How to Repair Costume Jewelry

Whether you buy costume jewelry for your own collection, for investment or for resale, it's important to know when to repair a piece that has damage or missing stones, and when to walk away. Whether you intend to wear it, or plan to sell it "as is" will determine the wisdom of repairing it. If you plan to repair the piece and then sell it, be sure to factor in the cost of repairs to see if it's worth fixing.

If you have a piece of costume jewelry that you'd like to wear, but has loose or missing stones, or has other condition issues, what are the best ways to repair it so you can safely enjoy wearing it?

I've found that some issues are easy to address, others require more time, patience and money, and still others benefit from the attention of a professional.

If you'd like to repair your jewelry yourself, there are a few things you should invest in. If you don't already have a jeweler's loupe, or strong magnifying glass, you should get one. I have two – one stays on my desk, and the other stays in my purse, so I always have one handy, whether I'm working at home or out shopping for jewelry. Another handy magnifier is one that straps on your head, leaving your hands free.

The most common problem I see in costume jewelry is with the stones – rhinestones, crystal, glass or plastic, they may come out of their settings, be loose, or crack or dull. Older pieces may be set with glue that has dried and let the stone fall out. It's important to use the right kind of adhesive, and to not use too much. Krazy Glue or Super Glue is not recommended, as it may break down when attached to glass. Super Glue may be especially damaging to vintage pieces – a film may develop if it reacts to old metal and plating. If you get it on the surface of the stone, it's difficult to remove. Never use hot glue – it can expand and contract with temperature changes and may crack the jewelry or loosen the stone. The best adhesive to use would be one designed specifically for jewelry, which can be found in craft stores and on jewelry supply web sites.

Be careful not to use too much glue when replacing stones. The glue will not dry properly, and the adhesive will flow out around the stone and onto the metal. I use a toothpick dipped in a little pool of glue to drop minute bits of glue into the setting, a drop at a time, using as little as possible.

Putting the stone back into the setting is a delicate process – you can wet the tip of your finger to make the stone stick and then carefully drop it into the setting.

Save your old broken jewelry, or any unmatched earrings for their stones. You might find broken pieces at flea markets, …

Fighting the Green Monster In Your Jewelry Box: Caring For Your Costume Jewelry

Do you remember the morning you picked out your favorite fashion jewelry accessories and you noticed that it looked dingy and discolored? Yeah, me too. For lovers of costume jewelry, this is sadly a very common occurrence and until you learn how to properly care for costume jewelry, you'll continue to lose your beautiful fashion accessories to the green monster that lives in your jewelry box. So here are a few things you should keep in mind when caring for your favorite costume jewelry.

First things first, keep costume jewelry as far away from moisture as possible. In case you haven't noticed, warmth and moisture ruin almost everything. So if you have plans to use your fashion jewelry for a long period of time, you have to make sure that they stay dry at all times. Whenever you have to carry out any activities that may involve water like dishwashing, laundry or even swimming it's best you do these activities without wearing your jewelry. If they come in contact with water by any chance, make sure you dry them immediately.

Do not wear them every day. Sometimes, just like all of us, your costume jewelry needs a break from time to time. Wearing them every day would only result in their early demise. So if you want those necklaces and earrings to have a place in your jewelry box for a long time, you may want to alternate pieces every now and then. If not, consider stocking up on a few of the same style and alternating them from time to time. The good thing about costume jewelry is that it's affordable and having a small stockpile will keep you in fashion without breaking the bank.

If you absolutely don't have to wear them, don't. Now that we've established that costume jewelry shouldn't be worn every day, we should also note that they don't have to be worn all day either. Just because today is tassel necklace day doesn't mean you can't periodically remove your jewelry through the day. All that water and acid in your sweat is strong enough to tarnish or even break fashion jewelry. Think about it, do you really need to have them on when you're catching up on your favorite Netflix series? I didn't think so. So at that time of the day you're not trying to turn heads and take breaths away, it is absolutely okay to take them off. Most importantly, never sleep with your costume jewelry on. Trust me; the chances of meeting your soul mate in your dreams are slim to none.

Always clean them. I mean, you didn't have to hear this from me. If you're looking to use your costume jewelry for the longest possible time, then you should be cleaning them after each use. Although this may seem stressful at first, it pays off in the long run. All the oil, perfume, lotion or dirt that may have been transferred from your skin to your jewelry will eventually …

Start Collecting – Vintage Kramer Costume Jewelry

Perhaps less well known than the more abundant Coro, Trifari or Napier costume jewelry, Kramer costume jewelry often used rare or unique stones in their jewelry. First, a brief history: Between 1943 and 1980, Kramer Jewelry Creations was a family run business that produced some of the finest high-end costume jewelry. In the 1950s and '60s, Kramer manufactured Christian Dior designs, so finding a piece of Christian Dior by Kramer is a rare but rewarding treat. The Dior pieces often used good quality clear rhinestones with larger blue or green center stones. Christian Dior designs can command higher prices due to the Dior name, but the Kramer quality and designs are just as wonderful as those without the name.

Unfortunately for the collector, much Kramer jewelry from the '50s and' 60s was unmarked and had only a paper tag attached to identify it. If you do see a signature, it will most likely be "Kramer", "Kramer of NY" or "Kramer of New York. Look for the signature on the clip of an earring, or on the clasp of a necklace or bracelet. Other marks include the rare "Amourelle" from 1963, and "Kramer Sterling" which may or may not date from the WWII years when sterling silver was used in jewelry in place of other metals that were needed for the war effort. its quality, and for the use of vibrantly colored rhinestones with creative settings. Radiant red and orange, striking dark blue, glowing topaz, and elegant black rhinestones, along with plastic decorations, gave Kramer jewelry great variety and style.

For the collector, I think a great place to look for vintage Kramer jewelry is at estate sales. If you haven't tried it, this is a wonderful way to shop for vintage items of any kind. Check your newspaper and Craigslist for weekly listings of estate sales in your area, and sign up for the agent's email mailing list for future sales. Often sales in older neighborhoods will have vintage costume jewelry for sale. Tip: On the last day of the estate sale items may be marked 50% off. The selection is best at the beginning of the sale, of course, but the best prices can be found towards the end.

As with any collectible costume jewelry, it's important to be prepared: Bring a magnifying glass or jeweler's loupe with you to check the condition of the piece. If you're buying for your own collection, and not for investment purposes, you may be more flexible with condition flaws. If it's for investment, it must be flawless. Do you like the piece? Will you wear it or display it or just store it away to be admired from time to time? If the piece is signed by the designer that increases its value. Is the original box or tag included? Again, increased value is there.

Whatever your reasons, and just the simple enjoyment of having beautiful vintage jewelry is more than enough, become educated, do research, ask questions, and you'll soon be …

How to Price Costume Jewelry in a Flea Market

Flea markets are a great place to sell inexpensive costume jewelry. If you own vintage costume jewelry, you are probably better off selling them through other channels. Most shoppers in flea markets are not aiming to spend a lot of money on individual items. More often than not shoppers have a general idea of ​​how much they intend to spend in a flea market and that does not include spending on high end vintage costume jewelry. You can probably maximize your margins selling them in other locations.

However, flea markets are still great locations to sell your jewelry pieces. If you set up a jewelry booth, you are likely to sell more volume on good quality and fairly priced items.

Below are a few tips setting up a costume jewelry booth in a flea market:

Sourcing

Almost all types of costume jewelry can be sold in a flea market. You may come across items that you can sell from discount stores, clearance sales, thrift stores and even garage sales. While these don't provide a steady or reliable source of products to sell, you can also purchase directly from wholesalers and importers of costume jewelry. A few advantages of purchasing your pieces from an importer or wholesaler is their reliability in providing you with jewelry that have generally passed through quality control and can provide pieces in bulk.

Pricing and Tagging

Make sure that you don't over-price your pieces. You can do this by checking the price of the same or similar pieces in the same flea market or surrounding areas. Meanwhile don't under-price your items as well. Make sure you cover your fixed costs such as booth rental, electricity, hired help and even your time. This should give you an idea of ​​your volume break-even point and the mark-up that you place on each piece.

Make sure all your jewelry pieces are in good condition and clean. You can attach the piece to a card and stick on your price. Another way to tag your piece is by attaching a sting through the loop of the jewelry. Either way, make sure that the pieces are secure in a presentable manner.

Setting Up

Trays are great for displaying your jewelry pieces. The downside to using just trays is the amount of space that it takes up on your table. Whenever possible, use stand or hook larger pieces like bib necklaces on walls. Jewelry stands are available on-line or through display companies.

You also don't want to scare away customers by over decorating. It is always a good idea to have your booth decorated neatly. Having some color helps as it differentiates your booth among the other others.

Another tip is to have, when possible, a sign board. The sign should state exactly what you are selling, in this case costume jewelry. The sign always attracts attention in a sea of ​​many other booths without signs.

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