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What is Marcasite?
WHAT IS MARCASITE Marcasite  originates from a natural mineral called 'pyrite'. Iron pyrite has a metallic finish and bright sheen. Its innate hardness  allows it to stand up well to scratches and dings over the years, and therefore, vintage marcasite pieces can be found in good condition many years after their creation. Pyrite is found in various parts of the world, but only a small element of it is suitable for the cutting processes necessary to create marcasite jewellery. Marcasite is both elegant and popular and it has been used in many types of jewellery as far back as&n..
 Enamel Use in Jewellery
  ENAMEL USE IN JEWELLERY DESIGN Enamelling is an old technique in which powdered clear glass, or powdered colour glass that has been mixed with pigments, is applied to a metal object and then fired .The powder then melts, flows, and hardens to a durable, smooth vitreous coating which is in essence a layer of pure pigment on a surface. In jewellery this technique is used to make everything from flower petals on a vintage necklace, to a portrait on a old locket necklace,  to the wings on an Art Nouveau dragonfly brooch.     ..
About Norman Grant
A Scottish silver jewellery designer whose work is much prized today is Norman Grant. He was born in Forres, Scotland in 1943 and at the age of 18 started training at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen. Initially he studied graphic design before later moving into silversmithing . Having lived near the coast much of his jewellery designs reflected the natural shapes and details seen in the environment. Flower motifs, trees, seaweed, fish, wave and cloud motifs featured in his work, as well as microscopic plant cell structures. In the late sixties Norman Grant began to produce pieces of jewelle..
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 Bernard Instone Jewellery
BERNARD INSTONE - EARLY LIFE Bernard Instone was born  in 1891 at "Neston Villa" in Kings Norton, Birmingham. In 1903 at the age of 12 he received a scholarship to attend the Central School of Art. His talent shone through and he received two further scholarships to continue his training. He studied  jewellery and practical silversmithing at the Birmingham School of Jewellery in Vittoria Street from 1904 until 1912 where he excelled. While at the school he studied under the famous Arts and Crafts jeweller Arthur Gaskin. After leaving Art School Instone began working at the stud..
Scandinavian Modernism
SCANDINAVIAN MODERNISM Although the 1950's was the decade of design glitz , it had the opposite effect in Scandinavia where a new design esthetic emerged which had a great impact on all areas of design including jewellery. Silver was the preferred metal of choice as Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark had centuries old tradition of silversmithing, and silver was malleable and easy to work with. This allowed designers to mould jewellery into strong angles and abstract shapes. There were political aspects involved too, as silver was cheaper than other metals. This more democrat..
What is Arts and Crafts Jewellery?
ARTS AND CRAFTS JEWELLERS A lot of the ideals of the Art Nouveau design movement were also shared by Arts and Crafts movement jewellers in Northern Europe,  Britain, and the United States. Both movements had deep roots in mid-19th century Britain. Two leading British cultural figures, the philosopher and designer William Morris and the art critic John Ruskin wrote about the dissatisfaction of many craftsmen and artists with industrialisation and the low quality goods it produced. Morris and Ruskin romanticised the medieval handicraft organisations believing that these groups ..
About Niels Erik From (N.E. FROM)
DANISH DESIGNER NIELS ERIK FROM  - EARLY YEARS Danish jeweller and silversmith Niels Erik From ( N.E. From) was born in 1908 and opened his first workshop in 1931 when he was still only twenty-three .  Over the next forty years  Niels Erik went on to become one one of the greats of Danish design, and  created many works including floral-inspired designs often set with semi-precious gemstones. These pieces took inspiration from the Skønvirke style. This was a Scandinavian development that formed part of Denmark’s Art Nouveau and Arts and C..
What is Suffragette Jewellery?
What is Suffragette Jewellery? As the 19th century drew to an end, women began actively looking for better rights, in particular to have their voices heard in government,and The Suffragettes were a group of women campaigning and protesting for the right to vote . This was born out of the Suffragist Movement which started in the 1860s. Many women proudly wore jewellery expressing their support for the suffragette movement, which campaigned for votes for women and womens rights. Suffragette jewellery pieces were instantly recognisable because they were decorated with green, white, and..
Daniel Swarovski and Creation of Swarovski Crystals Towards the end of 19th century, Austrian jeweller Daniel Swarovski created a foil backing that made his high-quality faceted crystals almost indistinguishable from real diamonds. Demand was so great for the crystals  that in 1892 he patented a mechanical cutter so his “faceted stones” could be mass-produced.     Rhinestones named after the Rhine River The family business was first located in the Gablonz area of Bohemia, however, in 1895 Swarovski moved it to Austria close to the Rhine River—his fau..
Scandinavian Jewellery History
Scandinavian Jewellery, Pendants, Rings, and Bracelets influenced by Early Nordic Traditions Although Scandinavia has produced distinctive jewellery since Viking times, the area’s jewellery industry didn’t come into its own until the late part of the 19th century. Before this time, jewellery from the three Scandinavian countries—Sweden Norway, and Denmark was mainly influenced by early Nordic traditions. Embellished pendants,rings and bracelets featured complex knotted designs and symbolic signs and animals . These pieces emphasized their metal materials, in ..
What is a "Parure"? The term "parure" refers to set of jewellery, and to be a true parure the set must consist of three matching items.  A set with only a necklace, plus earrings, a brooch or a bracelet is not generally considered a parure, but is called a demi-parure. Complete Suites of Jewellery The word "parure" comes from the Old French verb for “to adorn,” . Originally a parure referred to a complete wardrobe or suite of jewellery, generally designed to be worn all at once. The idea has its origins in the flamboyance of the Rococo and Baroque&nb..
  What is Gold Vermeil? We use a lot of gold vermeil in our jewellery collections as it allows up to provide precious gemstone earrings, necklaces and bracelets with a quality finish at affordable prices. But what is gold vermeil?  Above : Gold vermeil and aquamarine Necklace Vermeil is an alternative for the common term silver-gilt, or silver plated with gold. Vermeil pieces have the apperance of  gold but are cheaper and lighter than solid gold. To date vemeil has gener..
Weiss Jewellery
Weiss Costume Jewellery  The Weiss costume jewellery company was founded by Albert Weiss in 1942.Before this  Albert gained valuable experience  as a designer for the company Coro during the 1930's. Weiss produced  some of the most beautiful, if somewhat underrated rhinestone costume jewellery of the post World War 2 period. Figural an Floral Earrings and Brooches Weiss were know for their stunning  floral and figural earrings and brooches, although the firm also made various styles of necklaces and bracelets .Although Weiss would never reach th..
Art Deco Style
Art Deco Style In the middle of the 1920s, the Art Nouveau style  gave way to Art Deco, which was very popular throughout the 1930's. Similar to  Art Nouveau, Art Deco had a strong design roots in France, and  the name is thought to have originated  from L’Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Moderne in Paris. France in 1925. Though the phrase was not generally ascribed to the style until 1968, when an English art historian named Bevis Hillier wrote his definitive "Art Deco of the 1920s and 1930s." Art Deco style vintage jewe..
Collecting Brooches and Pins
Different types of Brooches and  Pins, Rhinestone Crystal, Floral, Fake Gemstone Brooches  A vintage brooch or pin  can say a lot about a woman. If she's wearing a sparkly rhinestone-studded Christmas pin, she has immediately expressed her fondness for the season. If her sweater or coat is decorated with a bright Bakelite brooch, she's showing her affection for styles from the 1930’s. And if her top is weighted down by an extravagant floral display, full of  fake rubies, sapphire and emeralds, then perhaps  the message is simply that’s it’s time to have a bit o..
Definition of Jewellery Terms D - F
Definition of Jewellery Terms D - F What is Damascene, Double Clip, and Enamel etc? Here is a short guide to common jewellery terms (D to F) Damascene :  The process of applying silver or gold onto iron or steel to produce intricate patterns. Damascene jewellery often comes from Japan or Spain. Diadem: An ornamented band, often set with gemstones worn around the brow. More recent examples were made in the Art Nouveau style.   Diamante: A diamond substitute made from rock crystal, ac..
  Here are some of our current favourite vintage pieces at Modern Vintage Style in our vintage gems gallery..including jewellery from Dior , Givenchy, and Yves Saint Laurent.    YSL cabochon bracelet                 Norman Grant tree pendant            Aquamarine earrings  Grosse vintage earrings             Stunning YSL multi colour necklace       Freshwater pearl necklace All of..
Gemstone Guide Agate : Part of the chalcedony quartz group of minerals, most common light gray-blue to beige colour or red to brown layers of colour, however also available dyed green, moss, dark reds, orange and mixed colors, hardness 6.5 - 7, It is the alternative birthstone for May and September Amber : An organic fossil resin from amber pine sap, commonly yellow to red brown in color, hardness 2 - 2.5. Amethyst : Part of the quartz group of minerals, usually light to dark violet in translucent colours, with a hardness 7. I is the  modern,tradition,  a..
What is Mizpah Jewellery? Mizpah jewellery was popular during the Victorian era from the mid- to late-1800s and was generally given to a loved one during a period of long separation such as military service or travel. It was generally given as a "forget-me-not," and symbolised a bond of love between two people. Example of Mizpah Jewellery. Mizpah brooch with  bow detail The word Mizpah—comes from the Old Testament (Genesis 31:49, "And Mizpah; for he said, The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent from one another") and can be found marked on a substantial ..
TYPES OF EARRING FITTINGS AND CLOSURES:  There are various types of ear fittings around and you will see a lot of the common terms used in the descriptions of the gemstone and vintage earrings on our website.Here we have a short explanation of the different types of ear fittings and closures availabe.   Continuous Hoop: Used for hoop earrings.  The earring post slides into the end of the hoop. The hoop is hollow, which allows for a seamless appearance. Clip On Earrings: For non pierced ears these have a hinged metal piece to ..
Types of Earrings
EARRING TYPES:  Here we have a explanation of some of the commons terms used when describing different types of earrings. You will see these terms come up  in the description of our gemstone earrings and vintage earrings.   Ball  : Earrings that are ball-shaped.  Sizes and composition may vary. Bar:  These are stationary, rectangular earrings that may or may not drop below the end of the earlobes (i.e. they not move like dangle earrings).  Length will vary. Button: S..
Definition of Jewellery Terms A - C
Definition of Jewellery Terms A - C What is Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Aurora Borealis etc? Here we have a short guide to common jewellery terms: A jour :  An opening in a gemstone setting that allows light to pass through the stone form both sides Aguette: This is a gemstone often a diamond, cut in a rectagular narow shape. Small diamonds cut in this way are frequently used as accents Ajoure: Design with holes punched, drilled or cut into a piece of metal rather than wires which have been bent or formed into the design as is done with&..
Dating Brooches by Type of Clasp or Fastening
How to Date a Brooch by its Clasp or Fastening If you enjoy collecting brooches and pins and are wondering how old is this brooch, pin, necklace or bracelet then sometimes it will be fairly easy to determine age as the jewellery will often be marked with stampings that relate to certain time periods over the years. If however the jewellery is unmarked then there are other ways to determine age. Looking at the clasp can often give a very good indication of when the piece was made. Brooches in particular can be fairly easy to date as the type of clasp used generally indicates the era in wh..
How to Spot a Fake Pearl
How to Spot a Fake Pearl Buying vintage pearl jewellery is a great way to find beautiful and original pieces of jewellery. However, as the desire for vintage jewellery has increased, so has the amount of fake jewellery on the market.  With regard to pearls, the number of different types of pearls that exist mean that working out whether a pearl is real, cultured, or a fake can be extremely tricky, even for the experts. Although it is difficult to be totally conclusive on determining  whether your vintage pearl earrings or vintage pearl necklace is the ..
What is Diamante Crystal?
What is Diamante Crystal? In the world of jewellery the phrase diamante  generally refers to glittering stones that resemble diamonds. Originally these gems were made from rock crystal however since the 19th century these gems were usually made from crystal or glass..The word diamante is also used to describe rhinestone or sequin embellishments added to accessories and clothing. Diamante Use in Costume Jewellery Although diamante jewellery is not made with genuine gemstones, the term diamante does not indicate cheap or poorly made cost..
Aurora Borealis Crystals  Aurora Borealis crystals are one of the most attractive crystals featuring in many  sparkling1950's vintage necklaces, brooches, bracelets, and earrings . An example of an aurora borealis crystal necklace can be seen in the photo below: Swarovski and Aurora Borealis Crystal  AB is the abbreviation for this special finish which was applied to rhinestones and beads in the early 1950's to make them appear more radiant. The finish was given the  name Aurora Borealis, taken from the phe..
Aquamarine at Modern Vintage Style
We use lots of different gemstone to make our gemstone earrings, and necklaces at Modern Vintage Style, however one of our particular favourites , and one that never goes out of style is aquamarine. The different colour varieties of aquamarine from green to light blue to stronger blue shades enable us to make different styles  of aquamarine necklaces, pendants, bracelets and earrings. Its also a colour that goes well with different types of outfits so aquamarine jewellery is generally very wearable. Below is some of our favourIte ..
  Moonstone Superstitions    Moonstones are in a particular class by themselves when it comes to lots of superstitious theories. Moonstone (often seen in jewellery in moonstone necklaces and pendants)  is the opalescent form of the mineral feldspar has been associated with good luck for courting couples, a guard against epileptic fits, a catalyst for really bountiful crops when hung in farmers fruit orchards, and even as a predictor of the future. To  facilitate this useful future pr..
Sara Coventry Jewellery Company The company was founded in 1949 by Charles Stuart, who decided to name his costume jewellery firm after his granddaughter, Sarah Coventry. He did not follow the Trifari, Coro or Haskell way of using a strong in-house designer to provide the designs. Instead, Stuart bought designs from freelancers. He enlisted the help of companies such as Elster and DeLizza , whose  brand was called Juliana to create its costrume necklaces, chokers, brooches, earrings, and bracelets which wer..
Costume Earrings
Vintage Costume Earrings - 
Information on typical vintage designs, key designers, and what to look for when buying vintage earrings
 Vintage Guide
Vintage Jewellery Guide If you are a fan of vintage jewellery then now is a great time to look for quality pieces as the market is buoyant, and with a little bit of background research you can  find some great vintage necklaces, earrings, bracelets, or vintage brooches to add to your collection. There are pieces  to suit every style  and taste, and  you can find a wide variety of choice in terms of  value and significance. With so many buying options available, it’s a great idea to know what to look for when buying vintage , and, if possible, understand a bit ..
Oscar De La Renta
  Oscar de la Renta, was born in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic in 1932. He became a well known fashion designer whose work helped define standards of  stylish dressing among U.S. first ladies, socialites  and red-carpet celebrities during a career that spanned over 50 years. Oscar De La Renta  couture blue resin necklace from the vintage jewellery collection at Modern Vintage Style   Early Years At 18 years old De La Renta left the Dominican Republic and began to study painting at the S..
Amethyst FAQS
Amethyst FAQ 1. Why is it important to keep Amethyst jewellery at room temperature?  Temperatures that are either too hot or too cold can alter the color of Amethyst. When the gemstone is in temperatures that are too hot, it may turn a yellow shade and when it is situated in temperatures that are too cold, it may turn to a  smoky grey colour    2. What is the difference between natural Amethyst and lab-formed Amethyst?  Manmade or lab-created Amethyst looks identical to natural ocurring&..
 Kramer Intrictate Glass, Rhinestone and Enamel Jewellery Kramer Jewellery Creations was founded in New York in the middle of World War 2 and produced artistic and intricate pieces of jewellery out of gilt metal, glass, rhinestones, and enamel. Louis Kramer, who began the company in 1943, was later joined by his brothers,Harry and Morris, as he made the most of the growing  market for costume jewellery. All aspects of the business were based in New York, so the jewellery pieces  were signed  “Kramer,” “Kramer N.Y.,” or “Kramer of New York.” ..
The ancient Romans believed  that moonstone, with its unearthly and  delicate shimmer, was formed from frozen moonlight. This alluring gem variety does shine with a  lunar light but it is the mineral feldspar, that creates the moonstone shimmer. The shimmer, which is called  adularescence or schiller, is due to the intermix of two different types of feldspar mineral, with different refractive indexes. Moonstone jewellery is always popular  and is seen in both modern and vintage jewellery. The moonstone pendants&nb..
Yves Saint Laurent  Jewellery and History
  Yves Saint Laurent Jewellery Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008) was the chief designer for Christian Dior at the age of 21 in 1958, and began his own fashion house in 1961. Although his earlier designs caused something of an outrage, by the start of the 1980's Saint Laurent's designs were considered to be classics in the fashion world. His jewellery line which was introduced in the 1970's was colourful and theatrical tying in with many of his wildest clothing lines, and included metal medallions, whimisical enamels, and ethnic beaded pieces YSL Jewellery, Necklaces, Earrings, Bracelets..
Hardness and durability The hardness of minerals and gems  is measured on the Mohs scale. The numbers on this scale  are based on the relative ease or difficulty with which one particular mineral can be scratched by another. But the Mohs scale can be deceptive. The steps between each mineral are not evenly spaced. For example, diamond is only one number away from corundum, however, it is generally much harder than gems in the corundum family. Below : Amethyst jewelley including amethyst necklaces, amethyst earrings and amethyst bra..
Christian Dior Gems
Christian Dior was probably the most influential designer of the 1950’s, becoming a big name in the world of fashion with his  “New Look”. Towards the later years of the 1940's he accessorised his fashion line with glamorous and opulent Dior jewellery such as his asymmetrical crystal necklaces, animal pins, and flower tremblers which were specially commissioned for each collection.                     Above :Christian Dior Jewellery for sale at Modern Vintage Style  including Dior vintage earrings Dio..
All about the Amethyst Gemstone  Amethyst is known to be a purple variety of the mineral quartz and is often used to make beautiful amethyst jewellery including amethyst earrings,  amethyst bracelets, and rings. The name amethyst comes from the Ancient Greek where it meant “not intoxicated”. This stemmed from the belief that the stone would protect the wearer form drunkenness. The amethyst is a semi precious stone and is one of several forms of quartz    Colours of Amethyst and Where it is Found in the World Amethyst occurs in different colou..
All About Aquamarine
Origins of Aquamarine Aquamarine is a beautiful stone that is often used to create stunning aquamarine jewellery including necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings.The name aquamarine comes from the Latin word for seawater,its luminous colour conjuring up images of the ocean. As with  many other gemstones, the aquamarine gemstone is surrounded by legends and myths. The Romans thought that a frog carved out of an aquamarine would turn sworn enemies into friends, while both the Romans and the Greeks used the gem as a lucky charm for sailors battling sto..
  The Allure of Vintage  Cartier Vintage Art Deco Necklace Set  When a 1925 Cartier vintage necklace set with diamonds and rubies came up for auction in Hong Kong in the year 1994, it went unsold. However, nineteen years later, the same vintage necklace fetched more than twice the earlier estimate, selling for HK$4.82m to a select private collector. The sparkling gems in the necklace were set in a classic art deco style, designed by a very renowned French jewellery house. However despite the necklace’s provenance, the experts say that demand for such pieces, particul..
  Costume Jewellery Versus Fine Jewellery The phrase “costume jewellery” was first used in the 1920s, however jewellery and ornamentation made out of non-precious materials have been worn since ancient times. While it is sometimes called “fake” or "fashion" jewellery, vintage costume jewellery often incorporates workmanship and materials on par with, or even better than fine jewellery. The 20th century resulted in a sea change as to how jewellery was perceived and used. Before then, women wore jewellery made of precious and semi-precious stones and metals as a w..
               Tips for Buying Vintage
  Tips for Buying Vintage Jewellery Do you enjoy shopping for vintage jewellery to find unique pieces? Or, perhaps you have a friend who would love a vintage gift to add to their collection. Keep in mind these useful these tips  when buying vintage costume jewellery or designer jewellery., Condition is Key  – Don’t take the condition of a vintage jewellery piece for granted. Have a thorough look at the item from all angles and use a jeweller’s loupe for close inspection. Keep an eye out for extremely worn plating, cloudy or darkened rhineston..
American Cocktail Jewellery
Designer American Cocktail Jewellery  The Second World War had a great impact on American Jewellery firms, as by the time the Americans entered the war in 1941 the government had placed restrictions on base metals which were required for the war effort. This together with a reduction in imported materials from Europe resulted in jewellers substituting base metals with sterling silver and using modern materials such as Lucite and other plastics in place of cabochon cut pastes to create unique jewellery. Yellow Vermeil (Silver Gilt) used in new American look Jewellery Designs ..
Latest Articles
WHAT IS MARCASITE Marcasite  originates from a natural mineral called 'pyrite'. Iron pyrite has a metallic finish and bright sheen. Its innate hardness  allows it to stand up well to scra.. Read More
  ENAMEL USE IN JEWELLERY DESIGN Enamelling is an old technique in which powdered clear glass, or powdered colour glass that has been mixed with pigments, is applied to a metal.. Read More
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