My most popular post is one I wrote almost four years ago titled “Why I Don’t Buy Jewelry Jars.” Comments and messages on it have been lively over the years with some folks imploring me to give jewelry jars a try. Sadly I still haven’t found one worth buying. Not one!
And to be honest I would rather cherry pick individual items for my store–items that have quality and craftsmanship. This month I have been buying some wonderful pieces that I plan on listing soon. None of these was a bargain or a “steal” except for perhaps the belt buckle. These fall in the “slightly undervalued” category, meaning I paid up for them, but hopefully I’ll make at least a modest profit.
Here are the details…
Bought: vintage 4-strand natural coral bead necklace/choker
Why: Coral is a controversial material. Here in the U.S. it is now illegal to harvest and/or export it…which is good news as coral reefs are important to the health of the ocean and its ecosystems. That said, a lot of newer pieces sold as coral are actually dyed sea bamboo or shell and I don’t appreciate that fraud. So when I spot older pieces like this necklace from Hawaii (circa 1930-1950), I see them as treasures. I was planning on dismantling this and selling each 20″ strand as jewelry supply, but it is so lovely, I’m having second thoughts.
Price (with shipping and tax): $55
Listing price will be: $90
Bought: a vintage/antique silver Southwestern belt buckle with turquoise and claws
Where: YouTube vlogger’s online store
Why: Southwestern/Native American jewelry is still popular. The seller didn’t know if this was sterling silver or not, but I was fairly certain it was and it did test as sterling! The claws show wear and there is a bit of glue residue (which I may try to remove), but it is signed. I was hoping the signature (“VP”) was either for Native American Vincent Pinto or Vincent Platero, but the mark is not quite right for either. Part of me is tempted to keep this and turn it into a bold pendant!
Price (with shipping and tax): $48
Listing price will be: $250
Bought: vintage/antique hat pin with a carved bone daisy and lady bug
Where: Junior League thrift store
Why: While these older, long hat pins aren’t used in today’s fashion, there are plenty of collectors! And I found this daisy with a sweet lady bug rather a refreshing change from the gaudier beads and intricate metal designs usually found at the end of Victorian hat pins.
Price (with tax): $28
Listing price will be: $75
Bought: vintage/antique tiny Guilloché enamel on sterling silver hand-painted rose hat pin
Where: Junior League thrift store
Why: This is a sweet, quality pin that I know someone will want!
Listing price will be: $50
Bigger versions of this typically sell for over $100.
Bought: vintage/antique Bohemian garnet bar pin
Price (with tax and shipping): $53
Why: Okay, I adore Bohemian garnet jewelry. Period. And while this piece is simple, it’s a classic design with lovely deep red stones. This pin will be one for someone to treasure for decades to come.
Listing price will be: $95
While all of these items will be long tail and the profit modest, I am pleased with them. They are all things I would be happy to have in my own jewelry box.
Would love to hear about the jewelry you’re buying these days. And if you have had success with jewelry jars, please do share.
As always, happy hunting,
P.S. The Victorian coral cross at the top of this post is one I bought for myself. I have a modest collection of “big crosses” that I wear all the time.