New Items at Vintage Jewelry Online.com
This month’s newest collection features some truly amazing and alluring items, including a 1930’s theatrical ruby and paste bracelet that was actually made for Broadway, a Georg Jensen art nouveau influence sterling fish pin that is beautifully designed, and an unbelievable Renaissance Revival Citrine and Pearl bracelet made of 800 silver. To celebrate summer, I listed three lucite 1950’s purses that are so much fun to use during the balmy weather so make sure you check out our accessories section this month. Another WWII Miriam Haskell pin is also among June’s listing. To see them all in a group, click here
Here are this months featured items. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed finding them, The new featured highlights are found on the home page and include: (Can you guess which one is my favorite?)
- a gray pearlized lucite signed Nelson Original purse #AA-00040
- a dramatic unbelievable cherry ruby & paste Deco theatrical bracelet #AO-00036
- a hard to find Miriam Haskell WWII wood & glass dangle pin #CS-00207
- a beautiful Georg Jensen mid-century art nouveau fish pin #CE-00044
- a charming pair of painted penguin clips possibly Du Jay #CU-00058
- an Austrian Renaissance Revival Citrine and Pearl Bracelet #FS-00032
- an intricate book chain Victorian necklace and signed locket #VE-00222
How to Determine the Difference Between Decorative Paint & Enamel
A while ago I found some gorgeous black enamel cuff links and just knew they were the perfect gift for a friend. Come to find out they weren’t enamel, but decorative paint! It’s a more common mistake than we think so I thought I would share the 6 points of differentiation I received from Derek Anastasia, AOA. Derek’s pedigree is impressive. He is a member of the Men’s Jewelry Category Appraiser, Association of Online Appraisers and the Online Appraisal Service ‘Ask The Appraiser’, Enamel Advisor, National Cuff Link Society and the American Society of Jewelry Historians
First let’s review definitions of paint and enamel.
Decorative Paint & Enamel Definitions
Paint is a substance used as a coating to protect or decorate a surface (especially a mixture of pigment suspended in a liquid); it dries to form a hard coating. Paint and paint tracing were both used as a decorative effect similar to enamel on jewelry as far back as the Victorian period.
Enamel is ground, powdered silica (sand) mixed with various oxides for color, bonded by fusion to a heat-softened metal surface in a kiln. The word “enamel” refers to the glass material as well as the finished product.
Types of Enamel (The first three definitions are taken from the American Heritage Dictionary and embellished by me.)
- Champleve’ – A technique of decorating metal in which areas in a groundplate have been hollowed out, as by incising, or engraving are filled with colored enamel and fired. The enamel can be opaque or translucent.
- Cloisonne’ – A Decorative enamelwork in which metal filaments are fused to the surface of an object to outline a design that is filled in with enamel paste. Metal work is designed to create areas or closions in which enamel is placed.
- Guilloche’ – An ornamental border formed of two or more curved bands that interlace to repeat a circular or geometric design. These are most often referred to as engine turned, as these are machine engraved most often using translucent enamel.
- Plique’ a’ jour – probably the most rare type of enamel and most beautiful this type of process was used extensively in Art Nouveau jewelry and decorative objects. The enamel is fired within a metal frame and the backing is removed creating a stained glass effect.
Telling the Difference
If you use these six differentiation points you’ll be able to determine with confidence the difference between the two decorative materials.
- Material. Take a needle or something sharp and gently apply pressure to the “paint” — the pin if dragged across would leave a scratch mark. Enamel being glass and having a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness — the pin would not stick nor would it scratch — it would easily slide away just like on glass.
- Metal. The metal the enamel adheres to needs to be sturdy. If the item is chromium or an aluminum type, the decorative touch is paint. Enamel is fired (melting point) between 1200 to 1600 degrees and materials other than copper, sterling or gold would melt away before it was fired and sealed.
- Clarity. Paint on metal is always opaque and dense. Enamel may be transparent, translucent or opaque (See point #4).
- Density. Paint is applied once in a thin layer. Enamel being glass is applied normally several times building up “thickness” on the metal and repeatedly fired.
- Weight. Painted jewelry will have less weight to them being applied on an aluminum type metal and paint having no pronounced weight itself. Enamel items will have a more significant weight to them for two reasons: a.) Enamel being glass carries weight in and of itself. b.) Enamel is applied to three types of metal, Base Metal (copper alloy), sterling silver and gold — all having weight exceeding aluminum or chromium.
- Composition. The compositions are very different. Paint for metal is a mixture of a pigment and liquid polymers that form a thin adherent coating when spread on the surface. Enamel is ground, powdered glass mixed with various oxides for color, bonded by fusion to a heat-softened metal surface in a kiln.
Jewelry and Fashion Trends
Big showy necklaces made with organic materials like amber, or even kukui nut beads; are definitely what the runways are showing. Oversized beads can be mixed with ribbons, strings, cords, and even metal chains. But if you aren’t into the natural look, combine necklaces of gold using different styles of chains, finishes and size. You can’t go wrong.
- 16″ long oxblood 12mm coral Edwardian necklace #VE-00162
- Red transparent bakelite diamond cut necklace #CB-00155
- Celluloid ceramic & glass French necklace #CB-00039
- Elaborate black jet opera length 66″ long sautoir #VE-00058
Subtle classic earrings are back but they’ve gone through a major change. Go for flowers, naturalistic, and dramatic designs.
- 14k Gold Vintage Pierced Pearl Earrings #FG-00086
- Napier silver plate 3-dimensional floral earrings #CS-00069
- Classy & chic KJL pink molded glass & paste flower earrings #CS-00079
- Stanley Hagler NYC Cluster Faux Pear & Crystal Earrings #CS-00197
Bracelets are more than all right as long as they are stacked and showy even mixing and matching colors and styles and that includes charm bracelets.
- 14k gold good luck 9 charm bracelet #VG-00135
- 10k striking white gold filigree amethyst bracelet #VG-00006
- 15k gold exquisite Etruscan revival bracelet #FG-00029
- 14k white gold, diamond and garnet 1860 bracelet #FG-00030
- 5 Vintage multi-colored over-dyed bakelite bracelets #CB-00058
Texture is big regardless of the piece. In gold and silver it’s all about contrasts, as styles blend in a combination of tone and texture. Try smooth and shiny, or rough and hammered. For spectacular interest, add gemstones to create a fashion statement with high drama.
- Amazing Deco ruby & white paste theatrical bracelet #AO-00036
- Dramatic Czech red & black showy necklace #VE-00032
- Rare gold filled book chain necklace & owl fob #VE-00059
- Celluloid & plastic leave and fruit necklace #CB-00035
Lockets are still hot and the romantics among us will savor this period of drama. Whether they are gold, gold filled, sterling or covered with enamel or jewels these are timeless treasures that never go out of style. See the fabulous:
- Victorian Ornate Book Chain Necklace & Signed Locket #VE-00222
- Museum quality enamel 18th century locket on velvet chain #VE-00051
- Ornate Etruscan 1860 locket #VE-00163