Educating people on vintage, antique jewelry and gemstones.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Attending a Venetian Ball

Hello, I am Victoria Vintage. Please follow me as I travel
around the world buying unique pieces of vintage jewelry
for my clients. My website is

I write articles regarding vintage, antique jewelry and
gemstones. Thank you for viewing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Welcome! I am Victoria-Vintage. Today, I am covering information regarding the ruby in gemstone format.

Rubies are commonly found in East Africa, Burma, Thailand, Afghanistan and around Pakistan.

Gemoligists address different terms to describe a gems luster and its degree of intensity. Such as "Splendent" which means that the stone reflects light like a mirror. If there is little light reflected, then it is described as "dull", or "earthy".

Glasslike, or transparent gems have a "vitreous" luster. Precious metals have a metallic luster: and organic gems have a range from "resinous", or "waxy" to "pearly". Gemstones often vary in their luster.

The ruby is a rare gem. They come in different degrees of red. From pinkish to purplish in color. Or, in a brownish red color. The red color is determined by the amount of chromium, which further enhances the color by causing a red fluorescence. A true ruby has sometimes been called an "oriental ruby" to seperate it from the "red spinel". Often Garnets and purple Sapphires have been mistaken for rubies.
Centuries ago people believed they could predict the future by the varying degrees of color change in the ruby they wore. Rubies had a very high value. One very rare ruby titles "gigeion's blook" variety is now mined in Burma. The Burmese used to wear rubies to protect them from illnesses, or bad fortune.
The Hindus, believed the Ruby burned with an internal "fire". They named it "The King of Precious Stones".
Early mining of rubies goes back 2,500 years ago in the area around Sri Lanka (where tea comes from).
Rubies occur in bands of crystalline limestone. Rubies are fairly hard. Rubies measuring more than 2 inches in size were discovered in mica schists in Pakistan. Like sapphires, rubies are pleochroic and their hue will change if the stone is turned about.
Rubies should be valued under different intensities or values of light. A very strong light normally gives a ruby a very intense color, whereas a normal value of light may give out less intense color.
The center of ruby trade is in the vacinity of Thailand. The best quality rubies come from Burma. Their the rubies are none to have a fire in them, or a "crimson" glow.
When you look at the "raw" chunk of crystal, it is all red in color with a transparancy. When cut properly it can eminate the most amazing red hues with luster and brilliance. Often, they have a pinkish red hue.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Victoria-vintage comments on vintage jewelry

As I buy vintage jewelry, I'm noticing that many people cannot determine the newer pieces from the older, vintage pieces. Many of the old pieces had heavier, more weighty, high quality metals. The retro pieces dating in the 1940 and 1950 era, used mostly silver tone metals and a material called rhodium.

Often, in the vintage jewelry, you will find prong hand set rhinestones. Great detail and high quality workmanship.

Rhodium is a white metallic material which belongs to the platinum metal ground. It has a hard finish which has a reflective look to it. Many jewelry makers used rhodium plating in this era.

Platinum was used in the older fine jewelry. It is a heavy, silvery white metallic material that was alloyed with other metals. Often, in the art deco period, designers used platinum on their fine jewelry. I really like the art deco designed pieces of jewelry. Quite detailed with tiny pave diamonds set in platinum, with often a colored gem of ruby or emerald.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pictured below. Jewelry lot. Here is one of the lots displaying the antique jeweled brooch and Har signed clip earrings.

Miriam Haskell Information

Miriam Haskell first began making jewelry commercially around 1924, and she designed pieces with great unqiness of design. She flew to Europe to pick "select" beads of glass for her fine designs. High workmanship and much detail, with wired construction and filigree pieces. She chose Russian gilt to cover her findings. Frank Hess joined her in the company as the lead artistic designer, and he was a master of new and technically complex production techniques that allowed their vision to become a reality. Hess worked as the lead designer until he retired in 1960, and he was succeeded by Robert Clark. Mr. Clark continued the traditions but incorporated some of his own ideas into production.

In the early years, Haskell jewelry was not marked and production was limited. Since the early jewelry was unmarked, Haskell jewelry is questionable as to authenticity. There are of course distinct characteristics an expert looks for, including the design itself which often incorporates surprises or irregularities that one looks for. Quality was always evident, with finer quality materials and all prong set in the design. Haskell jewelry is known for its use of elaborate filigree and careful wiring, all handmade with such gorgeous designs. I highly recommend your purchasing a book to educate yourself via pictures of her workmanship. The advent of World War II forced Haskell to sometimes use alternative materials including for the first time plastics, and she purchased many of her materials locally.

In the early 50s, the company started marking their jewelry. Several styles were used according to the design including an incised "Miriam Haskell" on the hook, "Miriam Haskell" in a crescent shaped cartouche, and an oval stamp "Miriam Haskell" on the clasp. Some designs during the fifties were very elaborate, combining stones, pearls, beads, and filigree in amazing designs. The company was sold to Frank Fialkoff in 1990 and the company is still producing today, making some of the older designs highly sought after.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Enchanting Spring

Here in Oregon, we had quite a winter. In December we had 4 storms, each within days of each other, dropping about 3 to 4 feet of snow!

Today was the first day of wonderful sunshine. I was ready to take a stroll in the neighborhood. How wonderful to see the daffodils coming up...and primroses. The neighbors were busy cleaning up their pots that had sat in the frigid temperatures. They were eager to get their newly purchase annual in their pots and get them out on the porches and decks to enjoy.

It felt so good to hear the birds twittering and singing. I saw all kinds of sparrows fluttering and flying all about, enjoying spring and saying to their fellow friends how happy they were to see the sunshine!