TOP 10 blue vintage costume jewelry categories

 Jewelry author, collector and dealer Kathy Flood lists her favorite blue vintage costume jewelry to look for in 2011.

Blue Bakelite. The chromatic names assigned to this prized old plastic (phenolic formaldehyde) are delicious, as in Tomato Sauce, Butterscotch and … Blue Moon is one of the scarcer colors. And translucent Prystal Bakelite, plus its sister, Catalin, may also be found in this color spectrum. Riveting blue Galalith gets prize ribbons in jewelry by Guillemette L’Hoir Paris and Marie-Christine Pavone.

Blue Lucite. Elzac used stunning sapphire Lucite in pins to achieve everything from hats (on its “Victims of Fashion”) to waves on which ceramic ducks float. Also, collectors of wartime sterling “jelly belly” brooches, so named for the Lucite centers of the (frequently) figural shapes, keep an eye out for rarer tinted Lucite specimens, as with the desirable blue-belly monkey. 

Blue stones.
Glittering exceptions to tame-granny style stones are legion, such as DeLizza & Elster’s lavish lake-blue parures. Designer Sol Finkelstein was partial to blue stones in his work for Reja, from his 1940s Martian and housefly to sunflower or Atomic Bomb set – as well as using blue glass moonstones in glamorous seahorses and as accents in the “Gardenesque” and “Africana” series.

Turquoise. Maybe we don’t all know all the names of the mines from which the variously shaded stones of the sky are extracted, but there’s still nothing as earthy as Southwest turquoise in its many blue permutations coloring Native American jewelry.

Turquoise glass beads.
Faux turquoise bead cabochons are key accents in costume-jewelry masterpieces, a real trademark of many Eisenberg creations, including most-wanted rarities such as Puss ’n Boots or the jeweled-comet figural. 

Blue “jade.” Trifari did a Ming series starring simulated carved green jadeite, but rare pieces to fervently watch for are blue Ming versions: for example, the red-enameled frog of 1942.

Blue enamel. Many designers graced their work with enameled blues, but perhaps the quintessential cloak is the fired cobalt of David Andersen’s Norwegian classics.

Blue glass leaves. Miriam Haskell’s glass leaves were most often green or white, but keep an eye out, too, for cobalt-blue leaves mixed with, say, luscious periwinkle beads. Besides leaves, Haskell’s creations show up with blue wood, celluloid, beads and crystals.

Blue “fruit salad.” Actually, let’s call this a Trifari trifecta of blues, in its fruit-salad stones, moonstones and demilune stones, all coveted. The 1941 “chalcedony” series, including bird, wheelbarrow, floral spray and turtle, boasts frosted and engraved blue stones shaped like fruits. The pale blue half-moon stones of 1942 are among Trifari’s most elegant concoctions.

Blue resin. More molded-resin figural pins in gold-plated frame shapes have been showing up on the market lately, mostly Eastern- or Asian-influenced personages, signed Hattie Carnegie, Kenneth J. Lane — or unsigned. In a turquoisey-aquamarine tone, they fetch high prices when signed.

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

More from Kathy Flood

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


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