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    

Vintage Sparkle Signed Weiss Vendome Pink Rhinestone Juliana Pin Lot 11 W/ SetVintage Signed Crown Trifari Alfred Philippe Rhinestone Butterfly Pin Set Lot49 Pc Vintage Rhinestone Costume Jewelry Lot Brooches Bracelets EarringsHuge 65 Pc Vintage Hi End Designer Rhinestone Lot Juliana Weiss Beaujewels Coro Vintage Signed Austria Regency Topaz Juliana Rhinestone Cab Pin Lot 6 W/ 3 SetStunning High End Huge 145pc Vtg Signed Sterling Rhinestone Jewelry Lot! Mi5778 Vintage Art Deco Sweet Stack Carved All Bakelite Tested Bangle Bracelet Lot!Lot Sterling Silver Scrap Necklace Bracelet Vtg Earring Turquoise 645g Ii5lot Vintage Genuine Tested Bakelite Bangle Bracelets Olive Green Rootbeer BrownVintage Victorian Art Nouveau Enamel Rhinestone Sash Filigree Pin Group Lot 10Vintage Necklace Lot Black Woven Chain Chanel Watch Coral Bead Necklace 14k Clps70-pc Vtg Hi End Designer Rhinestone Lot Juliana Weiss Selro Judy Lee VendomeGreat Lot Of Victorian To Vintage Pocket Watch Chains & Fobs Scrap/use 77g Vintage Bakelite Applejuice Rootbeer Carved Bakelite Lucite Art Deco Pin Lot 18 Vintage Rhinestone Costume Jewelry Lot 90pc Weiss Juliana Kramer Hobe Trifari Vintage Estate Glass Necklace Lot Czech Art Deco Venetian Gripoix & Faceted Bead 1800's Antique Victorian 16 Piece Lot Rose Gold, Gold Filled, Cameos, LocketVintage Victorian Coral Gold Filled Art Nouveau Mop Sweetheart Bar Pin Group LotVintage Bakelite Applejuice Rootbeer Carved Bakelite Celluloid Dress Clip Lot Vintage Art Deco Sunny Scalloped Daisy Blue, Bakelite Tested Bangle Bracelet LotHuge Lot Men's Vintage & Antique Jewelry-cuff Links/tie Bars/tacks-junk Drawer419pc Huge Lot Vintage Jewelry Signed Barchley Carolee Dauplause Richellieu Bsk105 Pc Huge Vintage Jewelry Lot Rhinestone Juliana Vendome Judy Lee Sets + Evc!Vintage Rhinestone Costume Jewelry Wear Sell Lot Ab, Glass, Rhinestone Lot HugeAntique Vintage Victorian Gold Filled Jewelry Lot Cameo Serpent Ring Masonic 10kVintage Sterling Silver Jewelry Lot-rings, Earrings, Bracelets, Charms, 74 GramsVintage Sterling Silver Jewelry Lot-rings, Earrings, Bracelets, Charms, 92 GramsNice Hi End Vtg Rhinestone Jewelry Lot Signed Austria Hollycraft Coro Trifari+Antique Victorian Rose Yellow Gold Filled Gf Bangle Bracelet Bracelets Set LotMammoth Quartz Watch Lot-- Many Running-- Wear Repair Resell-- 15 Lbs!Huge Lot Of Vintage Brooch Pins Animal Flower Leaf Abstract Enamel Heart Wow I1Huge Vtg Victorian Revival Cameo Lot Glass Porcelain Carved Cabochon Brooch+ 65p3 Vintage Austrian 2 Strand Beads Pink Blue Lavender Ab Crystal Necklace Set LotVintage Art Deco Bakelite Rhinestone Celluloid Hatpin Stick Pin Ornament Lot 88 Vintage Art Deco Sweet Stack Of Carved All Bakelite Tested Bangle Bracelet Lot Vintage Signed Miriam Haskell Crown Trifari Robert Faux Coral Necklace Pin LotJob Lot Of Jewellery & Other Items Etc For Spares/repairs/refurb Some Is VintageJob Lot Vintage Jewellery-9ct Gold/925 Stirling Silver/costume Jewellery & BoxesVintage Costume Jewelry Lot Rhinestone Necklaces Weiss Kramer Japan & More14 Vintage Rhinestone Brooch Lot Amazing Group Trifari Kirks Folly Gold Filled +Huge Lot 98 Pcs. Vintage Jewelry Beau Jewels, Coro, Essex, Wells Sterling, RitzVintage Plastic Grape Brooch & Marbled Bakelite Bangle Bracelet Lot Of 21950's Jewelry Lot Trifari Weiss D &e Juliana Jj ExcVintage All 14k 18k Hge Ge Electroplate 2 Gold Filled, Rings Bracelets Lot Scrap14pc Lot Sterling Silver 925 Vintage Now Ring Pendant Chain Jewelry ~wear/ ScrapVintage Trio Lot Copper Adjustable Cuff Bracelets 2 Are RenoirFabulous Vintage 18p Bracelet Lot's Of Sterling Cuffs Bangle Charm Signed CopperVintage Lot(53) Of Christmas Brooches Jelly Belly, Enamel, Rhinestone, Pot Metal4lot Genuine Tested Bakelite Bangle Green Yellow Turquoise Black MarbeledArt Deco Nouveau Pave Rhinestone Dress Clips Buckles Shoe Clip LotAntique To Vintage Rhinestone Jewelry Lot, All Old Or High End Pieces. 18 PcsVintage Austria Trifari Monet Rhinestone Pins Bracelet Fur Clip Lot Of CostumeTrifari Signed 3pc Oval Cabochon Turq&white Frost&clear Rhine Pin&ear Set 1960Vintage Assorted Lot Bakelite & Carved Belt Buckles Bracelets Rings & PendantsVintage Costume Jewelry Lot Necklaces Brooches Earrings Rhinestones Rings & MoreVtg 22p Designer All Rhinestone Lot Brooch+ Beaujewels Juliana Germany+necklace+Huge 30+ Lbs Assorted Vintage Mod Jewelry Junk Drawer Lot Wearable Repairs PartsEstate Jewelry Lbs Huge Gold Silver Rhinestone Stamped Highend Vintage LotVintage/antique Victorian Repair/wear Jewelry Lot, Shell Cameos, Sterling, Estate Jewelry Large Lot Costume Silver Vintage Watches Necklace Rings Bracelett