Vintage Jewelry Lovers – Protect Your Collection With These Jewelry Organizers

What does it mean when we call something vintage? The common misconception is that vintage items are also antiques. While this is often true, it is not an absolute. Vintage items can come from any era or period, even last year. In fact, the word simply means a period of origin or a date of manufacture. An antique, on the other hand, must be at least fifty years old. In this article, we will discuss vintage jewelry and how to keep it safe.

Like most collectibles, jewelry often appreciates in price, especially if it is vintage jewelry. The most expensive types of collectible jewelry are also antiques that were created in and are representative of different eras. The most important eras for jewelry design were Georgian, Early Victorian, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco, and Retro.

Any serious collector or professional jeweler could tell you which era a piece of vintage jewelry belonged to on first glance. For example, jewelry from the Georgian Era, the earliest era for vintage jewelry, was handmade, which meant the quality of each piece was inconsistent. The designs were often inspired by nature, with lots of birds and leaves, and jewelers frequently used precious stones to decorate them. Pieces from this era are often over two hundred years old. Needless to say, they are expensive and very rare.

As you might expect, women who own rare collections of vintage jewelry can’t just keep them in a drawer. These pieces are often quite fragile and they can be damaged by dust, debris, or simply by jostling them around. That is why many collectors keep their vintage jewelry in a safe or safety deposit box. But for women who like to show their collections off to friends or perhaps even wear a piece or two on a special occasion, the only practical option is a good jewelry organizer.

There are many different types of organizers, from the classic jewelry box to the more commodious jewelry armoire. The type of organizer that you require depends upon the size and the type of jewelry in your collection. The standard organizer has separate compartments for earrings, rings, broaches, bracelets, and hangers for necklaces so that they don’t get tangled up.

If you are collector who only procures certain types of jewelry, like earrings or necklaces, then you might consider a specialty organizer. Folding earring screens, revolving earring organizers, and tiered earring holders can offer more protection and more space for a specialized collection. Most of these organizers can safely hold and display hundreds of pairs of earrings. For collectors who purchases vintage necklaces, necklace hangers or trees are the easiest way to keep your collection organized and safe.

Of course, most collectors do not own specialized collections. Most vintage jewelry aficionados procure all types of pieces from different eras or periods. They may have a fondness for Early Victorian or Art Nouveau or Art Deco jewelry. But whatever the period, they often need organizers that can store many different types of jewelry from earrings to broaches to necklaces.

The most popular organizer for the home is the upright jewelry valet. Like the standard jewelry box, the valet is designed to sit atop a dresser or on a vanity. It is about twice the size of a standard jewelry box and can accommodate small to medium-size collections. On average, the standard upright jewelry valet has four to six drawers for rings, broaches, pendants, and earrings. It may also have hooks on the inside of the swinging doors for necklaces or bracelets. For safety reasons, we recommend an organizer that has a lock and key.

The next step up from the jewelry valet is the jewelry armoire. These organizers are designed for people with own truly impressive collections that they have amassed over many years. The armoire organizer is available in two versions-the wall-mounted organizer and the free-standing jewelry armoire.

Beautiful Bakelite Jewelry

There is more to collecting jewelry than just focusing on precious metals and rare gemstones. A very popular market in the second hand market has sprung up and people are willing to spend fair amounts of cash to add these items to their personal collections. Vintage costume jewelry is a hot item. Specifically items made from vintage forms of plastic have become quite popular.

One of the most popular forms of old plastic jewelry sought after by collectors is Bakelite. Bakelite was a type of plastic used in a great number of household items ranging from flatware to telephones. It did not take long for it to catch on as a wonderful material for making jewelry as well. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces and all sorts of fashionable accessories were produced to take advantage of the plastic’s ability to show off amazing colors and stand up to daily use. Now these old relics are back in style and their sturdiness is paying off.

Many women who are in their later years already have a splendid variety of these now valuable baubles stashed away in jewelry boxes. Most probably do not realize how valuable their collections have become over time. Frequent visitors of estate sales know that one of the first places they should check when they arrive is the jewelry table. Vintage Bakelite jewelry gets scooped up in a hurry at these sales and is often resold on sites like eBay for a nice profit. The irony is that these items were first produced as a less expensive alternative for women during the war years of the 1940’s.

Bakelite was a welcome advance in the development of plastics. Earlier forms of plastic, such as celluloid were popular, but were also extremely flammable and less stable than Bakelite. This is not to say that Bakelite cannot be damaged. On the contrary, if you own any old jewelry made of this type of plastic, you should clean it with care and protect it as much as possible to maintain its wonderful finish.

Collecting jewelry is a great way to keep in touch with the past and celebrate fashion history. Vintage pieces of jewelry do not have to be filled with diamonds or emeralds to be valuable. Costume jewelry that has stood the test of time has earned a place in modern collections. Jewelry that has passed from one generation to the next can be especially precious to the lady wearing it. If you enjoy jewelry, take a look to the past. You might be surprised at the beautiful treasures you have been missing.

Silver Lining For Jewelry Artists in Current Crisis?

Recent news about the jewelry industry has been grim. Rapaport News reported a 19% decrease in attendance at the prestigious American Gem Trade Association show in February. Tiffany announced it will close its sixteen Iridesse Pearl Stores, opened in 2004. And from the UK is the news that Diamonds and Pearls, a large retailer, is in “administration.”

What does all this mean for the jewelry industry? JCK, an industry publication, recently concluded a series of roundtables with leading manufacturers and retailers. Their conclusions: the industry will consolidate; the credit crunch will continue to be a problem keeping inventories on both the manufacturing and retail levels low; the high price of gold continues to be a problem for manufacturers and retailers; and, both industry sectors will have to find new methods of working together.

But despite low inventory levels and the credit squeeze, retailers will have to keep their shelves stocked. Nothing scares off a potential client quicker than empty showcases. So, it is highly likely that these retailers will be far more open to accepting goods on consignment than in the past.

This is an opportunity for jewelry artists, artists who create one-of-a-kind highly collectible jewelry and who may have previously confined their sales and marketing efforts to art and craft galleries. The opportunity is to educate the consumer about the wonderful work being created by studio artists, a term that originated after WWII and refers to an artist working alone in his studio.

Although many of these artists work in high karat gold and use gemstones, a number of them use lower cost materials. And it is likely that artists who use both expensive and less expensive materials in their work are highly interested in moving their jewelry in this economic climate. So, prices which would be high in good times are probably lower.

The opportunity for artists is to expose their work to a new audience, but one that is also interested in collectible jewelry. The opportunity for jewelers is to display new work. And, the opportunity for consumers is to acquire one-of-a-kind work from artists they may be previously unaware of.