The fun in collecting antiques is sharing your beloved collection with others who are as passionate about the items you collect, as you are. There’s no more passionate group than the 1000+ members of the Antique and Vintage Costume Jewelry Club who showcase their treasures on their Facebook page by the same name. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/49294159976/?ref=br_tf)
The site is so much more than a ‘show and tell.’ Many of the members have written books on the different costume jewelry manufacturers of the early to mid-1900s, when costume jewelry was in its heyday. A by product of the Great Depression, costume jewelry was originally produced by fine jewelers who applied their expertise to crafting more affordable jewelry, which is why so much of it has weathered the test of time.
The popularity of accessorizing ensembles with showy costume jewelry spawned numerous cottage industries, and evolved to high-volume manufacturing under names like Coro, Monet, Napier, and Trifari. And there wasn’t a fashion designer at the time, who didn’t have her own line of jewelry to compliment her designs. Their jewelry commanded high prices just like their fashions. Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel were, and still are, considered among the high-end of costume jewelry designers.
Many costume jewelry designers focused solely on their craft, producing exquisite jewelry that could pass for real, like Eisenberg, or perfecting the enameling and stone placement process like Boucher...Marcel Boucher, who was a French jeweler who traveled to the United States and studied under Pierre Cartier as an apprentice.
Many of the the large manufacturers carried different lines to reach niche markets, producing rhinestone brooches, figurals, bangle bracelets, and even holiday jewelry. All of this you can view on the Antique and Vintage Costume Jewelry Facebook page. New collectors can ask questions, get advice, and share photos of their favorite pieces. It’s reminiscent of the days when friends would dig through each other’s jewelry boxes at slumber parties, ooing and aahing over each other’s treasures. The one thing you can’t do on the site is buy and sell, but the magnificent collections displayed on the site didn’t materialize from thin air. Collectors are always interested in growing their collections, adding a missing piece to a set, or getting a favorite piece in every conceivable color. Thus the Collectible Jewelry Exchange was spawned.
The Collectible Jewelry Exchange Facebook page is the sister site for the collectors willing to part with jewelry by selling, trading, bartering, etc. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/vintagejewelryforsale/) The odds of finding a matching earring or a brooch to a set, are extremely good. If one of the 175 members doesn’t have the item, they probably know a source.
But to play in the big game you need to know the rules, and here are the rules. Everyone who participates should make an album of their items. This makes the site less cluttered, by shopping in sellers’ albums. Each album title is the name of the seller, to make it easy for buyers to locate specific sellers. Descriptions need to be specific as to size, color, stones, approximate age of the piece, and the price. Photos should show the front and back of the items, and any unique characteristics. Payment, shipping methods, and shipping charges should be included in the description as well. Sellers are advised not to ship until money is received, and has cleared the bank. Sellers are required to provide sellers with tracking information. In all cases - trades or selling, participants must exchange working phone numbers and email addresses. All details should be confirmed offsite by email.
SITE DISCLAIMER...Transactions via trade, exchange, or outright sale, are between two parties privately. The creator of the page is not responsible for arrangements made regarding the transactions. The site serves only as a message board and is not responsible for negative outcomes or unhappy customers; that is to be handled between the two parties. Members are cautioned that if either party has fallen through on their end of the bargain, except in provable personal emergencies, they will be banned from the site, so email trails are essential!
After an item is sold, the seller should remove it from the album. NO SINGLE PHOTOS ARE ALLOWED ON THE SITE AND WILL BE DELETED FROM THE FACEBOOK PAGE.
Newcomers to the site are cordially welcomed. The majority of the Facebook ‘Friends’ are among the most authoritative sources on antique and vintage costume jewelry, and are always willing to part with their knowledge...much more so than their collections.