Beading and Vintage Jewelry Story

If you're a beader (or just otherwise love beads), vintage beads can be a big lure. I'm not just talking about dZi beads, old African trade beads or anything; I'm talking about beads from a bygone era that have history or a story behind them.

But here's a story of a vintage beading experience gone wrong! Yes, it happened to me, and hopefully it hasn't happened to you.

The Lure of the Flea Market

I'm a sucker for flea markets, when the weather gets cooler.  While most flea market these days seem more like malls, there are usually a few booths with regular people selling off some unused things.  These are the tables I gravitate towards.

One market I stumbled across while on a vacation had a table of beaded necklaces.  I figured I may as well look, and if the price was right, I could take apart the necklace for the beads.

Nothing I saw appealed to me until I saw a triple-strand crystal aurora borealis necklace.  All three strands were graduated, and the beads ranged from 4mm to 12mm.  Even in the dim light of the tent they sparkled!  The necklace also came with the original display case and a pair of matching earrings.

After a little haggling, I walked off with my treasures.  And when I got home, proceeded to dismantle the necklace for the beads.  Don't know if they were Swarovski, but they certainly rivaled them in sparkle and fire.

What Were They?

Now that I've been cruising ebay for vintage costume jewelry, I feel heartsick.  The story behind the beads is that they belonged to the seller's mother, and she had gotten them in the 50's.  So I've been trying to find what they might have been.

I've seen several close examples which might be the same maker as mine, selling for some quite nice prices.  Certainly more than what I paid for mine.  Unfortunately, I don't even have the presentation box anymore, which might have given me a clue as to the designer...and would also add to the price!

So now I'm a little more careful.  I've seen collections of what they call "repair jewelry" that have plenty of pretty beads.  ([nmslink:repair lot costume jewelry,Repair jewelry] is somehow damaged, like having lost beads or rhinestones, that can be used to repair other more valuable pieces.)  Those are the kinds of vintage jewelry I look for these days, both online and offline, when I'm in search of vintage beads!

Anyway, here are some costume jewelry repair lot auctions, many of which include vintage beads!

[nms:repair lot costume jewelry,7,0,5]

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