Before Albert Weiss founded his own costume-jewelry company in 1942, he learned the tricks of the trade as a designer for Coro in the 1930s. Weiss excelled at floral and figural brooches and earrings—the company also made numerous styles of bracelets and necklaces. Although Weiss would never get as big as Coro and ceased operations altogether in 1971, business was good enough in the 1950s and ’60s that the company had to contract with Hollycraft to fill its orders.
Weiss is perhaps best known for its use of smoky rhinestones. The company was also one of the first to use Swarovski’s polychromatic aurora borealis crystals, which were created with Dior in the 1950s. Earrings and pins in its Skyline brand are comparable to those in the Eisenberg Ice line.
Beyond rhinestones, Weiss collectors prize the company’s work in enamel, as well as its japanned pieces. Dark, japanned pins in the shapes of Maltese crosses were often studded with “black diamond” beads, but japanned metal also served as an exotic counterpoint to clusters of rhinestones in royal blue, ruby red, and other rich colors.
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