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Welcome to my Jewel's jewellery blog. I am a geek vintage fashion blogger of the old and new. Join my world as I explore jewellery and fashion from past to present with weird and wacky to the so so normal. Being a jewellery geek and nerd that likes the unusual and different mixed with history has its advantages. Stand out from the crowd.

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  • 04/15/13--07:18: Vintage trinket boxes
  • Recently we have added vintage trinket boxes to our vintage accessories collection. They are small ceramic trinket boxes that are ideal to hold small earrings and rings on your dressing tabel.

    Like this one its small but has pretty decorations of blue tits and flowers.

    It is signed and tried a quick research but there was so many marks on china and ceramics from so many different potteries that we gave up after a bit.

    Another small box. can use this one as a pill box also. It has a pink rose motif on the lid. Have some more of these to add including soapstone ones.

    If you have any information on the ceramic mark, would love to know and details.

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    Below is a very pretty Sara signed gemstone necklace a gemstone jewellery piece that we have at the moment. Sometimes we come across a piece of vintage jewellery or in this case previously owned that is signed and modern but we do not know who produced it. There is a clue on that it is signed with a small tag at the fastening.



    This quality turquoise and silver coloured bead necklace has a distinctive metal tag. Its heart shaped with the name "Sara" on one side in small case lettering. This has real semi precious turquoise coloured gemstones and silver coloured beads with a central ornate heart charm. See below.

    On the reverse of this heart tag it has three dashes that form a happy smiley face.


    Would love to know a bit more about the company and designer jewellery. We do know that its not Sarah Coventry and have an inclination its from a clothing store in the UK that sells Sara jewellery and accessories. If you know, just leave a message on this page's comments please.

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    Recently added is this beautiful Honora pearl necklace in rainbow coloured freshwater pearls. It is quality second hand jewellery that is still boxed and unused. Maybe it was given as a present and not a colour or length that the person receiving the gift liked or wore. Who knows! But Honora pearls are very collectible as well as very wearable. So this is one not to miss. They are usually sold via the television and online, as well as in the store situated in America.

    This has pretty rainbow colours of pink, purple, light and dark green, blue, cream and orange. It is one that will brighten up an outfit even on a dark day.

    This freshwater pearl necklace is signed with a removable plastic tag and comes complete with its original box and embroidered pocket bag. It is just one of the many freshwater and simulated pearl necklaces we have available.

    Honora has been producing good quality jewelry in the US for around sixty years. In the last twenty years it has been producing beautiful cultured freshwater pearl jewellery in a wide range of colours. My mother (a mad QVC fan) has brought me two of their pearl necklaces in the past and they are ones that I wear often.

    This cream pearl necklace is by Honora and will go with most outfits. I think this one is about 18 inches in length.


    Then the most recent Christmas present from my mom was this very long peach and pink freshwater pearl necklace by Honora.

    It is so versatile and all long necklaces are. I wrap it twice around my neck and leave it long. I haven't wrapped it around my wrist but there is no reason why not.

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    Well a promise of a sunny Bank Holiday may not be on the horizon. So we have decided to showcase Celtic jewellery today. We have both vintage Celtic jewellery and previously owned pieces. Shrouded in mystery and with a mythical history, the ancient and alluring designs used in Celtic designs have a haunting past as well as being beautiful to wear.

    The swirling triskelion and loops on this pretty pair of Celtic earrings have a meaning that has been lost in time. As with most of the patterns used in Celtic ornaments and decoration.
    The Celts were in Europe and the UK around the Iron Age and Medieval period.They had a pre Christian culture and spread across Europe trading weaponry and jewellery.

    The Celts wore long cloaks and so pins were used to fasten them. This Celtic brooch in a penannular shape was popular. Of course the most popular piece of jewellery favored by them was the torc necklace which were often made in gold.

    Above is a huge Celtic brooch from St Justin of Cornwall. The swirls are so typical of Celtic art work and have the haunting beauty as so does many and of course they are instantly recognized. St Justin's in Cornwall have just taken over the Miracle company in Birmingham on the retirement of the owner. So we wait to see what happens to the Miracle designs, who are also famous for their Celtic and other reproduction jewellery.


    Another multi coloured Celtic brooch by Mizpah. Miracle have the designs in their ownership and I wonder if they were part of the Miracle companies package to St Justin.
     

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    I love the beautiful English bone china vintage floral brooches that were produced in the 1930s to the 1980s. Mainly in the potteries of Stoke On Trent in the UK where bone china English jewellery had the same hand crafted care as the fine bone china plates and cups. Some are signed and some are not.  here are just a small selection that we have at the moment.

    This Aynsley vintage viola brooch is edged in a gold paint and has the delicate flower captured just perfectly. Aynesley produced plenty of different designs in this oval shape. Some are from popular designs and some capture the English countryside of days gone by. 

    Pretty pink rose lapel pin of bone china. The bone china was hand crafted and just captures the beauty of roses and other popular flowers.

    Pale lavender coloured frilled vintage carnation brooch. A superb corsage to wear this summer. The bone china was first fashioned by hand and then hand painted, which makes them all unique.

    Lapel pins are just so easy to wear and with the addition of vintage bone china are very unique. For Get Me Not flowers has the sentimental message ideal to give as a gift.

    A few nibbles to this one by Dorothy Ann. Made in England around the 1950s.

    Another small vintage lapel pin with flowers of a pink rose, white daffodil and blue yellow viola. they are just so English and still wearable today and great fun to collect. 

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    I am blogging today about summer bead necklaces that do not date. The one style that seems to be always fashionable is the long necklace of a single strand. These are so versatile and easy to throw on in the mornings when you are half asleep. Most do not have a clasp - an advantage if you are finding the small clasps manufactured today a bit fiddly and they do not move around and expose the clasp which is so annoying.

    What sort of material is available in beads that are ideal for summer? Light weight plastic jewellery is so great if you do not want a long necklace that feels heavy in the heat of summer (that is if we in the UK ever get any heat!) Then bead necklaces of gemstones are also ideal. A bit heavier to wear. Cool to the touch and on the skin. These have added value with their supposed benefits.

    But whether you choose plastic jewellery, glass, wood or shell. Bead necklaces either vintage, antique, pre owned or new will uplift any outfit each day. 

     You can of course layer bead necklaces wearing an assortment in different lengths or with a long necklace that is even versatile. You can knot the beads towards the end or wear one wrapped several times around your wrist.

    Want an even more summer look then choose a shell or mother of pearl bead necklace. So many colours to choose from with white to abalone blue and green. Dyed shell has many colours and shapes now for matching with many outfits. So what bead necklace are you wearing today?




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    The vintage jewellery book that I use often is the Charles Horner of Halifax by Tom J Lawson. A celebration of his life and work. Not only does it have information on Charles Horner jewellery but also the hat pins, thimbles, silver jewellery and other items produced by the factory once found in the UK.

    Charles Horner started his first family business as a watchmaker in about 1857 and the factory in Halifax closed its doors in 1984. This book was produced in 2002 and now rare is well worth its value for the information it contains. It is well written and contains original designs and letters from the Horner family as well as the designers that worked for the company over the years. It uses a wide range of sources to authenticate the items. Using trade magazines and cards and a huge collection of different silver and costume jewellery, hat pins, thimbles, boxes, photographs, ornaments, wicker ware, brass, Riplak ware (coloured metal) and silver trinkets to illustrate.

    Many of the vintage jewellery items were so familiar and a delight for me to have the original source verified. Especially as very few items were signed. Silver is the exception and is fully hall marked or marked CH if under the required weight for marking.
    This company actually produced beads, brooches, brush handles, buckles, buttons, cameos, candlesticks, chess sets, cigarette boxes and lighters, combs, crochet hooks, dress ornaments, dressing table ware, fruit boxes, hair slides, handles for knives and button hooks, manicure sets, needle cases, novelties, parasol handles, pens, shoe horns, small boxes in mock tortoiseshell and thimbles to name just a small section of their products.

       
    Very few books have been produced that looks specifically at a UK manufacturer of vintage jewellery. So when I hear of one I buy it straight away. In 2002 I missed this and it took 3 attempts for me to buy this. the first two times I purchased my money was returned as not in stock. The third time I managed to source and eventually brought this one from Belgium.   

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    Because it does not seem as though its yet summer - even though its now July. We have decided to have a summer sale of vintage jewellery in August this year in the hope that it will actually feel like summer then. We can live in hope. So here are a few sun shaped pieces of jewellery to get that sun out and shinning.  No more rain or cold days during the months of July and August please.

    So here is a vintage brooch in a golden colour covered in mock pearls. Wear this one on a jacket as at the moment its just too cold to go without!

    One of my favourite a 1990s retro vintage scarf clip. I am not sure why this hasn't sold as yet, as scarf clips are now back in fashion. Made in that bronze coloured metal that has the vintage look.

    Now this is so adorable a large sun vintage brooch in a gold tone. Fabulous 1990s vintage costume jewellery that will bring out a smile if not the sun.
    A flower that turns towards the sun is the sunflower a great favourite with jewellery designers. Here the sun flower - in fact three are in this hair clip. Previously owned sunflower hair clip in a bright golden colour.
    Then last but not least a pair of 1990s vintage clip earrings with that nineties favourite, the smiling sun depicted on each. So very retro and lets face it few others will be wearing something like this.

     
    Now going out into the garden to shout at the sky "sun come out". See you next time hopefully as long as they haven't taken me away!

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    Just a couple of photographs of a 1940s wedding party. I do not know the happy couple and would like to find out. To know a little more visit our other blog Jewels Vintage Vibes. The bride has a traditional wedding dress and jewellery on with a long hem in lace. This would be about the end of the World War Two and rationing would still be in force.

    She has a beautiful bouquet of flowers and appears to be wearing a pearl bead necklace.Her veil is very long and fits over a flowered crown style head dress. It has a square neckline and is fitted around her bust then it softly drapes to the floor. Note the assortment of wedding gifts of a lucky horseshoe and black cat on her arm. 

    The three bridesmaids are probably sisters or friends and she does not have any younger girls as bridesmaids. Their long dresses appear to be in a silky cotton. They have cap sleeves, which go in and out of fashion. Round head bands of flowers are on their heads. Not sure whether they are real flowers or in material. All the bridesmaids are wearing double stranded pearl necklaces to match. As rationing was still on for luxury goods until the mid 1950s. The pearl necklaces would be their own.
    Just a short blog today. Now to clean up the plant that my beloved cat has just knocked down. Both the two youngest cats have this thing about chasing flies and eating them! They are both sniffing the pot and flowers on the floor at the moment as if to say "how did that get there"!  

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    Just enjoying the hot weather that is long overdue. So in the spirit that I should be on holiday sunbathing on a beach somewhere, instead of in front of this computer! I have found some photographs in the Illustrated from May 27th 1950. This was how a seaside holiday was really like back in 1950. So just to keep it jewellery related we have a new collection of 1950s jewellery for you also.

    Arriving at your boarding house for the week, you would be greeted by the boarding's house owner.

    Mrs Amy Chandler has run her boarding house Fairdene in Eastbourne for 15 years. She offered a warm reception and a home for your holidays. At 65, she was born and then married in Eastbourne. For the photograph she wore a black suit and white silk blouse.

    No teas made or electric kettle in your room. Each morning a cup of tea was delivered to your door. Matching twin sets of a woolen top and cardigan was a fashion that lasted many years. Often hand knitted and usually dressed up with a string of pearls necklace. Is this someone who has been hired to bring around the tea? - no its Rene one of the guests just helping out.

    Somethings don't change. Breakfast freshly cooked served in the breakfast room. Mmmm I can smell the bacon, eggs, grilled tomatoes (in season) and sausage with buttered toast. No baked beans as standard though yet. Foreign muck my grandad used to say who wouldn't touch beans! How times have changed.

    Following breakfast a brisk stroll along the cliffs and plenty of fresh sea air to work up an appetite for lunch. Every woman would wear a head scarf. She would probably buy a souvenir one from one of the many small souvenir shops along the beach front. Shops crammed with shell ornaments and other nick knacks.

    Mrs Chandler working out her rations. Even in the mid 1950s rationing for goods was still in place. By the end of the week, she would often find that sugar was becoming low. Her fat rations she mixed with margarine to make it go further. I believe that she made some fabulous home cooked apple tart and Yorkshire puddings. Mr Chandler helped by working an allotment and supplementing their rations with seasonal vegetables and fruit.

    Its no good living by the sea if you do not take full advantage of it yourself. I think that is Eastbourne promenade in the background and it has changed a bit in the last 60 years or so. Mrs Chandler walking at low tide along the beach then its back to work at her boarding house.

    Now down to cooking the evening meal. Most boarded with breakfast and evening meal included. Peeling the spuds was a marathon peeling feat for 16 people. No electric potato peelers used in those days. Nor dish washers! Hair nets were a woman's staple hair accessory. Used at night to hold your rollers in place and during the day when working, then any other time to keep your hair in place. Straighteners - yes. Use the hot iron heated on the stove. Just be careful not to iron your ears and it did tend to sent the ends dry and a little burnt (if you had the iron too hot).

    After your evening meal it was down to the evening's entertainment. A game of cards or a board game. No TV as many places did not have. In 1953 more houses owned a TV for watching the coronation but still not everyone.
    Life was simple then, but would you go back to those days? 


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  • 07/30/13--11:57: Like Ciro Jewels
  • The finest tribute to Ciro Pearls is paid by the women who wear them for that alone says more for their beauty than all the praise which language can bestow. This is the opening lines for page 7 of the Ciro pearls booklet which is now part 4 of our blog posts. The real and faux pearl necklaces were very popular with women in the fifties and had been for many years. It was then and still is an easy way to look elegant and well dressed. Just slip on a string of pearls and away you go.
    Back in the 1950s, Ciro Pearls would clean, restring or remodel any of the pearl necklaces, chokers and necklets. You were expected to take care of your pearls but if not they would be able to bring them back to pristine condition for you. However they were guaranteed to last you years if you looked after them - and they did.

    Ciro produced pearl necklaces in double and treble strings as well as single. They were also made in varying lengths. From the short choker style to either 15 and 17 inches (the most popular lengths). However from an extra 3/- per inch depending on the pearl bead quality, you could request extra lengths. Then you could have the strings knotted which increased the length of the pearl necklace by 10%. Each pearl bead was hand knotted in between each of them, which prevents the pearls from scattering if the string thread broke.

    The pearl beads could be graduated in size and also could have gold clasps and safety chain, silver clasps or Ciro gem clasps.
    Choker necklets were made to measure, so that they fitted snug to the lower part of the neck. they could also be in single, double, triple thread, four or in five rows.That and with every pearl necklace supplied in a presentation box.
    The two women photographed in the above pages were Miss Esther Williams, actress wearing a single row necklet and matching ear drops. The other was Miss Ava Gardner who is shown wearing a double string choker.
    The next blog post will look at the next pages that has the many different clasps Ciro used. We sometimes have Ciro vintage jewellery available but you can also visit the Ciro website as the company are still in continuing. 

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  • 08/08/13--23:59: Romantic cameo jewellery
  • We do not only have vintage jewellery but also new jewellery and one of our latest additions is a piece of romantic cameo jewellery that is from the Susie Carol jewellery and accessories collection. The Romantic cameo brooch will match with the Romantic lovers cameo necklace that has previously been released. All new and perfect to give as a gift.

    The cream cameo depicts a romantic sixteenth century couple seated together. It is on an orange background that represents carnelian.

    The large pendant cameo necklace is the same cameo profile onto a gold coloured pendant with a chain. Available in a limited edition.
    If you are looking for a smaller pendant necklace that is still romantic then have a look at this cameo necklace.

    A pretty white rose onto a light powdered blue background. Small and neat with a silver coloured pendant and chain. Also produced by Susie Carol and in a limited edition


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    What would you choose a diamante brooch or a rhinestone brooch, a diamante necklace or a rhinestone necklace jewellery piece? What is the difference between diamante (also spelt diamonte) and rhinestone? This is something that I have struggled with for years as there is little information around. However I came to the conclusion that it just depends on where you live.

    In the UK, most people would call the above stone a diamante. Originally diamante were used to add sparkle to clothing. Flat backed glass crystals or acrylic diamante that could be sewn onto garments. I am not sure when or why the UK started to call them that also in jewellery. If you lived in the US or Canada you will call the above a rhinestone pendant. So the collection of party clip earrings will have either diamante or rhinestone sparkling decoration - just depending on where you originate from.





    We have used both terms for covering the UK and US markets. But tend to put the later dated (post 1970s) and less sparkling pieces in the diamante name; and the more opulent and higher quality ones in the rhinestone collections. What do you do and what is your preferred term?
         

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    Recently added genuine vintage jewellery we have in our collection. We have pretty sparkling vintage brooches ready for the party season and more demure vintage necklaces. Just have a look at some of the gorgeous antique and vintage jewellery pieces we now have available.

    Amber, citrine and clear aurora borealis coloured rhinestones used in this sparkling vintage brooch by Jewel Craft.

    Not vintage but an antique brooch with fabulous sparkling Austrian faceted stones. Crescent moon shaped with a brass setting.

    Superb large Monet green diamante brooch. Love this one as its so bold with its Maltese Cross design.

    Looking for something special? Then this vintage necklace from Castlecliff and Larry Vrba is just perfect. Large and very striking. Vintage jewellery that deserves to be worn.

    A multi bead necklace that is so vintage in style. 1950s jewellery that has some great unique vintage plastic beads from Hong Kong.

    How about a 1970s medallion necklace with Atlas holding up the earth on it. Greek inspired by the ancient Gods of old.

    1970s blue and green abalone shell pendant necklace by Exquisite. Long chain with a diamond shaped pendant. This is just a little that we have added to Jewels & Finery recently. Our aim is for between 30 and 50 unique pieces of vintage jewellery each week. Not forgetting that we have new and previously owned jewellery as well.

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    When you wear or collect vintage jewelleryit is very useful to be able to identify 20th century jewellery and what era it probably came from. One good book to help is called 20th Century Jewelry: The complete source by John Peacock.
    A large but relatively inexpensive book that is filled with some great information. For once it does not focus on photographs of vintage brooches, earrings and necklaces as well as other forms of adornment. But actually looks at the different shapes and designs used in each 10 year decade. Illustrated with designs rather than photographs.

       The book starts from the 1900s with Art Nouveau forms of jewellery. Dragonfly brooches and lapel pins of pearl. It shows brooches, earrings and necklaces with pendants, bracelets and rings. It also has buckles and shoe clasps as well as hair ornaments of combs and pins.

     
    Then onto the 1910s with long dangling earrings, sautoirs, necklaces and the start of the Egyptian themed pieces. Buckles were used extensively on belts and on hats for decoration. Hair ornaments were worn low on the fore head and jeweled bags and watches were in fashion. Mens jewellery were chained enamel cufflinks and tie pins.

    Moving into the Art Deco period with machine styled and angular designs. Then onto the 1930s to 1940s. In the 1930s dress ornaments were used on long dresses and to add glitter with decoration on the back of plunge backed dresses.

      
    Post and pre war jewellery of the 1940s to 1950s became more elaborate and slightly larger in style. Pearl necklaces, bracelets and earrings were very much in fashion. Frivolous novelty jewelry with dog brooches, flower basket and Chinese designs. the Carmen Miranda influence was seen in bright lemons, orange and fruit designs. In the 1950s to 1960s brooches were used extensively on clothing, Necklaces were very drape with multiple strands in bright colours.

     


     

    When the 1960s arrived fashion became adventurous and exciting. All sorts of materials were used. Pop groups influenced jewellery and necklace pendants became bigger and bolder. With shoulder duster earrings and cocktail rings. It was a decade of decadence. 

    1970s to the 1980s were eras of change and experimentation. With chunky chain link necklaces and all gold or silver colours and mens jewellery becoming more flamboyant. Into the 1990s the big and bold styles continued with bows and pearls a favorite. 

    At the end of the twentieth century crosses come back into fashion with layered necklaces and a classical modern approach applied. 

    The book is very useful for recognizing the many eras and styles, well worth obtaining.

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    We have been working hard and have added plenty of vintage jewellery as well as many other items to Jewels & Finery UK. So we thought that we needed to showcase a few of our favorites from the last month. Vintage jewellery makes great gifts and we wrap each either in a gift bag or box as a little extra at no charge.  Vintage means that the brooches, earrings, rings, necklaces, cufflinks, bracelets, etc all produced between the 1920s and 1990s. So thats up to 70 years of fabulous jewels to choose from. It makes them unique and often of better quality than some of todays jewellery. But don't take our word for it just have a look.


    Vintage silver ring that has been formed out of a christening bracelet.

    Sarah Coventry brooch - this one is from the 1960s. Most  Sarah Coventry jewellery is true vintage now and they produced so many different and quality items to choose from.


     Original 1940s vintage jewellery set of a floral brooch and clip earrings. We just love finding sets as they match and just makes it easier when you come to put on your jewellery.


    Celluloid cameo brooch - many cameos are available in so many different looks. A cameo never seems to go out of fashion and can make an outfit look so elegant and feminine.


    More vintage brooches - there are now over 500 available many are vintage but we do have newer and new ones available.

     There must be around 200 vintage necklaces on our website now with pendants like this Asian themed one or beads through to bright sparkling diamante and rhinestone.
    Every week we add at least 30 to 50 different pieces of either vintage jewellery or pre loved and new ones. Don't forget that we have accessories and jewellery boxes for sale as well.  

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    We have made some price changes to our earring accessories this November. Due to our supplies going down as well as up. Many of our clip earring pads and pillow ranges are cheaper and our earring backs remain very competitive.


    Quality clip earring pads and pillows for clip on earrings which can be vintage or not. Plenty of choice and ideal for extra grip and comfort. Do like the earring pillows or sleeves as they have a slight tacky feel that helps grip.


    We have a wide range of earring backs in scroll, bullets, plastic, silver and gold plate. Suitable for pierced earrings replacements. We replace the backs to our vintage and pre owned ones already, but a pack is handy to have in your jewellery box as one always seems to fall under the bed - just as you are running late to go out!




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    Christmas is a very busy time for us selling our vintage jewellery - that is November and December. So we would like to take time out and wish you a very merry Christmas and have a happy new year. Time just goes far to fast nowadays. It doesn't seem five minutes since the last one!


     Well it does not look as though it will snow this year, in fact it has been not that cold. This photo was taken a couple of years ago in our garden. I would have shown our tree, but its not up yet - its still in the garden from when we brought it last week.

     Last year, we had two new additions to our household. Merlin and Salem who have grown so much bigger. At a year old they spend most of the time following me or running around the house chasing each other and getting on Marla's nerves.

    Our older cat - Marla has been unwell the last month but seems to be back to normal, eating loads now and gaining weight again. At 11 she is the oldest and of course the boss. Now back to putting up the decorations and tree. How long the tree will last is anyones guess as Merlin loves to climb, she was too little and a bit overwhelmed last year!

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    We are having a grand winter sale of our vintage brooches and vintage jewellery. Low low prices to make way for next years vintage brooches as well as pre owned and new ones that we have waiting to add. So star brooches and Christmas brooches have been reduced following by all the other category collections in the next few days. Grab yourself a bargain now.

    vintage brooches

    The following vintage brooch are reduced so take a look - unusual and unique at a low price just for our winter sale which finishes in January 2014.


    The last is a vintage bird brooch signed Sarah Coventry. Then a Victorian style brooch and earrings set, a vintage star brooch, a portrait brooch, rare Beatles brooch by Exquisite and a Saxon style brooch with a pink cabochon center.

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    So jewellery and accessories to create your individual style and look amazing is our part of our new looking website at Jewels & Finery UK. We still sell fabulous vintage jewellery as well as antique, pre owned and new jewellery. But for 2014 we have now added some new categories and moved a few older ones around. Our vintage brooches collection has all original vintage brooch and our vintage necklaces are all true vintage.


    Here are just a few pieces of jewellery added recently:


    vintage cufflinks in silver tone.


    Stainless steal wishbone ring.


    Unusual vintage brooch by Miracle - large.


    Trifari vintage necklace and bracelet with faux pearls.

    Now this is our first blog for 2014! Just can not believe how the time has flown by. 

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