Your Grandma’s fake jewelry probably isn’t junk, but just how valuable is it?
When shopping in flea markets or rummaging through garage sales, Dumpdiggers can spot vintage costume jewelry from well known designers of the 1940’s and 50’s and 60’s. If you are shopping for items in a local market to sell to collectors in a global market, there is nothing better than good fake jewelry.
The company flourished in the 1950s, and Gustave Sherman soon
How can you identify Sherman costume jewelry?
There is a wonderful Guide to Sherman at Family Jools.com where the authors have gone to great length to photograph and present helpful details.
Here are some quick tips for Dumpdiggers:
Each piece is usually stamped "
Somewhere in the 1970s,
Found jewelry must be cleaned as meticulously as it was manufactured. Do not spray Windex directly onto your jewels or submerge anything in soapy water. Do not hold your pieces under running water from a faucet - rhinestone jewelry with foil backing should never be submerged in water.
Use an old (soft) toothbrush that will not scratch the surface of the plate, or the gems. Be particularly careful with Aurora Borealis stones as they can be easily scratched. Dab some Windex on a cloth or tissue. Make sure it's not too wet – the cloth should have just enough moisture to get the dust off the piece. For the hard to get to places, use a Q-tip with tiny little bit of Windex. Squeeze the excess wetness out of the Q-tip so that it's barely damp.
After you clean your jewels, leave them out to dry for at least an hour, and make sure they're completely dry before you box them again. Moisture increases the oxidation of all metallic elements and it will even work to deteriorate the quality of the crystals themselves. It can make them cloudy.
Here is an example of some cloudy jewels for sale today. This is vintage signed Sherman figural leaf brooch on eBay that features premium Swarovski crystals in a rhodium plated setting. This piece is in overall good condition with the exception of the cloudy crystals shown in the photo. The brooch still shines well and is otherwise quite beautiful. It measures 2 1/2 inches long by 2 inches across at the widest, and has a domed appearance. If the buyer replaces the cloudy stones they will have a stunning piece. Check the link to see the price – it was $18.00 US at the time of this post, with a day and half left in the auction.