For collectors of Art Deco Costume Jewelry, the period between the two world wars was a hugely productive time and there are many wonderful pieces to collect.
And let's face it, good design never goes out of fashion.
Designers such as Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli had made costume jewelry fashionable and wearable by all. Chromium, paste, diamante, glass, and marcasite were just a few of the materials used to create Art Deco costume jewellery to complement the new fashions of the the fun loving flappers.
Expensive enamel could be imitated by the new techniques of painting on metal.
The early plastics such as Bakelite and Celluloid came into their own not just in imitating ivory, horn or tortoiseshell but in a range of brilliant colours which did not try to hide these materials for what they were. They came to express a luxury of their own.
A whole host of designers, particularly in the United States, grew out of the demand for affordable costume jewelry.
They embraced the Art Deco geometric, oriental and Egyptian designs of the day, and made quality pieces which are highly collectable.
These makers are well-known for the quality of their stones:
These makers are well-known for their excellent Art Deco Designs:
In collecting vintage costume jewelry today, there is a huge choice out there, so it is relatively easy to find pieces which are still wearable and in excellent condition. Look for great design, bright stones and good condition.
If a piece is signed its going to be worth more, but there are also many great unsigned pieces around. An enormous amount of jewelry was exported from Czechoslovakia between the wars, and the quality of the glass in these pieces is usually excellent.
I still like hunting on eBay as there is a lot of choice and you can see if a buyer is trustworthy from their feedback rating. Here are some current listings on eBay USA, UK and Australia:
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