Costume, or fashion, jewelry sold in department stores and home shopping network shows will likely never appreciate in value. Vintage costume jewelry from the 1900's through the late 1960's, however, is another story entirely. Vintage costume necklaces produced by companies like Bogoff and Eisenberg can literally command hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. Not too bad considering they were sold brand new for a fraction of what these pieces can command on the market today.
Some vintage pieces are rarer than other making them more valuable if other factors are held constant. The great diversity of manufacturers also created vast differences in batch sizes. Profits tend to be lower when talking about pieces made by the larger players like Coro and Accessocraft who produced jewelry in large batches. Barclays, DeMario, and many of the smaller companies had limited facilities and that tended to have far smaller batches.
As they are so much rarer, those pieces from the smaller companies almost always sell for more than something from one larger manufacturers. But be careful because even the larger players would run small batches that today today command top dollar on the market. This is why you really need to know your stuff if you want to really want to find the good stuff!
A piece of jewelry can be rare but command little demand and thus be reliably worthless. The market can be fickle so while some vintage designs are valuable in all market conditions, some are only hot for a moment and then relatively worthless. Profits tend to be highest for investors when they do their homework and avoid purchasing pieces that like as opposed to the ones they know to be profitable.
Seasoned investors sometimes avoid collecting the signed vintage pieces after-all, everyone is already looking out for them, right? This is actually a practical strategy because the truth is that the vast majority of vintage costume pieces are actually unsigned. To identify the more profitable unsigned necklaces and other pieces, seasoned collectors tend to use design hits as the best way to locate pieces by specific manufacturers.
The quality of the materials and construction methods are another pair of factors that tend to greatly affect pricing. There were some companies that were famous for using gemstones of exceptional quality with many of the pieces remaining unsigned. Such companies were:
- Miriam Haskell
Vintage costume jewelry helped define the Roaring Twenties. Originating in Europe but taken to new heights in both design and manufacture when bought to America after WWI, costume jewelry is a standard in almost every jewelry box. After selling for only a few dollars when brand new, many vintage costume necklaces, brooches, and other authentic pieces can be worth $ 40- $ 1,000-several times their original purchase price! So the next time you are browsing the Internet for gift ideas for Mom, give her something that will not only transport her back in time to another era-but may just become her next big hobby!