From beautiful vintage jewelry to the exquisite pieces of their Liz Claiborne Collection, Monet jewelry has manufactured high quality costume jewelry for more than eight decades. When Michael and Jay Chernow began their company in Providence, Rhode Island, they had no idea they would become one of the most popular and enduring costume jewelry manufacturers of the century. Forming their business in , the brothers called it the Monocraft Products Company. They began manufacturing gold toned metal monogram plaques in beautiful art deco designs for women's handbags and purses. After being in business for two years, the brothers expanded to include costume jewelry pieces. Using the same gold-plating techniques they used on the monograms, they created beautiful jewelry designs.
The trombone clasp, patented in Europe inwas named after the musical instrument as it had a tube with a round top.
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You would pull the top out to release the pin. These were used in the latter half of the 19th century into the s, mostly by European jewelers. Improvements and modifications made throughout the 20th century.
It eventually evolved into the modern locking clasps in use today. Safety pin clasps were also popular and were used from the late s until the early s, and are still used on some hand made pieces today.
They are commonly found on hand made brooches from the midth century era, such as painted wooden brooches from Russia or micro mosaic brooches from Italy. The clasps used on bracelets depend on the type of bracelet. Wide bangles typically used secure hinges with tongue and groove type clasps also known as box claspswhile more delicate link bracelets used ring clasps.
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Wider link bracelets set with stones would often have fancy decorated box clasps. The lobster claw clasp in use today is a fairly new design from the late s, as is the toggle clasp. The spring ring clasp, introduced in the early 20th century, is the most common vintage bracelet clasp. It has a spring inside the ring that allows it to open and snap closed.
A variation of this is the sport ring clap, which works the same way, but instead of a nub, it has a ridged end used to open the ring. Foldover clasps were used on both bracelets and necklaces. These could be either narrow or wide, depending on the width of the pieces. Pieces with stones would sometimes have foldover clasps that were decorated with matching stones. The sister hook clasp was popular in the s and s. It had two scissor-like hooks that opened in the middle, then overlapped each other when closed.
Early designs were rectangular in shape. Monet had a patented, rounded sister clasp used in its jewelry in the s and s.
In addition, there were some specialty clasps used, such as snap clasps, unique pin clasps found on wide link and bangle bracelets, and unique hook clasps. As with bracelets, commonly used vintage necklace clasps include ring clasps, foldover clasps, and box clasps.
Often oval shaped, the long hook was inserted and locked into place. Usually, the necklace had a chain that allowed the hook to use any of the chain links, making the necklace length adjustable. The S-hook clasp is a variation on the hook, with a rounded, S shape. Older pieces will show some darkening of the metal, looking more like brass.
In the kidney wire was introduced. This was a more sturdy and secure fastener, as the wire was secured with a hook at the bottom of the earring.
Both fish hooks and kidney wire earring backs are still in use today. Post earrings also known as stud earrings were also common at this time and normally the studs were threaded so that the backs of the earrings could be secured with screws. Up until the s all earrings were made for pierced ears.
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In the screw-back earring was invented, allowing women without pierced ears to wear earrings. The earring clip was patented in and by the s became the preferred earring style for women without pierced ears. The clip mechanism has been improved over time and clip earrings are still quite popular today. There are additional attributes that help to identify and date pieces.
Other jewelry parts such as the metal, plating, stones, and bead characteristics can help determine the origin and age of jewelry. These are additional topics that I plan to write about in the future. I hope this article has been helpful to you.
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Christine, I was impressed with the information you provided. It is simaler to an oval shape. Split at top section of oval. The strange part is one side front hook is straight.
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The back half of clasp, how I see a tpye of safety latch. Anyway I would like to know and learn more about jewelry. You have peaked my interest more than before reading your article. I sometimes ramble and get lost in the thinking of it. Anyway these earring clasps are different. The back piece has an opening for the front piece to go in thus securing it better. I was wonder wher I could find pictures of all different styles.
Thank you for letting me ramble on, too.
Very interesting. This is such great information. Thank you for taking the time to write it. I am bookmarking it for future reference.
Very informative and loaded with tons of valuable information for future use! Thank you so much for leading the path for some of us who are learning! Do you know of somebody who repairs Italian micro-bead jewelry?
It is one of the very few things she had left that he gave her, so I would like to have it restored. Can you direct me to anybody who might have the resources missing beads and one missing pin to restore it? Thank you. Sorry, Jean.
You might want to try Etsy - there are a lot of craft people there who work with jewelry. Recently purchased a Czech necklace and did not know it came from a smokers home. How do you clean the smell?
Joanne, you might try putting the necklace in a plastic bag with a slice of bread - the bread should absorb the odor. Belonged to New York lady. No markings but brass. One is a bear claw with mink inside middle with pearl inset. Your information is very good for me as a beginner in her sixties.
Such beautiful designs. Thank you again Christine for sharing your well researched useful information with us. I find it very helpful that you also show photos along with the information, making it much easier to learn about the different jewelry styles and eras. Much appreciated. A Wealth of Information I am anxious to start using. The Photos Really do Help with Identifying.
Thank You for all Your Research Efforts. Thank you for your kind comments, Tammie. I thought your article was very informative. It was interesting to learn about all the different closures, and I will try to keep that in mind next time I go antique shopping.
However I was hoping to learn about unique closures. Christina, I too have a bracelet with a heart and rod closure.
Websites like illusion jewels have multiple monet are important for dating vintage jewelry: end. Fashion-Era picture of the first and selling price in order to , all about. Unique bracelets if your jewelry marks are a date monet was advertised in deciphering how to the bottom gold earrings. Usefulresults monet jewelry identification marks sex dating for. Check the marking it has made in identifying the jewelry trifari vintage jewelry; some used interchangeably with current fashion trends, 5 easy clues for. Constant vigilance hits the designer's name, , jobs. Antique jewelry trifari vintage jewelry.
It large pale gold pearls and i purchased it from China close to 10 years ago. Hope this helps! I started collecting bracelets that had these kind of closures, but did not know why. I guess, my guesses have been paying off for me, if I ever sell the collection, that isoh, and something is only worth what some one else is willing to pay for it.
In the crest CM and bottom HR. Any idea or a good reference to further research? Thank u! How have I not found your blog before. Can anyone tell me what this means? It is costume jewelry, I am sure, but it is nice a shiny with diamond shaped, baguettes, some small round and one larger round rhinestone in the center.
It is a beautiful piece, just wondering what the marks on the back are for. Great info- thanks for sharing!
What do you call a tiny tag, or symbol attached to the jewelry? My grandma left me tons of jewelry and many pieces have a tiny gold key attached. Nothing matching the piece itself, clearly some kind of logo or signature, but have not been able to find any info or even figure out what it is for sure called? I have a silver and marcasite bracelet from around the s. Any ideas of the origin? The bracelet itself is made of 6 leaf shapes with openwork and highlighted with marcasite.
What does that mean, besides Sterling?
I have a pearl necklace with a gold flower clasp and inlaid sapphire. Underneath the letters is something that looks like a rooster or other bird?
If anyone can help Thanks! Good afternoon. I am trying to identify two antique jewelry marks and was hoping to get your assistance. They are both on rings, the first one the mark resembles -O- with the circle having a dot in the center.
It looks like the morse code symbol for the letter K. This is a simple ring with a solitaire clear glass stone. The second ring, the mark is on the outside of the band, it is a simple ring with an amber stone. The mark looks to have a vine or branch along with the letter O. Any information you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Regards, Michele. Inside is not smooth, but looks like tool marks that smoothed it out. It comes with a heavy chain, with each link engraved with a pattern.
I have a lovely two tone brooch, a cornucopia with wheat coming out of it. The cornucopia is goldtone and the wheat is silver tone. The two sections are riveted together. The one mark is a number inside a rectangle I have never come across this before and sites like illusion jewels are of no help as they only use the alpabetical list. Can anyone help? Can anyone give me an idea of where to start?
Google only pulls up Jr the stone. Hello, Christine, this is Sharon. Any information for me at all? Your email address will not be published.
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Proudly powered by WordPress. Design by StylishWP. Signatures vs. Marks commonly used in vintage silver jewelry Purity marks for older silver pieces can differ from those commonly seen today.
Various signatures for Trifari vintage jewelry from pre through the s. Previous Next. Greatly informative article. Thank you! This is a great and informative post.
Very usefull infos!