soon-to-be betrothed, thereby ensuring an elated “YES!” – as opposed to a “Wow, well…it really is something.

Twist and Shout

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

The Twist style is definitely not a new fad, but is seeing quite the surge in popularity these days.  Dating as far back as the Victorian era, twisted bands are cool for a multitude of reasons.  First, they look very intriguing, as if the wearer’s hand is ensconced in a vine and ivy laden forrest.  Second, they symbolize an entwining of two partners, in what could be perceived in a highly (*giggle*) sensual manner.  Just think, the people entering into this eternal bond of marriage, their bodies wrapped around each other, for life.  Also, this is a nice pick if you just happen to like knitting.

Do I Detect an Accent?

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

As far as accents go, this year it’s go bold or go home (to your native land).  There are actually a lot of ring styles and designs that fit into this category, so let’s examine a few of them.  First, there are the floral inspired bands, which feature some flouncy flower element to them.  Either tiny petals encircling a center stone, little leaves around the band or some other incarnation of naturally grown, blossoming beauty.  Next, there are the bows.  An elegant bow can enhance the aesthetics of an otherwise humdrum ring (however, try not to go overboard here, as a big, bouncy bow will make the ring look like a cartoonish cotillon present).  Last, rings that feature a center diamond (or other gemstone) that is cut in an irregular shape or fashion.  Within this sub-genre would be the rough cut diamond grouping.  These stones can be breathtaking, and wholly represent “raw beauty.”

I can see your Halo…Halo

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

The double halo.  This angelic motif has been around for a while, but has really been gaining momentum as of late.  The obvious benefits of a halo setting are that it really directs the eye to the center of the ring and also gives the main attraction stone an added bolstering of melee side-sparkle.  In addition, the halo aides in giving the illusion that the primary stone is somehow larger.  Ergo, two halos do twice the heavy lifting in this sparkle-enhancing context.  Twin halos also make the ring look “stacked,” as if there are just so many layers of diamonds on the thing, that it’s got to be extraordinarily valuable (not to say that that’s anyone’s goal or anything, *cough cough*).

Deco the Halls with Art 

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

For the Gatsby-loving Gal, Art Deco can be the way to go.  The current climate of ring design, and the general ethos surrounding engagement ring culture is that you can’t miss with pieces from, or inspired by, this era.  Either actual vintage items from the 20’s/30’s or ones just now designed to recreate that distinct look, Art Deco rings have a style like no other.  The mixing of colored gemstones, the rectangular and oblong cuts, the juxtaposition of the simple and the ornate; all leave quite the impression on one’s finger.  There’s just something ravishingly regal and cool about Art Deco rings, as if the wearer is both elegant and refined, but also knows how to pop bottles and get down, flapper style.

This quartet of ring styles embodies what is currently trending; yet they each should have true staying power in their own right.  If you think your special someone may prefer a more traditional mounting, by all means, go with your intuition.  In truth, your best bet is to either ask their close friends what they really want or (depending on the kind of relationship you have) just ask them outright.  While any ring will be appreciated, one that really speaks to them will be forever #adored.

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-Joe Leone 

How to Find an Old Cut Diamond

The past few years have seen a huge increase in demand for vintage and vintage-style diamonds. 1920s art deco is cool again and people are looking for diamond rings, necklaces and other pieces of jewelry either from that era or cut in that style. If you’re looking to upgrade to an old cut or vintage style diamond, Diamond Lighthouse will make selling your used diamond jewelry easy, so all you have to do is find the perfect vintage piece for you. That’s where things may get difficult. Despite a rise in popularity, vintage diamonds still aren’t quite as popular, and therefore not quite as common, as the modern round brilliant cut. Then there’s the issue of certifications and appraisals. Choosing a modern diamond is complicated enough with all the certifications and grades. How do you make sure you’re getting a good diamond when you’re looking for one that was cut before modern certifications and cutting standards existed? And do you even want an older diamond, or would you prefer a new one cut in an old style?

Continue reading How to Find an Old Cut Diamond