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.

Separate Your Bangles and Baubles With These Fantastic Jewelry Organizers

You may have one of the largest jewelry collections of all your friends, but if you cannot find the piece you want within 10 seconds, you will probably skip the accessories that day and just go with your usual baubles. You need to organize your bangles and baubles so you can quickly find the right piece in just the right color when you need it.

You will find that jewelry organizers can make the difference between an accomplished accessorizer and someone who grabs just any bracelet or earrings to finish your look. The organizer you need depends on the size of your collection.

Small

Get started organizing your collection of jewelry by category. Put your rings together, earrings in one spot and your necklaces in another organizer. The smaller the collection, the easier it is to pick the right piece of jewelry. A leather ring box can hold up to 100 rings in one place. Each ring is tucked safely in the rows and stays dust free. Measuring just 9 inches by 9 inches, you can put all of your rings together and tuck the leather box safely inside a dresser drawer. In the morning, when you’re getting dressed, pull out the box and select the ring that goes with your outfit.

Another small jewelry organizer is a jewelry hanger. You will find that something this compact can actually store a good number of pieces. For less than ten dollars, this hanger will hold up to 28 pairs of earrings and 24 necklaces of any length. It literally is a hanger and can be hung up in the closet or hung over a hook on the back of a door.

An ingenious jewelry holder is one designed to keep your rings or necklaces safe while you shower. If you are one of those people who only takes your jewelry off when you bathe, this is the organizer for you. The large hook actually suctions tightly to the wall of your shower or tub. It has a large hook, ensuring your ring will not slip off. If you prefer to anchor it somewhere else, you can attach it to the mirrors by the sink and still have a safe anchor for your precious things.

Medium

A lot of women have a jewelry box to store precious jewelry, but how many have a family photo jewelry box to do the same thing? This cherry-finished jewelry box has a place for a 5-inch-by-7-inch family photograph on the outside of the lid. Engraved beneath the photograph is “Love Family Memories.”

Open up the box and you will find a mirror on the inside, a space that can also be used for a second photograph. There is a lift-out tray that has eight divided spaces, a ring tray and a longer tray for necklaces. Underneath the tray is one large compartment to store bigger pieces. Lined with ivory-colored suede fabric, this box will hold a medium-sized collection.

Jewelry Stax might be another solution for those with medium-sized collections. You can collect as many Jewelry Stax – or trays – as you need, depending on how much jewelry you have. The trays can either be stacked on top of the dresser or stored safely in a drawer to save space. You select the number and styles of trays you need to handle your collection. They are made of styrene with blue velvet liners. The sizes vary from five compartments to 9, 18 and 36-compartment trays. There are also trays designed to hold rings and another for necklaces.

Large

Armoires are often the answer for those with a large jewelry collection. They hold the most jewelry and give you the opportunity to space it out so pieces do not become entangled.

An over-door mirror armoire is an interesting way to organize your jewelry. From the outside, it looks like a full-length, shatterproof mirror. But swing open the door, and you will find hooks for some 36 necklaces, slots for 48 earrings and trays to hold 96 rings. And that’s not all. There are another 12 compartments to hold those miscellaneous pieces like watches and bracelets. There is also a mirror on the inside, so you do not have to close the armoire to see how your jewelry looks on you. All of this is securely anchored over a bedroom or bathroom door. The wood frame measures 14 inches wide by 48 inches high by 4 inches deep.

If you are looking for something more permanent, consider a wall-mounted jewelry armoire. This beautiful resin-framed mirror hangs on any wall. It graces the room with a repetitive floral applique on the frame. Measuring a roomy 17 inches wide by 47 inches high and 5 inches deep, the armoire offers additional security with a lock and key. You can choose from oak or cherry finishes.

Without a doubt, a great jewelry organizer can make your life a lot simpler while keeping your jewelry rotation much more varied than usual. Find the perfect organizer for your collection now.

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