Friday, July 24, 2009

New Treasury - If You Like Pina Coladas

Inspired by the song "Escape" by Rupert Holmes, I diverged from my traditional, all vintage-jewelry-themed Treasury to create this one (each item is inspired by part of the song).

I was tired of my lady, we'd been together too long.
Like a worn-out recording, of a favorite song.
So while she lay there sleeping, I read the paper in bed.
And in the personals column, there was this letter I read:

"If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
If you're not into yoga, if you have half-a-brain.
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
I'm the lady you've looked for, write to me, and escape."

I didn't think about my lady, I know that sounds kind of mean.
But me and my old lady, had fallen into the same old dull routine.
So I wrote to the paper, took out a personal ad.
And though I'm nobody's poet, I thought it wasn't half-bad.

"Yes, I like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
I'm not much into health food, I am into champagne.
I've got to meet you by tomorrow noon, and cut through all this red tape.
At a bar called O'Malley's, where we'll plan our escape."

So I waited with high hopes, then she walked in the place.
I knew her smile in an instant, I knew the curve of her face.
It was my own lovely lady, and she said, "Oh, it's you."
And we laughed for a moment, and I said, "I never knew"..

"That you liked Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
And the feel of the ocean, and the taste of champagne.
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
You're the love that I've looked for, come with me, and escape."

New Treasury - Gone Fishing

I was able to list another Treasury on the 22nd - it highlights Fish Themed Vintage Jewelry

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Etsy Treasury - Marcasite Magic

My latest Treasury, Marcasite Magic, goes w/my Guide to Marcasite Jewelry below - it highlights some of the wonderful pieces available on Etsy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Treasury - Bug Me

Vintage Jewelry Meadow posted a Treasury on Etsy today highlight bugs - so very cute.

Her shop is located at

Her treasury will be available for a couple more days and there are some wonderful highlights in vintage costume jewelry, as well as bug themed items in general.

Bugs have been used in jewelry, and art is general, since Ancient times. The more common species used are butterflies, bees, dragonflies, and scarabs, but all walks of insect life can be found in jewelry.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guide to Marcasite Jewelry

Marcasite, chemically known as iron disulfide or FeS2, is a form of fool's gold, or pyrite, but has a different internal structure than pyrite, making is more brittle and less stable. Also known as white iron pyrite, marcasite is actually too unstable to be used in jewelry. The marcasite that you see in jewelry is actually pyrite.

Used for adornment since ancient times, Marcasite jewelry began to replace steel cut jewelry in the 18th century. Produced in large quantities by Germany, it became popular during war times, is most commonly placed on a sterling base, but can also be found on gold. Highly decorative, Marcasite jewelry lends to an very "vintage" look. When worn, this jewelry sparkles just like rhinestones, catching and reflecting the light in a very fashionable way.

When purchasing Marcasite jewelry, look for marks that hint at the grade of metal and/or maker, that there are no missing pieces (look at the pictures offered carefully, as missing Marcasites are often easy to miss), and that you are purchasing from a reputable seller.

Dating Marcasite jewelry can be difficult, as it's often only marked w/the grade of sterling or gold, or not marked at all. Generally speaking, if a piece is marked "Germany" its probably, c1930 +/- 10 years. If there is a copyright symbol, then the piece is most likely post-1955. If the piece is marked w/an artist's or maker's mark, you can date your piece by researching when that particular maker was working/in business.

Marcasite jewelry should be cleaned w/caution to avoid removing dark areas that are part of the design. Usually, a quick cleansing w/mild soap and water should do the trick, followed by drying the piece w/a soft cloth. Surface cleaning is the best; avoid submersing or dunking the piece.

Below are some examples of Marcasite Jewelry for your pleasure.

Courtesy of Lilly's Vintage Costume Jewelry

Courtesy of Eureka, I Found It!

Courtesy of Bitz of Glitz

Courtesy of Alison's Antiques & Vintage Jewelry

Courtesy of CranberryManor on Etsy


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Treasury - Black or White

Today in my Treasury, I highlight Black & White Vintage Costume Jewelry - elegant enough for evening wear, but just perfect for everyday were too. This treasury will be available for a couple more days - I thank you if you get a chance to check it out.

My Featured Seller for this Treasury is WeGotJewels - she has a wonderful assortment w/a current showcase of patriotic jewelry - all vintage.
Patriotic Dog Brooch

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Etsy Treasury - When I am an Old Woman


With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

By Jenny Joseph

My newest Treasury on Etsy highlights Vintage Costume Jewelry in Purple - please enjoy!

My Featured Seller for this Treasury is Beetique - - please check her out if you can. To the right is her 1989 Designer Sterling Silver NA Style Men's Bolo Tie

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Country Groupings & Regions

When trying to identify a piece of jewelry, it is often helpful to know which region it came from. Below, I have compiled geographical regions and groupings for ease of research.

North American
Canada, Greenland, Mexico, United States of America

Central American
Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama,

South American
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela

The Caribbean
Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands

The Middle East
Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

China, Japan, Korea

East Asia
Burma, Cambodia, East Timor, Greater Mekong, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam

South Asia
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Island Countries (Melanesia, Polynesia, Micronesia)
  • Polynesia - American Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Pitcairn, Tonga, Tuvalu, Samoa
  • Melanesia - Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu
  • Micronesia - Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau
Andorra, Austria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Vatican City

Eastern Europe
Albania, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine

Scandinavian Countries
Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Guide to Necklace Length, Terminology & Definition

Every wonder what name a certain length of necklace is given - below are a few definitions:
  • Collar - or Dog Collar - 12-13" and sits closely around the neck
  • Choker - approximately 14-16" and sits above the collar bones
  • Princess - approximately 17-19" and sits just below the collar bones
  • Matinee - approximately 20-24" and hangs above the cleavage
  • Opera - approximately 25-36" and hangs to the cleavage
  • Sautoir - (also known as Rope) approximately 40"+ and hangs to the waistline
and a Bib Necklace is a layered or multi-strand necklace of variable lengths ranging from choker to opera.