I've always had a thing for flea markets, especially the ones in New York but it wasn't until June 10th, 2012 that I became obsessed with hunting for vintage jewelry.
I remember the exact date because my mother was here visiting me. It was a Sunday morning and we had the whole day to be doing exactly whatever we wanted, just us 2 girls.
We went shopping.
But not the kind of
typical, boring and tiring
"tourists loosing their minds in New York" kind of shopping.
We went to the local flea market on the
Upper West Side, near my place.
I had already bought some home decoration pieces from this flea market before but when my mom got me this beautiful sweater clip as a gift, I knew I was hooked instantly and there was no turning back from that point on.
Game changer sweater clip.
Since last June, I read a lot and shopped a little.
I tried to learn about vintage brands that once ruled the world of jewelry.
I learned how to separate worthless from worthy and
originals from copies.
I learned about abbreviations and jewelry making techniques.
Here are some of my findings.
Van Dell is labeled "1/20 12K GF"
The brand was established in 1935 by John Van Dell and is still a popular luxury jewelry maker with products sold in USA, Canada, Europe and South America.
Here are more pieces by Van Dell if you liked this one.
1/20 12K GF means that
the jewelry is at least 1/20th 12K gold by weight.
I paid $12 for it.
The photo below doesn't belong to my bracelet but it's a clearer shot of 1/20 12K GF Van Dell signatures.
I found this pin in a vintage store in Old San Juan. It is not labeled but I also learned that in collecting vintage jewelry, you are encouraged to make decisions based on personal taste just as well as "measurable" value.
$3 that I paid for this pin not only made me feel ecstatic but it also helped grow my tiny little, beginner's collection.
In addition to collecting vintage jewelry, some of you might know that I even started designing my own pieces.
It was my revelation.
As I said,
an innocent mother-daughter bonding/shopping hour turned into a personal obsession, which doesn't appear to be going away
any time soon.
This double-sided necklace piece is not vintage -except the watch part appears to be so- it's an original design also from the same flea market, and also a gift from my mother.
Jewelry pieces like this one don't only make you original and stylish but they also provide an amazing source of inspiration when you design your own jewelry.
Today, just like any other sunday, I went to my flea market again and before I knew it, I was the lucky owner of 3 new pieces.
Here are today's treasures!
A vintage bracelet from 1940's labeled "Florenza" on both ends.
Dan Kasoff started producing jewelry in the early 1930's. The Florenza name was first used in the late 1940's and the company ceased operation in 1981.
Based in New York City, their designs resemble old Victorian and Renaissance Revival jewelry and always exhibited quality workmanship and materials.
You can find more Florenza pieces here.
This time piece by Waldman is not in working condition though it can definitely be fixed if I decided to use it as a watch rather than a bracelet.
I got this watch for $5 from my Brazilian friend at the flea market, who also happens to be a natural-born travel agent.
He will totally hook us up with local restaurants when we go to Sao Paulo.
Another great benefit of flea markets;
Conversations that quickly turn into long-lasting friendships.
I didn't come across a website that sold more Waldman pieces, however I know that this vintage jewelry Etsy store sold a nice Waldman pendant watch just recently.
Trifari is another famous, vintage costume jewelry maker from the 40s.
I paid $5 for these earrings -another great find from my Brazilian friend's stand- though I know that more sophisticated pieces are priced anywhere from $50 to $3000+
You can check this website for more!
What do you think?
So far, so good.
Same place, same time.