I have always been attracted to old things. I was the ‘American Picker’ of the 80’s. What started as an occasional relaxing excursion soon became my main avenue of enjoyment. Over time I altered my collections to include: 1940-50’s toys; tin banks; paperweights; teddy bears, and Christmas and Halloween decorations.
When I found my first piece of jewelry history, I was hooked. At a small shop in New Hampshire, I found a small brass looking coil bracelet that was made with human hair. I paid $7.00 for it because I was quite sure it was enamel over gold. Once I got it home and polished it, I found that it was a French enameled 14K gold Victorian hair snake bracelet with ruby eyes. The bracelet portion was stretched with damage to the face as well. I walked away with a magnificent piece of history and a valuable albeit damaged treasure.
That event began my fascination with unusual and unique costume and fine jewelry. I commenced researching the history of costume jewelry and its famous designers. I purchased books, scoured websites, studied the jewelry designers, and eventually became a more thoughtful buyer. However, every day I learn new things – I occasionally “misidentify” an item but I am always willing to learn from others and correct any mistakes I make. Engaging with other vintage costume jewelry experts is both informative and rewarding — it connects you with like-minded people and enables you to get help when you need it.
I also believe there should be a renaissance in America made jewelry whereby vintage items regain their popularity and purchasing power . Since nearly all Chinese made jewelry are copies – and poor ones that fall apart in weeks/months buyers would clearly be making an investment in retaining and rescuing the gems of the past – many which are intact and contain far better stones, findings, design, and workmanship than what is churned out of factories today.
What you will find on my website is what I like and would wear, it is not focused primarily on designers as many other sites do. I look for quality items that are unique, artistic, and “speak to me.” My collection has grown exponentially causing me to share it with others, in the hope that the items I have treasured will be ‘discovered and cherished’ by someone else.