I adore vintage and antique jewelry though I don’t wear a lot. Some of my favorites are big sterling silver and gem crosses, bohemian garnet pieces and sterling silver charm bracelets. And I love buying jewelry for my online business, but it’s time-consuming finding good items to buy at a price that leaves a reasonable profit. That’s always the
problem challenge isn’t it?!
Now I rarely find any jewelry at my neighborhood thrift store. Most of the items that appear in the locked glass cases are newer, lower-value items. Sometimes it’s just plain junk. But yesterday the store was nearly empty and I had a sales clerk at my beck and call so I had her pull out a number of pieces. Two were actually worth buying! It felt like a minor victory. Honestly I was ecstatic!
My first pick was this antique carved bone C-clasp brooch. It has a tiny bit of damage on a couple of tips, but nothing egregious. Just a sweet thing. Typically these Victorian pieces don’t sell for a lot but I thought it was worth buying. I’ll give it a quick cleaning before I list it.
And then I spotted this over-the-top rhinestone brooch with a good dose of aurora borealis crystals and a cabochon in the middle that features a what I believe is known as a “weeping gold” finish.
It’s unsigned, but big, heavy and in good shape. It includes a safety catch, a pendant loop and prong-set crystals and rhinestones.
I looked at this for over a minute doing a yes/no debate in my head and came to the conclusion that there was something about it. It was just too fabulous to leave behind.
After 20 minutes of research at home (love the internet!) I discovered it was a vintage Juliana D&E (DeLizza & Elster) Easter egg brooch. It appears mine may be missing two red stones on the side (see the one below from Worthpoint). Perhaps mine was made that way but more likely it was altered. Still it looks great, though purists may not appreciate the alteration.
I’m so happy I decided to take a chance on it.
I may not find many jewelry items at this Goodwill store (the best donations get put online), but these two buys reminded me that it pays to keep looking as a few sleepers do make it to the case!
Last year I found this fabulous 1950s/60s Eugene Schultz crystal necklace. It’s one of my favorite thrift store jewelry finds.
And last autumn I spotted this butterscotch bakelite dress/fur clip in the case. Not valuable but so reminiscent of the ’40s I couldn’t resist it.
This abstract pin, likely a Takashi Honda piece, is a thrift store find from two years ago. I’m surprised it hasn’t sold yet because it’s so interesting.
Here’s an aventurine stone necklace I bought last year at one of the most run-down thrift stores I go to. I only visit this store about three times a year and have never, ever found jewelry worth buying. But here’s what sold me on this simple piece. It has a substantial sterling silver box clasp and is hand knotted.
So while thrift stores are not a huge jewelry source for me they have yielded some “gems.” (Did I hear a few groans?!)
Would love to hear about your thrift store jewelry scores.
Wishing you health and happy hunting in this trying season,
I really enjoy your writings on your finds and experiences, Karen.
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Many thanks Brian. I have a lot of fun doing it!