Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sparkly Vintage Valentines

As promised, here is a small selection of vintage sparklies from Ebay (just based on my personal taste, you know. You all might hate these).

Why do I like vintage jewelry?

Well, besides being a jewelry designer who loves all things sparkly, I like vintage jewelry because you can often find unique, one of a kind items at a manageable price. The craftsmanship is often superb on pieces that you can buy for the same price as a cheap Zales sparkler. Just like most luxury items, jewelry has suffered from the “democratization” of luxury, where quarterly profit margins have superseded quality construction and creative design. In addition, in many countries that manufacture jewelry for top brands in the US, child labor is often used (you know, small hands are better at making small things.) However, thanks to many efforts of large companies like Tiffany and Cartier, child labor may be on the decline (but who really knows?). Besides, buying used saves resources and keeps things out of the waste stream.

You don’t have to give up your love of objects to care about the world. But, you may want to consider that we already have enough objects out there to satisfy your every desire – we don’t need more new stuff.

Click on the images to be taken to the bid site. I have only included items from sellers with a very positive feedback and a money back guarantee.

Vintage French Pearl Stud Earrings in 18k. Last bid: $79.99.

Vintage 14k Gold Victorian Locket. Last bid: $15.50.

Vintage 18K Gold Amethyst Earrings. Last Bid: $127.00

Fine Estate 18K Gold Ruby Eternity Ring. Last Bid: $195.00

Victorian 14k snake ring. Last Bid: $22.22.

Estate Pink Tourmaline and Pave Diamond Filigree Ring. Last bid $24.00.

Vintage lab-grown Aquamarine with heavy gold shank. Last bid: $61.00

I realized when I finished this list that it is predominantly focused on rings. This does not, in any way, have to do with my desire for a certain left-hand sparkly . . . but, has more to do with my perception that rings are very sculptural - much more than other pieces (except maybe for brooches). At least that is how it has always seemed to me when I have made ring.

And Ebay is definitely not the only place to get vintage jewelry. Almost any locally-owned jeweler will carry estate and vintage pieces - just ask. There are also many places on the web that sell amazing antique, vintage and estate fine jewelry. Here are a few others:

The Tiny Jewel Box
, a Washington favorite (though a bit pricey)
Silverman Galleries, based in Alexandria, is one of metro DC's longest established antique shops still under original ownership
For more DC sources, check out this article at

Fay Cullen, an on-line source for beautiful rings
Marlene Harris Collection, a more affordable option than Fay Cullen. Great collection of brooches.


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