Expensive Vintage Costume Jewelry – A Quick List

In this article, you will find a quick list of the most rare, collectible, and expensive vintage costume jewelry pieces from various designers and brands.  

expensive costume jewelry peices

What is Vintage Jewelry?

Jewelry is considered vintage if it is at least 20 years old. If it is over 100 years old, it is considered antique. 

What is Costume Jewelry?

Costume jewelry is a class of jewelry that uses semi-precious stones, plated metals, glass, wood, beads, and other materials to create the look of fine jewelry. Costume jewelry allows people to adorn themselves with jewels at an affordable price. 

Value Factors 

The most important factors in considering the value of vintage costume jewelry are:

  • Rarity - how rare is the jewelry?
  • Condition - is the plating or enamel worn? What is the condition of the stones?

Valuable Costume Jewelry Brands

The most collectible and expensive costume jewelry brands include the following:

  • Weiss
  • Eisenburg
  • Hobe
  • Coro
  • Miriam Haskell
  • Carnegie
  • Trifari
  • Lisner
  • Sarah Coventry
  • Boucher
  • Ciner
  • Kramer
  • Yves St Laurent
  • Chanel

Let's have a look at each of these brands and their most valuable pieces.

Expensive Vintage Costume Jewelry Designers and Their Most Valuable Pieces


Weiss 

Expensive Vintage Costume Jewelry -Weiss figural jewelry

Weiss Figural Jewelry on Etsy

Albert Weiss produced bold, vibrant, high-quality costume jewelry from 1942 to 1971. Compared to other companies of that time, Albert’s business was small and was open only for a brief period of time. However, he and his jewelry had a sterling reputation, nationally and internationally. Since there were considerably fewer pieces made, it is difficult to find these treasures today. But it is worth the hunt—his jewelry is magnificent and as “trendy” today as it was in the past.

Most Valuable Jewelry From Weiss

[Read: Weiss Vintage Costume Jewelry: A Buying Guide]


Eisenberg

Eisenberg original

Eisenberg Original Jewelry on Etsy

Eisenberg Jewelry is among the finest costume jewelry ever made and a favorite of many collectors. The quality is exceptional in design, materials and workmanship. In fact, the workmanship was so superior that the jewelry has held up really well throughout the years. As have the designs that are as fashionable today as they were when they were created.

Most Valuable Jewelry from Eisenberg

[Read: Vintage Eisenberg Jewelry Buying Guide]


Hobe

Hobe floral pins

Hobe Floral Pins on Etsy 

The Hobe company created costume jewelry with extreme care and craftsmanship. With a nod to the past, these pieces are both historical and classic. 

Most Valuable Jewelry From Hobe

[Read: Buying Guide to Hobe Vintage Costume Jewelry]


Coro

Coro jelly belly

Coro Jelly Bellies on Etsy

Coro Jewelry is most noted for its collection from the 1930s to the 1950s featuring brooches, double-clip brooches, necklaces and bracelets. Its great success was due to the quality of their designs, the affordability of the pieces and the appeal to a wide range of consumers.

Most Valuable Jewelry from Coro

[Read: Buying Guide to Vintage Coro Jewelry]


Miriam Haskall

Expensive Vintage Costume Jewelry Mariam haskell

Mariam Haskell on Etsy

Intricate and ornate, Miriam Haskell jewelry is known for their artistically designed looks. These pieces are conversation starters, as they are big, bold and beautiful!

Most Valuable Jewelry from Miriam Haskell

[Read: Miriam Haskell Costume Jewelry – A Buying Guide]


Carnegie

Carnegie egyptian

Carnegie Egyptian Revival Pieces on Etsy

Hattie Carnegie’s jewelry features bold and colorful necklaces, bracelets, brooches, earrings, and sets. Instead of producing fabulous fakes as many of her colleagues did, Hattie’s designs and materials were innovative and distinctive.

Most Valuable Jewelry from Carnegie

  • Animal brooches made of Lucite - Collectors covet the fish and long-horned goats, but the anteater is the most prized of all - Shop on Etsy - Shop on eBay
  • Tremblers - flowers or butterflies on springs that trembled or vibrated as the wearer moved - Shop on Esty - Shop on eBay
  • Egyptian revival pieces - Shop on Esty- Shop on eBay
  • Pieces designed before Hattie Carnegie's death in 1950 - these are worth collecting even if they are not in good condition

[Read: Buying Guide for Vintage Hattie Carnegie Jewelry]


Trifari

Trifari fruit salad

Trifari Fruit Salad Pieces on Etsy

The Trifari brand is well known for their fine costume jewelry. Their pieces were created with the highest craftsmanship, in order to emulate high end jewelry.

Most Valuable Jewelry From Trifari

[Read: Trifari Vintage Costume Jewelry – A Buying Guide]


Lisner

Lisner oak leaf

Lisner Oak Leaf Pieces on Etsy

There was a time when Lisner jewelry was the quintessential “junk jewelry,” selling for $1 to $5 back in the day. but the pieces were cleverly designed and well made. For the past several years, it has greatly increased in value, particularly the pieces produced in the 1950s and 1960s. Collectors came to realize that the clever shapes and bright colors of the company's cheaply made plastic leaves and baubles possess a unique beauty.

Most Valuable Jewelry from Lisner

[Read: Buyer’s Guide to Lisner Costume Jewelry]


Sarah Coventry

Expensive Vintage Costume Jewelry Coventry mosaic

Sarah Coventry Asymmetrical Mosaic Pieces on Etsy

Most Valuable Jewelry from Sarah Conventry

[Read: Sarah Coventry Vintage Costume Jewelry Buying Guide]


Boucher

Boucher on Etsy

Boucher on Etsy

Marcel Boucher was one of the most talented designers and manufacturers of American costume jewelry in the 20th century. His jewelry was notable from the very beginning due to the excellent design and high-quality materials. It was commonly mistaken for precious jewelry. 

Most Valuable Jewelry from Boucher

[Read: Buying Guide for Vintage Marcel Boucher Jewelry]


Ciner

Ciner figural

Ciner Figural Pieces on Etsy

The Ciner Company’s commitment to handcrafting costume jewelry the traditional way has made the firm a collector’s secret for more than a century

Most Valuable Jewelry from Ciner

  • Pieces with high-quality fake pearls that were made in Japan. These faux pearls were made of a glass coated multiple times with a special glaze to achieve the glow of cultured pearls - Shop on Etsy - Shop on eBay
  • Figural pieces shaped like animals and flowers - Shop on Etsy - Shop on eBay
  • Jewelry with tiny turquoise seed pearls - Shop on Etsy- Shop on eBay
  • Chokers and Bracelets featuring crystal squares in interlocking zigzag patterns

[Read: Vintage Ciner Jewelry Guide]


Kramer

Kramer parures

Kramer Parures on Etsy

Louis Kramer was a gifted designer who combined unusual techniques and materials to make truly stunning pieces. He favored flower designs in colored enamel or gilt petals and leaves and jewelry sets in vibrant-colored rhinestones, many of which are as fashionable today.

Most Valuable Jewelry from Kramer

[Read: Vintage Louis Kramer Jewelry Buying Guide]


Yves St Laurent

Yves jewelry on Etsy

Yves jewelry on Etsy

Yves St Laurent is known for eclectic and eye-catching jewelry - creating bold and colorful pieces.  In the 1980s, with the resurgence of costume jewelry, Yves embraced faux stones, sets of matching faux jewelry, and large pieces with large stones or swinging elements. Yves’s designs were eccentric and controversial in his time, but became classic styles still seen today. 

Most Valuable Jewelry from Yves St Laurent


Chanel

Expensive Vintage Costume Jewelry Chanel 24 K Plated Gold

Chanel 24 K Plated Gold Pieces on Etsy

Chanel brought costume jewelry into the mainstream. The original intention of costume jewelry was to mimic fine jewelry for those who could not afford the real thing. Chanel changed this concept; she advocated that jewelry should be worn to decorate, rather than display wealth. She broke away from the established traditions of when and where jewelry could be worn.

Most Valuable Jewelry from Chanel

  • Vintage jewelry and handbag hardware is 24k gold plated, which raises the value on vintage items since the brand discontinued gold plating a few years ago. - Shop on Etsy - Shop on eBay
  • pieces marked "CHANEL" with three stars beneath - these were huate couture pieces.
  • Early baroque and Byzantine styles using Gripiox glass - Shop on Etsy - Shop on eBay
Most vintage Chanel costume jewelry has a high value, this is one brand that is 100% worth investing in.

[Read: Guide to Vintage Chanel Costume Jewelry]

Tips for Purchasing Vintage Costume Jewelry

  • Only buy costume jewelry that is in more or less mint condition.
  • Look at the back of the piece of jewelry, if there is green rust, it means the jewelry has already been damaged.
  • Look for signatures to verify authenticity.
  • Extremely worn plating, missing stones, missing parts, darkened or cloudy rhinestones, clasps that don't work properly, and chipped or scratched enamel all lower the value of a vintage piece.
  • Look for signs of quality such substantial weight, smooth plating and sparkling stones.
  • Avoid obvious repairs such as sloppy soldering and haphazard stone replacements.

Conclusion

I hope this list helps you find costume jewelry that will hold its value and remain highly collectible. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!

Happy Hunting,
Andrea

Share the Knowledge

35 thoughts on “Expensive Vintage Costume Jewelry – A Quick List”

  1. I have 80 years of collecting i have all of the above brands mostly unmarked 1800’s jewelry I’m old and time to get rid of my beloved collection . Where do i start?

    Reply
      • I’m interested in reading that article, too. My grandmother has a ton and she doesn’t have a computer to look up the value of what she has, that plus her just wanting to get rid of it means she’s let go of some really good pieces for CHEAP. I’m thinking about just buying it all from her and recycling the pieces into more modern jewelry- fashion being a huge contributor to waste and climate change… I’m curious to know what you think about that, too- recycling and reworking pieces into new things for people to enjoy.

        Reply
        • Hi Nicole, that sounds like a great idea! I see remade vintage jewelry on Etsy all of the time, there are some very beautiful reworked pieces.

          Reply
  2. I just came across your website. I have no idea on how much the value of costume jewelry is. Can you please help? Thank you Darla

    Reply
  3. Hi Andrea – Beautifully done website! Thanks for collecting all the great pictures and information! I love to collect vintage jewelry with the intention of creating repurposed pieces. I have a shop on Etsy for jewelry, but haven’t been as active in listing and selling as I was in the past due to work relocations in the past few years. I found your site by accident as I was chatting with a friend about a few lots of Miriam Haskell pearls and findings I had acquired years back and had seen recently on a YouTube channel how all Miriam Haskell jewelry was all handmade and not manufactured? Have you seen any reference to that?

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for stopping in Sindra 🙂 I have done some online research and I can’t find any definite answers to your question. Can you share a link to the video?

      Reply
  4. Hi,
    Just wondering if three little triangles have any significance at all. I can’t find any other markings. Paris Pastelles is on the earrings card. This is a dusty rose pink/orchid brooch with pink rhinestones? and earrings to match. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Glenis, I would have to see a picture of the pendant to get a better idea of the style and timeline it could have been made in. You can email it to me on the contact page 🙂

      Reply
  5. This was very informative, thank you! I’ve come across a bracelet that I can find NO marking on anywhere. It’s unusual, showy and loaded with prong set AB crystals. I assume that makes it post 1950s? I would love to identify it, but after searching everywhere I can think of I’ve had no luck. Any tips? Thanks once again.

    Reply
  6. I have some jewelry my Mother made from kits to sell in the 50’s. It is mostly rhinestones I imagine. Very petty and sparkly. There are some sets such as necklace, bracelet and earrings. Some stones have come out but I do have them and have not tried to glue them back in, Where would I go to see if any of it has value?

    Reply
    • Hi Pamela, I haven’t been able to find anything about make your own jewelry kits from the ’50s, do you know what company it is from?

      Reply
  7. Hi there and thank you for your most informing website.How do I find out what my brooches are worth?I have one starburst brooch which is so awesome but cant find anything similar to mine.The only one that looks like mine has real diamonds in and I think mine is only rhinestones.Very very sparkly stones.The othe brooch is a large brooch too that has blue stones and red stones in

    Reply
  8. I am desperate to find out something about the vintage costume necklace I have so I can sell it and hopefully not lose money. It is a very long necklace with what I believe are carnelian glass beads in a very ornate sort of filigree knot and flower design with a barrel clasp. I don’t think it’s sterling. Not sure what the metal is. Maybe just silver at what grade I have no idea.
    Looks like it could have been one of the long 1920s flapper necklaces. possibly. I bought it in an antique shop about fifteen years ago. I think I paid about $75.00f or it. Nothing was cheap in that store.

    Reply
    • Hi Michele, thanks for your questions. If you want help identifying, I suggest going to antique-jewelry-investor.com and use their identification service.

      Reply
  9. Thanks for sharing this informative blog. Antique jewelry is a status symbol… Antique jewelry pieces are one of a kind, made with great skill and craftsmanship. Antique jewelry is the latest trend. Many women prefer antique jewelry over other latest designs. Antique jewelry has its own beauty and grace. Victorian Antique Rings is one of the most fashionable antique jewelry.

    Reply
  10. This article was quite helpful. Antique jewelry is a wonder to behold itself, with a level of class that is unmatched. The idea of collecting vintage jewelry to repurpose it is brilliant. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. It is pretty beneficial. Thanks for sharing this information.

    Reply
  11. Thanks for explaining that the enamel on jewelry is also important to check out when determining its value. I'd like to look for a place where I can buy or sell vintage costume jewelry because I recently started being more interested in antique items. Maybe starting my own collection would make for a good hobby later down the line.

    Reply
  12. I have lots of jewelry from my grandmothers estate. She was born 1913…Looking for any information where to get appraised near syracuse NY
    Thank you,
    Michael

    Reply
  13. I didn't realize that's the condition of the enamel online jewelry is a consideration when analyzing its value. if you have already amassed certain last level, I think buying estate jewelry could be a good investment. Yet it's important to hire reliable services to make your purchase worthwhile.

    Reply

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