If you are looking to add some vintage Avon jewelry to your collection, you have come to the right place. In this guide you will learn about the history, designers, jewelry marks, materials used, and tips on how to buy.
Avon may be best known for cosmetics and fragrances, but their jewelry, especially that offered from the mid-1970s to the late-1990s, is in great demand by collectors. Pieces created for special collections, such as those designed by Kenneth Jay Lane and Elizabeth Taylor, are hard to find and, therefore, quite valuable.
Brief History of Avon Jewelry
David H. McConnell founded the California Perfume Company in 1886 with an original and distinctly modern sales plan: ladies going door-to-door selling fragrances and toiletries directly to ladies. Women had the opportunity to establish their own businesses! By the turn of the century, there were 5,000 much admired “Avon Ladies.” Thirty years later, there were 25,000. In 1939, the company became “Avon Products, Inc.” and expanded their products lines, including skin care, talcum powder and vanity sets.
Avon jewelry began in 1963, originally as a free gift for purchasing a particular product or as a premium for buying a certain number of products. The jewelry, characterized by brilliant stones, filigree, and gold leaf, looked like fine jewelry, and it was wildly popular. The demand resulted in Avon’s first collection that customers could buy in 1970. The collection included necklaces, pendants, rings and brooches that held perfume, solid or liquid, a status symbol for the ladies of the 1970s.
By 1975, Avon was the world's largest costume-jewelry producer—for men as well as women. Jewelry representing owls and other animals were popular at the time, as were cameos, bangles, Christmas and Halloween designs, and the ever-romantic hearts. By the 1980s, Avon's reputation for offering high-quality yet affordable costume jewelry began to attract notable designers to the line.
Today, after a complicated series of mergers and acquisitions, Avon is a international conglomerate with sales of more than $10 billion. In 2020, it began its new campaign “Watch Me Now” and introduced a whole new logo.
Vintage Avon Jewelry Designers
Jose & Maria Barrera
1980s: Jose & Maria Barrera “Roman Holiday” Pendant and Earrings Set
Jose and Maria Barrera collaborated with Avon in the late 1980s-early1990s. Their pieces are some of the most collectible of Avon jewelry. The bold yet often delicate designs translated well to the Avon brand. Collectors will find that vintage Avon Barrera jewelry is worth two to three times the original price.
Kenneth Jay Lane
1970s: Kenneth Jay Lane for Avon Statement / Runway Capriati Necklace
Kenneth Jay Lane’s costume jewelry was in demand by Hollywood celebrities, socialites and royalty. His designs were fun yet sophisticated, and Avon carried his collections longer than any other of their designers. KJL for Avon pieces commanded a higher price than the “ordinary” Avon jewelry, and the same is true today for the vintage collectibles.
1990s: Elizabeth Taylor for Avon Egyptian Bracelet Bangle
Elizabeth Taylor designed jewelry for Avon from 1993 to 1997. It was the most popular and the most expensive. Her designs are ornately detailed, luxurious and often indistinguishable from fine jewelry. Many pieces were inspired by her films, such as Cleopatra and The Taming of the Shrew. One show piece in particular was the replica of the Shah Jenah necklace gifted to her by Richard Burton. ET jewelry was glamorously wrapped in violet, the color of ET’s eyes.
Celine Dion Limited Edition Titanic Romantic Heart of the Ocean Necklace
In 1998, Celine Dion worked with Avon to offer a "My Heart Will Go On" necklace based on the jewel Rose wore in Titanic.
1997: Gellatly Cross Necklace - Book Piece
The original cross, 7 inches high, made in the 13th century was gifted to the museum by John Gellatly. The Avon cross, at 2+ inches, was created by designers from Avon and the Smithsonian and signed by both on a metal tag. Crafted in copper and champleve enamel, the cross was highly textured and etched. One side was plain; the other blue and white enamel.
Vintage Avon Jewelry Hallmarks
Some initials are merely an internal company code for who manufactured the piece.
Identified initials are: SH, MR, LYK, BW, WN, SP
K.J.L. for AVON (Kenneth Jay Lane)
Barrera for AVON (Jose and Maria Barrera)
Large script E within an oval (Elizabeth Taylor)
- Celia Sebiri for Avon - 1987
- Shaill Jhevari for Avon - 993 to 1994
- Coreen Simpson for Avon - 1994 to 1998.
- Billy D. Williams for Avon
- Trifari designed and made the 1986 Centennial Jewelry for Avon
Please note that a Canadian company, Avon of Belleville, made costume jewelry between 1945 and 1971. Those pieces have no connection to “our” Avon.
Here is a link to see all of the Avon marks.
Materials Used in Vintage Avon Jewelry
- Thermosets (e.g., silicone and polyurethane)
- Gold-tone metal
- Real gold (but rarely)
- Sterling silver
- CZ diamonds
- Cabochons (that simulated precious gems)
- Glass beads
- Faux pearls
Collectible Vintage Avon Jewelry
1988 – From the Burst of Spring collection, a green (“apple jade”) and white acrylic beaded necklace measuring 28-1/2 inches
1970s – Art Deco Style statement ring, adjustable so you can wear it on any finger. Notice the hinged front where the perfume is hidden away, yet handy.
1970s (estimated) – Locket (2 ¼ inches tall) with blue cabochon and rope chain (25 inches long) are gold-tone metal.
20th century – One of the rare pieces of fine jewelry rendered in 14K gold with 20 uniformly sized pearls and .10 carat brilliant diamond set in the center. This is a once in a lifetime piece for the buyer.
1992 – Gold-tone metal Christmas pin with six aurora borealis rhinestones, measures 2.25” high and 1 5/8” wide.
Is Avon Jewelry Worth Anything?
Yes, Avon jewelry is worth something to the people who collect it. Because Avon is a company that has been around for decades, and because they have massive distribution, there is a plethora of vintage jewelry designs available.
Most Valuable Avon Jewelry
The most valuable Avon jewelry includes:
- Designs by Elizabeth Taylor sell for a high price, some pieces can fetch upwards of $500
- Kenneth Jay Lane designs are highly collectible. They can sell for $200 - $500
- Avon's President Club pins are rare because they were not sold for retail and were only given to top Avon sellers.
Is Avon Jewelry Real Gold?
Avon mostly created gold-tone jewelry. There is some Avon jewelry marked with a 14k gold mark, so they did use some real gold, but it is rare.
Is Avon Jewelry Real Silver?
Most of Avon's vintage jewelry is silver toned and not made with real silver. They do have a section on their current website for sterling silver pieces.
One thing that contributes to the demand for vintage Avon jewelry is that it was limited. The market was never glutted with a particular piece or line. They were regularly discontinued. Another thing is that jewelry was only a small portion of the Avon business. Find a piece from the 1960s, and you have had a very successful hunt!
To see more examples of Avon jewelry, please visit the Avon pages on Etsy and eBay.
15 thoughts on “Guide to Vintage Avon Jewelry”
Hi I have a pair of heart earrings by Yves Saint Laurant
They are green enamel with a purple "stone" in the middle. I have only been able to locate 1 other pair identical except that it is a clip on while mine has a post. Any thoughts on the value or best ace to sell?
Hi Diane, its hard to say for sure what your earrings are worth. I would try messaging some vintage jewelry shops on Etsy and see if they might be interested in purchasing.
I am trying to find a children’s butterfly emerald birthstone necklace from Avon. I believe it is from the early 80s.
Hi Ann, I would keep an eye out for them on Etsy and eBay, I had a look but I don’t think I saw what you are talking about.
I found a Avon ring that is stamped Avon with the trade mark symbol. there is three dots above the trademark symbol aswell just next to the A . I can't find any other Avon rings or any forums explaining what it means.
Hi there, and thanks for stopping in. I have not heard of this mark and I can’t find any information about it. You could try contacting Avon directly and asking them.
Thank you for all the great information. There seems to be so many other hallmarks, NRT, NV, a square with a dot, are these also Avon hallmarks.
Hi Marilyn, I have not heard of those marks as Avon marks.
I have a pair of earrings, a large gold swirl, with Avon mark but there is another mark of a capital R inside a square box. Any idea what that is? Thanks.
Hi Ronnie, the R might be a mark that identifies the vendor who has manufactured the jewelry.
I found this necklace that has a mark on the back. An oval with AVON written inside & 09 above it. It contains lots of small brownish stones surrounding a rectangle shaped diamond like stone. Can you tell me anything about it??
Hi Marie, I am not familiar with that marking. You could check out this book on Amazon about identifying Avon jewelry 🙂
Hi, nice post! Thanks for sharing this information with us. Keep sharing!
Were all Avon jewelry pieces signed? I have a little red rhinestone and gold heart tennis bracelet from an estate sale, it’s light weight so not expensive, but in my research I’ve seen it listed as Avon unsigned.
Very good info.. thank you so much,