• From Hummingbird Heads to Poison Rings: Indulging Our Antique Jewelry Obsession Estate jewelry might sound like a stuffy topic, but not in the hands of jewelry historian Monica McLaughlin. Every so often, she unearths the most breathtaking, bizarre, and unbelievably intricate works of antique fine jewelry that are up for sale for her column at The Hairpin. The images alone will make you do a double-take. As in, “Is that ring really set with a glass eye?” or “Are those actuall…
  • Treasures of the Incomparable Pforzheim Jewelry Museum Recently, I visited the Schmuckmuseum in Pforzheim, Germany (see slideshow below), which is the world’s only museum devoted entirely to jewelry (the translation of Schmuckmuseum from German to English is ‘jewelry museum’). The jewelry tradition in Pforzheim goes back to 1767, when Karl Friedrich, the Grand Duke of Baden, gave his blessing to the jewelry and watchmaking trades. The core of the Schm…
  • Christie Romero on Differences Between Fine and Costume Jewelry Over the Decades I started out with general antiques and collectibles... I was a dealer for a while and bought and sold all kinds of things. Gradually jewelry became my focus. In the mid-1980s I started getting serious, and in 1988 I started teaching small classes, workshops, and seminars, primarily on costume jewelry but also some fine jewelry. Vintage costume jewelry was just beginning to take off as a collec…
  • Jewelry as Sculpture: The Birth of Modernist Studio Jewelry My background is in fine art. My B.A. was in Art Education, so I started out as an art teacher. Later, I began working on a master’s degree in art valuation and started working for galleries. I enjoyed that side of it, the collecting and the sales, the gallery experience. I wasn’t really into jewelry, but we moved to Alexandria, Virginia and I worked for a gallery there called Silverman Galleries …
  • Elyse Karlin on the Beautifully Unrefined Origins of Arts & Crafts Jewelry I started collecting jewelry when I was about 13 years old. I was very close to an interior designer who took me to antiques shops. While she looked for paintings and objects for her clients, I gravitated toward the jewelry counter. I started asking questions and buying little pieces for $10, $12, and it turned out I had a good eye. I was pretty much self-taught because up until the last 20 years …
  • 'Roadshow' Appraiser Shares How She Assesses Turn-of-the-Century Jewelry I bought my first piece of jewelry—a gold ring with a big lapis stone propped on prongs—when I was about 12 with money my grandfather gave me. Then, as a teenager, I worked in my aunt’s jewelry store in New Jersey during the Christmas season. I actually wanted to be a professional opera singer, but I realized I wasn’t going to become Renata Tebaldi. So I went back to school for three years, to the…