Vintage and Collectible Costume Jewelry Marks

Illustration of costume jewelry
Illustration: The Spruce / Kelly Miller
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    Costume Jewelry Marks

    Contemporary collectible jewelry marks are sometimes just as intriguing as the pieces themselves. Also referred to as "jewelry stamps" or "maker's marks," these imprints help confirm the authenticity of the jewelry and can sometimes indicate the production date. Usually, the marks consist of the manufacturer or designer's name or initials, but sometimes they feature a symbol. Familiarizing yourself with the markings and manufacturers will be helpful if you want to research the worth of your pieces. 

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    ART

    ca. late 1940s-1980 ART - One of the marks used by Mode-Art
    Jay B. Siegel

    Mode-Art, a jewelry company founded in New York City in the late 1940s, was owned by Arthur Pepper. This "ART" mark was used after 1955 as indicated by the copyright symbol. The company also used the mark "Mode Art" on its pieces. Mode-Art competed directly with Florenza in terms of style but the founders of both companies counted one another as friends, as related to Pamela Wiggins by Larry Kassoff, the son of Florenza's founder.

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    Chanel

    Chanel round 1970s mark
    Ca. 1970s - Early 1980s Chanel Round 1970s Mark. Jay B. Siegel

    This House of Chanel mark is one of several that were used during the 1970s moving into the early 1980s. This version shows the copyright and registered symbols above "CHANEL" in block letters on a round cartouche. The familiar interlocking "CC" logo and "Made in France" completes the bottom of the design. Marks from this era can be found both with and without the featured circular outline.

    Chanel has used many different marks since the 1960s, including both round and oval cartouche signature plates and sometimes stamping CHANEL directly into the piece. The earliest pieces of Chanel jewelry were unmarked. Most of the older jewelry from the 1930s, '40s, and '50s are in private collections and rarely come up for sale. Pieces marked Chanel in script lettering were made by Chanel Novelty Company in the early 1940s, and were not made by the House of Chanel.

    Costume jewelry by Chanel is unique in that once the season has passed and pieces are no longer available in retail boutiques, they're already considered collectible on the secondary market.

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    Ciner

    Ciner jewelry mark
    Ca. 1931-present Ciner Jewelry Mark Used Prior to 1955. Jay B. Siegel

    Ciner used several similar marks on vintage costume jewelry. Jewelry by this brand can be hard to decipher since they don't include a year on the stamp. However, if you find a Ciner piece that includes a copyright symbol, it's safe to assume the piece was made after 1955. 

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    Craft

    Craft jewelry mark
    Jay B. Siegel for ChicAntiques.com

    Gem-Craft, a company doing business in the Providence, Rhode Island area, stamped their jewelry with this "CRAFT" mark. Ron Verri, the owner of the company, confirmed that as of 2015, the business was no longer making jewelry under their own brand. They do still make jewelry for other lines such as Oscar de la Renta and Kenneth Jay Lane.

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    DeMario-Hagler

    Ca. mid-1960s DeMario-Hagler costume jewelry mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    Stanley Hagler used this odd mark on occasion on his costume pieces. A potential partnership between Robert De Mario company and Hagler failed in the 1960s, but his workshop did use up these marks that were made in anticipation of the collaboration.

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    Dominique

    Dominique costume jewelry mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    While some sellers refer to Dominique as a she (perhaps confusing the name with French jewelry designer Dominique Aurientis), jewelry with this mark was produced for several decades by the late Dominic DeTora in his Rhode Island workshop.

    Known as "Dom" to his fans, DeTora worked for a company that produced jewelry bearing the names Weiss and Eisenberg during the 1950s, and he employed the same "vintage" techniques to manufacture his own quality jewelry line. He is known for his large rhinestone collar and bib necklaces, which are quite popular with collectors.

    DeTora's most famous pieces are his Christmas tree pins, which have appeared in many books devoted to collectible holiday jewelry as well as general collectible jewelry price guides. The earliest Dominique pieces were unsigned, and sometimes his early necklaces are confused with Juliana (DeLizza & Elster) designs. He began signing his jewelry during the early 1990s and retired from the jewelry business in 2010. He passed away in 2016.

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    Fashioncraft Robert

    ca. 1942-1979 Fashioncraft Robert Mark
    - Pamela Y. Wiggins

    This company began in New York City as The Fashioncraft Jewelry Co. and was renamed Robert Originals Inc. in the early 1960s. Early jewelry was marked Fashioncraft Robert. Later pieces were marked Original by Robert.

    The "Robert" in the name refers to Robert Levy, one of the original founders of Fashioncraft. Styles are often similar to Miriam Haskell and DeMario designs, although they were not related.

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    Hannah

    Ca. 1990s Hannah Buslee jewelry mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    Hannah Buslee designed jewelry using semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals, and antique beads wired to filigree plates.

    Buslee began designing contemporary versions of costume jewelry reminiscent of older hand-wired pieces made by Haskell, DeMario, and Robert in 1992. Her designs were sold in Washington boutiques in the Puget Sound area, and stores along the East Coast. Hannah jewelry is of high quality, and many pieces are one-of-a-kind and/or limited editions.

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    Hollycraft

    Ca. 1950s Hollycraft 1950's mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    This is the mark of Hollywood Jewelry Mfg. Co. (1936–1979) founded by Joseph Chorbajian. Produced jewelry in the 1940s bearing a paper Hollywood Mfg. Co. hangtag. Early pieces are not dated, nor are those made after the 1950s. Pieces simply marked Hollycraft are dated based on the styles, components, and findings.

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    Kenneth Jay Lane - K.J.L.

    K.J.L. mark dating to the 1960s & early 1970s
    Jay B. Siegel

    The first Kenneth Jay Lane jewelry pieces made during the 1960s and early 1970s sported this simple "K.J.L." mark.

    The late Kenneth Jay Lane began his career designing shoes for Christian Dior in the early 1960s. Not long after, he worked with Arnold Scassi making jewelry to coordinate with a line of shoes embellished with imitation gemstones. Since falling into the business decades ago, Lane’s fabulously fake costume jewelry has been owned, worn, and collected by celebrities, and royalty alike. He also marketed his jewelry very successfully through QVC for many years. 

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    Marvella

    Ca. 1911 - present Marvella costume jewelry mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    This New York company's most well-known lines feature faux pearls, but they used many different materials including crystal beads and rhinestones.

    Marvella originated as a line of jewelry manufactured by the Weinrich Bros. Co. The Jewelers’ Circular published in 1919 refers to the Weinreich Brothers located in Philadelphia where the company was founded in 1911. At some point, the brothers moved their business to New York City, as referenced in 1950s jewelry patents registered by the company.

    The company changed its name to Marvella, Inc. around 1965 after several iterations of similar names. Marvella was purchased by Trifari in the early 1980s and eventually became part of the Liz Claiborne group. As of 2010, jewelry was still being distributed in department stores and other retail outlets on cards bearing the Marvella name.

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    Matisse Renoir

    Ca. mid-1950s Matisse Renoir mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    This is the mark of Renoir of California (1948–1964) used on enameled copper jewelry introduced in 1952. The copyright symbol was added to mark in the mid-1950s. Jewelry by this company crafted simply of copper with no enameling bears only the Renoir mark. 

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    Mazer

    Mazer jewelry mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    Joseph Mazer used this mark from 1946–1981 after leaving Mazer Brothers. The "Mazer Bros." mark was used from the mid-1920s to 1951 (even after 1946 when Joseph left the business). Joseph Mazer also used the "JOMAZ" mark on some of his own company's jewelry.

    Because jewelry marked Mazer was made through several decades, the style, and components of each piece should be used as a guide for dating. 

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    Mimi di N

    Ca. 1960s Mimi di N costume jewelry mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    This is the mark used by Mimi di Niscemi. Some pieces were dated in the 1970s and 80s with a more block-style "Mimi di N" mark.

    Mimi di Niscemi worked with Arnold Scassi, Robert DeMario, and Brania before forming her own company. She is known not only for jewelry but for ornate belt buckles as well. 

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    Mistar Bijoux

    Ca. 1990-2000s Mistar Bijoux mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    The trademark for this brand was filed by L'Etoile, Inc. of Los Angeles, California, in 1990 and canceled in 2003. The mark was used on good quality rhinestone earrings, bracelets, and necklaces sold in department stores such as Dillard's and Macy's. 

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    Original by Robert

    Ca. 1942-1979 Original by Robert Mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    This company began in New York City as The Fashioncraft Jewelry Co. and was renamed Robert Originals in the early 1960s. Early jewelry was marked with this "Fashioncraft Robert" stamp.

    "Robert" refers to Robert Levy, one of the original founders of Fashioncraft. Styles are often similar to Miriam Haskell and DeMario's designs, although the businesses were not related.

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    Ornella

    Ca. 1950s Ornella costume jewelry mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    The company manufacturing Ornella jewelry was founded in 1946 by Piera Barni Albani in Milan, Italy. His daughter, Maria Vittoria Albani, joined the business as its designer in the 1950s. Most pieces marked Ornella, which were made through the early 1970s, are made with Italian glass beads, and some feature ornate rhinestone-embellished clasps. Several designs were marked with stickers that are likely no longer be present on the piece. 

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    Pennino

    Ca. 1926-1966 Pennino sterling costume jewelry mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    This company was founded in 1926 as Pennino Bros. in New York City. Pennino marks, sometimes small and lightly stamped, can be easily overlooked.

    Examples marked Pennino Sterling were made in the 1940s and may have a gold wash over the silver. Pennino jewelry is finely crafted, and collectors avidly seek the company's exquisite, real-look pieces.

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    Pell

    Ca. 1941 to present Pell costume jewelry mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    This New York company was founded by the Gaita brothers in 1941. The mark with the copyright symbol as shown was used after 1955. Prior mark was "PELL" in block letters.

    Pell has made jewelry and tiaras in conjunction with many entities including Disney, the Miss America Organization, and Coro. The company's jewelry has also been merchandised on QVC. Alfred Gaita Jr. currently continued running the business into the late 2000s.

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    Regency

    Ca. 1950-1970 Regency mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    This is the mark of Regina Novelty Co. which was established in New York City in 1950. The business also used the Regency Jewels mark on their later rhinestone jewelry styles and some beaded necklaces.

    Regency jewelry was manufactured using high-quality rhinestones, art glass stones, and glass beads. Some of their most valuable pieces feature saphiret cabochons.

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    Schoffel & Co., Austria

    Ca. 1930s-1960s Schoffel & Co. Crown mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    Jewelry bearing this crown mark was made by Schoffel & Co. of Austria. The stamp is sometimes accompanied by the word “Austria” or “Made in Austria” but was also used alone.

    This company is known for making jewelry using quality Austrian crystal rhinestones in designs ranging from dainty and feminine to flashy and complex. The business is believed to have started as early as the 1930s and was active in jewelry production into the 1960s.

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    SENT Murano

    SENT Murano jewelry mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    This metal hangtag mark is found on contemporary Venetian glass jewelry handcrafted in Murano, Italy, by the studio of sisters Susanna and Marina Sent.

    According to the Sent website, the Sent sisters are descendants of Venetian glassmakers. Susanna studied architecture, and Marina focused on chemistry in their schooling but came back together to form a jewelry business. Their approach is to design unique pieces using Venetian glass beads and other components like wood and paper to create wearable artistic expressions.

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    Warner

    Ca. 1950s-1970s Warner mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    The Warner jewelry company was founded by Joseph Warner in the early 1950s. His business used high-quality stones and materials. Their designs are well-known for japanned (blackened) metal settings.

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    Whiting & Davis

    Ca. 1950s Whiting & Davis 1950s mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    This Whiting & Davis logo features wording similar to the logo used on the company's metal mesh handbags without the "mesh bags" denotation. The mark shown here is from a pair of earrings from the 1950s. 

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    Wm de Lillo

    Ca. late 1960s Wm. de Lillo Jewelry Mark
    Jay B. Siegel

    This is the mark of William de Lillo and Robert Clark (former head designer for Miriam Haskell in the early '60s) first used in 1967. Some pieces are marked only de Lillo.

    William de Lillo's partnership with Robert Clark began after de Lillo had worked for Tiffany & Co. and Harry Winston in the fine jewelry space, according to Adornment magazine. The costume jewelry they produced incorporated elegant components, including Swarovski rhinestones and quality crystal beads. Pieces bearing the Wm de Lillo or deLillo mark are desirable to collectors today. The team ceased production of their jewelry lines during the mid-'70s and moved to France then doing freelance work for design houses such as Schiaparelli and Nina Ricci. This brand is not related to newer imported jewelry with a WM mark.

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