Wednesday, November 14, 2012

10 Quick Facts About Vintage Jewelry

One aspect of owning a vintage Etsy shop is that to keep current you must continue to keep learning.  Warman's Jewelry by Christie Romero (cited below) is a great book about vintage jewelry from the 19th and 20th century including Victorian, Art Nouveau and Costume.
Here are 10 quick facts I bet you didn't know.

1.  Marilyn Monroe's "diamonds are a girl's best friend" were really rhinestones,

2.  A Victorian tradition, the art of hair making jewelry originated in Denmark and Sweden.

3.  Cufflinks are also known as sleeve buttons, tie pins, signet rings, collar buttons and shirt studs.

4.  The earliest attachment for holding "ear jewels" for unpierced ears were patented in 1894.

5.  In the 1880s, silver coins also known as love tokens were engraved with ciphers or names of family members or loved ones and made into bracelets or brooches.

6.  The Navajo were the first to use turquoise in combination with silver.

7.  Cameos became popular as a tourist souvenir in Europe in the 19th century. 

8.  Women suffragists had a secret code translated into jewelry.  They would wear green, white and violet pieces which stood for Give Women the Vote.

9.  When electric lighting was introduced in the 1880s sparkling diamond set jewelry became more desirable.

10.    Coral- popular in the nineteenth century was often worn by children.  It was thought that it would fend off disease and evil spirits.  Victorians believed it had curative and protective powers.


Romero, Christie. Warman's jewelry. Radnor, Pa.: Wallace-Homestead Book Co., 1995. Print. 

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