Dating rhinestones

Once primary sources are exhausted, many well-regarded books are great secondary tools for dating.

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Whether updating a collection, searching for information about a family heirloom, or assisting a colleague or customer, dating a piece of vintage costume jewelry can present a challenge.

Many tools and techniques are familiar to the experienced collector, including dating by textured versus smooth back casting, extended pin stems and simple “C” closures, the presence of a copyright symbol, the use of aurora borealis rhinestones, to name but a few.

A second primary-source dating tool is the use of books about fairly-large and prolific costume jewelry manufacturing companies, where original sources have been used by the author.

Two great examples are Florenza-marked jewelry presents a dating challenge, as there are no original records for the company’s production.

Combining this information and specifics mentioned in these books, the author is dating this Florenza set to circa early 1960s.

Advertisements and catalogs, both retail and wholesale, are great sources for determining styles and designs popular during a particular time period.

Trifari and Coro advertised extensively during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, as did many other costume jewelry companies.

The Palm Royale brooch and earrings design pictured below was found in a vintage advertisement that appeared in “Charm” magazine in December 1946.

Also during this period, the company is producing necklace, bracelet, pin and earrings sets.

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