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Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Back on January 5, 2009, while browsing through our local newspaper over breakfast, I was delighted to come across an article headed "Retro Rules: The appeal of Art Deco design endures after almost 100 years". Accompanied by several photos of jewelry currently being made by the likes of Cartier and Kwiat, the article pointed out how today's collectors are seeking retro pieces and how those straight lines and geometric designs continue to please jewelry lovers everywhere.

This didn't really come as a surprise to me as I've noticed the art deco jewelry we have offered in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE always attracts buyers and quickly. And not all of it is expensive kind with diamonds and real gemstones. Some have been inexpensive paste or rhinestone bracelets.

According to the article in the paper the roots of Art Deco were formed in the 1800's, but "it is now largely defined as the period between the 2 world wars." And Art Deco didn't just apply to jewelry: "the Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building and even the Empired State building are all Art Deco Style." What makes a piece "art deco"? Art Deco jewelry blends straight lines with circles, rectangles ... geometric shapes. You can see that in the gorgeous art deco bracelet featured at the top of this post and available from OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE. That particular bracelet is made of 14k and has 3.55 cts of brilliant diamonds and was appraised in February 2009 at over $10,000. You can see more photos of this bracelet and read all the lovely details by clicking the links or the photo above.

On the left is another gorgeous example of Art Deco jewelry, this time in one of our currently available rings. It contains about .75 cts of VS diamonds nestled in 14k. And just look at that fabulous design: triangular shapes and slightly curved lines housed in a circle. It's exquisite, don't you agree? Again, you can click on the photo to see more shots of this one and read all the details in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE. This ring is very reasonably priced. Can you see yourself flashing this one at that next cocktail party?

A representative from Cartier says (in that article) that art deco continues to be an inspiration today because "it's abstract but it's concrete. It's complicated geometrics ... but not frou-frou" as perhaps some of the jewelry from the Art Nouveau period was seen to be. "Frou - frou" is another word for "fussy". And yet, finding genuine Art Nouveau jewelry is also of great interest to collectors. We have one ring in RUBY LANE SHOP that harks back to Art Nouveau:

Note how different it is from the Art Deco pieces above: the stones are set in pretty little 'buttercup" bezels and the overall design is much "fussier" or more complicated than the art deco pieces. And yet, in its own way, it's very lovely ... just not everyone's cup of tea. But it's certainly a rare ring and very much worth collecting. As our ad reads:

"Circa 1910, this ring features all the classics of the Arts & Crafts period during the Art Nouveau movement: Bezel set gems (diamonds & rubies in this case), dainty gold leaves & flowers, a large, high setting, and intricate, heavy gold work (14k yellow gold for this piece). And when we say "large", we aren't kidding! This knock-out antique ring weighs 10.32 grams, measures 24.90mm by 24.30mm wide, and the top of the ring (from finger to top diamond) sits 11.56mm tall."

The opal/garnet ring on the right most likely belongs to the Art Nouveau period, rather than Art Deco, too. Again, the setting is fairly complicated and if you click on the photo to see more of this one, note the detailing in the band and the overall construction. Quite complex. This ring, by the way, is SALE-priced right now, and contains 4 beautiful, fiery opals and 5 garnets, all set in 14k.

If Art Deco appeals to you, we have more rings in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE along with the paste clamper bracelet shown below that is just stunning. That one is very affordable as it isn't made from real gold and the stones aren't diamonds. Why not slip over now and take a closer look at it too! It's only $75!!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Time for a break from talking about designer vintage costume jewelry ... especially when I have so many superb pieces of period jewelry to share with those who visit this blog. "Period jewelry"? If you're wondering what that term means, well here's what I learned a few weeks back about the difference between "vintage", "period" and antique jewelry:

Antique is that jewelry, costume or fine, that is 100 years old or more.

Vintage is that jewelry, usually costume, that is at least 20 years old.

Period is that jewelry that is both at least 20 years old and is made of fine materials i.e. gold, silver, genuine gemstones, diamonds etc.

I never knew that! I just called anything that I knew wasn't antique, but was at least 20 years old, "vintage". So tonight I want to share some of the fabulous "PERIOD" pieces we currently have listed in OUR SHOP AT RUBY LANE, like the gorgeous 14k white gold necklace shown at the top of this blog. This one is something else: it's made in Italy and stamped both 14k and 585. It contains .60 cts of sparkling top quality diamonds, hangs to a finished length of 20", and weighs 11grams. But what I just love about this necklace is its workmanship and design: it's superbly crafted with intricate filigree-type work surrounding the diamonds. And for some reason, it reminds me of lace. It's reminiscent of art deco but it most likely does not date to that era. I'd say it's from the 70's or 80's. For me, this necklace merges old world styling with contemporary tastes. What a way to dress up your best evening gown or your blue jeans!

Shown above is another of our recent "period" additions to our SHOP AT RUBY LANE, and wow, do I love this one! This one is an opal lover's delight. It's both a brooch/pin and a pendant i.e. there's a loop in the back through which you can insert a chain. I am currenly showing it at VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOWCASE on an 18k choker length chain which may not suit you if you like your pendants to hang lower on the chest. The chain I'm supplying is only 15" long so the opal pendant sits in the hollow of your neck. I like it like that but if you don't, you can purchase just the pin. Details are on the ITEM PAGE.

This pin/pendant is fashioned from 14k yellow gold and has a diameter of 1 1/2". The opals in this pin are outstanding, full of fire and not a nick in them anywhere. And yet, this brooch dates back to the 30's or 40's. The condition is amazing. Those who collect opal jewelry should definitely add this one to their collection.

Last but not least tonight, I'd like you to take a look at this art deco ring featuring 14 square cut genuine rubies and 5 glittering diamonds. Again, what a beautiful design in this ring. How many do you see like this? I guess that's one of the reason I'm so keen on vintage, period or antique jewelry: the designs, the craftsmanship and the quality so often surpasses what we find in the shops today. And because you are buying something that has been pre-worn or if you prefer, pre-loved, you can often buy it for so much less than you would a similar brand new piece today. Oh sure, when it comes to rings, bracelets etc, expect that there'll be signs of wear, some scratches to the gold, and sometimes even chipped stones, but then, you're not paying megabucks either. But what you're getting is unique and beautiful and often, in remarkably good condition, as is this ring: it's 14k, a size 6 and plenty of gold for re-sizing if needed. Do click on the photo to see more and learn more about this ring and the other pieces I've shared with you tonight. Happy shopping folks!