• COLLECTOR'S CORNER: Part Two, What is Fred Harvey Era Jewelry?

    If you love Native American jewelry, with its rich use of turquoise and silver, you may have run across the term “Fred Harvey jewelry.” Who was Fred Harvey, and why is the association important, considering Harvey was neither a Native American, nor a silversmith?
  • THE SILVER TRAIL: What is a Hallmark? A Trademark? And other questions about silver marking systems

    Since ancient times, silver has been one of the most captivating and beautiful materials used to make decorative objects and jewelry. Silver offers an incomparable look, and has been offered in the form of gifts since 3100 BC, when envoys from Crete offered vases to the Egyptians. Silver coins were so valued, that the Romans placed one or more under the mast or in the keel of a ship for good luck. In 1300, King Edward I of England, standardized silver by declaring sterling must be 925 parts/1000, and creating a system of assaying by guildsmen.

    Sterling silver has been much admired for personal adornment through the ages. It is easy to wear, strong, and can be made into endless designs and styles.

    While nearly everyone recognizes sterling silver 925, both vintage and antique jewelry employs a variety of assays, or "responsibility marks," which gives us clues as to where and when each piece might have originated.
  • COLLECTOR'S CORNER: PART ONE, Passionate about Vintage & Antique Enamels

    Like many collectors, I like to explore and find new things that interest me. My first jewelry collection, over 30 years ago, was hand painted porcelain brooches. I loved their delicacy, and tried to imagine the stories of the artists who painted them. That little collection sprouted into a general passion for vintage and antique jewelry, and has grown into many branches of interest on my “jewelry collecting tree.”

    One collecting area that continues to intrigue and delight me is sterling silver enameled jewelry.

    Adding color to fine jewelry is an art form, and includes such skilled techniques as guilloché and champlevé enameling.

    How to care for vintage and antique sterling silver jewelry in order to maintain its value and beauty.