A & Z Chain Co.
Founded by Carl Anshen and Saul Zeitlin circa 1905 in Providence, Rhode Island as a chain manufacturer. Eventually acquired by the Amtel Corporation and currently named A&Z Hayward Company. A&Z sterling silver and vermeil jewelry pieces are usually delicate pieces with stylized floral forms. Various trademarks were used, but they all incorporate the A & Z name of the company.
Edgar Rodelheimer and Theodore Steinman, Monocraft salesmen (forerunner of Monet), founded Accessocraft around 1930. Still in business today. Manufactured jewelry with original and bold designs. Many of their pieces have Renaissance, Victorian or Art Nouveau style. Use of antique gold-tone or bronzed metals with unusual stones. Usually marked with the company name on the back of the jewelry or on a metal tag attached to the chain. Currently not very expensive in the collectible market.
Worked for the Spratling shop, Las Delicias, for two years before establishing his own shop, the Taller Borda, in 1939. During the war years in the 1940s, Coro contracted with Aguilar to make silver jewelry and military insignia which are marked “Coro Mexico”. His Sterling Silver jewelry exhibits superior craftsmanship. Retired in 1966 after closing shop and died in the early 1970s. Found on the market, very collectible and priced accordingly.
Albion jewelry is very scarce on the collectible market which suggests that the manufacturer did not sign many pieces or was not in business for very long. The jewelry pieces are marked either A or Albion.
Alcozer & J was founded in Florence, Italy in 1994 by designer Giampiero Alcozer. This company specializes in antique-style costume jewelry handcrafted in hypoallergenic gold-tone metal.
Founded in the mid 1940s in Providence, Rhode Island. Probably ceased production in the 1960s. The trademark Am Lee was registered in 1946. Produced sterling silver jewelry.
Amco is the trademark of the A. Micallef and Co. Inc. which was founded in Providence Rhode Island in 1919. They manufactured gold, gold-filled and silver jewelry in elegant and classic lines. Jewelry is marked AMCO.
After World War II, the Anderson Tool & Die Co. which produced tools and dies for the jewelry industry began manufacturing men's jewelry. In 1948, they changed their name to Anson Incorporated
and began a complete line of men's jewelry. In 1967, women's jewelry was introduced.
The Art trademark was used by several companies, but most of the jewelry was probably produced by the Art Mode Jewelry Creations Inc. which was founded in the late 1940s and continued until the late 1960s. They produced a wide range of jewelry from average to quality. At the moment, even the high quality Art pieces are well under-priced. It will be increasingly sought after and the prices will rise accordingly.
Art Metal Studios
Founded as the Chicago Art Silver Shop in Chicago by Edmund Boker and Ernest Gould in 1912. Manufactured silver jewelry. Still in business. Signature is AMS in a shield formation.
Atlas Manufacturing Company
Founded circa 1940s in New York City. Made gold-filled, sterling silver or vermeil jewelry during the 1940s to early 1950s. Marked Atlas on an appliqué.
Atwood & Sawyer
Founded in England in 1956 by Horace Atwood with Sawyer as a silent partner. Produced copies of 18th and 19th century precious jewelry.
James Avery, a university art and design teacher, established his first workshop in Texas in 1954. Moved to Kerrville, Texas in 1968. By late 1970s, James Avery Craftsman Inc. was a major manufacturer of gold and silver jewelry. Known for its silver charms and religious jewelry. Signed with a three flame candelabra with the J on the left side of the stand and the A on the right.
The California Perfume Company, founded in 1886 by D. H. McConnell, changed its name to Avon Products, Inc. in 1939. They used a direct marketing approach, selling products through representatives. The jewelry is not particularly valuable, but is of interest to those who collect Avon memorabilia.
Avon of Belleville
Not associated with the above Avon Company, Avon of Belleville was set up by Abe Mazer (of Mazer/Jomaz fame) in the 1940s. Located in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. The jewelry is beautifully designed and well made. Marked with design inventory numbers. Marcel Boucher had worked with the Mazers in the 1930s and apparently continued his association with them through Avon of Belleville. The jewelry is signed AVON in a different font than the Avon Cosmetic company uses. Ceased operations in 1971.
B.David, founded in 1945 in Cincinnati, Ohio, is still is business. The jewelry is usually above average in quality and materials used. Usually signed B.David inside an oval frame, B. David in a square or bd.
Nothing definite could be found on this company. Were in business at least as far back as the 1950s. It is known that DeLizza and Elster did manufacture some of the Ballet Jewelry. The known pieces are brooches and clamper bracelets with rhinestones and aurora borealis stones.
Ballou & Company
Founded in 1876 by Barton Ballou in Providence, Rhode Island and manufactured primarily gold, gold-filled and plated findings and jewelry. Known for its specialty medals and lapel pins. Signed with a Circle with either a Star with a B inside, the name Ballou or BAB inside.
Barclay was a prolific manufacturer of costume jewelry in the 1940s and 1950s and sold its jewelry through better department stores. Much of their jewelry is of average quality. Marked pieces are not very common, but would be signed Barclay on clips or clasps. The Barclay trademark should not be confused with McClelland Barclay.
(pr: (BOW) Beau and Beaucraft are registered trademarks of Beaucraft, Inc. founded in 1947 in Providence, Rhode Island. They manufactured sterling silver jewelry and jewelry made of 14K gold. This company is still in business.
Beaujewels is the trademark for Bowman Foster, Inc. who were in business from the 1950s to the 1970s. Flowers and leaves are recurring motifs, as well as fruit salad stones. Beaujewels is usually of above-average quality.
Bell Trading Post
Founded circa 1930s in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Specialized in production of copper, mixed metal and silver jewelry. Ceased operations in late 1980s. Signed BELL, the image of a bell and a bell hanging from a post.
(pr: BEAR Zhere) Bergere is the trademark of Herbert & Pohs, Inc. founded in New York City circa 1947 and in business until the mid 1960s. Their jewelry exhibits fine workmanship and quality designs and is not very common in the market.
Block, Fred A.
Fred A. Block made costume jewelry from 1930s to 1950s initially to promote and accessorize their clothing lines. Many of their pieces are made in high-quality vermeil sterling silver and with colorful enameling and large rhinestones or beads. Rare, collectible and increasingly expensive.
(pr: BOW goff) Bogoff is the trademark of the Spear Novelty Co. founded in Chicago in 1946 and in business until the 1960s. Their jewelry was elegantly crafted with quality materials, usually had rhodium backing and handset stones and imitated high-end jewelry. Their jewelry is signed Bogoff or Jewels by Bogoff. Because of the quality and design, their jewelry will most likely continue to rise in price.
No definitive information regarding location and dates of manufacture although most of the jewelry appears to have been made 1940 through 1950s. Made sterling silver and vermeil jewelry.
(pr: BOO shay) Marcel Boucher was born in France and trained as an apprentice to Cartier. He was transferred to their New York branch in 1922 and continued working in fine jewelry until the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The Great Depression of the 1930s forced Boucher to transfer his considerable talents to the costume jewelry industry that employed more affordable materials. During the 1930s, he designed for the Mazer Brothers in New York. In 1937, he established the Marcel Boucher and Cie Company in New York. Boucher produced some of the most exquisite costume jewelry until it became a subsidiary of the Dovorn Industries around 1972. Marcel Boucher died in 1965, but his second wife Sandra Semensohn controlled the company until 1972. The jewelry is marked MB, Marboux (earlier mark), Marcel Boucher or just Boucher. Most Boucher jewelry also carries an inventory number. All of the Boucher jewelry is collectible and will continue to rise in price.
Based on the material and designs of Brooks jewelry, it must have been manufactured in the 1960s and 1970s. Most is made of light goldtone metal enhanced by rhinestones. Usually marked Brooks with a copyright symbol on a raised rectangular portion on the back of each piece.
BSK was based in New York from the 1950s to the early 1970s. Most of their jewelry is of average quality with some interesting and original designs. Their jewelry is not rare, but there is not an abundance of it on the market.
(pr: BOOSH a lot ey) Buccellati Inc. was the manufacturer of antiqued silver tone jewelry in thick, chunky metal which gives the impression of aged silver. Usually marked Mario Buccellati or just Buccellati in script. Out of business sometime in the 1970s.
Bugbee & Niles Company
Founded in 1896 in Providence, Rhode Island. Manufacturer of gold and silver jewelry. Ceased operations by 1943. Jewelry is marked B.& N.
Butler & Wilson
Nicky Butler and Simon Wilson started marketing their own jewelry based on reproductions of period styles in the early 1970s in London. Their jewelry is very collectible and priced accordingly. Butler & Wilson have split up. I saw Nicky Butler selling jewelry on one of the home shopping channels fairly recently. I’m not sure what Wilson is doing at present.
Founded in 1933 by Doris Heise in Ephraim, Wisconsin. Made silver jewelry. Doris made all the jewelry herself. High quality, hand crafted pieces which are scarce on the market and priced accordingly. Doris died in 1997.
(pr: Ca DOOR o) Founded in the 1960s by Dan Steneslieu, a descendant of the Romanian royal family, and Steven Brody, a 1950s movie star. Their jewelry displayed handcrafted, custom designs of old world Russia and Romania, with brushed gold-tone metal finishes and antique jewelry stones from around the world. Dan Steneslieu, the designer, died in the late 1960s and the company ceased operations in 1970. Not seen too commonly on the market, very collectible and priced accordingly.
Calvaire, Inc. was founded by Ray Calish and his wife in the early 1920s. Known for their use of high quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. Probably ceased operations in the mid 1950s. Pot metal jewelry was signed on a plaque with the "C" extending beyond the "al" in Calvaire. Sterling jewelry (produced during World War II) and stamped jewelry was impressed with "Sterling" and Calvaire in block letters.
Founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1937 and in business until the 1980s. Manufactured sterling silver and gold-filled jewelry and accessories. Signed with an arrow going through the letters CA.
Born Henrietta Kanengesier in Vienna, Austria in 1886. Emigrated to US in 1904. On the ship to America, she supposedly asked the name of America's richest man. Adopted the last name of Andrew Carnegie. In 1909 she opened her first shop, Carnegie-Ladies Hatter. In 1918 she founded Hattie Carnegie, Inc. and started manufacturing high-quality costume jewelry to complement her clothing line. Flowers, leaves and fruit are recurring motifs as well as oriental figures and stylized animals. Employed enamel, faux pearls, rhinestones and glass beads. Carnegie issued her first CJ collection in 1939, so none of her marked jewelry is older than that. Died in 1956, but production of jewelry and clothing continued. Acquired by the Chromology American Corp. in 1976. Marked "Hattie Carnegie", "Carnegie" or "HC". Her jeweled hair ornaments and cases may be marked "Pooped Pussy Cat" or "Pooped Poodle". Can be found on the market and are collectible and priced accordingly.
Founded by Clifford Furst in New York in 1937 and out of business in the 1970s. Bold, intricate jewelry of good quality materials. William Markle was the chief designer. Large signed pieces are the most sought after. The jewelry is usually marked Castlecliff on a cartouche. During the last 15 years of production, the copyright symbol was added.
After World War II and her success in the garment industry, Alice Caviness began production of costume jewelry on Long Island, New York. Her pieces are characterized by the use of high-quality materials and unusual combinations of colors and stones. She died in 1983 but production of jewelry continues on under the leadership of her partner, Lois Stevens. Jewelry is marked Alice Caviness.
Costume jewelry marked Celebrity may have been made by a New York company named Celebrity Jewelry Co. and was marketed through home party plans similar to Sarah Coventry. (Not to be confused with the Celebrity Jewelry Co. of Philadelphia who manufactures only fine jewelry.) Celebrity jewelry is of variable quality with the rhinestone pieces commanding higher prices. Three different signatures were used: Celebrity, Celebrity, NY on an oval plaque, and Celebrity with a copyright symbol. Only one piece in a set may be marked.
(pr: SHA Nell) Coco Chanel was born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in Saumur, France in 1883. She made her living as a seamstress. In 1909 she opened a millinery shop in Paris. In 1914, with the financial backing of her wealthy lover Boy Capel, she opened her first house of couture in Paris. By the 1920s she was one of the leading Parisian designers. She then opened a boutique in her Paris salon for accessories and jewelry that complemented her fashions rather than imitating the fine jewelry of the age. She was known for her rows and rows of faux pearls and an abundance of ropes and chains. In 1939 she lost her house of couture at the beginning of World War II. In 1945 she was exiled to Switzerland for her love affair with a Nazi officer. She reopened her salon in 1954 with her "comeback" collection. In 1960, she began working with Parisian
designer Robert Goossens as her chief designer. In 1971, Chanel died at the age of 88. Her company continued to produce collections that were reissues of her signature style until 1983 when Karl Lagerfeld took over as director.
(pr: SHA Rell) Charel Jewelry Co, Inc. was founded in Brooklyn NY circa 1945. Manufactured a complete line of costume jewelry which is not commonly found on the market.
(pr: SEE ner) Ciner Manufacturing Company was founded by Emanuel Ciner in 1892 and produced fine jewelry. They began manufacturing high quality costume jewelry in 1931 and are still in business today. Ciner pieces look like fine jewelry, but employ rhinestones rather than gemstones. Most pieces after 1945 are marked Ciner.
(pr: CHEE nee) Cini was founded in Boston in 1922 by Guglielmo Cini, an Italian immigrant. Cini was a master jeweler whose hallmark was sterling repousse, filigree, solid three dimensional, and sometimes hand wrought pieces – all exquisite, all collectible. Almost always signed Cini. Ceased operation in 1970, but resumed in 1993.
Claudette is the trademark of the Premier Jewelry Co., Inc. first used in 1945. Extremely rare on the market. The jewelry employed quality stones and fine workmanship. Probably ceased operation in mid 1950s.
Coppola e Toppo
(pr: CO pola e TOW po) Founded in the late 1940s in Milan, Italy by brother and sister jewelry designers Bruno Coppola and Lyda Toppo. Known for multiple strands of crystal, Murano glass and plastic beads. Early 1940s pieces are signed Mikey (their pet dog). 1950s pieces are marked "Made in Italy by Coppola e Toppo". Also produced jewelry for Dior, Balenciaga and Schiaparelli during this period. Absorbed by a large Italian company in 1972 which continued production of Coppola e Toppo jewelry. Ceased operations in 1986. Can be found on the market, very collectible and priced accordingly.
A book could be written on Coro, but I will just give the highlights. Founded in 1901 by Emanuel Cohn and Gerald Rosenberg in New York. By mid 1920s, Coro was the largest manufacturer of costume jewelry. Ceased production in 1979. Coro used many different marks: Coro in use since 1919, Coro craft since 1937, Corocraft after World War II, Pegasus (winged horse) after World War II, Coro Elegant and Coro Supreme on pearl jewelry, Corograms on initial jewelry, Corolite, Coro Radiance, Corochrome, Coro-Klad, Coro Magic and Coro Originals. More than 70 additional trademarks were used such as: Aristocrat and Valiant on pearls, Quick-Trik and Round the Clock on earrings, Dreamboat on lockets, Andree on accessories, and Cellini, Jewelcraft, Colorama, Debutante, Duette, Maharani, Paragon, Raven, Splendor and Vendome. Early Coros, Duettes, figurals with a clear Lucite central stone known as a jelly belly, Mexican sterling pieces, some Corocrafts, most Vendomes and well designed sets of the 1930-1950 era are highly collectible.
Crislu was started in 1961 by Lloyd Crisfield. He is still the CEO of the company. They sell to some department stores including Nordstroms and Bloomingdale's, Las Vegas Casinos, and many
boutiques throughout the United States and Europe. They state that they manufacture everything from stud earrings to giant tennis necklaces with a retail price range of $60 to $1000.
Founded in London in 1986 as a retailer of 20th century costume jewelry. In the late 1990s, owners Steven Miners and Yai Thammachote launched their own limited edition designs. There are four series: the Butterfly Collection, the Secret Garden Collection, the London Collection and the X-mas Collection. Used only the highest quality Austrian crystals mostly from the 1940s and 1950s. Very collectible and priced accordingly.
Czech Glass Jewelry
From the 1890s to late 1930s, distinctive and beautiful costume jewelry was produced in Gablonz, Czechoslovakia which employed glass stones in rich colors and filigree backings . The more complex and ornate the piece, the more collectible and higher priced it is. Often signed Czech or Czechoslovakia.
Danecraft, Inc. was founded by Victor Primavera in Providence, Rhode Island in 1939. During World War II the company changed its name to Felch and Co. After his death in 1977, the company changed its name to Felch-Wehr Company. They are still in business and market their silver and vermeil jewelry under the Danecraft name. Danecraft is known for quality silver jewelry reminiscent of Scandinavian design.
(pr DON tay) Dante Inc. manufactured primarily men’s jewelry and accessories. The company ceased operation in the 1970s. Their jewelry was of exceptionally high quality and not always marked.
Founded in Oslo, Norway in 1876 and still in business. Produces beautifully designed silver jewelry decorated with fine enamelwork. Usually commands a high price. Marked David-Andersen or D-A.
Frederick W. Davis was born in 1880. Because of family circumstances, he relocated to Mexico in 1910 where he went to work for the Sonora News company which had a franchise to sell papers and curios in railway stations. During travel into all parts of Mexico, he was able to buy folk art and learn the crafting traditions of different areas. By the time he became manager, he had already established a network of artisans from whom he could buy directly. He began to take an interest in the jewelry worn by Mexican women. He sought out master silversmiths in Mexico City and worked with them to produce silver pieces. His designs were inspired by Pre-Columbian art. The Sonora News Company sold his earlier designs. In 1933 he moved from the Sonora News Company into a partnership with Frank Sanborn and became manager of antiques and fine crafts at Sanborn's – the department store in Mexico City where tourists would go. Retired from Sanborn's circa 1950 and died in 1961. Very collectible and priced accordingly.
Founded by Jerry De Nicola in 1957. Fine quality costume jewelry. Sometime in early 1960s it became part of the Capri Jewelry Company. Ceased operation in 1973. Signed De Nicola pieces are rare and highly collectible.
Jewelry with the trademark name of Deauville was manufactured by the JR Wood & Sons Co. which was founded in Brooklyn, New York in 1850. For the first 25 years, Mr Wood devoted his time to manufacturing wedding rings. In 1883 Rawson Wood was admitted to the partnership and the name was changed to JR Wood & Son. In 1889 John Wood was admitted to the partnership and the name changed to JR Wood & Sons. They continued to manufacture wedding rings, engraved bands and signet rings. Mr. Wood died in 1897 and his sons continued the business. They merged into Lennox, Inc. located in Trenton, New Jersey in 1970. Deauville jewelry was most likely made after the merger. In 1975 the name changed from JR Wood to Art-Carved, Inc.
DeLizza and Elster
If you've ever cruised around Ebay looking at vintage costume jewelry you have no doubt seen some spectacular rhinestone pieces referred to as "Juliana". These pieces were made by DeLizza and Elster, founded in 1947 in New York City by William DeLizza and Harold Elster. "Juliana" was the name of one of their lines of jewelry started in 1963. They were never signed, but tagged with paper tags. The line was only called "Juliana" in 1963 and 1964. There are also similar pieces tagged "Tara". Mark Mercy, former designer for Stanley Hagler and now designing his own line, states that DeLizza and Elster had their physical manufacturing plant in Brooklyn, New York. They manufactured jewelry for more than 800 different companies including Weiss, Alice Caviness, Hobe, Schrager, Hattie Carnegie, Kramer, YSL, etc.
DeMario was founded in 1945 in New York City by Robert DeMario and ceased production in 1960 when Robert DeMario decided to quit the business and retire to Florida. His jewelry employed superior craftsmanship and design. Often mistaken for Haskell jewelry. He did work for Miriam Haskell in the 1940s. Relatively rare and commands high prices on the market. Usually marked with the name DeMario or DeMario NY.
Founded in New York City by Ralph DeRosa in about 1935. Unique designs and superb craftsmanship. Major period of production was from 1935 to the mid 1950s. Because so much of their work was manufacturing for other designers, jewelry of their own with the DeRosa signature was very limited. Ceased operation in the late 1960s. Much of the jewelry is unmarked. Signed DeRosa pieces are very collectible and command high prices.
Founded House of Dior in 1930 as a fashion house. Jewelry and other accessories were selected to complement his fashions. Production was of limited quantity. They were the first to use aurora borealis rhinestones. From 1930 to 1955 Mitchell Maer held the jewelry license for Dior jewelry. Kramer of New York from 1950 to 1957 in the United States. Dior West Germany and the year of manufacture is on pieces licensed to the Grosse family, a famous German jewelry firm. After the death of Christian Dior in 1957, Yves St. Laurent, who had been Dior’s apprentice, continued producing the jewelry for Dior. Mark Bohan was head designer in 1960, Gianfranco Ferre head designer 1989, John Galliano head designer 1996. As of 1958, jewelry is signed Christian Dior in an oval.
Based on the designs and material, Dodds jewelry was probably produced in the 1950s to 1960s. It is of higher quality, employing top-quality multicolored and iridescent cabochon and faceted stones mounted on gold plated metal bases. Relatively rare. Signed Dodds.
D. Ornstein & Sons Corp. New York, New York. In business in the late 1940s and early 1950s. No other information available. Signed dorsons or Jubilee.
No definitive information. Possibly ceased business in early 1950s. Of average quality and usually clear rhinestones. Signed DUANE on clasp or clip. Rare to find a signed piece.
Could find no definitive information on the company. Founded by Jules Hirsch and Jacques Leff as a division of Hirsch & Leff who were makers of fine jewelry. Pieces are usually rhodium plated and not pot metal. Exquisite enameling. Very high quality. Rare to find and priced accordingly. This is from "Amazing Gems" by Deanna Farnetti Cera : "In 1946 Fortune Magazine named DuJay as one of the most successful costume jewelry manufacturers. They rarely placed their tradename on its products. Jewelry produced by DuJay was the result of exceptional workmanship. Tiny pave rhinestones. Enameling that looked like dabs from an Expressionist painting. The stones were always crystal."
Founded by Jonas Eisenberg in 1914 in Chicago. Initially produced high-quality clothing with glittery accessories which were produced by other companies such as Ora. Began production and marketing of jewelry about 1930. Abandoned production of clothing in 1958 in order to focus exclusively on jewelry. Became a division of Berns-Friedman in 1977. Eisenberg jewelry used high-quality materials, superior workmanship and the best stones. The jewelry was never sold at low prices. Early Eisenbergs were not marked. Around 1935-1945, the company used the mark Eisenberg Original. Script letter E was used during the war years. Eisenberg in script was used as early as 1935. Eisenberg Ice in block letters was used during 1945-1958 period. Ruth M. Kamke, one of their chief designers from 1940 to 1972 used sparkling rhinestones in settings that enhanced their icy whiteness. Jewelry manufactured during 1958-1970 period was usually not marked. Company began using Eisenberg Ice in script in 1970, but many pieces were only marked with a tag. Jewelry began to be prong-set or glued in 1975. Prior to that they had been hand-set. The company is now called Eisenberg Classics. All Eisenberg is collectible and will rise in value. Early 1940s figural brooches are particularly sought after.
The Elzac Inc. Manufacturing company was founded in Los Angeles in 1941. They were the makers of the Victims of Fashion pins which featured ceramic, Lucite, feathers, etc. – materials used due to the shortages of conventional materials during World War II. In 1943 they started their Black Magic line which featured jewelry that was mostly black in color. Ceased operations circa 1947.
Charles H Stuart founded Emmons Jewelers, Inc. in 1949. He marketed through home parties and shows. The company was primarily a distributor of costume jewelry designed and manufactured by others under contract with Emmons. The company went out of business in the early 1980s. Their jewelry had varied quality and design. There is an abundance of Emmons jewelry on the market.
Eugene began manufacturing jewelry around 1950. He had previously worked as a designer for Miriam Haskell and his jewelry is similar and of high quality. Stopped production around 1960. Relatively rare. Marked Eugene.
Founded in 1920, the Evans Case Company is most famous for its compacts, cigarette cases and lighters. Beginning in the 1920s, Evans manufactured beautiful enamel jewelry which is very scarce on the market. This jewelry shows Art Deco influences and employs enamel work rather than imitation stones. In the 1950s, they manufactured a line of enamel jewelry using the same technology they used on their guilloche enamel compacts. This jewelry showed the Art Moderne influence. Most is in pastel colors combined with gold plated metal. This jewelry is very scarce on the market. Marked Evans – sometimes on a small metal tag attached to the necklaces.
Founded in Ottawa, Canada circa 1950 by Abraham Evenchick. They specialized in pearls. Abraham's sons Brian and Mark run the company today. Rare to find signed pieces on the market.
Founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1919.Still in business today. Manufacturers of 10 and 14K gold-filled and large XL, XL, Excellink and Sweetheart.
Founded in 1855 by Georg Seeger and Theodor Fahrner, Sr. in Pforzheim, Germany. Sold to Gustav Braendle in 1919 and renamed Gustave Braendle-Theodor Fahrner Nachf. Ceased operations in 1979. Known for Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Arts and Crafts and Celtic Revival jewelry. Often employed semi-precious stones and pearls into its designs. TF trademark introduced in 1901 and Fahrner began exporting to Great Britain via Murrle Bennet & Co. Fahrner Schmuck trademark introduced in 1910. Scarce, highly collectible and priced accordingly.
Fischel and Nessler
Founded in New York in the late 1800s. Ceased in 1937. Best known for Art Deco style necklaces and earrings made in the late 1920s-1930s. Made invariably with silver and set with high quality Austrian crystal rhinestones, beads or cabochons. Marked with a fish motif with an L at its nose. Scarce on the market.
The Dan Kasoff Company was founded by Dan Kasoff in New York City in 1948. In 1950 his son Larry joined him and they registered their line Florenza, named after Dan’s wife Florence. Ceased production in 1981.
Distinctive designs with Renaissance and Victorian flavor. Excellent metalwork, ornamented by distinct and superior rhinestones and antiqued gold tone metal. Most pieces are marked Florenza.
Originally founded as the Forstner Chain Corporation around 1920 in Irvington, New Jersey. Name later changed to Forstner Jewelry Manufacturing Corporation. Ceased operations by the early 1980s. Most of
their Sterling Silver jewelry is marked Forstner in block letters. The script signature was filed with the US Patent Office in 1949 and renewed in 1972.
Became a designer of jewelry with no background in silversmithing. Related to Pedro Perez, owner of Rancho Alegre, and designed jewelry which was manufactured there. Also designed jewelry for Emma Melendez. His jewelry displays stylized pre-Hispanic motifs. Signed Miguel or GVE. Collectible and priced accordingly.
Garne Jewelry was in business from circa 1940s to the 1960s. Average quality with traditional designs. Signed pieces are marked Garne Jewelry. Not very common.
The trademark "Gerry's" was used by several manufacturers. Average quality jewelry, primarily figural pins. Relatively common. Signed Gerry's with a copyright symbol.
The House of Givenchy, opened in Paris in 1952, made jewelry which featured classic designs on a large scale using gold plating, Lucite and other plastics. Can be found on the market.
Founded by Leo Glass in New York, circa 1928. Leo Glass had previously worked for Lisner for ten years. Produced very high quality jewelry until the mid to late 1940s. In 1941 he announced he was entering the popular price jewelry market. By the mid 1940s the quality of Leo Glass jewelry was quite low. Went bankrupt in 1957. Signatures are Leo Glass in script in a polygonal plate and Leo Glass Sterling on an oval plate.
Goldette is the trademark of the Ben Gartner/Circle Jewelry Products. Founded in New York City circa 1958. Jewelry shows Victorian and Oriental influences. Average quality. Marked Goldette on an applied oval plaque.
Goodspeed, Bernice: Moved to Mexico in 1930 to study cultural anthropology at the University of Mexico. Married Carl Pappe in 1935 and relocated to Taxco. Opened studio in the late 1930s where pre-Colombian arts and artifacts were sold. Began designing and manufacturing silver jewelry in studio workshop. Her jewelry displays strong pre-Hispanic as well as religious/cultural influences. Relatively rare on the market and priced accordingly. Marked with a B in a circle.
Gorham & Co
Founded in 1813. Largest 19th-centural silversmith company in the US. Chief designer was William Codman. Silver jewelry was a very small part of the firm's production. Acquired by the Textron Corporation in 1967. Signed with a variety of marks including three shields – a line, anchor and insignia; an anchor with a lion superimposed; or an anchor within a shield.
Erik Granit began manufacturing silver jewelry in Helsinki, Finland in the 1950s. Most of his jewelry is of abstract design. High quality. Marked EG or E.Granit.
Small company in Southbridge, MA who specializes in antique glass from the 1900 to 1940 period and vintage Austrian crystal. They use brass findings issued from the original dies in Victorian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco period designs. Still in business. I love Sadie Green jewelry and think their pieces will continue to rise in price as more buyers discover them.
(pr: HAY gler) Born in the United States in 1923. In the late 1940s he briefly worked as a business advisor to Miriam Haskell, He began creating his own designs in the late 1950s. There are two designers associated with this company: Stanley Hagler from the 1950s, and Ian St Gielar from 1989. Stanley Hagler retired in 1993 and died in 1996. Jewelry continues to be produced under Stanley Hagler & Company. His jewelry employed the finest materials and Russian gold plated filigree. They were hand-wired and stones and crystals were prong-set. His jewelry was often multi-purpose. Necklace clasps could be used as brooches, necklaces could be used as double bracelets. The marks from the 1950s are Stanley Hagler printed straight across an oval disc. After moving to Florida in 1983, the signature changed to Stanley Hagler N.Y.C on the curve of the oval. Jewelry with the tag Stanley Hagler NYC (with no periods) was designed by Ian St Gielar since Hagler's death in 1996. Very collectible, scarce on the market and priced accordingly.
Pat Seal of Illusion Jewels states that she has ads dating back to 1950 and knows they were still in business in 1963. Had addresses in New York and with the Bond Boyd Co. of Toronto, Canada. Nice quality jewelry.
Hand & Hammer
Founded in 1979 by Bill and Chip deMatteo and a small group of other craftsmen including Philip Thorp in Williamsburg, Virginia. Produce silver jewelry of high quality. Collectible and price will probably rise.
There is no information on the company that made Har jewelry other than the fact that it operated in the 1950s to the mid 1960s. Har jewelry shows quality workmanship and fine metalwork. Very distinctive range
of exotic, fantastical designs. Scarce and highly collectible. The US Copyright office shows this brand was produced by Hargo Creations. The owners were Edith Levit and Joe Heilbronner. Much like several other 1950s and 60s companies, little is known about the owners and designers, but the following is recorded Edith Levitt and Joe Heilbronner were the owners, perhaps naming the company for their children, Hans and Margo. It is also recorded that Mr Heilbronner died in 1968.
Born in Cannelton, IN in 1899. She moved to New York in 1924 and opened a costume jewelry shop in the McAlpin Hotel. She was not a designer herself, but was able to spot the potential in others. She established the Miriam Haskell Company in 1926. She appointed Frank Hess, a window-dresser at Macy’s, her chief designer. She started trademarking her jewelry in the 1940s. In 1960 Robert F. Clark became the chief designer and in the 1970s Larry Vrba became the chief designer, and in the 1980s Millie Petronzio became the chief designer. Miriam Haskell died in 1981. Haskell and Hess, and later designers, traveled abroad to find the best materials. Notable are glass beads from Murano, faceted crystals from Austria, faux pearls from Japan. Her jewelry was hand-wired often with filigree antiqued gilt metal. Can be found on the market and are highly collectible and priced accordingly. Early pieces are unsigned. When signed, they are marked Miriam Haskell. Jewelry is still being produced today, but of a lesser quality. The new jewelry is either privately labeled (such as J-Lo) or signed Haskell or M. Haskell.
Hickok Manufacturing Company Inc. of Rochester New York has been in operation since the early 1900s. Major manufacturer of men’s jewelry and accessories. Often marked in hard to see places. Used signature Hickok and also HMCO, Savoy, Kristol and a dozen others.
(pr: HOE Bay) Jacques Hobe, a mid 19th century Parisian goldsmith, was recognized throughout Western Europe as a producer of fine jewelry. He had three sons who continued to tradition. One son, also named Jacques, saw great potential in the use of machinery and automation brought about by the Industrial Revolution. His son, William, made the name Hobe famous for its mass-produced costume jewelry. The legend perpetuated by the Hobe family is as follows: William Hobe worked as a representative of a German company selling theatrical costumes. He came to New York and approached Florence Ziegfeld, of the famed Ziegfeld Follies, to purchase their costumes. Florence places a large order and also asks William to create inexpensive but real looking jewelry to complement the showgirls’ costumes. According to this legend, the term "costume jewelry" was coined by Florence Ziegfeld when he referred to the jewelry purchased from William for his showgirls. Also according to the legend, this was how Hobe began producing costume jewelry. Hobe jewelry employs excellent designs with high quality stones and superior silver or gold plated metalwork. Hobe advertisements of the 1950s claimed that the jewelry was hand-made in its entirety. Post WWII jewelry is usually signed Hobe, registered in 1948 and in use since January, 1926. Hobe inside a geometric frame such as an oval (1958-1983), a triangle (1933-1957), Hobe in a crown and Hobe under crossed swords which are pre-1900s were also signatures that were used. From 1903 to 1917, Hobe written with an accent mark in an oval cartouche. From 1918-1932 a house-shaped outline has Hobe in the first line and second line is Design Pat.
Howard & Co.
Established in Providence, Rhode Island in 1878. Changed name to Howard Sterling Company in 1891. Plated and sterling jewelry signed with an ornamental lower-case h and a four-leaf clover. Ceased operation circa 1902. Very collectible.
Iskin Manufacturing Company
Founded by Harry Iskin in Philadelphia circa late 1920s. Focused on production of specialty silver jewelry. Most of the jewelry found on the market dates to the 1930s and 1940s. Signed in an oval with an "I" superimposed on an "H" and sterling beneath.
No definitive information on manufacturer, local and date of production. Whimsical and figural jewelry that emphasized the metalwork which was accented with imitation stones. Quality and workmanship above average. Signed Jeanne. Not very common on the market. Prices above average due to rarity.
No definitive information found. Made Sterling jewelry which appears to be from the 1940s and 1950s. Signed JEWELART.
Jewelerama was an offshoot of the Edmund Scientific Co. of Barrington, New Jersey. Known for novelty pins with machine-polished, circular convex metal discs that produce shimmering refractions of light.
Made primarily in the 1960s. An affordable collectible.
JJ is the registered trademark of the Jonette Jewelry Co of East Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1935 by Abraham Lisker as the Providence Jewelry Company. When his brother Nathan joined the company, the name was changed to Lisker & Lisker. Ceased production during World War II due to metal shortages. Back in business after the war as the Jonette Jewelry Co. Abraham Lisker is now retired. His son, Gordon Lisker, has headed the company since the 1970s. JJ Jewelry is primarily figural and novelty pins of average to better than average quality. Marked JJ with a copyright symbol.
( pr: JOE Maz) Please see Mazer. Joseff of Hollywood: (pr: Joe ZEFF) Eugene Joseff was born in Chicago in 1905. From 1923 to 1926 he worked as a graphic artist in a Chicago advertising agency and designed jewelry in his spare time. He moved to Los Angeles in 1927 and started training as a jewelry designer. Some of his early pieces are used in Hollywood films of the 1931-1935 era. In 1935 he opened Sunset Jewelry in Hollywood and founds "Joseff of Hollywood". He developed a visually effective substitute to gold which was known as Russian gold plating with semi-matte, copper-gold finish which minimized the traditional problem of flare when filming real gold or other gold substitutes under the studio lights. By 1937 was a leading supplier of costume jewelry to Hollywood film studios and he developed a retail line for
sale to the public. He researched and simplified specific historical styles of jewelry that conveyed the appropriate period ambience for movies. Joseff designs were commissioned for such films as A Star Is Born (1936), The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind (both 1939), Casablanca (1942), Singing in the Rain (1952), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Cleopatra (1963) and My Fair Lady (1964). He was killed in a plane crash in 1948. Since 1950 the company has been run by his widow Joan Castle. Pieces are stamped "Joseff" or "Joseff of Hollywood". Some of the pieces made in the late 1930s and 40s have been reissued in recent years. Scarce on the market and very collectible. Priced accordingly.
Judy Lee is the trademark of the Blanch-Erte Company founded in the late 1950s. Marketed their jewelry at home parties like Sarah Coventry. Ceased business in the 1970s. Average quality. Not too terribly common on the market. Usually marked Judy-Lee (in use since 1958) but also Judy-Lee Jewels.
Please see under DeLizza and Elster.
(pr: KAY fin) New York based company in operation from the 1950s to the 1960s. Produced both rhinestone and metal jewelry of average to above average quality. Marked Kafin of New York or just Kafin in script signature form.
Founded by Clara Barck Wells in Park Ridge, Illinois in 1900. Became the Chicago area’s most prolific producer of handwrought silver jewelry. Operated in a communal setting true to the Arts and Crafts movement. Clara retired in 1940 and in 1959 gave the shop to four loyal employees who continued business. Ceased operations in 1970. High quality Sterling jewelry sometimes enhanced with semi-precious stones. Very collectible and priced accordingly. Signed KALO.
Not clear whether the jewelry marked Karu, Karu Fifth Ave and Karu Arke Inc. was manufactured by Kaufman and Ruderman (comedian Andy Kaufman’s family). Jewelry appears to have been manufactured from the 1940s to at least the 1970s. Employs iridescent crystal beads and aurora borealis rhinestones set on goldtone metal. Karu signature first used in 1940, Karu Arke 1950s.
Kerr & Co.
Originally known as Kerr and Thierry. Founded in New Jersey in 1855. Started by making tableware and gold and silver jewelry. Made Art Nouveau jewelry from 1892 to 1900. Hollow-backed jewelry stamped with
imitation repousse work. Rare on the market and the prices reflect that. Marked with a fleur-de-lys.
Canadian costume jewelry company in business from circa 1940s to circa 1990s. Keyes was a well known Belgian gem designer and jeweller who switched to costume jewelry because he loved the freedom to be more creative with design. Friend and contemporary of Sherman. His company was located in Montreal, Canada. Produced jewelry for M. Boucher. Jewelry is high quality with superior stones. Signed KEYES.
Kirk & Son
Founded by Samuel Kirk in Baltimore, Maryland almost 200 years ago. Its name changed several times from Kirk & Smith to Samuel Kirk, to Samuel Kirk & Son before finally being incorporated as Kirk Stieff Corporation in 1979. Manufacturer of silver jewelry. Still in business.
Jewelry marked Korda is associated with the 1940 release of the movie "Thief of Baghdad" produced by Alexander Korda. Some of the pieces reflect the fantasy theme of the movie and others may be copies of the ornamental jewelry worn by the cast in the movie. High quality and extremely rare. Pieces are marked Thief of Baghdad. Prices will continue to rise.
Kramer Jewelry Creations was founded in New York in 1943 by Louis Kramer and continued production until about 1980. Much of the jewelry produced in the 1940s and 1950s was designed by Louis Kramer himself. The jewelry features high-quality Austrian rhinestones. IN the early 1950s, Kramer produced jewelry for Christian Dior. Marked Kramer or Kramer of New York. Very collectible, especially the more extravagant pieces and parures.
Krementz and Co. was first established by a group of investors to produce fine jewelry but they became a leading manufacturer of collar buttons and cuff links. They also produced 10K and 14K gold jewelry set with pearls and precious stones in late Victorian and Art Nouveau styles. As the demand for collar buttons declined by the 1930s, the company expanded into the area of women's jewelry. Still in business today. Traditional and elegant designs using quality material and workmanship. Most pieces are marked Krementz – sometimes in unusual places such as pin stems. Other marks used since 1930 are a set of armor with the word "Heraldic" diagonally inside a shield, Ju-Kay since 1907, Snap-Bar on cufflinks since 1940 and a picture of a snap with bent ends since 1896.
Founded in New York City in 1855. Relocated its factory to Newark in 1893. Produced good quality jewelry – notably bangles, belt buckles and pins – until 1929. Usually Silver, but sometimes with other materials such as celluloid. Rare on the market and priced accordingly.
La Rel is the trademark for La Rel Originals founded in New York City circa 1953. Manufactured an assortment of rhinestone jewelry in subdued traditional designs. Average to above average quality. Not very common on the market. Usually marked La Rel or La Rel Originals. Early pieces may also include the words "rhinestone magic".
Laguna is the registered trademark of Royal Craftsmen Inc. founded in New York City in 1944. Manufactured simulated pearl jewelry, beaded jewelry and faceted crystal beads. Average to below average quality. Common on the market.
Lane, Kenneth Jay
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1930. In the mid 1950s he began working in Vogue's art department. From the late 1950s to the early 1960s he designed shoes for Roger Vivier studio at Dior and then shoes and jewelry for Arnold Scaasi. Founded the KFL company in New York in 1963. Began designing jewelry lines for Avon in the mid 1980s. Began selling his jewelry on QVC on the late 1990s. Jewelry is bright and bold, employing Swarovski crystals, colored stones and faux pearls. Pieces made up until the late 1970s are marked KJL (most collectible). The jewelry line created for Saks Fifth Avenue was signed Kenneth Jay Lane. The jewelry for Laguna, featuring their pearls, was signed Kenneth Lane Laguna. The Avon line was signed KJL for Avon.
Lang Jewelry Company
Established circa 1946 in Providence, Rhode Island.Manufacturer of Sterling Silver jewelry of good quality with floral andfigural motifs. Two common marks are LANG and Lang with a Swan (used since 1946).
The House of Lanvin was established in Paris in 1889 by Jeanne Lanvin. Oldest of the Paris fashion houses. Creates stylish and elegant jewelry to complement its fashions. Produced a series of carved Op Art plastic pendants on chains which have been highly collectible.
Enrique Ledesma trained at his father’s workshop in Mexico City. Moved to Taxco circa 1940 and worked at Spratling's Las Delicias and later at Los Castillo. Opened his own workshop circa 1950. Masterful craftsmanship in designs inspired by nature. Marked Ledesma with an extended L.
(pr: LA Roo) In business during 1950s and 1960s. Jewelry usually is in white or pastel colors employing light and pastel color stones on plastic or metal base in floral patterns. Sometimes opaque glass beads. Average to below average quality. Often found in worn condition. Signed Leru.
Established in London, 1875, by Arthur L. Liberty. From 1894, designs were commissioned from jewelers such as Archibald Knox, leading figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. Pieces are often made of hammered silver with peacock blue and green enameling and semi-precious stones with a Celtic influence. Gorgeous jewelry which is rare on the market and priced accordingly.
(pr: LIZ ner) D. Lisner and Company was founded in New York City in the early 1900s. Competitor of Coro. Manufactured a wide range of jewelry. Designed by Henrich Ganz from circa 1955 to early 1960s. The mark Lisner in block letters first used in 1959. Common on the market and affordably priced. Their higher quality pieces will rise in price.
Has been designing jewelry since 1986. Currently based in London after having lived and worked all over the world. Her jewelry is known for its bold scale and color combinations.
Little Nemo Jewelry
Little Nemo jewelry was founded by Benjamin Brier, Charles Brier and Samuel Magid in Providence RI in 1913. Ceased operations in 1978. Signed Nemo inside circle or L/N inside various shapes such as a diamond.
(pr: BUY a steros) Jalil Majul Ballesteros established a workshop in Taxco in 1937. He came from several generations of silversmiths. First began manufacturing silver jewelry in the traditional filigree style of Iguala, but later began making Taxco type silver jewelry. Many pieces are inspired by the pre-Hispanic motifs. Still in business at its workshop on Los Plateros Avenue in Taxco. Broad range of jewelry with some very fine
(pr: Cass TEE yo) Antonio Castillo de Teran and his brothers trained at Spratling. Set up their own workshop in 1939 producing jewelry primarily designed by Margot van Voorhies Carr (Margot de Taxco), an American visitor Antonio had married. Their jewelry exhibits the finest craftsmanship and beautiful designs. Still in business with Don Antonio’s daughter, Emilia, as the major designer. Can be found on the market, very collectible and sought after, and priced accordingly with prices continuing to rise.
(pr: May ZOH Gree PWAH) Founded in Paris circa 1870 as a wholesaler of glass buttons and beads. Still in business. At the turn of the century they began creating copies of flamboyant Art Nouveau pieces worn by
actress Sarah Bernhardt. Soon afterward, they began producing pieces for Piguet, a leading couturier. In the mid 1920s, they produced pieces for Chanel. In the 1990s the Histoire de Verre line was introduced which is known for its pate-de-verre work (molded colored glass, sometimes called poured glass). Very collectible and priced accordingly.
(pr: Mar GO) Margot van Voohries Carr, an American, moved to Mexico in 1937 and married Antonio Castillo. (See Los Castillo) The marriage lasted 10 years. After her divorce, she established her own jewelry business. Margot designed the jewelry and had a workforce to execute her designs. The business was forced into bankruptcy and liquidation in the 1970s. She spent the last years of her life in poverty and died in 1985. Her jewelry is unique in design, many enameled. Signed Margot de Taxco. Can be found on the market. Very collectible and commands high prices.
Mexican silver jewelry marked Maricela was manufactured by Isidro Garcia Pina who opened his own workshop in Taxco in 1943. Ceased operations in 1986.
No definitive information found for location and dates of this company. Above average quality. Most of the pieces emphasize metalwork and have no decorative imitation stones. No all of the jewelry is marked. Firm
used a unique earring clip which is stamped with a triangular floral design on both sides and Pat. #1,967,965 (circa 1934).
Marvella is the trademark used by the Weinrich Bros. Co. (also H.Weinrich Company, Inc.) which was founded in Philadelphia circa 1911.Marvella Pearls, Inc. was the name adopted circa 1950 and changed to Marvella, Inc. around 1965. The post World War II jewelry consists primarily of simulated pearls and plain and faceted beads jewelry. Employed aurora borealis stones of the highest quality and quality goldtone settings. Purchased by Trifari in 1982. Used many different trademarks, most of which include the company name or Marvell in a longer name such as Marvellesque, Marvellette and Marvellier.
Matl is the mark used by Matilde Eugenia Poulat (pr: Mah Teel Duh Poo lat) who began making Mexican silver jewelry in the 1930s. She opened a retail shop in Mexico City in 1950. Her jewelry is characterized by stylized floral and figural motifs and religious themes. Often utilized a combination of turquoise, coral and amethyst stones. Matilde died in 1960. Her nephew, Salas, continues to make Matl jewelry in her old designs. Signed Matl or patent 10463. Original Matl pieces command high prices. Salas pieces, which are also very beautiful, command a lower price.
(pr: MAY zer and JOE Maz) Founded by Joseph and Lincoln Mazer in New York circa 1927. Later changed name to Joseph J. Mazer and Company (listed under this name in the 1950 “Jewelers’ Circular”). High quality
jewelry. Early 1950s jewelry was designed by Andre Fleuridas. Adolfo designed some of the 1970s pieces. Ceased operations in the late 1970s. Earlier jewelry marked Mazer Bros. Signed Mazer 1927 to 1970. Signed Jomaz 1950 to 1970. Signed Joseph Mazer 1950- 1970. Very collectible.
McClelland Barclay was born in St. Louis, MO in 1891. Studied art with H.C. Ives, George Bridgman and Thomas Fogarty. He did illustrations for both Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping as well as posters for various agencies. He extended his talents to making jewelry. Created beautiful jewelry in sterling silver and other pieces set with rhinestones on gold plated metal. Died in 1943, during World War II, when a landing ship on which he was a passenger was destroyed by an enemy torpedo. His body was never found. Very rare on the market and extremely collectible. Usually marked McClelland Barclay. (Not to be confused with Barclay.)
Emma Melendez opened her workshop in 1953 and employed a number of designers. These designers initials often appear on her jewelry along with the Emma signature. Closed her shop in 1971. High quality and
Trained by Antonio Castillo at Spratling’s. Left Spratling for Los Castillo. Responsible for the development of enamelwork introduced by Los Castillo which later became the hallmark of Margot’s jewelry. Considered among the best Mexican silversmiths, especially in the field of repousse. Never established his own workshop. Pieces are signed in a script M, the end of which encircles the letter. Also marked CM.
Mimi di N
Mimi di Niscemi was born in Palermo, Italy. She studied at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts which allowed her to work part-time for a jewelry manufacturer who produced Schiaparelli jewelry. Her skill afforded her the opportunity to work with Dutch silversmith Rudolph Broom at the Wichita Art Association. She won a scholarship to the School of Applied Arts in Paris. In the 1950s she formed a partnership with Arnold Scaasi and produced pieces marked Jewels by Scaasi. In 1959 she joined Robert DeMario but soon moved to the New York bead house Brania where she made jewels marked Brania/Mimi di N. She opened her own jewelry firm in 1960 in New York City. She is still in business. and her pieces are marked Mimi di N.
Established in Honolulu in the 1940s, Ming’s was a retail jewelry store which later added more than a dozen additional stores in Hawaii and on the mainland. They are no longer in business. Their jewelry employed a
floral or faunal motif in natural material such as ivory, coral and jade. They also made silver jewelry. Pieces are signed Ming’s. Can be found on the market. Collectible and priced accordingly.
The brand name Miracle was used on jewelry manufactured in Birmingham by A.Hill & Co. founded in 1946 and later by Butler & Wilson in the 1980s. In silvertone or goldtone, antiqued, with faux stones such as agate and Cairngorn. Most of the Miracle jewelry I have seen has imitated antique Celtic, Irish and Scottish jewelry. Jewelry with the Miracle signature with large M and smaller other letters underlined is from the 1960s to 1980s. The A Miracle Creation hallmark in a small shaped cartouche is probably a 1950s signature.
There is a variety of jewelry dating back at least to the turn of the century which is marked Mizpah. No definitive information about any one company having been responsible for making the bulk of this jewelry. Since the word "Mizpah" evolved to mean farewell or God watch over you, there is speculation that these pieces were farewell gifts made by many different manufacturers and signed "mizpah" for the sentiment.
(pr: MOE nay) Founded as Monocraft in 1929 by brothers Michael and Jay Chernow in Providence, Rhode Island. Produced gold plated monograms which were set on handbags in the store at the time of purchase. Began manufacturing jewelry under the name of Monet circa 1937. Much of the 1940s jewelry used silver as the base metal. Monet was acquired by General Mills in 1968. In 1977, the company introduced a new line of jewelry named Ciani with a higher price range. The first was purchased by Crystal Brands Jewelry in 1989 and is still in operation. Most of the Monet jewelry found is gold plated metal. All Monet jewelry is marked on the back of the piece and/or on a metal tag attached to the necklace chain. Abundant on the market and priced accordingly.
Murrle Bennet & Co
In business 1884 to 1914. Jewelry was similar to Liberty. Pieces were usually made of silver or low-carat gold and set with green and blue enamelwork, semi-precious stones, mother of pearl or glass. Often designed by Theodor Fahrner. Most pieces signed MB or MB & Co. Those attributed to a specific designer are the most valuable. Rare on the market and priced accordingly.
Mylu is the trademark of the Mylu Design Co. which ceased operation circa 1970s. The jewelry is usually in gold plated metal enhanced by rhinestones or enamel work. They manufactured novelty and figural pins
including a large amount of Christmas jewelry. Usually marked MYLU on the back of the pieces.
(pr NAY pee ur) Originally founded as Whitney and Rice in Attleboro, Massachusettes as a manufacturer of silver products. Changed hands in 1882 and became Carpenter and Bliss and then E.A. Bliss and Co., Inc. Moved to Meriden, Connecticut in 1890. After WWI the firm began production of jewelry. James Napier became president in 1920 and the company name was again changed – this time to Napier-Bliss Co. In 1922, the name was changed to Napier Company. Still in business today as a major manufacturer of costume jewelry. Their early designs and their Egyptian influenced pieces of the 1920s and 1930s are very collectible as are their chunky gilt metal charm bracelets of the 1950s and 1960s. Used a variety of trademarks all including the name Napier.
Possibly manufactured by the J.L. Newhouse and Son, Inc. during the 1950s and 1960s. Above average quality. Marked Newhouse jewelry is rare on the market.
Stuart Nye founded the Stuart Nye Silver Shop in 1933 in Asheville, North Carolina. Formed a partnership with Ralph and Annie Morris in 1947 and retired in 1948. Still in business. All work is hand done and hand finished and displays motifs taken from nature such as dogwood flowers, ivy, oak and pine cone. Signed NYE in a three-leaf clover design. Very collectible and priced accordingly.
This is the trademark of the Chicago firm of Agnini and Singer, later the Ralph Singer Company. Founded in 1921 by Oreste Agnini. Manufactured costume jewelry and were a supplier of rhinestone buttons and pins for Eisenberg dresses when Eisenberg was still doing its clothing line. In the early 1950s, Anne Geyer was the principal designer. Most of the Oral jewelry is set with quality rhinestones on gold or rhodium plated metal. Marked Ora. Still in business.
Founded by Otto R. Bade in the late 1950s in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Otto Bade served as foreman to Rebajes in the 1940s and 1950s. Before Rebajes relocated in Spain, he sold Bade his designs and machinery. Bade manufactured copper jewelry under the name of Orbcraft. Still in business today specializing in the manufacturing of gold and silver rings.
The following information is from Ginger Moro, author of "European Designer Jewelry". Ornella jewelry was designed by Maria Vittoria Albani and produced in Milan, Italy. Ornella design is characterized by unusual costume jewelry materials – ceramic, painted wood, shells and Venetian beads. The 1950s were the heyday of their success. Still in business in 1989 – not sure if they are currently still manufacturing jewelry.
Founded in Providence, Rhode Island circa 1943. Beautifully designed jewelry with superior stones, often in Art Deco style. Usually done with clear rhinestones. Hard to find on the market. Mr. Otis died in 1972.
Company ceased operations circa 1970.
(pr: PAH koo la) Founded in Chicago circa 1940. Specialized in charms and ID bracelets, pearl jewelry and compacts. Still in business. Used various trademarks including Aloha on pearl jewelry, Enchantress within an
oyster shell, Golden Key with a large key between the two words and the letter P in a shield. Not too commonly found on the market. Priced in the low to average range.
Pam: No definitive information on company or its dates of manufacture. Marked PAM with a copyright symbol. The jewelry looks almost identical to average Coro jewelry, but the finds are different from those used by Coro. Not found too often.
After working for Trifari and Pennino, Benedetto Panetta and his two sons Amedeo and Armand founded Panetta in 1945 in New York City and began manufacturing costume jewelry. Produced high quality jewelry. Acquired by a Japanese concern in the late 1980s and still in business. Very collectible and priced accordingly.
Trademark of Royal of Pettsburg of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. In business from the mid 1950s to the mid 1980s. When signed, the jewelry is marked Pastelli. Pastelli in script under a crown and the word Royal is found on tags.
Founded by the Gaita brothers in New York in 1941. Suspended operations during WWII. Jewelry is well constructed with quality material. Still in business. Usually figural pins are found on the market.
Founded by Oreste and Frank Pennino in 1921 in New York City. Continued operations until 1961. Produced high-quality costume jewelry employing the best Austrian rhinestones mounted on sterling silver or vermeil. Signed Pennino in script or sometimes with Pat. Pen. mark. Rare on the market, quite collectible and priced accordingly. The prices are expected to continue rising.
(pr: PEEN yay da) Worked as a designer with Spratling and also Valentin Vidaurreta in Mexico City before opening his own workshop in 1941. Had a number of highly skilled master silversmiths join his workshop. Several marks were used: AP 1941-1949, Jewels by Tono 1949-1953 and ANTONIO in a crown shape. Very collectible and commands high prices.
Sigfrido Pineda trained as a silversmith in Iguala, Mexico. In the late 1940s he worked in Taxco for Los Castillo and Margot. He opened his own workshop in Taxco in 1952. He is still designing silver jewelry. His designs are modernistic. Marked Sigi. Collectible and priced accordingly.
(pr: POL chee nee) Founded in the early 1900s by Ralph Polcini in New York. After WWII the company name was changed to Ledo. Ralph died in 1954 and the name was changed to Polcini circa 1960. High quality jewelry combining excellent metalwork with high quality rhinestones. Ledo jewelry is extremely scarce. Polcini is scarce on the market.
She was the daughter of a jeweler and began designing her own jewelry in the early 60’s. Her designs were influenced by her study of and love for the jewelry of antiquity being highly imaginative and usually massive in size, that often showed mystical Greek or Italian influences. She used heavy antique gold tone, gold wash or silver tone metal for the base with pave set or bezel set, faceted simulated colored stones, simulated pearls, glass colored beads and rhinestones. Some of her designs included polished gold and white enameled finish.
Pauline Rader produced necklaces, bracelets, brooches, pendants, earrings and rings with the look of chunky MOD designs including some ancient coin replica pieces of jewelry, figurals and flowers. Mark: “PAULINE RADER” in block letters in an oval cartouche and a “circled C” for copyright.
Pauline Rader produced designs in very small quantities for a select clientele and elite boutiques, therefore, her jewelry is difficult to find and is very collectible. She ceased operations in the 1980’s – Credit to http://jacksonjewels.com for this information.
(pr: A LAY gray) Founded by Pedro Perez in 1956. Largest and most popular retail shop in Taxco which sold Mexican silver jewelry designed and made at its own workshop and pieces made by other silversmiths. Marked Rancho Alegre or Rancho Alegre and the initials or name of the maker. Perez sold the store in 1985.
(pr: RAY bah hays) Francisco Rebajes was born in Spain in 1906. He opened a shop in New York City in 1934 where he sold jewelry. He returned to Spain in 1967 where he made jewelry until his death in 1990. He was part of the Modernist jewelry movement with bold dramatic pieces. Employed gold tone metals and copper.
Made from the 1950s to the 1970s by Regina Novelty Company which was based in New York City and owned by the Polowitz family. Quality designs, superior materials and fine workmanship. Usually marked REGENCY. Not rare, but not abundant on the market. Prices are usually a little on the high side due to the desirability of these pieces.
(pr: RAY nad) No definitive information regarding location and dates of production. Reinad was a trademark used by the Reinad Fifth Avenue of New York City and also Reinad Novelty Company of New York City during the same time period. Consists primarily of large brooches displaying excellent craftsmanship. Probably ceased operations in the mid 1950s. Very rare on the market and priced accordingly.
(pr: RAY zha and DAY zha) Deja Costume Jewelry, Inc. of New York was founded by Sol Finkelstein in 1939. Changed its name to the Reja Jewelry Co. in 1941. Ceased production in 1952. Best known for dramatic figural pins. Also made exquisite floral pieces. Most were produced in vermeil sterling silver with enamel, faux pearls, rhinestones and large colored glass stones of American origin. Gorgeous pieces which are not very common and priced accordingly.
(pr: Ren WAH and Ma TEECE) Renoir of California was founded in Los Angeles in 1946 by Jerry Fels. Specialized in solid copper jewelry produced in the Arts and Crafts style. Fels established Matisse Ltd. as a
subsidiary company in 1952. Specialized in copper jewelry with colorful enamel decoration. Production at both companies ceased in 1964. Can be found on the market for reasonable prices, but the prices will probably continue to rise.
Richards Jewelry Company
Founded at the turn of the twentieth century in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Trademarks included WRE and Symmetalic. The Symmetalic mark is found on higher quality silver pieces often with a gold wash or plating. Not too commonly found on the market and priced accordingly.
(pr: REESH a loo) Richelieu was the trademark used by Joseph H. Meyer and Bros. which was founded in New York at the turn of the century. The Richelieu mark was first used in 1911. Specialized in the production of simulated pearls and other costume jewelry which incorporated pearls. The mark is still used today by Lisner-Richelieu Corporation (with whom they merged in the late 1970s) on gold plated and silver jewelry which uses cultured pearls.
Founded by Charles M. Robbins in Attleboro, Massachusetts in 1892. Began by manufacturing campaign buttons. Ralph Thompson assumed ownership of the company in 1920. In 1912 it was incorporated as Robbins Company, Inc. Acquired by Continental Communications in 1963. Still in business manufacturing jewelry for both men and women. Marked Robbins & Co.
(pr: Row BEAR) Trademark of the Fashioncraft Jewelry Company which was founded in 1942 in New York City by Robert Levey, David Jaffe and Irving Landsman. Changed its name to Robert Originals, Inc. in 1960. Robert jewelry is sometimes confused with Miriam Haskell jewelry due to their similar designs and materials. Marked Original by Robert from 1942 to 1979 when the company became Ellen Designs for Robert Originals. In 1984, the firm became Ellen Designs and is run by Ellen Jaffee Wagman and her husband John Wagman. Ellen is the daughter of David Jaffe. Can be found on the market. Very collectible and priced accordingly.
Ronnie Jewelry Company
Founded in 1958 as the Ronnie Jewelry Company by Luca Razza and Stanley Conheim, head salesman at the Alice Jewelry Company. They soon brought in a third partner, John Manarsian, and started Donna-Lee Manufacturing Company – specializing in key chain promotions. Circa early 1970s, Certified Corporation purchased Ronnie Jewelry. Certified also owned Whiting & Davis and DaVinci Jewelry. Luca and Stanley signed contracts to remain with the company for five years. Unfortunately, Stanley died the first year. Luca began working with Eddy Perrotti, head engineer and director of research, on a two-component liquid polymer called polyurethane. This was to be used in place of metal in rubber molds. This plastic process was used on the new products of Ronnie Jewelry – an Oreo cookie with a bite out of it, the chicken in an egg, etc. Can be found on the market at reasonable prices.
S&B Lederer & Co.
Founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1878. Later operated from Fifth Avenue in New York City. Ceased operations circa 1931. Produced gold plated and silver jewelry of good quality. Used a variety of signatures including S.B.& L, sometimes with an inverted triangle and sometimes with a star.
Founded by Sandor Goldberger in 1938. Ceased operations in 1972. Produced floral designs in sterling silver which were decorated with enameling and rhinestones. Also did figural pieces. Most pieces are marked Sandor, but from 1939 to 1940 pieces are marked Sandor Goldberger. Not too common on the market. Very collectible.
Founded in Newark, New York, in 1949 by Charles H. Stuart – shortly after the establishment of sister company, Emmons Jewelers, Inc. Marketed through home parties. Company discontinued operations in 1984, but the rights to the name were purchased by a Canadian manufacturer. Very common on the market and affordable at low prices. The better quality pieces and the limited-production hostess sets will probably rise in price.
Schauer Fifth Avenue (not to be confused with C. Schauer) was possibly in operation in the 1960s and 1970s. Used quality rhinestones. Linked bracelets and necklaces with large, square and baguette stones are their hallmark. Usually tagged with the company name.
(pr: SKAP a rell ee) Elsa Schiaparelli was born in Rome in 1890. She established her first house of couture in Paris in the 1920s and became a rival of Coco Chanel. She believed that costume jewelry was an integral part of the overall look. She became friends with Dadaist and Surrealist artists such as Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau and Christian Berard. They designed a number of pieces for her and their influence was evident in her work. In 1936 she introduced “shocking pink” in her collection and that became her signature color. In 1949 she opened a retail ready-to-wear outlet in New York and licensed Ralph DeRosa to make her jewelry stamped or tagged “Designed in Paris-Created in America”. In 1954 she sold her business in Paris – to the dismay of her assistants Hubert de Givenchy and Pierre Cardin – and moved to New York. There she focused on costume jewelry and produced a series of abstract, floral and faunal designs. Most of the early French Schiaparelli pieces are unsigned although some carry the name in Block lettering on a rectangular plate. Most of the later French and all of the American pieces are signed. These are the pieces most commonly found on the market. Highly collectible and priced accordingly.
Founded after World War II in 1939 by Henry Schreiner. After his death in 1951, it was taken over by his daughter Terry Schreiner and her husband Ambrose Albert until 1973. Only jewelry made for retail sale was marked Schreiner or Schreiner of New York. Sphinx was also a trademark of Schreiner. His custom key stones, made exclusively for him in Germany and no longer produced, and upside down chaton crystals are trademarks of Schreiner jewelry. Not too commonly found on the market and priced accordingly.
No definitive information found on manufacturer or dates of manufacture. Good quality jewelry with superior multicolored cabochon and faceted stones, sometimes combined with simulated pearls, in traditional designs on white and plated metal bases. May have been in business between the 1930s and the 1950s. Signed pieces are marked Selini with the copyright symbol on a raised portion on the back of each piece. Scarce on the market.
Selro Corporation was owned by Paul Selinger and based in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s. Produced a distinctive range of costume jewelry and are best known for brightly colored molded plastic faces which it incorporated in necklaces and earrings. Very collectible and scarce on the market.
No definitive information found on manufacturer. Jewelry is good quality with superior rhinestones usually mounted on gold plated metal. Often used floral motifs. Marked Sherman in script signature form on the earring clips and sometimes on an applied oval plaque. Scarce on the market and very collectible.
George W. Shiebler & Co.was based in New York City during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Silver manufacturer. Shiebler was an Aesthetic Movement designer. His work featured naturalistic motifs such as insects, animals, leaves and flowers. Scarce on the market and very collectible. Priced accordingly.
Artisan jeweler who incorporated bronze/brass chain mail into his designs. Possibly stopped producing in the 1980s.
Sorrento is the registered trademark of the Uncas Manufacturing Co. established by Vincent Sorrentino in Providence, Rhode Island in 1911. Most of the Sorrento jewelry is either gold plated or sterling silver. Marked SORRENTO. Can be found on the market at reasonable prices.
Sphinx was a British company in business from 1948 to 2000. They made jewelry under their own name and also for such big names as Kenneth J Lane and Saks Fifth Avenue. They manufactured high quality jewelry that is very collectible and not too commonly found on the market.
May have been distributed and manufactured by L. Heller & Son, Inc. This company used the trademark Star in the 1940s and 1950s. Another trademark used during that time frame was La Tausca which is usually found on a tag on simulated pearl jewelry. Jewelry often displayed floral and Deco motifs. Marked STAR on the back of pieces. Can be found on the market.
Staret was the trademark of the Star Novelty Jewelry Co. located in Chicago, IL from 1925 to 1947. Manufacturers of rhinestone ornaments and novelty jewelry with very “Eisenberg-looking” pieces. Not too common the market, collectible and priced accordingly.
Born in Paris, France in 1931. Established her own textile design company in 1957. In 1963 she began designing and making buttons for the fashion industry. In 1967 she began making buttons from laminated rhodoid – a process developed by her husband Fernand Steinberger. She began making costume jewelry in 1969 using the laminated rhodoid. The company ceased operations in 1981. A costume jewelry dealer purchased most of the remaining stock and began selling in the United States. Returned to designing and making laminated rhodoid costume jewelry in 1988 and continues to the present. All pieces are marked Lea Stein Paris. Very collectible.
Based in New York and founded by Ernest Steiner. (Not to be confused with Ernest Steiner and Sons Inc. from Fort Lauderdale, FL who produces fine jewelry.) Steiner manufactured by both rhinestone and metal jewelry. Marked Ernest Steiner Original in script form on an applied half oval plaque. Relatively scarce.
Founded by Samuel M. Stone and Maurice J. Baer in Attleboro, MA in 1897 as Attleboro Manufacturing Co. as a women’s jewelry manufacturer. In 1908, an agreement was made with Aber and Wild Co. to manufacture men’s jewelry. In 1914, the Kum-A-Part cuff button was developed. By the end of WWII, the company discontinued the manufacturing of women’s jewelry in order to focus exclusively on men’s jewelry. By the late 1920s, were using the name Swank. In 1936, incorporated as Swank Products Inc. Changed name to current Swank, Inc. in 1940.
Since 1892 has been the world’s leading supplier of crystal stones to jewelry manufacturers. Launched its first line of fashion jewelry in 1985 which featured clear crystal rhinestones. Manufactured in limited editions and only available initially through a collector’s club. High quality and collectible. Can be found on the market.
Swoboda of California was founded in Los Angeles in 1956. The jewelry employs gold plated metalwork set with semi-precious stones and cultured pearls. Designs often show Victorian and Oriental influences. Very elaborate pieces are scarce on the market. Figural pins and pendant necklaces can be found on the market. None of its jewelry was marked before 1966. Signed pieces are signed Swoboda. Very collectible and priced accordingly.
Symmetalic is the registered trade mark of W.E. Richards Company founded circa 1900 in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Usually made of sterling silver plated with 10K gold. Quality designs, materials and workmanship. Symmetalic trademark first used in 1936. Relatively rare on the market and very collectible. See also under Richards Jewelry Company.
Tara is the trademark of Tara Jewels Co. located in Los Angeles, CA. Wide variety of jewelry and wide range of quality with rhinestone pieces usually displaying the better quality. Probably sold through home parties. Usually marked Tara on a metal tag attached to a necklace chain or back of each piece.
Salvador Vaca Teran trained at William Spratling’s Las Delicias. He left there, along with his four cousins the Castillo brothers, and designed jewelry for Los Castillo. He opened his own workshop in Mexico City in 1952. His jewelry displays pre-Columbian motifs and is of very high quality, often enhanced with intentional oxidization. Marked Salvador in script. Still being made. Very collectible and priced accordingly.
Founded by Francisco Tortolani circa 1950. Ceased operations circa 1976. Jewelry was hand-cast in pewter and finished in gold or silver plate. Sometimes enameled, seldom used ornamental stone. Signed Tortolani. Can be found on the market. Tortolani is currently making reissues of some of their old designs. The thing to remember is that the © is BELOW the signature on re-issues. The older pieces have the Copyright symbol in front of the T in Tortolani. Also, they have added a “pimple” to the new signature – a bump that you can feel rather than see.
Anthony Towle apprenticed with the descendants of William Moulton who was the first recorded American silversmith. In 1857, Anthony Towle established a partnership with William Jones, founding the Towle and Jones Company. He and his son founded AF Towle & Son in 1873 which later became the Towle Manufacturing Company and finally Towle Silversmiths. Acquired by Syratech Corporation in 1990 and continues operation.
Gustavo Trifari was born in Naples, Italy in 1883 and trained as a goldsmith under his grandfather, Luigi. In 1904 he emigrated to New York and began working with an uncle making costume jewelry. Circa 1910, he and his uncle founded Trifari and Trifari. Circa 1912, Gustavo branched out on his own and began to make high-quality pieces under the name Trifari. In 1917, sales manager Leo Krussman came on board and in 1918 they founded Trifari and Krussman. In 1925 the company becomes Trifari, Krussman and Fishel (TKF) after Carl Fishel joins as a salesman. In 1930 designer Alfred Phillippe joins as chief designer. Phillippe retired in 1968. He initiated the practice of using multi-colored Swarovski rhinestones which were hand-set. Trifari was purchased by Hallmark in the late 1970s. Produced a wide range of jewelry and a wide range of quality. The most sought after pieces are early Trifari and pieces designed by Alfred Phillippe. They used many different signatures. T under a crown since 1939, KTF since 1935, KTF with the T saddled with a crown since 1954.
Founded circa 1940s in Providence, Rhode Island as Hingeco Vanities. Primarily floral designs in Sterling and vermeil. Possibly ceased operations circa 1950s.
Founded by Vincent Sorrentino and John E. Lanigan in Providence, Rhode Island in 1911 as the Sorrentino & Lanigan Company which was later acquired by Vincent and renamed Sorrento Ring Company. Became Uncas Manufacturing Company in 1915. Manufactured a wide variety of jewelry, but best know for rings. Signed Uncas or a U with an arrow through it. Also see under Sorrento. Other trademarks used were Coronado, Christian, Heritage, Vincenzo, Sorrento, Corsini.
Founded in 1872 for the production of fine silverware. Circa 1890, the company began manufacturing sterling silver jewelry in the Art Nouveau style featuring floral or foliate motifs, cherubs, animals, females or American Indian images. Ceased operations in 1914.
Founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1943. Manufactured Sterling and gold plated jewelry with rhinestones, simulated gemstones and both cultured and faux pearls. Usually of high quality. Marked with the company name. Other trademarks used were Precious All and Younger Lady. Found on the market for reasonable prices which are expected to rise.
(pr: VAR gas) Founded in Providence, Rhode Island circa 1945. Specialized in children’s jewelry but also produced costume jewelry. Some is in Sterling silver, but most is gold plated. Expanded in 1980 by acquiring McGrath-Hamin, Inc. – manufacturers of rings since 1907. Company is still in business. Signed Vargas or with a V over a geometric diamond. Children’s jewelry may be marked Cradle Craft.
Established as a subsidiary of Coro to manufacture a superior line of jewelry. Marked used as early as 1944. Principal designer was Helen Marion. High quality metalwork, imported rhinestones and faceted crystal beads. Very collectible and should continue to rise in price.
Victoria was the mark of Ana Maria Nunez de Brilianti and also the name of her silver shop in Taxco which she opened in 1940. She used her background in art (she trained as a painter and taught art in Mexico City
before moving to Taxco with her husband and five children) by designing jewelry and having the pieces produced in silver. In 1953, she helped her daughter open a shop which sold silver jewelry produced at the Plateria Victoria. This jewelry was stamped Victoria Cony. The shop was closed in 1975 and the workshop in 1978. Ana later opened another smaller shop which sold jewelry produced by others, some in her own designs. She is still living and working in Taxco and Cony is also in business. The vintage jewelry designed by Ana and produced in her workshop is signed Victoria in semi-circular form. Very collectible and priced accordingly.
Founded as the Albert Horwig Company using the trademark Viking Craft circa 1940 in New York City. Sterling silver jewelry of high quality with Scandinavian themes.
Vogue was the trademark of the Park Importing Company of New York City on its faux pearl and beaded costume jewelry. The Vogue company was founded in 1936 by Harold Shapiro, Jack Gilbert and George
Grant. Shapiro family sold their interest in Vogue in 1962. Ceased operations in 1973. Relatively scarce on the market – especially pieces from the 1930s and 1940s.
As a side note, in 1963 Shapiro’s son Bernard and craftsman Lester Joy combined their names and founded Les Bernard, Inc.
Founded in 1926 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Ceased operations in the late 1950s. Best known for its compacts, etc. Also produced a limited quantity of costume jewelry in gold or silver tone metal. Many have a soldered tag stamped Volupte.
No definitive information. Probably ceased operations in the 1970s. Their mark is often illegible, but is Waldman. Scarce on the market.
Founded by Joseph Warner in 1953. Ceased operations sometime in the 1970s. The jewelry displays quality workmanship, materials and stones – often mounted on japanned (black) metal. Not common on the
market. The most sought after pieces seem to be the open-and-shut mechanicals. Prices will most likely continue to rise.
(pr: WICE) Albert Weiss was a Coro employee during the 1930s. In 1942, he established the Weiss Company in New York City. The company did so well that by the 1950-1960 era, some of its work was contracted out to Hollycraft. Albert retired in the 1960s and his son Michael took over the company. Ceased operations in 1971. Their jewelry was high quality with superior Austrian rhinestones. Stones were handset. Weiss introduced the gray rhinestone that started the Black Diamond trend and also started Christmas tree brooches. Pieces are marked Weiss in script or block letters, Albert Weiss or AW Co with the W shaped like a crown. Not all Weiss pieces are signed. They also manufactured jewelry for wholesale to stores such as JC Penney and Sears & Roebuck who sold them in their own presentation boxes. Not uncommon on the market. Prices will continue to rise.
No definitive information. Manufacturer of Sterling Silver jewelry. The signatures Wells and Wells Sterling may have been marks used by the Wells-Jewelart Co. which was out of business by the late 1970s. Lovely, traditional designs sometimes plated with yellow or rose gold. Can be found on the market at affordable prices.
Whiting & Davis
CW Whiting worked as a young boy for a chain manufacturing company that was founded in Massachusettes in 1876 by William Wade and Edward P. Davis. He soon became a partner and eventually owner in
1907. They were primarily known for their beautiful, finely woven gold and silver mesh evening bags. In 1907 they began producing jewelry, including high quality reproductions of antique jewelry. Often used silver or silver-plated metal as a base. Signed Whiting & Davis (sometimes in a cartouche), WC Co and W & D. Not uncommon on the market and currently at affordable prices.
(pr: WEEZ Ner) No real definitive information. There were several firms with a similar name: Wiesner of Miami and Joseph Wiesner of New York. Possibly in business for a short period of time. Jewelry is generally of better than average quality.
Yves Saint Laurent was a protege of Christian Dior. He established his own fashion house in 1962. He introduced his jewelry line in the 1970s.
Buying Vintage Jewelry
Buying Vintage Jewelry
There are three different groups of people who buy vintage jewelry – those who buy for investment, those who buy to wear, and those who buy to resell. Since those who buy for investment and resale already know the ropes, I’m going to address those who buy jewelry to wear.
Buy what you love and what you’ll be comfortable wearing. No sense in spending good money on something you’ll feel stiff and ill at ease in. If you’re not sure what you’d feel good wearing, go to a brick and mortar store and try things on. See what looks and feels good on you. You might surprise yourself at looking and feeling good in a style you never considered before!
Measure, measure, measure!! I can’t stress that enough. Know what length necklace and bracelet you can wear, know your ring size, know just how long of an earring you are comfortable with.
When shopping garage sales, flea markets, estate sales and antique shows, be prepared with the proper equipment. A small retractable measuring tape and a loupe or magnifying glass will allow you to measure the jewelry you are interested in and examine it closely for defects. Look for missing stones, dead stones, corrosion of the metal, peeling pearls. Check the clasps to make sure they are working properly. Ask questions! Don’t be embarrassed to make a thorough check or to ask the dealer any questions – most are thrilled to share their knowledge and enjoy talking about their jewelry. If the price is higher than you are ready to pay, it doesn’t hurt to ask the seller: “Is this your best price?”
When buying online, read the description thoroughly. Note the measurements. If necessary, make a rough sketch of the dimensions. That way, there are no surprises – the jewelry will not be much bigger than you thought or much smaller. Sometimes things photograph a different color than they really are. The dealer will usually note this in the description. Believe the dealer – not the photo! Any flaws should also be listed in the description. Be sure you can live with them. Email any questions you have. Again, it is okay to ask the dealer: “Is this your best price?”
Whether in person or online, if you find a piece of jewelry you are interested in but it has a flaw, should you buy it? What is a fair price to pay for a piece that is missing a stone or has peeled pearls? This is very subjective. My own opinion is that if I love a piece of jewelry and the missing or damaged piece looks easy to replace, I will buy it. If the stones or pearls are glued in, they can usually be popped out and replacements glued in with Hypo tube Cement or E6000 glue. Stones and pearls in prongs are a little more complicated, but can be done by someone handy and crafty. Keep in mind that if you ever intend to resell the jewelry, your replacements will need to be disclosed to potential buyers. It may also affect the value. Some stones, like art glass and specialty stones, will be very, very difficult to find a replacement for. Jewelry with flaws will almost always be priced lower. If the price still seems high to you, ask the dealer why. It may be that the jewelry is signed by a designer who is avidly collected and even flawed jewelry will command a high price. The bottom line is, will this piece of jewelry be wearable?
Sometimes you will find the same piece of jewelry on several different websites, all for different prices. Read the descriptions carefully. If you still aren’t 100% sure about the condition of the jewelry, email the dealer and ask. Once you have all the details, you can make an informed decision.
Sometimes you will find the same piece of jewelry on several different websites and some will be signed and some won’t. This happens. Not all jewelry was signed. You will have to decide how important the signature is to you. Keep in mind that a signed piece is generally worth more than an unsigned piece of the exact same design.
Remember that you are buying VINTAGE jewelry. It will not look “brand new”. Even if it is described as “pristine” or “in mint condition” it may not look brand new. There may be some age darkening of the metal components. There may be some storage wear on the back side. Aged jewelry has its own kind of beauty. Often the quality will be superior and the patina gives a wonderful mellow glow.
Welcome to the world of vintage jewelry addicts! We can never have enough! There is always another piece we just have to have! There’s a jewel out there for every taste and every pocketbook. Have fun with it!
Collecting Vintage Face Compacts
Collecting Vintage Face Compacts
Each week I receive at least one email asking me which compacts are best to collect. I always recommend collecting those you love. What good is a collection you’re not really fond of? You would soon grow tired of the dusting and cleaning, they would be packed away somewhere and your investment of time and money would not be well spent. Stop and think about what attracts you to a particular compact. Is the shape, the color, the possible future value – or maybe all those reasons? If you’re still not sure (and even if you are), I suggest investing in knowledge first. Buy books about compacts and read them – don’t just look at the pretty pictures! When I was first starting out I had a compact book for a full year before it occurred to me to actually read it! I was so taken with all the photographs that I just didn’t go beyond that. Once I started reading, the real learning began. I was no longer limited to knowing that one particular compact had more value than another – I began to understand why.
When you have decided what you want to collect, start hunting! Always try to buy in the best condition you can afford. Check latches to make sure they work well. Check for greening (corrosion) of the metal. Check the mirror. Some age spotting and clouding is inevitable with some of the old compacts. If it is a rare compact you might not be able to find again and the price is right, I’d go for it. If the compact is enameled or hand painted and there are large chunks of color missing, you may want to pass. Rarity is the key in this case too.
Quite often compact companies manufactured compacts in series. Two that come to mind are Kigu’s “Bolero” series and Stratton’s “Waterfowl” series. Owning each piece of a particular series certainly adds to the value of your collection.
To sum up – collect what you love, educate yourself and take good care of your collection. You own a little piece of the history of women.
Glossary of Compact Terms
Annulus: Flattened ring; circular plate with a central circular aperture
Art Deco: Artistic style prominent in the 1920s and 1930s. Took its name from L’Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exhibition of Decorative and Modern Industrial Arts), held in Paris in 1925. Influences included Art Nouveau, Ancient Egyptian architecture, and Cubism
Art Nouveau: Artistic style using curvilinear motifs derived from nature. Popular from circa 1890 to 1925 and frequently revived
Bakelite: Phenolic, acid based plastic, invented in 1907
Beauty Box: Vanity case containing cosmetic items other than powder and rouge, such as eye makeup
Butterfly Wing: Amazonian Blue Morpho Butterfly with wing span of 9″ used for costume jewelry and cases
Cabochon: A highly polished dome-shaped stone with no facets
Cabriole: An elongated S-shaped support
Cameo: Gem shell or stone with design or figure cared in relief against a background of a darker or lighter color
Carry-All: 1950 and 1960s term for a rigid case containing powder, lipstick, and feminine beauty aids
Cartouche: Decorative, framed space in which initials can be engraved
Chinoiserie: European decoration with a Chinese motif
Circa: Approximate date an item was manufactured
Compact: Small portable case used to contain face powder, usually comes with a mirror
Convertible Style: Interior adapted for either pressed or loose powder
Cream Powder: Or Crème Powder. Face powder combined with cream or oils to make it adhere to the skin. Used from the 1950s.
Engine-Turning: Technique by which regular patterns are cut into the surface of a metal object held in a lathe
Faux: Fake or false
Flapjack: Term used in the 1930s and 1940s for slim powder compacts. Cookie: to 2.5″ diameter. Baby: 2.5″ to 3.5″ diameter. Standard: 3.5″ to 5″ diameter. Super: 5″ to 6″ diameter.
Godet: Metal pan used to contain pressed or cream powder
Inro: A small compartmented and usually ornamented container that is hung from a Japanese obi (sash) to hold small objects such as medicines, perfumes or cosmetics
Kamra: Case resembling early collapsible camera cases
Limoges: Translucent enamel of colorful portraits or scenes on copper that originated in Limoges, France
Minaudiere: Rigid metal, usually box-shaped evening bag with compartments for powder, lipstick, rouge, mirror, coins and cigarettes. The name is supposedly inspired by Estelle Arpels – cofounder with her husband of Van Cleef & Arpels. Her brothers used to say that no one could “minauder”, or charm, in society like their sister Estelle.
Motif: In the style of or resembling
Necessaire: Bolster-shaped version of the minaudiere with fewer compartments
Party Case: Another term for “Carry All”. Used in the 1950s and 1960s
Patch Box: Small round compact with a set-in lid, akin to 18th century box used for beauty patches or spots
Pendant Case: Compact or vanity case suspended from a chain or ring
Pli: A make-up tube containing powder and a puff brush
Portrait Case: Picture frame feature in compacts and vanity cases for snapshot insertion
Pressed Powder: Compacted dry face powder, contained in godets. Used during the 1920s and 1930s
Reticule: Small handbag that is held in the hand or carried over the arm
Sifter: Fine mesh or gauze, mounted on a rigid frame, which fits tightly into the powder-well of a compact; allows access to small quantities of powder while retaining the majority of the powder within the well
Sifter Box: 1920s and 1930s term for a compact for loose powder
Vanity Case: Rigid portable case designed to accommodate cosmetics and personal items
Wedgewood: Fine English pottery best known for a white cameo-like relief ware on a tined matte background
CARING FOR YOUR COMPACT
Cleaning your compact: Remove powder using a small dry toothbrush. The perfume in face powder can discolor the lacquer used on the metal. You can also brush the sifter and puff, shake them or tap them against a hard surface to remove powder. Swans down puffs can be washed and dried carefully. Other puffs should not be washed as they can and will disintegrate.
I have had several people express some concern about using a vintage compact that has had powder in it previously. I clean each compact thoroughly. Because of hygienic concerns, I have now also started to clean all previously used sifters and powder wells with an antibacterial agent. You can do this yourself by cleaning the sifter in a mild antibacterial dish soap solution or liquid hand washing agent. Be careful with the sifters as the mesh can tear from the rim.
Goo Off or alcohol can be used to remove adhesive labels from metal or glass.
Mirrors can be cleaned with Windex or a similar glass/mirror cleaner sprayed onto a cloth – not directly on the mirror.
Do not wash your compact by immersing it in water as water will leak behind the mirror and damage the reflective coating.
Compacts can be buffed and polished with a good quality silicone polish and a soft cloth.
Replacing missing stones: This can be done easily. Be sure to match the original color and size. Replacement stones are available online at jewelry supplies stores and are also sometimes available at craft stores. Hypo-cement is my favorite glue for replacing stones.
Replacing missing or broken mirrors: This is a tricky subject. If you have a very valuable antique compact with a broken mirror, I would advise leaving it alone. You could devalue your compact with a replacement mirror. If you want to replace a mirror in a compact you use, please read the following information.
The mirrors in vintage compacts were much thinner glass than is available today. Trying to put in a modern mirror can distort your compact case or break the hinge. That leaves you with the only two options I can think of: pirate a mirror from an old unusable compact of the same size and shape or find a reputable glass dealer with a supply of vintage mirror on hand.
Once you have your replacement mirror you can get to work. Some compact mirrors are “framed in”. If yours is done in this style, study how the frame is closed and whether or not you are able to open it yourself. If not, search for an agreeable jeweler who will do this for you. (Warning – they are hard to find!) Mirrors that are just glued in can be loosened with judicious use of a blow dryer to soften the glue and a dental pick to pry it loose. Hypo-Cement can be used to glue your new mirror in place. If you are going to offer a compact with a replacement mirror for sale, please be sure to disclose this to the potential buyer.
Replacing Vintage Puffs and Sifters: If you are using the compact for your own personal use, any puff will do and can be easily found in stores that sell cosmetic supplies. Trying to find a vintage puff and sifter that go with your compact can be trickier. You will usually have to pirate a puff and sifter from a like compact that is unusable.
Stratton compacts are still being made (though not of the same high quality). I have searched long and hard to see if they have replacement puffs available. I have not found a source. I also have had customers in England ask where they could find Stratton puffs. That shot down my hope that Stratton puffs were available in the UK if only I could find the right store!
Storing your compact: Before storing your compact, be sure to remove all powder. Remove the sifter and puff. Vintage compacts are best stored in acid-free tissue paper or a film-front bag.
The existence of coral for adornment dates back over ten thousand years. Fragments of coral used as ornaments have been found in neolithic graves in Europe and among the personal possessions of those of the Minoan-Mycenean, Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations. There have been small sculptures found from the Iron Age.
For many years the coasts of Italy were lined with what was thought to be inexhaustible coral mines. It is my understanding that coral mining in the Mediterranean is now only open on rare occasion and in very limited amounts. Therefore, old coral jewelry from Mediterranean coral is very collectible and priced accordingly. Japan is now the major world supplier of coral used for jewelry.
For centuries science classified coral as either vegetable or mineral. In 1720, Peyssonel, a Frenchman, proved that the delicate branches were the calcareous skeletal remains of thousands of minute sea animals ranging in color from blood-red, to orange, to pink and white.
VALUE: Naturally colored coral has a much higher value than dyed coral. This is why old pawn and antique coral pieces are priced so much higher.
“RED GOLD”: The Native American Indians of New Mexico and Arizona considered coral to be of the highest value and esteem. It was thought it could cure anything from blindness to snakebite, brought the wearer good luck, long life and virility.
The Zunis favor deep red coral and the Navajos prefer the red-orange beads. Navajo women considered strands of coral beads a symbol of success and social prominence.
CARING FOR YOUR CORAL: Coral is a porous substance that should be wiped with a clean, damp, soft cloth and dried. Do not soak in water. Ultrasonic cleaning devices may damage your coral. Remove coral rings before doing dishes, swimming or gardening. Apply makeup, deodorant, cosmetics, hairspray etc. before putting on coral jewelry. Do not expose coral to extreme sunlight or heat as it may be damaged.
Turquoise has fascinated humankind throughout history. The earliest turquoise mining operations were located in the Sinai Peninsula and worked by the ancient Egyptians in about 5500 BC. The oldest jewelry known in the world was excavated at Abydos, in upper Egypt, and contained bracelets of gold and turquoise.
For centuries, the turquoise mines of Persia have produced some of the world’s finest turquoise. The earliest mention of turquoise in Persia is in a story about the mine of Isaac, the father of Israel, who lived about 2100 BC.
The use of turquoise in Tibet is thought to have begun very early as their word for it is totally original and not borrowed from any other language. Turquoise was used very early on in China and is still used today.
In the Southwest, turquoise mines were worked by Native Americans before the time of Christ. Many of the mines that are still producing today were worked in prehistoric times.
Turquoise is found in a number of different forms including: Turquoise deposited in cracks in rocks to form vein turquoise, Turquoise formed in a cavity lined with quartz crystals, Turquoise formed as nuggets, and Turquoise formed in cracks in rock to form flattened or disc-shaped nuggets. Turquoise generally forms in arid climates such as the American Southwest. It is usually marketed by the name of its mine.
SPIDER WEB TURQUOISE: Spider web is made up of small nuggets cemented together with natural rock or matrix. When cut through, the aggregate mass of nuggets resembles spider web. Most mines produce some spider web turquoise.
SEA FOAM TURQUOISE: Sea Foam is a descriptive term recently applied to a kind of knobby, foam-looking nugget that can be polished without cutting, except for flattening the back to mount in jewelry. Many mines have produced this type of nugget, but it has not been popular until the new term “Sea Foam” appealed to the buyer.
KINDS OF TURQUOISE FOUND ON THE MARKET
NATURAL TURQUOISE: Turquoise found naturally in the earth. Natural turquoise can deepen in color over time by gradually absorbing oils from the skin.
STABILIZED TURQUOISE: best recognized by its transparent plastic appearance. It is too blue and too highly polished. Stabilized turquoise can be easily scratched with a hard knife blade. High quality turquoise cannot be scratched with a knife. Stabilized turquoise is soft, low quality turquoise which has been soaked and cured in clear epoxy resin. This creates a deeper blue and much tougher stone. It does not change the hardness. High quality turquoise cannot be treated or stabilized as the plastic will not penetrate compact dense material. Can be beautiful and a good buy as it is not as expensive as natural turquoise.
TREATED TURQUOISE: Soft turquoise that has been stabilized with clear epoxy resin and also dyed. Colors look more artificial. Should be priced much less than natural or stabilized turquoise.
RECONSTITUTED TURQUOISE: This is low grade turquoise that has been ground to powder, saturated with epoxy resin, dyed, compressed into blocks or cakes and then cut. Should be very inexpensive.
IMITATION TURQUOISE: The plastic and glass turquoise stones are easily recognizable. Mineral-based compositions, usually pressed or molded together with a plastic type binder, are soft enough to be easily scratched with a knife blade. Synthetic turquoise, known as Luroc, is reportedly the same chemical composition as natural turquoise with about the same hardness. It is usually very smooth and highly polished looking.
TURQUOISE MINES OF THE SOUTHWEST
AJAX MINE: Small mine located in south central Nevada in the Royston area. Relatively new. Yields stones from light blue with darker blue veins to a predominate dark green with light blue areas.
BISBEE MINE: Near Bisbee, Arizona. Bisbee turquoise was one of the first put onto the market. The turquoise mine is part of the Bisbee copper mine, the main operation of the site. Yields a high blue stone with lots of black matrix. Most of this turquoise has already been mined and it is one of the most highly collectible stones.
BLUE DIAMOND MINE: Located south of Austin, Nevada. Produces very hard light to deep blue turquoise with a swirl pattern of light and dark blues. Brown to black matrix. The mine is located at a very high altitude and cannot be mined in the winter months due to extreme cold and snow.
BLUE GEM MINE: Near Battle Mountain, Nevada. Produced a great variety of turquoise from intense blues to deep green combinations with a hard, irregularly distributed matrix. The Battle Mountain Blue Gem mine began production in 1934 and is now closed. Greatly desired by collectors.
BLUE RIDGE MINE: Located in northern Nevada on the Blue Ridge in Crescent Valley. Discovered and developed by Orvil Jack. Mr. Jack is now deceased but his daughter continues to manage the mine. The color is a rare yellow-green color caused by the zinc content. Very collectible as there is only a very small amount being produced. The turquoise is called Orvil Jack turquoise.
CANDELARIA MINE: This is a small Nevada mine which produces very little and is only occasionally worked. This hard stone turquoise has a high blue color with intermittent brown or black non-webbed matrix. Collectible due to its rarity.
CARICO LAKE MINE: Named after its location on a dried up lake bed in Lander County, Nevada. Its green color is due to its zinc content. Highly unique and collectible. Carico Lake turquoise is also found in a dark blue-green color with black, spider web matrix. Occasionally, the mining company leases the turquoise producing part of the mine to individual miners who are permitted to work that part.
CARLIN MINE: Located in the very rough mountainous country north of Carlin, Nevada. Produced very hard stones of a distinctive blue-green color in a very hard black chert matrix. Some of the turquoise mined was of such an intense blue color, bit was hard to believe it was real. Not operated for many years. Here is a part of an email I received
“The information I wanted to provide was concerning the color. The material I had/have was not green. I had one small piece that had a very slightly greenish tint to it, but other than that all of the material was a most excellent dark sky Blue. In fact, it may have been the overall most beautiful blue gem material color I have ever seen! Some of it had a beautiful spiderwebbing, but not all. I still have one beautiful Cross cut out of this material that weighs somewhere around 8 grams and it is a totally sky Blue color with no spiderwebbing or inclusions of any kind. I had numerous cabochons that were absolutely Blue, with or without spiderwebbing. No green at all.
All in all, I nominate it as the most beautiful Turquoise I have come across. Maybe that’s not politically correct, but it’s true. The material I have had is beautiful Blue and holds the finest polish of any turquoise I have seen. Available either with spiderwebbing or absolutely plain Blue, I wish I could purchase more of the material I had purchased in 1976. The pieces I currently have are truly too beautiful to sell.” so if anyone has anything to share please let me know.
CASTLE DOME MINE: Located in Nevada. Turquoise from this mine is a by-product of a large copper-mining operation. Formerly, the miners picked up what turquoise they encountered and sold it. Now, the turquoise is recovered by a person who pays the copper company for the turquoise. Only a very small quantity is of high quality. The rest, probably 90%, is used for treating.
CERRILLOS MINE: Located ten miles south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Cerrillos mine is the oldest mine of any kind in North America. It has the only turquoise that formed at the base of a volcano. It was the site of the largest prehistoric mining activity on the continent because of the huge turquoise deposit that was partially exposed at the surface. Many pieces of Cerrillos turquoise have been unearthed in the prehistoric ruins of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. The Pueblo peoples continued to extract turquoise from this mine until the 1870s during the silver mining boom. The Tiffany Company of New York bought up the mine area and extracted $2,000,000 worth of turquoise between 1892 and 1899. Because of its volcanic origins, a variety of colors developed from the minerals in the various volcanic host stones. Seventy-five colors have been identified. Cerrillos is a very hard stone and takes a brilliant polish.
CRIPPLE CREEK MINES: Teller County, Colorado has a number of small gold mines with turquoise found as the by-product of gold mining. Colors are greenish and light to dark blue with brown matrix.
CROW SPRINGS MINE: Also known as Anjax or Bluebird. Located near Tonopah, Nevada. Discovered about 1909 and worked at intervals ever since. Not a large producer. The stone colors range from pale to dark in both green and blue. Some have an interesting coppery looking matrix.
DAMELE MINE: Also known as Damali. Located in east central Nevada near the Carico Lake mine. Damele turquoise is distinctive because of the zinc content that turns the stone yellow-green and increases its hardness. The matrix is webbed drak brown to black. Availability is limited due to the small size of the mine. Because of its rare color, Damele is a collectible turquoise.
DARLING DARLENE MINE: Located in Nevada. Discovered in 1972 by Joe Barredo and named for his daughter. The turquoise occurs in seams and nuggets in colors from light to deep blue and a deep blue green. It is a small two-man operation and can be worked only in the summer months, so the production is very limited.
DRY CREEK MINE: Also known as the Godber and Burnham mine. Located in northeast Nevada. Produces unusual white to light blue turquoise that is very hard due to a more aluminum in its chemistry. The matrix is light golden or brown-gray to gray-black.
EASTER BLUE MINE: Located northwest of Tonopah, Nevada. Discovered in 1907. Not a large producer. The first turquoise found here was an easter blue color. The turquoise produced recently is similar to that found in the nearby Royston Mine. Some of the stones show a very attractive large mottled spider web with light blue centers in the webbing. Many stones are deep blue-green, usually with a light to dark brown matrix.
ENCHANTMENT MINE: Located near the town of Ruidosa in the Sacramento Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. Discovered by a gold miner in 1996 and named the Lost Mine of Enchantment. First new mine discovered in New Mexico since the 1500s. The stones are very high quality and range in color from deep green with tan or golden brown matrix to a deep, rich blue. The green is influenced by the iron content in the stone and the blue by the copper content.
FOX MINE: Located near Cortez, Nevada. Discovered about 1910-1912. Active since 1915 as one of the greatest turquoise producers of Nevada. It has been operated for many years by Mr. Dowell Ward. Turquoise from The White Horse Mine nearby is sometimes sold as Fox. Medium blue to deep blue stones with golden brown to black matrix. Still in production today.
HACHITA MINES: Located near Hachita, New Mexico. A group of very old mines comprising the Cameo, Azure, Galilee and Aztec Mines. Turquoise was mined here in prehistoric times. The color of the stones is predominantly green. The matrix is light to dark brown with very little black.
KINGMAN MINE: Located in northwestern Arizona. Was one the of the largest mines in North America. Produced bright blue nuggets with black matrix.
LANDER BLUE MINE: Located between Battle Mountain and Tenabo, Nevada. Has produced some of the most beautiful and unique-type turquoise seen today. The color varies from a deep blue to a light blue spider web with a very black contrasting matrix. This is one of the few mines that produced almost nothing but spider web. Mined in only limited quantities, it has become some of the most valuable turquoise. No longer producing.
LEADVILLE MINE: Located near Leadville, Colorado. The production is small and mostly low grade. Most of the turquoise mined here is honey-combed with holes and cavities containing pieces of crumbly matrix making most of it suitable only for treating.
LONE MOUNTAIN MINE: Also known as the Blue Jay Mine. Located in Esmeralda County, Nevada. Ranges in color from clear blue to spider web. This turquoise is known for its ability to hold its color and not fade.
MANASSA MINE: Also known as King’s Mine. Located in South central Colorado. Produced stones of blue-green to green with gold brown non-webbed matrix. Owned by the King family and still producing.
MCGINNIS MINE: Also known as Gem Mine. Located about 10 miles from Austin, Nevada. Discovered in 1930. Not a large producer and most of the turquoise only fair quality.
MONTEZUMA MINE: Located south of Mina, Nevada. Small mine with limited production. The bulk of turquoise produced is low grade, but it does produce very fine high grade. The high grade is a very royal blue color with brown to black matrix.
MORENCI MINE: Located in southeastern Arizona. Colors range from high blue to light blue with a matrix of irregular black pyrite that looks like silver when polished. Morenci turquoise was one of the first American turquoises to come on the market. Difficult to obtain now because the mine is depleted. Very collectible.
NO. 8 MINE: Located in Carlin, Nevada. First mined in 1929. No. 8 produced some of the largest nuggets of turquoise found. Color is a bright powder blue with matrix ranging from golden brown to black. Very collectible as the No.8 mine has been depleted.
PAPOOSE MINE: Located north of Austin, Nevada. Has only been in operation a short time. Has produced some distinctive deep blue gems. Very dark brown to black matrix. Some of the turquoise is slightly honey-combed, leaving holes and pits in the stones which necessitates the use of a plastic filler. Production is limited as this mine cannot be worked in the winter months due to harsh conditions.
PILOT MOUNTAIN MINE: Located in northern Nevada. It is still producing and is worked by one family. The stone is deep blue-green and can show light blue to dark green colors on the same stone. The matrix is black to golden brown. This turquoise is a very hard stone which takes a good polish. The graduation of color is unusual and makes this a very collectible turquoise.
RED MOUNTAIN MINE: Located near Cortez, Nevada. Produces a very hard compact spider web with small to large veining. The matrix is red with a black outlining. The notable characteristic of this stone is the rust-colored veins appearing in the matrix.
ROYSTON MINES: Royston is a district in Nevada consisting of three turquoise mines: Bunker Hill, Oscar Wehrend and Royal Blue. This district is known for its colors ranging from deep green to light blues set off by a heavy brown matrix. Still producing some turquoise, but in limited amounts. This turquoise is a relatively soft turquoise.
SANTA RITA MINE: Located east of Silver City, New Mexico. This turquoise is the by-product of a large copper mine. Color ranges from pale blue to very deep blue. There is very little on the market.
SLEEPING BEAUTY MINE: Located near Globe, Arizona. Noted for its solid, light blue color with no matrix. Favorite of the Zuni Pueblo silversmiths for use in petit point and inlay jewelry. One of the largest in North America and still producing.
SMOKEY VALLEY MINE: Located near Tonopah, Nevada. Relatively new mine. Stone is light to medium blue.
STORMY MOUNTAIN MINE: Located near Tenabo, Nevada. Produces a hard dark blue turquoise flecked with hard black chert matrix. Colors also range into light blues and greens.
TIMBERLINE MINE: Located in Nevada. New, small mine producing vein and nugget turquoise. Light to deep blue and most of the nuggets are spider web. An unusual blue-green color seems to be characteristic of the turquoise of this mine.
TURQUOISE MOUNTAIN MINE: Turquoise mountain and Birdseye turquoise come from the same mine in northwestern Arizona near the Kingman mine. The color ranges from light to high blue with webbed and non-webbed matrix. The Birdseye turquoise shows areas of light blue circled with dark blue matrix. The mine was closed in the 1980s.
TYRONE MINE: Located southwest of Silver City, New Mexico. Currently owned by Phelps Dodge. Turquoise has not been retrieved from this mine since the 1980s when Phelps Dodge changed its method of copper ore processing to crushing and acid wash. That method destroys any turquoise in the copper ore. Its color is medium brilliant blue. Any Tyrone turquoise in new jewelry is from private stashes. Collectible for its beauty and rarity.
VALLEY BLUE MINE: Located between Austin and Battle Mountain, Nevada. Some of the stones are a beautiful medium to deep blue, but most are light blue, somewhat translucent with a dark reddish-black mottled matrix and some spider web.
VILLA GROVE MINE: Located near La Jara, Colorado. An old mine that was discovered in 1901 and produced a high percentage of excellent hard blue turquoise. The best is a deep sky-blue to pale blue with brown to black matrix, some with spider webbing. Presently not being worked.
ZUNI MINE: Located near the Blue Diamond Mine south of Austin, Nevada. This is a new mine that has produced stones of deep blue-green. Presently not being mined.
NATIVE AMERICAN TECHNIQUES
The Navajo silversmith usually starts with the turquoise stone and designs the article of jewelry around it. The Zuni almost always construct the silverwork first and then cut the stones to fit the spaces.
The Hopi work mostly in overlay, a method employing a sheet of silver with cut out designs soldered over another sheet of silver. They place the emphasis of design on the silver rather than on the turquoise.
CARING FOR YOUR TURQUOISE
Turquoise is a porous stone that should be cleaned with a soft, damp cloth and patted dry. Do not use soap. Do not soak in water. Ultrasonic cleaners should not be used as they can damage the stone.
Powdered magnesium carbonate can be sprinkled on the stone, left to sit for a short while, and then brushed off with a soft brush.
Apply deodorants, makeup, perfume and hairspray prior to putting on your turquoise jewelry as all can cause damage to the stones.
Remove turquoise rings before doing dishes or swimming as soap and/or chlorine can damage the stones.
Exposure to extreme sunlight or heat may cause cracking of the stone or color change.
Store in a cool, dry place.
, C. Jeanenne Bell, Krause Publications, 2003