If you are looking to add some vintage Florenza jewelry to your collection, you have come to the right place. Here you will learn about the history, jewelry marks, materials used, most collectible pieces, and tips on how to buy.
Dan Kasoff‘s Florenza designs were distinctive. His creations had an Old World look influenced by Victorian Revival and Renaissance styles. His collections included ornate gold-plated metal bracelets, brooches, earrings, rings, and necklaces. He was also famed for his Wedgwood Mocha line of cameos carved into shells, glass and resin.
Brief History of Florenza Jewelry
Daniel Kasoff (nee Kosovsky) had one of the more serendipitous entries into costume jewelry. He started out working in the garment industry, then had his coat stolen from a restaurant. Another diner, Mr. Speier, felt bad for him and gave him the money to buy a new coat. Dan repaid Mr. Speier as soon as he could, and Mr. Speier was so impressed that he offered Dan a job at his company, the Speier Costume Jewelry Company. Dan worked for Mr. Speier for 10 years, learning the business and honing his talent for design. In 1937, he opened his own costume jewelry company, the Dan Kasoff Corporation. Dan’s son, Larry, joined him in the business in 1950, and the named changed to Florenza for Dan’s wife, Florence.
Florenza jewelry was constructed using high-quality workmanship, materials, and designs. Dan personally supervised the designs and their manufacture. Only the finest stones were used from Austria, Germany and the Far East; many were made especially for Florenza. The use of pastel and frosted rhinestones were immediately recognizable as Florenza. Its cameos, some hand-carved shell, were mounted in ornate 24K gold-plated settings. Other exclusive finishes were “Florenza Gold,” “French Gold” and “French Rose.”
Florenza jewelry was sold to wholesalers who then sold it to retailers, including upscale department stores such as Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Jewelry lines such as Hattie Carnegie, Coro, Louis Kramer and Weiss contracted with Florenza (Dan Kasoff, Inc.) to make jewelry for them. Florenza also produced lavish perfume bottles for high-end cosmetics companies, Estee Lauder and Revlon.
When Dan died, Larry took charge of the company, but a serious car accident in 1981 made him unable to continue. He closed Florenza’s doors in 1981.
Florenza Jewelry Designers
- Dan and his son, Larry, designed most of the jewelry.
- Lorraine Marsel: Dan and Larry employed “jobbers,” designers who worked on a contract basis. The only jobber whose name we know is Lorraine Marsel, because Dan had her pieces marked with her name.
Some Florenza pieces are not marked because they were part of a set. For instance, only the bracelet or necklace was stamped.
Other pieces are not marked, because the wholesaler wanted to put his own mark on them.
- “FLORENZA” in block letters within a square or rectangle or in script and circled. After 1955, a copyright symbol was added.
- “ROSENFELD BY FLORENZA”: Rosenfeld was a hand bag company who bought jewelry from Florenza. They were the only customer who put both their name and Florenza’s on the jewelry.
- “LORRAINE MARSEL” in an oval with a copyright symbol.
- Dan used only the finest stones from Germany, Austria and the Far East, many of which had been custom made for him.
- Dan patented 24K gold or gold alloy finishes, “Florenza Gold,” “French Gold” and “French Rose.”
- Specialty glass rhinestones
- Aurora Borealis
- Faux pearls
- Faux opals, turquoise, jade
- Colorado topaz
- Antiqued gold-plated metal
- Antiqued silver-tone metal
- Tiffany-style settings
Most Collectible Vintage Florenza Jewelry
Nearly every piece of Florenza jewelry is rare and, therefore, collectible.
- Green Enamel Brooch, Bracelet and Earrings
This set is among the finest examples of Florenza design, materials and workmanship. The vibrant green enamel of the brooch is adorned with faux pearls, the bracelet and earrings with faux pearls and dazzling clear rhinestones. All pieces are set in rich-looking, intricate gold-tone metal.
- Heliotrope Rhinestone Brooch Set
Florenza produced many Maltese crosses, but this one, in particular, is a work of art. It was produced with high-end art glass and named after the flower, heliotrope, for the pink, purple and blue colors. The brooch and earrings are made of silver-tone metal, cabochons, navettes and Aurora Borealis rhinestones.
- Blue Rhinestone Butterfly En Tremblant Brooch
“En Tremblant” is French for “to tremble” and describes brooches, first designed in the 18th century, that “tremble” as the wearer moves due to the tiny springs incorporated into the design. Florenza tremblers are highly coveted by collectors. This sparkling butterfly with opaque blue glass for a body is set in silver-tone metal with an array of various sizes and colors of blue rhinestones set among clear rhinestones.
- Ewer Perfume Vinaigrette Necklace
A vinaigrette was a small decorative box that ladies used during Victorian times to carry perfume while traveling. Eventually, a pendant, such as we see here, replaced the box. In addition to its practical value, wearing a vinaigrette signaled that the lady was of a high social rank—high enough to afford perfume! This Florenza vinaigrette was fashioned from gold-tone metal and decorated with red rhinestones, faux turquoise and finished off with a faux pearl on top.
- Gold-Toned Shell Cameo with Seed Pearls
Florenza cameos are highly collectible. This one is particularly beautiful. Designed in the Victorian style, the cameo is carved from a shell and set into gold-tone metal. The four seed pearls at the top are the crowning touch. The cameo can be worn as a brooch or pendant.
The most collectible vintage Florenza jewelry:
Tips for Buying Vintage Florenza Jewelry
- Antique shops, especially those with a large selection of jewelry, are the best place to shop. The shop owners are knowledgeable, enjoy sharing their knowledge and take pride in providing customers with quality pieces of jewelry and service.
- Antique shows where dealers from across the country gather to sell their wares provide access to a huge variety of vintage jewelry. Also, the better shows vet the dealers, and only allow those with known honorable reputations to participate.
- The Internet is where you can access the most items in the least amount of time and without leaving your home. Make sure the site is reputable, such as Etsy.com.
- Wherever you are shopping, make sure you take proper precautions.
- Don’t buy on impulse
- Examine the piece carefully.
- Ask questions.
- Make sure you feel comfortable with the dealer.
Florenza jewelry has a magical quality to it, something that you will be able to appreciate by looking through the astounding number of pieces displayed on Etsy’s Florenza pages.
eBay is also a great place to shop for vintage Florenza jewelry.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below. I do my best to answer them all!
25 thoughts on “A Vintage Florenza Jewelry Buying Guide”
I am trying to find out what this broch is worth can you help me?
Hi Joyia, is it a Florenza brooch? Does the brooch have a makers mark on it?
I recently purchased a small Florenza perfume bottle; gold-plated (perhaps), filagree with green cabochons and blue rhinestones (at least as far as I know from reading your wonderful article). Trying to figure out the date, if it was 1955 or earlier. Your article states after 1955 they added the copyright symbol after the FLORENZA name in a rectangle; however, the few I’ve seen on ebay or elsewhere say it’s from the 1930s or 40s. I’m inclined to believe you over misc listings, but I did want to be sure. And if you knew any more about these particular bottles. Thank you very much!
Hi Ariana, thanks for your questions 🙂 Florenza would not have made jewelry in the 1930’s as they were not a company yet (Daniel was making jewelry for the Speier Costume Jewelry Company at that time). I did some research and learned that copyright laws changed in 1955 to allow costume jewelers to copyright their designs (based on the court case of Trifari, Krussman & Fishel, Inc. v. Charel Co). Some companies,such as Hollycraft and Trifari were using copyright symbols before this court case, so you may see costume jewelry from the 1940’s with copyright symbols (Hollycraft used COPR as their copyright symbol) Here are some articles on the topic:
I want to send a photo of a florenza item which I can’t understand what it is
There is jad flowers pink and turquoise small flowers
Hi Nivin, thanks for your questions. If you want help identifying, I suggest going to antique-jewelry-investor.com and use their identification service.
I was given a silver tone magnifying glass years ago. It measures 5″, has a horse’s head atop and the back is marked ROSENFELD BY FLORENZE©. I only see gold tone items and was wondering if this piece is truly a Rosenfeld by Florenze piece. Anything you could tell me would be appreciated. Thanks
Hi Cherryl, thanks for stopping in. I only see gold-toned items as well, so I am not sure.
I have a florenza Roman numeral clock styled pocket mirror I can’t find it online to research it
Hi Sosa, thanks for stopping in. I can’t find anything about this piece either. I have found other florenza mirrors, but not one with roman numerals.
I recently purchased from an estate sale a Florenza necklace double chain with a French coin medallion in an ornate setting surrounded by rhinestones. I understand it to be from the 1960s.
I can find no other Florenza coin necklaces to compare. Are you familiar with a piece like this?
Hi Gail, thanks for stopping in. I am not finding any Florenza coin medallions. Florenza made cameo pendants, is that what you are referring to?
It says Republique Francaise on the coin. I can send a picture if that if that’s possible.
I bought at an estate sale a Florenza double chain French coin necklace with ruby and blue rhinestones in ornate setting around the coin. I can find nothing by Florenza using a coin. I’m told from the construction it is probably from the 1960s. Looking to find an estimate on it.
Is the necklace marked Florenza?
I’ve seen a Florenza marked necklace that the ornate pendant is white with gold undertones as white brushed over gold. What would this be callled? Also has a white glass stone, maybe moonstone?
Hi Gail, I believe that is white enamel brushed over gold tone 🙂 I don’t think florenza used moonstone, but I could be wrong. It is possible the stone is a faux opal or a glass cabochon.
Hello Joyia. I have an Etruscan looking necklace marked Florenza. It is gold toned with faux pearls and purple crystals. It has a double chain. I have been looking online but not seen it. Thanks.
Hi Colleen, that sounds like a lovely piece 🙂 It can be difficult to find examples of vintage jewelry online.
I bought a Florenza Ring but didn't realize that it was missing 2 stones. Is it possible to find replacement stones?
Hi Julie, Thanks for your question 🙂 It depends on what the stone is. Most Florenza jewelry was made with glued-in stones or simulated pearls. Any specialty stones – whether in shape or unusual coloring are hard to find without removing them from another piece of Florenza jewelry.
Here is a good article about replacing stones in costume jewelry https://www.gemselect.com/other-info/repairing-and-replacing-lost-and-missing-gemstones.php
I’ve not been able to find anything like the Florenza set I have (passed down to me). I wonder if I’m looking in the wrong place. It is a large centered emerald glass with rhinestones and tiny pearls all around it and gold chains dangling (brooch). Matching clip earrings are in same style.
Hi Liz, thanks for stopping in. It can be tough to find vintage jewelry on the internet. I usually look on eBay and Etsy to see if I can find similar jewelry, though it isn’t always successful. You can also try looking at old advertisements from magazines, or in books about the history of the brand.
someone donated a heraldic piece in gold tone a pin with crown attached to a strip of gold similar to mail and then winglike with blue stone in middle with blue stones on the side and a small tassle. Also clip earrings to match with the big blue stone and 6 small blue stones, 3 on each side.
Florenza with copyright.
Does this set have worth?
Thank you for the information regarding Florenza
Judging by your description it sounds like it could be either a brooch or a hat pin of some kind. As it has a copyright and comes with matching earrings, depending on the condition and rarity of the set, the value may range anywhere from $150 -$300 or more.
Good luck with it!