Archive for Jewellery
Jet jewellery is a favourite amongst many collectors of antique and Victorian jewellery. I have written all about jet jewellery in the past but recently I was lucky enough to visit the museum in Whitby where they have the best collection of jet jewellery Ive ever seen. Whitby Museum allow photography and so I was able to get a few snaps to show you here. AntiquesAvenue occasionally has a few pieces of jet jewellery to offer you but these are getting harder to find in good condition at a reasonable price.
Bracelets and bangles, jewellery to wear on your arm. Vintage bracelets are a popular choice but which should you choose?
Bracelets are any piece of jewellery you wear on your wrist, a bracelet can be flexible or solid. A bangle is a special form of bracelet which is solid, it either hinges open or it is completely solid and it slips over the hand. The advantage of a bangle which hinges open is that it will fit closer on your wrist than one which has to slip over your hand.
Both bangles and bracelets can be made of a variety of materials but the most popular are silver and gold. They can both be decorated with gemstones, be left plain, enamelled, be engraved or have charms added to them. Bracelets can be worn singly or multiple bracelets on either one or both wrists. It was a Victorian fashion to wear a matching pair of bracelets one on each wrist.
Bracelets and bangles come in a small range of sizes as wrist sizes do not vary quite as much as finger sizes do. The average size is 18.5 cms or 7.5 inches. This will fit most wrists except very small or large and most bracelets are this length. You can find them varying from between 17 cms ( about 6.67 inches) and 24 cms ( about 9.42) inches. The smallest size would fit a very slim lady or teenager. The largest size would be for a man.
AntiquesAvenue offers a great range of antique and vintage bracelets and bangles including vintage silver bangles, charm bracelets, tennis bracelets and antique Victorian bracelets too.Citrine Bracelet
Silver bangles are one of the most popular types of vintage bracelet. They come with engraved decoration and can be quite fancy like this buckle bangle with hinges open. This particular piece is from the Victorian era.
One of the rarest and most fascinating vintage silver charms Ive seen. It has also reminded me that the first world war was almost 100 years ago now – strange to think as my Grandfather fought in it. 100 year anniversaries always renew interest in a subject, just think of the recent anniversary of the Titanic. This tends to drive the price of related collectables to rise rapidly so now is a great time to acquire WW1 memorabilia .
A most fascinating silver charm. This is in the shape of a box which opens and so can be used as a locket charm. The four sides are each enamelled with a flag design. On the base it reads ” Success to our Allies 1914″. The charm is also stamped as silver. I presume that this was a good luck charm for the 1st world war and its the first Ive seen like this so must be very rare. The box measures about 1.1 cms high and is in excellent condition
Amber Jewellery is very popular and Amber is one of the jewellery materials which has been used since the earliest prehistoric times. Our ancestors in the Bronze age or possibly before, The Greeks, Romans and ancient Celts all treasured amber set jewellery. More recently into Victorian Jewellery, in the Art Deco era and of course it is very popular nowadays. Amber tumbled and polished into beads or as a cabochon is how we normally see this sort of jewellery.
Ive been adding a few frech pieces of amber and silver jewellery to the shop today including this rather special torque style necklace.
A bit about Amber
Amber, the fossilized resin of pine trees, in the main it has been under the sea for 60 million years. It is found in a range of colours, normally we see it in honey shades but it can vary from a pale whitish or lemon colour through to almost black. Cherry red amber is very sought after and a natural amber in shades of blue is most rare. Natural amber is cut, carved and polished into the required shape. As it is very soft for a gemstone is is possible to carve it quite intricately or alternatively it can be faceted. Most often we see amber polished smooth. If you find a piece of antique jewellery set with amber you will sometimes find that it has become opaque a sort of butterscotch colour . Modern amber tends to be more translucent often with imperfections inside.
Amber Jewellery care
Take a look at the material the amber is set in. Often this is silver but look for hallmarks to be sure of this or ask your jeweller.
As Amber is quite soft it needs to be handled with some care, store it separately or protected from other brooches so that it does not scratch. Also avoid leaving your amber brooch in direct sunlight for a long time. Solvents in perfume and hairspray can damage your amber, the best thing to do is to use these first and put your amber jewellery on after. Perhaps clean it as soon as practicable after wearing. When cleaning your amber please do not use an ultra sonic cleaner or harsh chemicals and do not use a jewellery dip or a silver dip. A soft cloth and a very tiny drop of pure olive oil are often recommended. If the jewellery is set into gold or silver you could try and clean the metal without touching the amber.
How to tell real Amber from costume jewellery Faux Amber
As Amber is so popular these days the price is rising and so fake or faux amber brooches are being produced. How can you tell a real piece of amber from a piece of plastic or resin jewellery? The traditional method was to make a saturated salt solution, amber will float in this where as glass or plastic would sink. This method does not work on pieces of amber which are set into metal as they would sink with the weight of the metal. I have heard that if you stick a hot needle into amber that it smells of pine trees. I am not going to try this on a piece of amber jewellery as it would be damaged.
Here are two tests that you can try on your jewellery. Rub it against a piece of wool, its electrostatic properties produce static electricity which will attract dust. Secondly amber can glow a greenish yellow under an ultraviolet lamp
Here is the latest update on Vintage Brooches from www.antiquesavenue.co.uk. The brooches we offer date from the Georgian era right through to circa 1970s. There are costume jewellery brooches, silver and gold brooches too. The brooches are set with all sorts of gemstones including diamonds, amethysts, pearls and costume jewellery stones. There are designer brooches, tiny lace pin sized brooches and even one brooch measuring a massive 12 cms long. Lets take a look at a few of the brooches most recently added to the shop.
Giant bug antique brooch
How do you fancy this bright green beastie crawling across your jacket? Here is a bug or insect brooch from the earlier 1900s. This brooch is made of nine carat gold ( stamped 9ct). The insect measures about 3 cms long with the brooch being about 6.3 cms long in total . The green stones are paste. Other antique bug brooches are available and they are now very collectible.
Huge Mexican silver brooch
One of the largest brooches ever. A large and interesting brooch in the shape of a flower bud and leaf. This brooch is made of silver and was made in Mexico. The reverse is stamped Silver AM Mexico. It measures about 12 cms long and so is a real statement piece of jewellery. Mexican silver jewellery is now most collectible especially when it is clearly a craftsman piece like this one. I have more Mexican silver jewellery available in the shop.
The 1960s and 1970s are often considered to be when the best English gold charms were produced. These charms have great quality and there is a huge variety of shapes and sizes to be found.
The vintage charms vary in size from about 1 centimeters to three centimeters. Any more and the piece of jewellery is more like a pendant than a charm. English charms from this time are normally made of nine carat gold although you may find some of eighteen carat. Look for the hallmark on the charm to determine the carat gold. Most English gold charms dating from this time should be hallmarked but the hallmarks can be very tiny and often hidden in out of the way places. You can read the hallmarks with a 10x loup magnifier.
Gold charms make nice gifts as you can buy them to suit the interests of the recipient and add an extra charm to the collection every birthday, Christmas, wedding , Valentines day or other cellebration.
AntiquesAvenue offers a great selection of vintage gold charms which you cannot easily find elsewhere. Here are some recently added charms:
A high quality vintage gold charm (9ct) in the shape of a hand bell. This bell rings nicely and so will add sound to your charm bracelet. This bell is large enough to be hung from a chin round your neck and worn as a pendant. The bell is fully hallmarked as nine carat gold and the hallmarks date it to 1977.
The 1970s are often considered to have produced the very best English charms and this one certainly is excellent quality. The gold charm measures about 2.5 cms high
What a wonderful romantic gold charm. Here is a pair of gold bells with heart shapes pierced into them. They hang from a gold bow. The bells are articulated from the bow so that they move whilst being worn. This gold charm is hallmarked as nine carat. It measures about 2 cms long including the hanging loop
This vintage gold charm dates from the 1970s. It is a £5 emergency money charms. These charms came in all sorts of money denominations , you will find that £5 is one of the most rare. The case is hallmarked as nine carat gold. This charm measures about 1.4 cms long. The blue colour of the £5 note will add a splash of colour to your charm bracelet
Antiquesavenue also has an exclusive selection of original gold charm bracelets from the 1960s and 1970s .
November 5th the day we celebrate gunpowder treason and plot with things that burn, bang and sparkle. This years why not brighten you yourself for bonfire night with some wearable sparklers of your own? Bonfire night is a time for wrapping up warm with lots of layers so we need jewellery which is big , bold, colourful and not too expensive for the occasion. Here is a great selection of vintage costume jewellery brooches from AntiquesAvenue which will make you stand out on the night.
Costume jewellery vintage brooches in firework colours can be pinned to your coat or used to hold a scarf in place. Why wear just one? Several can be pinned to a hat or a bag. Suitable colours include red, yellow, crystal clear, green and blue. Perhaps not the occasion for black or brown jewellery as it wont be seen in the dark.
A huge and sparkling vintage diamante brooch .This brooch has the diamante prong set into it which is a good sign of age and quality as this method of production was very time consuming. There are three articulated tails hanging down. In total this brooch measures about 8.5 cms long and up to 6 cms wide. I believe that this brooch dates from circa 1930s to 1950s. It is in really excellent condition.
Bonfire night history.
Do you know why we celebrate Bonfire night every year? Most of use know the old rhyme from childhood
“Remember Remember the 5th of November, gunpowder treason and plot.”
It was on November 5th 1605 when a plot to kill King James 1st was foiled. The group of men who were plotting against King James had planed to use gunpowder to blow up the house of Lords whilst the king was there. Once word got out that the plot had been foiled the people of London lit bonfires to celebrate it and an act of parliament was passed to ensure the day was celebrated anualy ( is this still Law ?)
The 1970s are back in fashion with the high street being full of 1970s style clothes this Autumn. AntiquesAvenue offers a range of genuine pieces of vintage jewellery from the 1970s which would be wonderful to wear with 1970s style clothing.
What jewellery was popular in the 1970s? Well like most decades there was a range of jewellery popular at different times. Long strings of tiny glass beads worn with full length skirts, stylish Scandinavian silver, Wedgwood cameo jewellery, Silver ingots with oversize hallmarks. Lots of thin bangles worn together and charm bracelets full of lots and lots of charms.
Heres a few of the 1970s pieces of jewellery which are available from www.antiquesavenue.co.uk
1970s glass neckalces
Here’s five vintage glass necklaces from circa 1970s with all the beads being joined by metal chains. Three strands are 110 cms long, one is 92 cms long and there is one strand at about 72 cms. These glass necklaces were worn with the gypsy / hippie fashions of the 1970s and would suit today’s boho look
1970s silver charm bracelet and charms
Heres a charm bracelet which was originally made in the 1970s with the silver hallmarks dating to 1978. This silver charm bracelet has lots of vintage silver charms attached which include a hedgehog, a dice, a bell, a policeman’s helmet. There is also a pair of love birds on a swing, a bunch of grapes, a wishing well and an opening lobster pot made by Nuvo.
As you can see in the picture there are also two enamel travel shields, a filigree slipper and a shamrock. The charm bracelet has a chain with double links. There is a heart shaped lock and an attached safety chain. This vintage charm bracelet measures about 9.5 cms long
Silver ingot penadant or fob
Here is a silver ingot pendant with huge hallmarks dating it to 1977. These ingot s can be worn as a pendant or a fob. This one measures about 4 cms long