Selling vintage costume jewelry?

Alisande

I received a box of jewelry from a friend's estate. I haven't gone through all of it yet, but most seems to be older costume jewelry: clip-on earrings, colored glass beads, "pearls," and some more unique pieces. Some sterling silver, some stones I haven't identified.

I know a little bit about silver/natural stone, tribal style jewelry, and there's a few pieces like that in the box. I'll keep those to wear. But I'll want to get rid of the rest, my goal being to profit our local animal shelter. I could donate it to their thrift shop, but if it seems likely I'd get more for them by selling some pieces myself, I can give that a shot.

Any of you had experience selling vintage costume jewelry? Any advice for me? Thanks!

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DawnInCal

There is definitely a market for vintage costume jewelry. Some people like to wear pieces from past eras and others like to use it for crafts. I buy quite a bit to use for comonents in my jewelry designs. If you look at Ebay or Etsy, you can get an idea of the types of prices people ask for costume jewelry.

Most people sell it in lots or even by the pound. Do a search for vintage costume jewelry lots and you should get all kinds of results. Don't expect to get much for it unless you have something rare and special. Most lots are listed in the $15 - 50 range.

The thrift stores sell it individually and usually price it at $1 - 4 per piece. I just bought a beautiful necklace made of lampwork beads for $4.00. Those beads are expensive at the bead stores, usually going for $5 - 10 each, so I was thrilled with my purchase.

Most sellers don't bother to clean the jewelry and it is sometimes quite grimy. If you were to clean it, mention that in your listing and price your jewelry a bit higher.

Good luck!

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Alisande

Thank you, Dawn--this is very helpful!

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marcopolo5

Look to see if there is a name on the piece. . Sarah Coventry is a name I recall. If you check Ebay you will see other names from 1950 and 1960. The "signed" pieces are more collectible. If you have pieces and you are not sure of the material. The library usually has books on costume jewlery.

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Alisande

Good idea, Marcopolo--thanks! Also, I've been trying to read inside the bands of some silver rings. I can make out sterling or 925, but a few of them have other writing. I have a folding magnifier that is so handy for many uses, but awkward for this one. I probably need a jeweler's loupe, but depending on how much they cost it might not be worth it.

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nicole___

Uhhh.....not 935 unless it's German? 925 is the standard for US silver. 40x lighted loupe Taxco silver is still collectible. Trifari is still a good name as are several others. Peals.....Mikimoto brings a premium price....otherwise....

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DawnInCal

Good point about certain lines of jewelry having value. Vintage Avon jewelry is also another that can have value, particularly those that were made in collaboration with celebrities such as the Elizabeth Taylor collection.

If there are any marked or named pieces in your collection it might be worth doing some research into the piece(s) prior to listing.

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Alisande

Oops, typo--thanks, Nicole! I corrected it to save others from pointing it out. And another thanks, as I just ordered the lighted loupe. I hope I won't need to use it to examine any ticks this year!

I'm a born researcher, Dawn. LOL I hope I find some names on this stuff.

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maifleur01

Depending on the vintage you might look at some of them for the Miriam Haskell stamp. She used all kinds of things that to my eye makes them look like very low end jewelry. However collectors do love them. If they are from this area look for Montanari and Tivol.

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DawnInCal

Well, then, this sounds like a project that is right up your alley, Alisande!

I meant to acknowledge your thanks in my last port, but forgot. It's is and has been my pleasure to be able to contribute to the conversation. :-)

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sheilajoyce_gw

I know that some signed mass produced jewelry can bring a pretty price. The ones I saw in that category were with glass stones for the most part. Look to see what has a brand name on it and research it.

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Marilyn_Sue

Hey, I am vintage so I like that kind of jewelry, but seldom wear it. Clip on earrings for me too.

Sue



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Anglophilia

I sold a ton of this for a friend after her mother died. I took it all to the monthly flea market that also had an "antiques" section, and I just went from vendor to vendor until I found one that gave me a good price. I got $500 for the lot. It was probably a good price for the vendor, too, as some was signed costume jewelry. But my friend was thrilled to get something for it and to be rid of it as well.

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cherryfizz

I have loads of vintage costume jewelry too that I inherited over the years. I have seen online framed artwork you can make with costume jewelry or styrofoam cones covered in fabric that you stick the earings and pins on in a pattern. My friend did a lovely heart shaped framed piece and a framed Christmas tree made with the jewelry. I might just do that instead of selling it

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Alisande

Cherryfizz, I'm not likely to do that, but i'd love to see your pictures!

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vicsgirl

I inheirited some old costume jewelry when my mother passed a few years ago. That plus my own jewelry collection that began when I was a kid, I'm now 66. I gave a girlfriend who does crafts her pick, put aside a few things for my granddaughter who is now 4. I did keep a few things for myself. The rest was a hidge-podge, even some broken pieces. Sold it to a local antique dealer for $200. Maybe could have got more on ebay. My own two daughters wanted nothing.

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Alisande

Wow, Cherryfizz--you could have fun with that! And possibly sell them, although it looks pretty labor-intensive. A non-profit activity. :-)

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Sandplum1-Bring Sophie back!!!

Trifari and Coro are two brands that sell briskly on eBay and Etsy, also. Don't discount the value of the jewelry just because it appears to be plastic. Search "vintage jewelry" with key words that describe your pieces. Other popular terms are "Pegasus," "thermoset," "jelly belly," "confetti," "fire," "parure,"and "moon-glow" in conjunction with the brand names.

Carol


ETA: added fire and parure to key search words.

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chisue

What about costume jewelry from the 1920's? I have three or four bits that were my mom's. No names. Some 'sterling'. Glass 'rubies', etc.

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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Eisenberg is another name to look for on pins and brooches. It's not all marked (before 1935, IIRC), but sometimes easy to identify the style.

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