Monday, 11 January 2016

How do I value my old costume jewellery?

Can you value my old costume jewellery? This is the most asked for question that comes through to Jewels & Finery. How do you value your costume jewelry? Because this is something that we are unable to do for you. Here is how it is quite easy to do yourself. It just takes time and the ability to use the search function on any of the search engines. Though I would recommend that you use the Google search first.

black diamante vintage costume necklace 1960s
Black diamante vintage necklace 1960s of age.
Okay - to start make sure that you have costume jewellery - also known as fashion jewellery or not made of precious metal (silver, gold or platinium) Get a magnifyer or lens to look at the back, the clasp and sides of your piece. Look for a mark - take your time with this and look very closely at all parts of your brooch, necklace, bracelet, etc. If you do not know what the mark is that you find - then use the search engines to see if you can trace it.  Remember that if you have a very old piece of antique jewellery that it may not be marked gold/silver.

If your costume jewellery is damaged ie - stones missing, clasp broken, links broken, etc. This will devalue your piece considerably. It may only be of use to use as repair or spares. Then sell it with any other broken jewellery on Ebay or give to a crafter friend. 

So now you have confirmed that you have costume jewellery or otherwise. You may have found a makers mark. So again do your research and look up about the maker, then look at a range of similar jewellery to find an average value.  You may be able to find the actual piece you have, which will make it much easier to value.

amber glass vintage costume bracelet by Sphinx
Amber glass vintage costume bracelet by Sphinx
Remember the price is the amount that is the resale value. The price that it will sell for - if there is someone willing to pay this amount. It may sell straight away or however can take some considerable time to sell if it will sell at all.

If your wanted to sell to a jewellery dealer - then you will not get anywhere near this resale amount. Dealers will deduct 2/3rds or more of the price they want to buy it at. This will give them enough profit to make it worth their while. Because they have to build in costs of their shop's property/rates/ website costs/promotions and not forgetting staff wages. If you are selling online then they will need to consider the postage costs and also the packaging. Selling a single item is more costly that many pieces because of the time facture of getting this piece ready for sale - cleaning and then listing. so do not be suprised if the dealer's offer is very low.

No markings on your costume jewellery - then look at the age of your piece. Make an estimate at what you know of its age. Then do a search of jewellery from that decade. Does your piece fit in with the style of that decade? If not try a decade before or after - continue until you find an estimate on how old your costume jewellery is. From this it will be easier to make a search of the similar pieces of that era for an estimate of value.

As with all antiques and collectibles they can go up and down in value depending on the fashion. It may be advisable that you just keep your jewellery safe for a few more years - until it either comes back in fashion or the price increases.

yellow and white bone china flower brooch
Yellow and white bone china brooch
 I am sorry but Jewels & finery do not give valuations. Nor do we buy jewellery via the internet or otherwise. we have our own sources of buying our jewellery and accessories for resale.

If you do a search and find that you have a considerable amount of valuable jewellery. Then I would suggest that you seek advice through a quality auction house local to you or one in London.              

Friday, 27 November 2015

Black Friday sale on our Jewels jewellery

Yes in line with every other website - we have a Black Friday sale on. From now until Sunday at midnight. Use our Jewels jewellery code of M102 at the checkout and get a discount of 10%.
We love jewellery including vintage and handmade. View our collectible ornaments and pomanders. Get a little chic retro kitchen ware and much more. Fabulous jewellery and accessories vintage, antique handmade and recycled

Black Friday sale at Jewels & Finery

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Is my marcasite jewellery real?

Is my marcasite jewellery real? This was a question asked by someone who had just purchased marcasite jewellery from elsewhere. Now this is a complicated question as the term marcasite has been adapted over the years to include many different materials.

Victorian marcasite and before.

Originally marcasite jewellery was invented to be a cheaper option than diamonds and to glitter when worn under candle light. Most antique marcasite was therefore the mineral pyrite embeded into silver. Marcasite has been around for centuries including the Roman period and became even popular in the Victorian period. It can be seen in Art Nouveau pieces as well. Marcasite itself is a gemstone mineral that is too brittle to be used in jewellery, so was never used!

Into the twentieth century.

Now as the years past, marcasite jewellery remained silver until the fifties and early sixties when silver started to become more expensive. Originally the marcasite were fused by heat into the silver settings. But as the years pasted and glue became a better option and much cheaper to use in manufacturer. So the pyrite was glued into place. However when silver prices increased, silver colored metal was used instead of real silver. Now you need to look very closely at marcasite brooches, earrings and necklaces from the mid twentieth century to determine whether they are of silver or silver metal. Because many are unsigned, you can test the metal - but this does leave a mark. If the marcasite stones are all intact then this is a quality piece that has stood the test of time.


Macasite jewellery is till produced today and can be of silver - it will be marked as such either 925 or sterling. Or it can be purely costume and made from a polished silver or gold colored metal. It should say what it is in the description, when buying.

Look-a-like marcasite.

Through out the years there has been many look-a-like marcasite pieces. These are when they pattern has been produced to have the maracasite stone look included. They are of one metal and you need to look closely to see. there is also the famous Charles Horner polished jewellery that have indentations that shine and are of an aluminium material.

Charles Horner peacock brooch
Charles Horner faux marcaste look a like peacock

I like marcasite jewellery, but really I wear what I like whether its expensive or not.

cat brooch - false marcasite
Studded cat brooch - the raised metal has that "marcasite look. But it is not marcasite jewellery 

Tulip marcasite jewellery
Mid twentieth century tulip in marcasite
marcasite eagle brooch
Eagle brooch in marcasite

marcasite deer jewellery
Deer in marcasite - popular 50s theme

marcasite costume owl brooch

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Life is too short to wear boring earrings

Life is just too short to wear boring earrings. This is our jewellery quote for today and forever! Show casing a pair of vintage snake earrings that are a clipped style available to purchase now. But be quick as once this one of a kind pair are gone - they are gone for good.

life too short to wear boring earrings

So have a great day and don't forget - don't be boring!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Nickel free earrings and allergy reactions explained

Many people nowadays have a reaction to nickel and wish to buy nickel free earrings. Allergy and allergic reactions seem to have increased. An allergic reaction happens when a certain chemical comes into contact with your skin or is ingested and causes an inflammatory negative process it may happen on your skin, internally or systematic. Unfortunately because most of our components for earrings comes from China and Asian countries - we no longer have any control over what metals or chemicals are being used.

Some gold, silver (silver plate or sterling silver, 925 silver) and platinum can also contain nickel.
Vintage and pre owned from the 1990s may also contain nickel.

Nickel, nickel, nickel seems to be in many things.

Unfortunately even if the jewellery makers strive to have nickel free stuff - the Chinese or Asian supplier will use what ever is the cheapest and swear its nickel free. What are the jewellery makers going to do? If enough people complain they will stop buying from that supplier. But the Chinese/Asians will find some one else unbeknown to sell to as nickel free. Maybe if we brought the manufacturing industry back to the UK with our stricter controls that would be more useful?

Hypo-allergenic earrings. Well that's okay but they still may contain nickel and what are the allergens these earrings aimed at? Some people are allergic to enamel, silver, gold, even the nail varnish some use to coat the earring backs to make them less irritating.

Myself  I am allergic to many things. I have a gold ring that I can only wear for a short while as it makes my finger red and itchy. I am also allergic to cucumber which I can eat. But put on my face and red wheels appear. Not that cucumber has anything to do with nickel free earrings. That is life my friends....

Here are some photographs of our earring unfortunately not guaranteed nickel free, because of their age.

Red plastic square clipped earrings
Blue plastic earrings with post backs
Monet made earrings that are probably nickel free

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Bank Holiday Blues

Lets get down to some Bank Holiday Blues.. Well it is the Bank Holiday weekend for early May and its of course raining here in Solihull! Now do we expect anything else - no. It is not much to ask for a little sunshine and dry weather. To cheer you up our jewellery quote has a very vintage almost antiqued dark blue rhinestone brooch to covert. So what ever the weather, just enjoy this once in a lifetime weekend.

blue rhinestone brooch on our jewellery quote

Friday, 24 April 2015

Swimmimg with the fish - dolphin brooch

Hope you like our "swimming with the fish" dolphin brooch quote for today. Because it has been such a beautiful April with the weather warm and sunny. This quote was inspired by yesterdays activity. Cleaning the garden pond and filters. A yucky job. But I was surprised on how many fish we had left. Having caught the heron on the pond in February - it had managed to work its way through my heron pond defences!
So having just added this dolphin brooch to our fish jewellery collection last week. Here is the swimming with fish quote.


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Part owner of Jewels and Finery UK website. We sell vintage jewellery right up to new designer jewellery and accessories. Love being different and unique as well as unusual. Learn about the history of jewellery as well as looking at beautiful jewels