Sunday, December 29, 2013

Parure Jewelry - What does Parure Mean?

I recently purchased some jewelry.  As I was going through it I noticed a tag attached to one of the pieces.  On that tag was written four part parure $75.00.  This new term provoked my curiosity.  My fingers flew across the keyboard typing this word in a Google search.  From what I gathered it means a set or more than one piece that match or go together.  It is a French word that was first used with fine jewelry but now it is also used with costume jewelry.  Demi parure means two pieces in set like a necklace and a matching bracelet.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Learning about Signed Jewelry ... Where to begin? Example: 1950s AJC Noah's Arc Gold Toned Pin / Brooch

Signed Jewelry Example 1950s AJC Noah's Arc Gold Toned Brooch

How did I learn about its age?  How did I learn about its designer?  Research!  Where to begin?  That's the hardest part for me when I am getting started on a new endeavor.  Well, in this instance, I have learned to look for a signature on a piece of jewelry.  Usually it is on the back.

That is my starting point.  I usually Google the initials by typing the following into the search bar "signed jewelry AJC" and then I click on the Images Link.  This link is located right next to the Web link under the search bar.

 When you click on the images link, you will see multiple images by that designer as pictured above.  I then click on the matching image or the one closest to it and start my search there.

You can also visit to research the marks on a piece of jewelry.  In this case, I learned AJC stands for American Jewelry Chain Company.  I found out the age of the piece by reading other descriptions of the piece that I found from looking at links from my images search.

 If you would like to purchase this item, click here to see if it is still available in my eBay store.  You can also visit to find more items by this designer.

Collectible Jewels is a great site to explore if you are wanting to learn more about jewelry.  Once you click the link, if you scroll down you will find a VALUABLE resource!  There is an extensive list of designers.  You can click on a designer's name and study the jewelry pictured for that designer and take note of the signature so that you can recognize future signed pieces.

Please feel free to share any tips you have learned.  Experience is priceless.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Upcycling Jewelry

Upcycling is a brand new word to me.  I learned about the term while working at the flea market one Saturday.  Learning about new things is one of the reasons why working at the flea market is so exciting.  I am still very new to it...  Every time I have gone so far I have learned something about jewelry simply by inquiring.  I learned about the power of the magnet that way.

The term upcycle or upcycling apparently refers to taking vintage jewelry or old jewelry and "fixing it up" or using the old parts and pieces to make beautiful new pieces.  I think of it as an art form.  I learned about it by talking to a lady who was looking through the parts and pieces by asking her where she got the beautiful necklace she was wearing.  She told me simply she made it and that she likes upcycling.  Sheepishly I asked her about what that meant and she was more than happy to explain.

In my eBay store, I will be listing many items that can be used to create jewelry or upcycle other pieces.  Please check back often.  I am exploring the many ways to sell jewelry.  I am also considering taking the time to learn how to make my own jewelry or upcycle vintage pieces and make them more modern.  The possibilities are endless...

If you happen to know more about upcycling, please share.  If I am using the word incorrectly or you have more to add about what it means or ways it can be done, I would love for you to share, share, share.  That is how we learn after all. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Elvis Presley Charm/Pendant

I just listed a 1977 Elvis charm or pendant.  It is exciting to think that it is a part of history.  Whenever there is a date or an interesting signature, my curiosity forces me to check it out.  I didn't realize it at first but I soon found out that 1977 is the year we lost Elvis. 

Even though this item may sell, I would like to memorialize it on this page.  It is one of those special pieces, that I want to remember.  He died the year before I was born yet his influence is still felt today. 

Several years back I had the opportunity to visit Graceland.  If you ever get the chance I highly recommend it.  For someone so successful it was relatively humble.  It felt like a home.

It is a shame we lost him so young...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Power of the Magnet

There may be many people that know this already but it was an exciting revelation when someone shared this very useful tidbit of knowledge.

A quick way of determining whether or not jewelry is gold, silver, sterling, or copper is by using a strong magnet.  Precious metals do not stick to a magnet!  When you have a lot of jewelry to go through this speeds up the process instead of using a magnifier and looking for markings on every piece.

Now I use my amazing magnet to separate the jewelry into groups.  This is where teaching comes in handy because I love categorizing and organizing.  I start by grouping the jewelry by whether or not it is magnetic.  The nonmagnetic items are then sorted into the following piles:  appears to be gold, silver/sterling, copper, and unknown.

I bought my mega magnet at a coin shop that pays cash for gold.  Observation is key in learning.  I had my first hint that this was a useful tool when I was working the flea market and saw a gentleman with a coin magnifier (that can be found at Books-a-Million) and a little magnet hanging on a lanyard around his neck.  I politely questioned about the magnet and he enlightened me.  This new knowledge was further supported by the coin shop since that is how they quickly sort what they will test or not test with a kit (this will be in a future post).

The magnet in question is 80 times (at least) a regular magnet's strength.  It is so strong that if it comes into contact with a cell phone or laptop it wipes out all the memory!

I wrapped strong magnet in duck tape so it won't scratch the jewelry (or anything it comes in contact with).  If you are a treasure hunter, a magnet is the perfect item for you!

This one looks similar to the one I bought at the coin shop.

The coin shop sold it to me for fifteen dollars.  I would recommend talking to a local business before purchasing this magnet.

 If you are a treasure hunter, a magnet is the perfect item for you!

eBay Store

After years and years of dreaming about my own business, I am embarking the first steps of a new journey.  I am taking the first steps to hopefully create something lasting that I can pass on to my daughter.

To begin, I opened an eBay store aptly named Lowery's Loft.

It will house times that are "Vintage to New and Affordable too!"

Here is a brief overview of what is/will be in my eBay store:

Costume Jewelry (vintage to new) 
Disney Toys
Ty Beanie Babies
Comic Books
Collectible Figures
"Junk" lots - just a random collection of items to go through
and MORE

In teaching I've learned to start slow and build momentum.  That is what I plan to do with Lowery's Loft!

My Amazon Store

Please visit my Amazon Store for essential teaching resources, great read alouds, and children's books.

Here also some music I just love from the TV show Nashville.