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Saturday, September 13, 2008


Lately I've been developing a passion for other vintage jewelry besides my beloved Shermans. One of my new passions is a rather expensive one: coral jewelry. When I came across the gorgeous bracelet shown in the photo on the right, I was awestruck by the craftsmanship and glorious color. Wow! This one was on auction on ebay and I immediately put a watch on it thinking I might be lucky enough to win it. Yeah right! It sucks when your budget is limited. This incredible piece went for $264 US. And would you believe where the seller found this one? It was in an unclaimed Post Office Box along with the
incredible full necklace shown on the left. Just look at those colors! And what magnificent workmanship in that carving. Did I try to win this one too? Of course I did. Very funny! This one sold for $484 US. Man, sometimes we can't even get that kind of money for the diamond rings we sell.

That's the often amazing part about vintage jewelry i.e. how it can fetch more money from collectors and vendors than diamonds and gold. We had a lady here this afternoon buying one of our best rings, the one shown below. The appraisal on the ring is for nearly $2400. It's incredibly

beautiful and we sold it to her for only $750 Canadian. She was thrilled. I then explained that I specialize in designer vintage while my daughter is the 'ring lady'. I showed her some Juliana and some Sherman. She dismissed them with a "that's nice I guess ..." and went back to admiring her beautiful diamond ring. Well I can't blame her for that but does it ever bring home that adage "Different strokes for different folks!" No wonder garage sales attract people. One person's trash is another person's treasure.

But anyway, back to the coral. After missing out on those two, I then went on a huge hunt for coral jewelry. I couldn't find anything quite as lovely as those two pieces above but I did manage to locate the set of gorgeous beads with a carved coral clasp set in 925 Sterling silver shown here

This is a heavy set of triple row beads in varying lengths and not for those who like lightweight jewelry: it weighs over 68 grams. But it's in fantastic "new" condition because it came from unsold stock in a jewelry store when the owners were retiring. It's never been worn and is estimated to be 20 - 40 years old. If you click on the photo, you can see more pictures of the clasp and the beads in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE. We're asking $350 US including shipping and even though it cost us quite a bit, we'll still consider offers. Why not take a look now?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I've always been amazed at the high dollar that sellers on eBay and Ruby Lane get for snake bracelets, rings, necklaces and belts. Just what makes this kind of jewelry so popular. Personally, I'm revolted by snakes so the idea of wearing that kind of jewelry around my neck or on my arm is just not appealing. But when I saw a snake bracelet like the one shown on the right go for $1250 US at a recent ebay auction, I had to find out what it is that people like so much about snake jewelry.

So I turned once again to the knowledgeable members of JEWELCOLLECT. My question tripped a pile of answers and a barrage of photos of snake jewelry owned by various members. Here's what I learned:

"In many cultures it is believed to protect one from evil spirits" "It is the Mystic Representation of the Snake that fascinates many people. Take the Egyptians the Snake was worshipped and feared. For some it brought wealth and power while for other it was damnation. The native american saw the snake as a healer and so on. I just find the designs to be fascinating and very alluring hence that is why i am home to some 50 snakes in the jewelry world."

Jane H. Clarke of "Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry" (click link for tons of photos) has a huge collection of snake jewelry on her site, and provides this information:

"The SNAKE or serpent was the symbol of royalty and deity in early Egyptian society. Victorian jewelry often used an entwined snake to symbolize infinity and eternal love. Over the years the snake has also come to symbolize sexuality, rebirth and wisdom.

While serpent motif jewelry goes far back in history, it's popularity really spread starting in the 1840s and peaked between then and the 1860s (Understanding Jewellery, Bennett, pages 88 & 104). But as far as I am concerned, it is timeless and unique in both it's art and symbolism."

I wish I could share all the wonderful photos the group members directed me to but there are too many to include here. You might enjoy checking these ones out:


And just take a look at this beauty by Kenneth Lane on the left that was sold by ECLECTIC VINTAGE

That brooch measures 3 1/4" x 1 3/4". As beautiful as he is, I still don't think I'd want him pinned to my sweater, dress or coat, but then, what do I know? As a collector's item, he's worth a fortune.

By the way, I never filled you in on that remarkable snake bracelet shown at the top of this post that sold for $1250 US. Here's why it garnered such a huge dollar: it's made of 14k gold with a brilliant enamel finish. Even more importantly, it dates back to the Georgian ear, probably made sometime around the 1860's. I didn't check but I bet it weighed a lot too and given the value of gold today, it's easy to understand why it sold for so much.

But I'm sure there are many other pieces worth even more. One of the members had a fantastic snake bracelet made of 18k gold. She said it cost her a small fortune but was nothing compared to what it's worth today.

Here are some other links to some incredibly interesting pieces of snake jewelry. You MUST see these from Ellen at DEJA-VOODOO:

So after coming away with a healthier respect for snake jewelry, I nearly bought some myself but still couldn't picture wearing it ... until the one shown below came to visit in a collection of vintage jewelry we were lucky enough to acquire.

I fell in love with this one immediately. It's made by vintage designer, Boucher, and it's from the Canadian Line, LeCouture and is signed such. I think it's absolutely beautiful, and I know why it doesn't bother me the way other snake jewelry does: this snake has a large faux-pearl for his head (and tail)! Now that I can live with. I just don't care for snake heads, even if the eyes are genuine rubies (though I wouldn't turn one down if someone gave one to me LOL! I'm even more averse to that snake jewelry where his tongue is flicking from his mouth. Ugh! But then, that's just me. This one is much more my style ... and maybe yours if you can't afford those gold and gemstone pieces. You can buy this one from OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE. Just click that link or the photo above to go there now!