8.  Holiday & Christmas tree pins (Of course)!

9.  Statement-making sterling earrings (Georg Jensen, Art Deco, Taxco)

10.  Diva Rhinestone & Crystal necklaces for special occasions

Stay Tuned for next post:  Fabulous Figurals!

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3.  Clear rhinestone bracelets ~ tennis-style, celluloid bangle, WIDE ones!

4.  Large pendant necklaces ~ Open-back glass, Paste, 1960’s & 1970’s lucite (Trifari, Accessocraft N.Y.C., Panetta)

5.  Sautoir necklaces ~ glass pearl ropes, bezel set glass & crystal, Art Deco hand-cut glass, black jet

6.  Multi-strand gold and silver chain necklaces (Trifari, Monet, Kramer of New York, Vendome)

7.  Whimsical and conversation pieces ~ Figural brooches & pendants, fun earrings, carved bakelite necklaces

If you’re a vintage costume jewelry collector or a passionate fan, then I would like to suggest some staples for your collection.  By staples, I mean “must haves”…pieces that are classic, versatile and at the foundation of what’s available in vintage jewelry.

First, I would have some small, medium and large sized clear rhinestone brooches, in silver, gold and black japanned settings for diversity.  Weiss is always a great choice, as well as Kramer of New York, Sherman, Schreiner, Eisenberg, Juliana, Ledo and Polcini.  These clear, diamond-like stunners pop on black, vivid and jewel tone hues like nobody’s business!  They always add a touch of panache with the added bonus of glamorous sparkle for the evening.

The second staple are a pair of elegant drop earrings, either (0r both!) with clear rhinestone or paste stones.  A second pair of chandeliers would be another basic choice.  For these type of earrings, I have a penchant for old Napiers, 1960’s Kenneth Jay Lane, Hattie Carnegie, Art Deco, Edwardian & Victorian, Sherman, Schreiner, Miriam Haskell’s crystal pieces, Weiss, and Eisenberg.  I would also suggest a pair of black jet crystals set in a japanned setting…fabulous statement makers!

In celebration of the New Year, I am summoning snowflakes past and present from my own personal vintage jewelry collection, as well as from my online Ruby Lane shop, Under the Sea.  I say, let winter begin…bring on the flying crystals

Stay Tuned:  Vintage jewelry basics for your wardrobe & collection

Sterling Silver Snowflake pin

Weiss spinning snowflake brooch

Weiss repro snowflake brooch

Baguette sprayed snowflake pin

Atomic 1950's snowflake pin

Circa 1940's baguette snowflake brooch

Nolan Miller snowflake pin

Coro gold tone snowflake brooch

Weiss 3-tiered snowflake brooch

Weiss "diamond-tipped" snowflake brooch

Warner snowflake brooch

Coro Snowflake

Trifari 1951 patented snowflake pin/pendant

Trifari 1951 Alfred Philippe Snowflake necklace

Classic Weiss Snowflake brooch

Schreiner crystal snowflake brooch

Weiss ultra mint snowflake pin

Weiss petite snowflake pin

Spindly, gold tone 1950's snowflake brooch

This flake flurried over the "Big Pond"

Lisner snowflake pin

B. David snowflake brooch

Art Deco iris glass snowflake brooch

Huge Coro snowflake brooch

Bogoff snowflake brooch

As a hearty lover of all things Christmas, I couldn’t help but jump from my passion for Christmas tree pins to those sparkly snowflake brooches…an excuse to extend the holidays all winter long!  In my opinion, the best were made by Weiss, Juliana D&E, Boucher, Trifari, Sherman, Coro, Eisenberg and Eisenberg Ice, Ledo, Castlecliff, Krementz, Kramer of NY, and Schreiner NY.  Lisner also made one sweet, petite snowflake, and Sarah Coventry made a prize one called, “Evening Snowflake”, which came with matching earrings.  Some of the best I’ve seen are also unsigned beauties.

Eisenberg Ice still produces snowflakes brooches for each holiday season, and I have one in my collection that was released in 2009.  They are somewhat pricey, but worth the investment.  It will be interesting to see how much they are worth 20 years from now.  The 2009 snowflake sold for $110 retail, and I was lucky enough to purchase it from a fellow vintage jewelry dealer for $80.  It has huge faceted teardrop stones that sparkle like icicles melting, and it is sectioned off by lines of narrow, clear baguettes, tipped with a single marquis and clusters of round stones.  The largest stones are open back, which juxtaposes nicely with the foil back dividers.  Yowza!  Eisenberg’s still got it!

2009 Eisenberg Ice snowflake brooch

I have found several designers who produced advertisements for their snowflake sparklies, including Ledo, Castlecliff, Weiss, Krementz, and Trifari (See photos below).  I pray for the day I can find those found in the Ledo and Castlecliff  ads…I keep looking!  Only Coro and Trifari, that I know of, have patents for their snowflake designs (Shown below).

Snowflake made by Florenza

Another elusive snowflake brooch for me is one made by Florenza.  I saw it once a couple of years ago on Ebay, and I still kick myself for missing the end of the auction in order to increase my bid.  I saved its photo from the listing so I can remember what it looks like…for someday to find another!  I think it’s one of the prettiest brooches ever made by Florenza.

I have yet to snag a primo Juliana D’Elizza & Elster snowflake, for they often go for a pretty penny…or at least the ones I like!  Again, I dream.  I guess that’s part of the fun of collecting vintage jewelry…the hunt for what’s on your wish list…and the sheer joy experienced upon actually finding one.  I think it’s further enhanced if one finds the prize at a flea market or thrift store for little money or catch it on Ebay when no one else is watching!

Stay Tuned for next post  ~ Image gallery of the best snowflake brooches!

Adolph Katz for Coro 1st snowflake design patent, 1945

Katz patent for Coro 1946 - Snowflake

Katz for Coro 1946 snowflake patent

A. Katz's 1951 snowflake design patent

Adolf Katz for Coro patent for snowflake brooch

Alfred Philippe for Trifari patent for snowflake

Trifari 1950's magazine advertisement; snowflakes in upper left corner

Castlecliff advertisement for snowflake brooches

Ledo advertisement for snowflake brooches

Krementz snowflake necklace ad

Corocraft's "Twisted Trunk" tree pin

Corocraft spawned from Coro, one of the most well-known costume jewelry companies in America.  They were known for pretty and affordable jewelry for all women, sold in five and dime stores, as well as specialty boutiques.  Their best pieces have been said to be made between the 1930’s-1950’s, of which one of their higher end lines, Corocraft, was produced after 1937. 

Corocraft evergreen

The name Coro came from the first two letters of the company partners and founders last names, Cohn (Emmanuel) and Rosenberg (Gerard).  Their small shop in New York grew into an empire that employed a work force of more than 2,000. 

Although better known for their duettes, jelly belly lucite pieces and tremblers, Coro/Corocraft produced one of the finest Christmas tree pin designs ever created.  It was rendered in shiny, texutred gold tone with clear rhinestones pave set in a diamond weave pattern, 3D cone with a twisted thread trunk, which was duplicated in color schemes of green/clear, pink/clear, and a multi-color version of pink/green/blue/clear. 

Corocraft pretty in pink

Corocraft multi-color tree

For each color scheme, Corocraft also produced matching earrings for these tree pins (See photos). I love these trees so much that I have them all, all color schemes and with their matching earrings!

A rarer tree copied their faux pearl swirl circle pin.  In my previous article, I featured their battery-powered, light up Christmas tree pins.  The American based Coro jewelry company ceased production in 1979, but Coro Inc. in Canada is still in operation today.

Stay Tuned for next article:  Snowflake brooches!

Corocraft faux pearl circle brooch

Corocraft faux pearl holiday arbor

Corocraft matching tree earrings on original card

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Corocraft battery powered tree, "at rest"

Vintage Christmas tree pins with battery compartments that are not corroded are a beautiful and somewhat rare thing, especially when a little round battery lights them up!  I have had a few Corocraft and one Hattie Carnegie battery-powered tree.  All the Corocraft ones went to town on a button cell battery, but I have yet to figure out what tiny battery will charge up the old Carnegie.  Amazingly, the one I have is in pristine condition, right down to the original pins that hold the cover in place over the battery.  I will continue my search for the right one, but if anyone knows, please write in!  The Corocraft trees, by the way, take an “AG13” button cell battery.  GLOW!

Stay Tuned:  All the beautiful Corocraft trees!

Joy, joy! It lights up!

Corocraft "Cone" Tree, battery-powered

Hattie Carnegie, ready for the right battery!