Vintage blue costume jewelry is this year’s hot new trend

Color collectors turn happy when things turn cerulean


featuredImage
Lady swims the blues: Eisenberg mermaid in sterling with blue beads and stones sold for $3,100. Jewelry and photo courtesy George Jividen, Jivin Jewels on Ruby Lane.

There are grandmas and there were grandmas, just as there’s blue … and there’s blue.

The 21st-century granny is often a different species from the 1950s gram — about as unalike as big blue-moon Bakelite bangles and dainty sapphire-rhinestone circle pins by Weiss (which can only be described as wickedly unsexy).

My own fantastic nanny didn’t drive, wore tint-blue hair in tight perm curls and walked in shoes that made it look like something was seriously wrong with her feet, even though nothing was. Compare her with several current G-mothers: gray hair down to their waists, wearing black boots when not in stilettos, and, on the weekends not baking cookies but riding Harleys.

The analogy of grammies came to mind, because blue jewelry is often slammed as the domain of yesteryear’s little old ladies. But the factor of blue in jewels arose as a column subject while trying to purchase an Eisenberg Original ballerina brooch. The seller wanted a premium because the stones were azure, less common than ballerinas with emerald or topaz in their tutus. That relative rarity holds true across the spectrum of Eisenberg Original figurals — uncommon anyway, and more so when the crystal colors cozy up to cyan. For example, while you might be able to snag a highly desirable Eisenberg Original sterling mermaid with lemony-citrine stones and beads for, let’s say, $1,500 to $2,000, the Eisenberg Original aqua lady hued in blue fetched $3,100.

Not only is indigo blue (especially with rust) on the go-to fashion palette for Spring 2011 (memo to dealers: Dig out all things old and blue), but the shade, from robin’s egg to Smurf, is a big deal across the antiques and collectibles spectrum.

While staid little pieces of jewelry done in pale sapphire- or Montana-blue rhinestones often elicit responses ranging from “ick” to “blech” among collectors, even blue rhinestones can make modern hearts race, if they came out of the hands of certain jewelry houses and designers, especially pre-1950s. Mazer’s flamboyant, famed flower spray of magnificent 1941 proportion is a desirable brooch despite its bourgeois array of blues. Both Staret and Chanel Novelty (not Coco’s house of Chanel, which is still often confused and misrepresented) used blue stones and enameling to dramatic effect in their 1940s flowers. And both Dior and DeLizza & Elster infused even 1950s blues with the wow factor via luxurious design.

 The blues are inevitable this time of year, but, in jewelry, blues have been known to produce a seasonal high.

READ MORETOP 10 blue vintage costume jewelry categories


Warman’s Jewelry
Identification & Price Guide, 4th Edition
Warman’s Vintage Jewelry
Identification and Price Guide
Answers to Questions About Old Jewelry



MORE RESOURCES FOR ANTIQUE COLLECTORS and DEALERS

Special discount prices on great books, digital downloads, price guides & reference books for every hobby

Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles 2011 Price Guide

Antique Trader Facebook PageMeet and share with other antiques collectors, dealers and auctioneers on Antique Trader’s Facebook page

Antique Trader Twitter ProfileGet special discounts and breaking news alerts on Antique Trader’s Twitter feed!

Browse (or place your own) FREE online classified ads

Sign up for your FREE AntiqueTrader.com email newsletters

For more trade news, auction reports, research and expert columnists, get a year of Antique Trader magazine for the special online price of just $24.98!

Antiques Auction Houses

 

 

More Images:

featuredImage
Gianfranco Ferre 1980s blue Lucite bangle bracelet with simulated sapphires and diamonds, $549. Jewelry and photo courtesy Sharon Martin, Sharon's Sparkles on Ruby Lane
featuredImage
Hattie Carnegie Asian Princess brooch with turquoise-blue resin face, $425. Jewelry and photo courtesy Wanda Jean Smith at Distinctively Charmed on Ruby Lane.
featuredImage
David Andersen Norway electric-blue full parure, $375. Jewelry and image courtesy Tammy Grover at Above & Beyond Vintage Jewelry on Ruby Lane

Leave a Reply