Friday, February 27, 2009

Handmade Shopping Made Easy

Do you like to shop for handmade items? Are there too many sites out there for you to visit all of them? I found a site that shows pictures of handmade items from multiple sites - Great for a little window shopping. Check them out at:


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Items to Splurge On

Are you looking for something special? Check out this blog. She has listed some great items that would be perfect for a treat. After all, aren't you worth a little splurge?


Friday, February 20, 2009

Just a Thought

I was looking through my posts and realized that I've posted on quite a few issues unrelated to vintage jewelry collecting. While these off-topic posts won't be eliminated, I thought it was about time to post a jewelry related topic.

Please watch for my post next week which will start my series on vintage jewelry designers.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Free Directory Assistance from Your Cell

I am always in my car. At least it seems that way. It also seems like I often end up needing to call someone whose phone number I don't have. I learned of two services today that I thought were very helpful and wanted to share them (although they may not be new to many of you).

The first service is from Google. This directory assistance service is free and offers business listings. The number to call is 800-466-4411. The link to check it out first is

The second service is Free 411. This directory assistance service is also free, but includes residential and government listings as well as business listings. The number to call is 800-373-3411. The link to check it out first is

I hope you find these numbers as helpful as I expect to.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Treasure Hunt with a Great Prize

Would you like to participate in a treasure hunt with a $50 gift certificate as the prize? If so, check out this link. It's free to enter and you will get to check out a wonderful artisan and vintage site.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Art Fire

There is a wonderful new site called Art Fire. This site allows you to sell your handcrafted and vintage items for free or for a low monthly fee if you want access to all of their features. The site is just getting started, but shows great promise. For a limited time you can sign up for the verified membership with access to all of their features for just $7 per month. It is definitely worth a look. My shop is Check it out.


How to Determine Quality of Unmarked Jewelry

There are many different levels of costume jewelry and many pieces are unmarked. If you are collecting jewelry based on appearance rather than designer name, you may wonder how to tell if a piece is well made. While it takes time to learn how to judge unmarked pieces, these are some basic tips that may help you in your search:

  • Weight. The weight of a piece can often indicate the quality. Light pieces that are made with thin metals are often, though not always, of lower quality. Heavy pieces with thick metals that are attractive are often of higher quality. Many factories made designer signed pieces as well as unsigned pieces of the same quality. If you find a piece that looks like the same quality as a designer piece, it probably is.

  • Stones. When collecting rhinestone jewelry, you will run into many pieces with bright, vibrant stones that appear to have depth. This is generally a sign of a higher quality piece. The setting of the stones is another indicator. If the stones are prong set, are the prongs well made & secure?

  • Metals. While the weight of the metal is one consideration, the general appearance is another. Many quality pieces use attractive metals that retain their appearance over time. While a piece of any quality can be destroyed by lack of proper care and storage, higher quality pieces that are well cared for are recognizable in their beauty.

  • Clasps. Higher quality pieces generally have well made, secure clasps.

While these are just some basic tips and will take some practice to implement, with time you should be able to judge the quality of most unmarked pieces quickly and easily.