My research is also ongoing, thus the content of this guide will be revised to reflect any additional information I acquire and improvements I think will otherwise add to the guide.
Please keep in mind also that this is NOT a guide to authenticating Chanel costume jewelry.
The pieces were black and made of various types of materials: gutta percha, vulcanite, bog oak, ebonite and black glass.
Jewelry took the form of chatelaines, hair ornaments, lockets, pierced earrings, watch chains with fobs and seals, cameos, book chain style necklaces, hatpins, lavalieres, lace and lingerie pins, bangles, cufflinks and stud buttons.
I would like to share some date and value tips on how to invest money in antique jewelry that I have picked up over the years as an antique dealer at Years after Year.
There were many motifs characteristic of this time: flowers, snakes, crescents, lizards, birds, Celtic designs, Japanese designs, horseshoes and acrostics. A Victorian filigree diamond ring today is a much sought after piece.
The first letter of each stone spelled a word when put together. There was a wide variety of materials used in the jewelry: turquoise, coral, pearls, agate, tortoiseshell, cut steel, sterling, gold and various grades of gold, jet, French jet (black glass), lava, onyx and paste, low carat gold markings (9 carat) and gun metal "blackened steel." Jewelry had a "stamped," machine made look and feel.
Often, the eras and the styles "blend," existing simultaneously, flowing and melding much like a river.
The best tool you have to decipher these clues is your eyes. Queen Victoria loved jewelry and soon her fellow countrymen were as enamored of it as she was.