Wednesday, January 19, 2011

19 January 1957 "Guest Blog Sanne: Vintage Jewelry"

Today we are going to enjoy a guest blog from our good friend and fellow Apronite Sanne. She lives in Denmark with her lovely husband and teenage son. She was one of our Apronites of the Month. I hope you enjoy her post about her wonderful collection of Costume and Vintage Jewelry.

Costume Jewelery

I love costume jewellery, especially from the fifties. And it is an elegant an inexpensive way to
spice up your vintage look – or any look. I will not claim that I am an expert, but I have collected for almost ten years, and have learned and read some things, which I will tell you in this guest blog.

Getting Started
You can find a few inexpensive things on flea markets or the internet to add a little glamour and
nostalgia to your look, or you can start a collection. Believe me - one thing often leads to the other!
There are several things to start with:

Pins /
Pins are very vintage and can be used in many ways. In general, if you go for the look and not for
the brand, there are so many darling pins out there to be picked up. A pin can be teeny tiny or very
big, it can have a few or a lot of rhinestones and/or pearls, it can be plated with enamel, gold or silver, it can be figural or sculptural. The choice is yours. If you see a fabulous pin at a flea market– buy it. I still regret some pins I didn’t buy. Watch out for missing or discoloured rhinestones, unless you have some spare at home you can replace them with. If all the stones are discoloured the pin can still be very charming.

Charm Bracelets:
Are very … charming! And very fifties. In the fifties all women collected charms for their bracelet, and for their daughters. I love them, I always wear one, and have a huge collection. They also come in a very large variety, and again if you don’t go for brand you can find them at a reasonableprice. I’ve found lovely charm bracelet at five dollars on eBay! I love the miniatures and the lovely jingle when you wear them. You can collect your own bracelet with charms that means something to you - that symbolized events or places you’ve visited, etc. Or you can buy ready-made theme bracelets. I love the theme bracelets and have many themes to choose from, e.g. travel bracelets, seasonal and holiday bracelets, gardening bracelets, theatre bracelets, religious bracelets, car bracelets, Disney bracelet, etc. etc. Even a kitchen themed bracelet. You can even find “mechanical” charms, which is a charm that has some kind of function or can open and reveal a “secret”.

These are very much fun, but are priced a little higher. I have collected a silvertone
Monet charm bracelet from the fifties only with charms that mean something to me. Ahem, I have to mention that Monet charms became quite addictive, so I have three more bracelets loaded with charms that were just … charming.

Ahhh, my favourite. I don’t go anywhere without earrings. Earrings are also a great starter, since you can find some really nice and inexpensive ones to start your collection. You can find studs for pierced ears, clips and screw backs.

Personally, I don’t like the screw backs, they hurt my ear and they hang, but perhaps it is just my ears that are not suitable for wearing them. The trick should be that you can adjust them. I have earrings in all sizes, from tiny to really huge. If they become quite large and heavy, do wear them with clips, since your piercings will drop, and it will not look nice. A tip for a very fifties look is to collect confetti Lucite earrings. Lucite was used for jewelery during WWII since metal was sparse and used for war purposes. They are inexpensive (often around 5 dollars a pair), very fifties and looks nice for everyday wear. You can find them in every color and with embedded glitter, seashells or other small things – even bugs! Always try them on, look in a mirror if they suit your face and your style. In general, use button earrings for day wear and dangling and glittering for evening wear. Collect some pairs in neutral tones or if your wardrobe is
colour coordinated, buy the colours that match most of your outfits.

For some strange reason I’m not very much into neclaces, although you can also find them in
every style and look. Pearls are very fifties, and here is a great tip – pop beads! If you don’t know them they are plastic beads with a hole in one end and a tip at the other. You can make every length, you can make matching bracelets and you can even make them in alternating colors. They are inexpensive at e.g. eBay and are very versatile. I always use them for travelling, since I have pearls for whatever look I might want. Be aware if the beads are coated, since they are vintage the coating might peel off.

Cocktail rings are also found in every price range and every style. I think rings should be the last
to add to your collection if you want to save. I like rings that matches my outfit, but they most often look like what they are – costume. Not always as elegant as you want.

Seasonal and Holiday Jewellery:
A vintage tradition is to have seasonal and holiday jewellery, so why not collect a few items
for each season and holiday? I can assure you that you will get noticed and receive a lot of
compliments. And you don’t need much for each season/holiday to start with - begin with e.g. a pin and a bracelet. Later you can find more pins, earrings, and perhaps even a necklace. But do only use them at the right season, or else it will look silly. I pack my holiday jewellery away with all the other holiday decoration stuff, and when I unpack it next time it makes me so happy to see it all again.

SCS is a serious illness you might start suffering from when you start collecting. SCS is “Set
Completion Syndrome”. When you have a nice pin you want the matching earrings, and then
the matching bracelet, or even necklace. A set always looks nice. A “parure” is a complete set,
which is a necklace, bracelet and earrings, perhaps even a pin. A “demi-parure” is a half set, e.g.
a bracelet and earrings. You will never know if there are more items for your set, but you might be lucky to find something that matches perfectly. Sets are always admired.

Always put on your jools last and take them off first - which means putting them on after you have sprayed with perfume or hairspray, and take them off before you start bathing or cleansing your face. Never wash or soak costume jewelery pieces, use a soft cloth or a (new) baby toothbrush to clean the items. A baby toothbrush is a great tool to remove old dust, not everything vintage looks nice. ;) Never use chemicals. If a piece is very dirty, make some mild soap water, dip the toothbrush into it, dab it on a cloth so it is only damp, turn the piece upside down and clean it from the downside. Let it dry completely upside down. Moisture kills rhinestones and makes pearls peal.
You might put your jewels in those practical small plastic bags, but don’t zip them, since this mightalso kill the rhinestones. They darken and loose their sparkle.

Inexpensive Brands:
Now I’ve said I don’t look for brands, but two brands are worth mentioning:
Sarah Coventry and Coro. Both have a lovely style (in my opinion) and are still reasonably prices.

Shopping Links: – watch out, and ask the seller questions if you are in doubt. Most often the seller
does not know what he/she is selling. Hence you can find some really great bargains.

SmokingRaven (LINK: – low price, but
nice vintage jools. Earrings start at 1 dollar. Very friendly service. PS: Her Sarah Coventry jools are
too expensive.

Ruby Lane (LINK: and Tias (LINK: – both are
lovely places to buy, and normally the seller knows what he/she is selling, but again, ask questions
before buying.

Eclectica (LINK: – my personal favourite, she’s an expert and you always

get super friendly service. Do visit her Theme Pages.

See my jewellery collection here: LINK:

And in fact I have some vintage pieces for sale at our Danish version of eBay (LINK: http://, if you are interested in something, do send
me a mail and I’ll translate the text and give you a great price.

And feel free to ask questions, although I have to stress that I’m not an expert.

Sparkling Sanne

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