Here’s My List of Top 10 Vintage Jewelry Resource Sites!
People often ask me how to research a piece of costume jewelry. There are many research sites out there, and I’ve compiled my Top 10 list. I’ve created an infographic for the list, with details for each site below. These are not in any particular order, but they are the ten sites I access most often when researching vintage jewelry.
NOTE: You can find them all in one place at MyClassicJewelry.com/Resources and bookmark that page for convenience.
This site has educational resources for Juliana jewelry. Juliana was a line of jewelry produced by DeLizza & Elster (D&E) during the mid 20th Century. D&E and Juliana pieces are very beautiful and collectible. Since the jewelry came with a hang tag and was not signed, it’s important to know how to identify it properly. In addition to educational information, there are many photos of confirmed D&E and Juliana pieces and pieces that have been examined and ruled out as D&E or Juliana. Link: JulianaJewelry.net
The Online Encylopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks, and Makers’ Marks is my “go to” site for silver hallmarks. The site is a great resource for silverware, as well as silver jewelry. It has a section for American Silver Marks, International Silver Marks by country, and other related resources. They’ve recently added a section for Silverplate Trademarks. There’s a forum for asking questions, and some educational articles. The site describes itself as follows: “925-1000.com is the most extensive internet resource for research of Silver Marks, Hallmarks, Trademarks & Maker’s Marks found on Antique and Vintage silver.” I agree and highly recommend this site. Link: 925-1000.com
The most comprehensive database of vintage jewelry patents. Prior to 1955, jewelry designs were not protected by copyright law. The manufacturers invested a great deal of time and money creating their designs, so they applied for patents to protect them. The patent documents are works of art in themselves, because they include the designers’ original drawings. The U.S. Patent office database is not very user friendly. Google Patents is much better, but you do need to know what you are looking for. JewelryPatents.com has jewelry patents and only jewelry patents. You can search by company, date ranges, or patent number ranges (great when you can’t read a digit or two on a piece you have). Link: JewelryPatents.com
This site has articles about designers, vintage jewelry catalogs and brochures, and some vintage ads and patents. But the pages I use the most are the signature pages at the top. There’s a page for each letter of the alphabet with photos and text explaining the various signatures. In some cases there are also dates for the signatures. This site is well worth exploring to increase your vintage jewelry knowledge. Link: IllusionJewels.com/costumejewelrymarks.html
This is the official site of the International Colored Gemstone Association. Although not specific to vintage jewelry, I find it very helpful when researching vintage pieces with gemstones. There is a wealth of information about colored gemstones with excellent photos that show the many varieties of gemstones. Like most of these resource sites, you can spend a lot of time looking, reading, and learning. This site has helped me to identify stones in vintage pieces. Even when I can’t pinpoint the stone exactly, I can at least narrow it down to a few possibilities. Link: Gemstone.org
This is the site of the National Chain Group, which manufactures all types of jewelry chains. Whenever I have a necklace or bracelet with an unusual chain, I go directly to this site and click the “Catalog” link. The names of the chains are listed on the left, and as you click each one, you’ll see very nice photos of that chain style from very thin and delicate to super thick and chunky. After a while, you’ll get pretty good at identifying the most common chain types, such as cable, curb, rope, and snake. Link: NatChain.com
In addition to selling all types of beads and jewelry-making supplies, this site has a wealth of educational information. They have a very extensive Learning Center for jewelry makers, which comes in very handy for those of use who need to make a quick repair on a piece of jewelry. They also have a number of “how to” videos. But if all you need to do is find out what kind of beads your jewelry has, just click the “Beads” link on the left and view the photos to see what you have. Link: ArtBeads.com
Like IllusionJewels.com, the Morning Glory Antiques site has a lot of reference material, such as jewelry marks, articles, ads, catalogs, and some patents. They have an especially good section on Victorian jewelry, with lovely photos. A great sight to browse, look, and learn. Link: MorningGloryAntiques.com
This site has some very nice articles about costume jewelry types, designers, materials, and themes. Each article has a sidebar on the right with photos and links to the most watched eBay auctions in that category. In addition to Costume Jewelry, there are sections for Fine Jewelry, Wristwatches, Clothing, Accessories, and more. If you’d like to see what’s currently popular in vintage jewelry, this is a good site to visit. Link: CollectorsWeekly.com/Costume-Jewelry
This is my own site. I’ve sold a lot of Trifari jewelry over the years and my simple guide shows the Trifari jewelry marks with information about when each mark was used. A great little tool to help you date your Trifari jewelry. Link: MyClassicJewelry.com/Trifari/Marks
Get these Vintage Jewelry Resource sites in one place
Just bookmark my Resources page: MyClassicJewelry.com/Resources – I’ll update it from time to time, too.
Please Comment, Connect, Share, and Sign Up for Updates
I welcome your comments. Do you know of any other great vintage jewelry resource sites? Just click the Comments link below this article and let me know. If you like this article, please use the sharing buttons below to share it with your friends on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and more, or e-mail it to someone who might like it.
To connect with me, use the social buttons in the right sidebar.
I publish at least one new article every week. Make it easy – sign up for updates using the form at the top right or directly below, and you’ll get each new article sent to your inbox automatically.
Thank You! Christine 🙂