Fresh costume jewelry club formed online, in print

The newly formed Costume Jewelry Collectors International is launching a fresh, new Web site and quarterly print publication for friends and fans of both contemporary and vintage jewelry. CJCI welcomed its first members into the organization in early January to kick off 2010.

CJCI was created after Lucille Tempesta, founder of Vintage Fashion and Costume Jewelry Newsletter and Club (VFCJ), announced her retirement in the last issue of the newsletter published late last year. VFCJ published for about 20 years and hosted a convention for the last 16 years, becoming the backbone of a group dedicated to the history and dazzle of the highly-collectible jewelry. The final VFCJ convention was held in October 2009.

“VFCJ brought together a vast network of jewelry collectors and hobbyists over the years,” said Melinda Lewis, CSCI co-founder. “We want to continue the tradition of a print-based publication focusing on jewelry collecting and the bi-annual convention we’ve all come to know and love. Pamela Wiggins and I looked at our respective talents and decided together we could do that and much more.”

In addition to publishing a full-color quarterly magazine-style newsletter and planning a convention for jewelry collectors in 2011, CJCI has created its own online social network where members can gather to share information on costume jewelry and discuss their collections.

“We look forward to continue serving our jewelry collecting friends through this new member-based organization, but intend to take it much further than ever before,” said Pamela Wiggins, who is partnering with Lewis in co-founding CJCI. “We recognize the appreciation for jewelry design, history, and adornment is far-reaching, and we want our online component to connect jewelry lovers across the globe.”

Lewis, a long-time jewelry collector, historian, and stylist (, is currently completing a book on Napier jewelry. Her dedication to educating collectors about vintage jewelry makes her uniquely qualified to serve as co-editor of CJCI’s new publication.

Wiggins, the expert guide to antiques for (, will lend her expertise as an author, editor and jewelry enthusiast to CSCI’s publication. Her experience leading local clubs for vintage costume jewelry collectors, which includes planning numerous successful conventions, will also benefit CSCI’s membership.

Both Lewis and Wiggins are ardent users and proponents of social media, including Facebook, Twitter and more specialized groups focusing on costume jewelry-related topics. This experience will assist them in fostering an online community and communicating with CSCI members in a timely manner.

“We foresee this as a way to share news with our members and ask for input on projects that will make our print-based publication stellar,” said Lewis. “The ways our members can assist one another, however, are endless.”

CJCI yearly memberships are available at several different levels ranging from $25 to $35. Memberships for $30 and $35 include a listing in the club’s member directory.
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