Costume jewelry is routinely sold in lots, which are large groups of mixed styles and pieces, from necklaces to bracelets to earrings. For sellers, listing a large collection of inexpensive costume jewelry is preferable to auctioning each item one at a time. For buyers, purchasing costume jewelry by the lot has numerous appeals. For example, some people make new pieces of jewelry out of old ones, so lots offer these buyers an opportunity to acquire a great deal of inventory in a single transaction. Other buyers scour costume jewelry lots for high-quality items to repair or refurbish. Whatever the reason, lots are generally sold by the total number of pieces or by weight.

During the 1920s, costume jewelry began infiltrating the mainstream fashion world thanks to the spread of affordable materials and improved production methods. Coco Chanel’s line of eye-catching jewelry transformed the public image of such fashion accessories. Instead of symbolizing wealth or family heritage, Chanel’s jewelry were designed to project a specific aesthetic or sense of style.

Companies like Trifari and Miriam Haskell quickly followed Chanel’s lead, and the market for costume jewelry exploded. Meanwhile, out in Hollywood, the over-the-top, gaudy, fake gems made by a designer named Joseff gave the genre glamour. Film stars such as Mae West, Joan Crawford, and Marlene Dietrich wore costume jewelry both on screen and off.

Women with middle-class incomes were now able to flaunt their fashionable taste without breaking the bank. Costume jewelry was cheap enough that a brooch could be purchased to go with a certain color hat, or a bracelet bought to match a favorite dress. By the 1940s and '50s, it was not uncommon for women to own large collections of this “cocktail” jewelry. These personal collections are often sold today as costume jewelry lots.

For serious vintage seekers, the thrill of a costume jewelry lot comes from discovering the valuable hidden gems among the more commonplace pieces. As many collectors know, the workmanship of costume jewelry can be on par with that of fine jewelry, particularly if it's made by reputable designers like Ciner or Hobe. Those seeking signed pieces by Kenneth Jay Lane, Juliana, or Coro sometimes find such treasures within an undifferentiated bulk of costume jewelry.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Researching Costume Jewelry

Researching Costume Jewelry

Jewelry lovers, venture through this amazing database of vintage jewelry articles, catalogs, and brochures, as well… [read review or visit site]

Emerald City Vintage Costume Jewelry

Emerald City Vintage Costume Jewelry

It looks like we're not in Kansas anymore with Elizabeth Rowlands' site on vintage costume jewelry from the 1940s a… [read review or visit site]

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Jewelry collectors, feast your eyes on this internet gem! It's a goldmine of jewelry information featuring all styl… [read review or visit site]

All About Jewels Dictionary

All About Jewels Dictionary

This incredible reference dictionary on jewelry, from Enchantedlearning.com, is both beautiful and comprehensive. S… [read review or visit site]

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

With its vast galleries featuring clear images of jewelry and style, this site really covers it all! Divided up by … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

101 Pc High End Designer Rhinestone Lot Juliana Weiss Leru B David Kramer SetsVtg Total 66g Antique Genuine Natural Butterscotch Amber Bead Necklace X4 LotA Lot Of Antique Vintage Jewellery Victorian Silver Locket Glass Beads Pins EtcBig Lot Old Antique Victorian Vintage Whitby Jet Jewellery Spare Repair HarvestGood Mixed Lot Victorian Costume Jewellery Coral Jet Muffchain Some Sterling EtcStunning High End Huge 200pc Vtg Signed Rhinestone Sterling Gf Jewelry Lot Sm287Vintage (14) Huge Mixed Bakelite Lot Bracelets Plus Misc. BeadsLot 42 Items Antique Vintage Jewellery Brooches Silver Diamante Paste Etc RepairGroup Lot Antique Vintage Pins Rings Bracelet For Re-sale Use Scrap Re-purpose45 Grams Old Pawn Sterling Silver & Turquoise Coral Vintage Lot Load #94Lot Vintage Jewelry Coro Trifari Sets Necklaces Brooches Earrings Rhinestone Nr Vintage Rhinestone Jewelry Lot For Parts Or Crafting Use Art Deco To VntgHuge Lot Gorgeous Vintage Estate Costume Jewelry Glass Rhinestones MoreMixed Lot Vintage/antique Victorian Sweetheart/mourning Brooches/pins228pc Huge Lot Vintage Costume Jewelry Castlecliff Richelieu Florenza CelebrityRare D&e Juliana Orange Green Rhinestone Keystones Dragonfly Brooch Pin Book PcHuge Rhinestone Enamel Flower Brooch Pin Clip Earring Vintage Estate Jewelry LotAntique Art Deco Lot Brooch Pin Necklace Pendant Earring Rhinestone Flower Sl255Vintage To Now Huge 45 Lb Junk Jewelry Lot!!!! Repair Harvest Junk No Reserve!Lot 123 Pcs~retro 50s Jewelry~monet Trifari Bsk Lisner Whiting-davis & AntiqueAntique Vtg Victorian & Deco Glass & Figural Pocket Watch Fob Charm Pendant LotHuge Lot Very Vintage Antique Great Estate Jewelry Rhinestone Crystal 14k SignedVintage Victorian Art Nouveau To 1960s Stickpin Hatpin Collection Jewelry LotLot Vintage Enamel Flower Pins Brooches & Earrings~think Spring!Huge Antique & Vintage Estate Jewelry Lot Rhinestone Necklace Joan Rivers WatchGorgeous Huge Lot Of All Critter Figural Vintage Pins Some Signed!13 Pc Vintage Rhinestone Enamel Flower Brooch Earring Lot Juliana Selini GarneVintage/antique Large Selection Earrings Brooches Inc Gold/silver Assorted LotHuge Lot Quality Jewellery Vintage/antique, Silver, Costume, Bone, Ab, GlassAntique Victorian Jewelry Repair Lot Bookchain Mesh Bracelet Mourning Seed PearlHuge Lot Vintage Estate Jewelry Silver Tone Pounds Lbs Rhinestones Glass SignedStunning Victorian Vintage Mixed Estate Jewelry Lot Kramer Weiss Trifari Austria*10 Lbs* Tangled Junk Jewelry Lot-2 Many Wear Few Craft Vintage Modern Pounds Huge Mixed All Wear Jewelry Lot-vintage,mod,estate,nos,-15 Lbs. Hundreds Of Pcs.26 Lbs! Huge Lot Vintage - Now Costume Jewelry Craft, Harvest, Wearable,tangledVintage Rhinestone Jewelry Lot For Parts Crafting Repair D&e Weiss Trifari Art +High End Jewelry Lot Vintage Brooch/pin Ears Must C! Schreiner Kramer ShermanJuliana Vintage 3 Pc Faux Jade Parure Neck, 5 Link Bracelet & Earrings - Mint!Vintage Jewellery Mixed Lot Dog Brooches/pinsHuge Lovely Vintage 18 Lb Lot Of Jewelry All Wearable 250+ Pr Earrings L@@k!Lot 50 Items Antique Vintage Jewellery, Cameo Brooches Diamante Spares RepairLot Vintage Modern Bracelet Charm Chunky Heart Cluster Rhinestone Flower Leaf B3Gorgeous Vtg High End Diamante Clear Rhinestone Baguette Glass+jewelry Lot Vintage Jewellery Mixed Lot Enamel/rhinestone Bug Brooches/pins151 Vtg Signed Rhinestone .925 Boucher Kramer Weiss Costume Jewelry Lot 8 SetsVintage Antique Jewelry Lot Bracelet Watch Fob Chain Poison Earrings SterlingHuge Lot Vintage - Now Southwestern,mexico,native American Jewelry "3 Day's"31 Vintage Rhinestone Some Gf & Sterling Ring Lot-uncas-jensenLot Of 6 Vintage 60's Crystal Glass Rhinestone & Enamel Flower Power Pins BroochVintage Jewellery Mixed Lot 40s Reverse Carved Lucite Flower Brooches/pins103pc Huge Lot Vintage Costume Jewelry Kramer Lh Segal Coro Perfect Sets Musi Mothers Estate~huge Vintage Unsearched Jewelry Lots Rhinestones, Lot #a4Antique Vtg Victorian Carved Carnelian Hardstone Glass Intaglio Cabochon Lot #5Sweet Lot Of Victorian To Vintage Jewelry Majority Gold Filled Wear- Scrap 133g 228pc Huge Lot Vintage Costume Jewelry Art Kramer Coro Richelieu 18kh.s.c. SetsSpectacular Lot Of Victorian To Vintage Jewelry Many Gold Fill Wear- Scrap 118g Huge Box Unsorted Costume Jewelry *11 Pounds* Vntg/mdrn Most Wear Lbs Junk Lot-180 Piece Lot Vintage Modern Figural Brooch Pins Enamel Rhinestone Some SignedVintage And Victorian Junk Drawer Lot Jewelry And More 10k138 Pc Vtg Rhinestone Jewelry Lot