The word “bling” wasn't added to the Merriam Webster dictionary until 2006, but the concept has been familiar to costume jewelry designers for decades. One of their favorite expressions of bling was the necklace, which is perhaps the showiest of all jewelry forms, thanks to the way it puts its bright baubles and sparkling effects front and center.

Hollywood stars such as Joan Crawford were hip to costume jewelry necklaces early on—she was a regular client of acclaimed costume jeweler Miriam Haskell. Vintage Haskell necklaces are among the designer’s most sought-after pieces. Some have only a single strand of faux pearls. Others have multiple strands in matching or different sizes and hues—from traditional white to smoldering dark brown. Even the clasps are opportunities for embellishment, with pearls, rose montées, and filigree decorating their ends.

Legendary designer Coco Chanel was another fan of costume necklaces, providing faux-pearl and glass-bead necklaces to such stars as Katherine Hepburn and a very young Elizabeth Taylor. After World War II, Christian Dior combined faux rubies or emeralds with sparkling rhinestones. Greta Garbo, Claudette Colbert, and Vivian Leigh are just a few of the other influential movie stars who routinely wore costume necklaces.

One designer whose main focus was Hollywood was Eugene Joseff. His company, Joseff of Hollywood, designed stunning costume jewelry necklaces for such films as “A Star is Born” (1936), “Casablanca” (1942), and “To Catch a Thief” (1955). In that Alfred Hitchcock classic, Grace Kelly wore a Joseff necklace with a spectacular strand of fake diamonds.

Indeed, by the 1950s, costume jewelry necklaces had become so respectable that Mamie Eisenhower felt perfectly comfortable wearing Trifari costume jewelry to the 1953 inaugural ball.

To match the First Lady’s pink satin gown (dripping with 2,000 rhinestones), Trifari’s Alfred Philippe designed an "orientique" pearl choker with matching three-stranded bracelet and earrings, each laden with eight pearls. Three sets were made: one for the First Lady, a second for the Smithsonian, and a third for the Trifari archives. Mrs. Eisenhower was so pleased with the ensemble that she had Trifari make jewelry for her second inaugural ball in 1957.

Other collectible vintage costume jewelry necklaces include Coro’s Vendome rhinestone-studded chokers, Elsa Schiaparelli’s “shocking pink” lava-rock collars, and Stanley Hagler’s faux coral floral necklaces.


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    

Vtg Antique Victorian Sterling Silver Collar Necklace Book Chain Locket PendantVtg Antique Edwardian Solid 14ct 14k Gold Natural Turquoise Fringe Drop NecklaceFine Rare Antique Victorian Gilt Sterling Silver Citrine Riviere NecklaceFine Antique Art Deco Sterling Silver Guilloche Enamel Slide Pendant NecklaceAntique Victorian Sterling Silver Carved Salmon Coral Cameo Pendant NecklaceRare Antique Victorian 14k Gold Bearing Quartz Locket Necklace Pendant Fob CharmVtg Antique Victorian Silver Natural Turquoise Gemstone Bow Pendant NecklaceAntique Victorian Era Real Undyed Old Coral Beads // Grab A Bargin //Antique Art Nouveau Silver Plate Galalith Pearl Moonstone Art Glass NecklaceVintage Estate Sterling Silver Natural Lapis Lazuli Disc NecklaceAntique Early Art Deco Iridescent Pink Art Glass Flower NecklaceJaw Dropping Vintage Verified Juliana D&e Delizza Rhinestone Necklace!! S3629Vintage Deco Czech Egyptian Revival Neiger Scarab Glass Bead Flapper NecklaceVintage Ysl Yves St Laurent Runway Dicronic Glass Runway NecklaceAntique Early Art Deco Mediterranean Blue Glass Bead Festoon NecklaceAntique Victorian Faceted Natural Honey Baltic Amber Bead NecklaceVtg Antique Arts & Crafts Nouveau Sterling Silver Blister Pearl Pendant NecklaceUnusual Antique Berber Ethnic Tribal Silver Enamel Talisman Box Pendant NecklaceMiriam Haskell Egyptian Revival Beaded Vintage Collar NecklaceAntique Art Deco Venetian Foil Glass Beads Necklace Peacock Colours Blue GreenVintage Deco Venetian Opalescent Cranberry Bi Colour Foil Glass Bead NecklaceHobe Amazing Rhinestone Molded Glass Flower Mesh Necklace Earring Set W/ Tag!Vintage Chanel Gripoix Black & White Baroque Pearl, Crystal Sautoir Necklace 66"Vin: 50's Sensational "trifari" White Daisy & Gold Plate Link Necklace/bracelet.Sign Miriam Haskell Necklace Large Baroque Pearl Rhinestone Jewelry 40" Long Vintage Christian Lacroix Haute Couture Runway Dripping Pearl Jeweled NecklaceVtg 1940's - 50's Art Deco Lariat Negligee Rhinestone Art Glass Dangle NecklaceVintage Verified Juliana D & E Crystal Rhinestone Pearl Pendant NecklaceRare Vintage Miriam Haskell Frank Hess Beaded Iridescent Seashell Shell NecklaceVtg 1930's French Art Deco Machine Age Coral Pink Glass Necklace Bracelet SetVintage Genuine Art Deco Cherry Red Amber Bakelite Bead Necklace 52g Graduated Antique Victorian Gf Carved Quartz Rock Crystal Intaglio Fob Pendant NecklaceVtg Antique Victorian Sterling Silver Bow Pendant Hand Painted Portrait NecklaceRare Antique Art Deco Cherry Amber Bakelite Barrel Bead NecklaceVtg Pate De Verre Art Glass Cluster Pink Flower Italian Necklace Earrings SetMiriam Haskell Silver Baroque Style Pearl Vintage NecklaceVtg Trifari Necklace Wildflowers 1956 Enamel Flower Rhinestone Restored PhilippeFabulous Art Deco Green Peking Glass Stones Antique Vintage Old Estate NecklaceVintage Antique Art Deco 1930's Pink Pastel Venetian Satin Glass Bead NecklaceMiriam Haskell Amazing Amber Glass Vintage Necklace Bracelet SetAntique Victorian Era Real Undyed Old Coral Beads Lovely Necklace Vtg Kramer Goldtone Pearl Ab Glass Dangle Bib Cluster Necklace Earrings SetVintage Art Deco Amber Rhinestone Flower NecklaceStunning Vintage Estate Silver Tone Signed Florenza Rhinestone Necklace! 6192rRare Antique Art Deco Venetian Opalescent Yellow Foil Art Glass Bead NecklaceVintage Karl Lagerfeld Haute Couture Runway Massive Gripoix Anchor NecklaceAntique Victorian Jewelry Lot Purple Brooch Mourning Baby Pin Lavalier NecklaceSigned Boucher Vintage Chrysoprase Glass Necklace Earrings Set Blue Rhinestone Antique Art Deco Sterling Germany Necklace * Carnelian * Grapes * Stunning *Fabulous Art Deco Filigree Sterling & Green Stone Lavalier NecklaceAntique Art Nouveau Deco Brass Flower NecklaceNapier Gold Tone Bib Necklace Vintage Signed Costume Jewelry Unsigned Weiss Vintage Set Necklace Pendant Bracelet Rhinestone Wow 4031Unusual Vintage Sterling Silver Blue Enamel NecklaceVintage Early Art Deco Amber Vauxhall Glass Stone NecklaceFabulous Miriam Haskell Vintage Pearl & Rhinestone Dangle NecklaceRare Antique Chinese Enamel Silver Box Hidden Deity Mandarin Court NecklaceVintage Art Deco Signed Czech Vauxhall Glass Step Yellow Amber NecklaceMiriam Haskell Jade Green Necklace Bracelet Earring SetVintage Signed Miriam Haskell Bird Clasp Gorgeous Center Baroque Pearls Necklace