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vintage earrings

Designer Vintage Jewelry & Vintage Home Decor

The Jewelry Collection of

Veronica's Passions

costume jewelry

Invest in What You Love

Welcome to a life-long collection of  Genuine Antique, Art Deco, and Designer Vintage Jewelry plus Vintage Home Decor & Art

 

art deco necklaces

There is a hierarchy to the destruction of what was once the US designer jewelry business mecca.

It was costume jewelry that started the entire global fashion industry.
The costume jewelry industry was brought to the US by immigrants from the old world with skills and molds who started everything we know as fashion jewelry, fashion clothes, and designer styles today. In other words, there was no such thing as designer labels or brand name clothes and accessories before the costume jewelry industry.

Designer jewelry production boomed from the 1920s up thru the 1960s. During this era, there were over 10,000 US designer jewelry manufacturers in business in the US overall.

They came from many countries and set up productions warehouses mainly in NYC, Providence RI, and a few towns in MA. They were highly skilled tradesmen with secrets of the trade from Italy, Germany, England, Russia, Israel, Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, Spain, The Netherlands, and more. They had connections in the old world and imported gemstones, crystals, glass beads, and rhinestones the likes of which had never been seen before in the US. They were masters at recreating exquisite jewelry worn by royalty and high society. It was a highly valued trade as even when Napoleon invaded Russia, he stole all of the jewelry molds from the iron factories in Russia.

In about the 1960s, Japan switched from making traditional fine sterling jewelry, Cloisonne jewelry, and other fine jewelry like Damascene to glass, crystal, and other metal jewelry that imitated contemporary US jewelry designers. Jewelry that was less expensive to produce, and mass produced, and Japan made some incredible jewelry no doubt. Japan even imported beads and crystals from Europe as they had no big production lines for such.  They "borrowed" the idea to import from Europe as US jewelry designers had the European bead and crystal market cornered. But, this effort was highly unsuccessful as US jewelry designers had the costume jewelry market safely cornered.

Before, during, and after the Korean war in the 1950s , North Korea took a stab at making and exporting jewelry to the US. So did the Philippines, and then came Hong Kong jewelry. China was nowhere in the market at all. China didn't enter the export jewelry market until the late 1970s and by the 1980s, they put Japan, North Korea, the Philippines, and Hong Kong out of the jewelry export business altogether.

But Hong Kong, Korea, and the Philippines : They really stood out of the crowd because they made some of the most unusual, wild, eccentric designs that were a far cry from anything else on the market from any country, including the US. They were the Mardi-Gras of vintage costume jewelry imports.

Never dismiss vintage jewelry that is signed Hong Kong or Korea. Most of what was made in the Philippines is not signed. They are important and were short-lived designs in costume jewelry history and will continue to appreciate in value if kept in excellent condition. 

With the exception of two or three US designers still in business for jewelry production mainly for home shopping jewelry channels, all the great US designers are extinct. The list of defunct US jewelry designers is an exhausting long list that includes Sarah Coventry, Monet, Trifari, Napier, Coro, Miriam Haskell, Hattie Carnegie, Weiss, Juliana, Kenneth J Lane, Eisenberg, ART, and so many more I could go on forever.

If you see new jewelry in a department store for sale with any of these signatures, know it is not real!  Almost all trademark names were sold to China or became defunct a long time ago. The jewelry produced in China under these names pales in comparison to the quality of the originals and carries no value.

 

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