Vintage Lia Sophia Jewelry Guide

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Welcome to our guide to vintage Lia Sophia jewelry! If you’re a fan of this iconic brand or just love collecting vintage jewelry, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the history of Lia Sophia, the materials used in their jewelry, how to identify their jewelry marks, and some of our favorite collectible pieces. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just getting started, this guide will help you learn more about vintage Lia Sophia jewelry and where to find these rare and beautiful pieces.

What is Vintage Lia Sophia Jewelry?

Table of Contents

Who is Lia Sophia?

Lia Sophia is a jewelry brand that started in Chicago in the mid-1980s. It was sold at home parties, and the commission from these sales provided women with extra income. The jewelry line included both classic and trendy pieces.

About Lia Sophia

Lia Sophia was part of the Remington electric shaver and mustache trimmer conglomerate owned by Victor Kiam. After Victor’s death, his son Tory and his wife Elena Kiam took over the brand, revamping and incorporating it under the Lia Sophia brand name in 2004.

Lia Sophia was a direct sales jewelry company with independent representatives like Tupperware and Avon. Its mission was to empower women to manage their own careers and achieve their dreams – and it was mainly run as a non-profit operation, with substantial rewards going to its all-female sales team. The jewelry was sold through at-home parties by what was then called Lia Sophia’ hostesses’ or ‘advisors.’ At the time, customers could choose from everyday pieces for less than $20 up to more formal, red-carpet pieces ranging from $110 to $1650. Lia Sophia represented the democratization of jewelry, as anyone from a Hollywood A-lister to a stay-at-home mom could afford to look amazing.

Their collections included reasonably priced, attractive gold- and silver-plated pieces, many with gemstones, and their jewelry became popular all over the U.S., including in Hollywood. Lia Sophia was spotted hanging around some famous necks and wrists in the early 2000s, including Katy Perry, Tyra Banks, Jennifer Lawrence, and Eva Longoria. Teen Vogue, People Magazine, and Marie Claire often included Lia Sophia in their influential editorial articles.

Lia Sophia made costume necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, cuffs, and bangles in modern and even Art Deco inspired designs. Many of their pieces show bubble, circle, and triangle designs with dramatic, multi-color, or contrasting colors, such as a combination of black and red. Their pieces are highly wearable and are now sought-after collectible items.

Lia Sophia Jewelry History

1979 – Victor Kiam purchases the Remington company, and it begins turning a profit after years of losing millions. His commercials in which he stars – “I liked the shaver so much I bought the company” – are hugely successful.

1986 – Victor buys Act II Jewelry and changes its name to Lady Remington. He established a lifetime replacement guarantee for the jewelry.

2001 – Victor passes away. His son, Tory Kiam, takes the reigns of the jewelry business, revamping its image and product line to appeal to younger, trendier customers.

2004 – The company is relaunched under the name Lia Sophia, after his two daughters. Tory and his wife, Elena, a Harvard-educated architect and designer, give the company a more modern look, setting up a direct sales operation for stay-at-home moms and women looking to start their own businesses and further their careers.

Elena is the Creative Director and style genius behind the brand. She calls Lia Sophia “social fashion,” where women get to experiment with jewelry in a judgment-free zone where they can feel confident and beautiful in the company of their closest girlfriends.”

2008 – A Chicago Tribune article states that Lia Sophia now has 27,000 independent sales representatives nationwide who sell more than $100 million worth of costume jewelry a year. Lia Sophia “zone leaders’ earn an average of $357, 872 annually.

2010 – The top-earning Lia Sophia salesperson earns almost $4 million.

Lia Sophia issues two collections a year, with pieces ranging from $20 to more than $100. A separate, higher-priced, more fashion-forward line called the Red Carpet Collection is also developed. The Red Carpet Collection is distributed at celebrity-heavy events such as the Sundance Film Festival and parties in West Hollywood or Malibu, where A-listers are invited to accept gifts. Celebrities spotted wearing Lia Sophia Jewelry include Jennifer Aniston, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lawrence, Tyra Banks, and Gwen Stefani. When Oprah Winfrey wears a pair of the gold Lia Sophia Coliseum hoop earrings on the cover of O Magazine, they become instant bestsellers.

The line’s popularity appeals to both Hollywood and Middle America, which is not an easy accomplishment.

2015 – Surprisingly, the company suddenly closes, citing a ‘challenging business environment.”

Lia Sophia Jewelry Materials

Lia Sophia jewelry typically used a variety of materials in its designs, including:

  • Base Metals: Many Lia Sophia pieces were made from base metals such as brass, pewter, or zinc alloy. These metals were often plated with rhodium, gold, silver, or other finishes to enhance their appearance and durability.
  • Semi-Precious Stones: Some Lia Sophia designs incorporated semi-precious stones such as turquoise, jade, amethyst, or agate. These stones added color and texture to the jewelry pieces.
  • Glass Beads: Glass beads were commonly used in Lia Sophia jewelry to create vibrant and eye-catching designs. These beads could be faceted, smooth, or textured, depending on the style of the piece.
  • Crystals: Swarovski crystals or other high-quality crystals were often featured in Lia Sophia jewelry to add sparkle and elegance.
  • Enamel: Enamel accents were sometimes used to add color and detail to certain pieces, particularly in more whimsical or artistic designs.
  • Resin: Resin was occasionally used in Lia Sophia jewelry to create unique shapes or textures or to mimic the look of gemstones.
  • Shell or Mother-of-Pearl: Some Lia Sophia pieces featured shell or mother-of-pearl components, bringing a beachy or coastal-inspired touch to the jewelry.

What are Lia Sophia Rings Made out of?

Lia Sophia is considered costume jewelry or fashion jewelry. Pieces are not made with real silver or gold. However, Lia Sophia rings are made from high-quality gold or rhodium-plated metals. All gold-tone jewelry, including rings, is made with 18K-22K electroplate.

Silver tones are crafted from silver of rhodium electroplate to provide a tarnish-free ring. Some rings include semi-precious stones. Others contain glass or resin beads, crystals, rhinestones, shells, and faux pearls. Rings from the Red Carpet Collection that are made with enamel are especially beautiful.

Is Lia Sophia Real Silver?

No, Lia Sophia Jewelry only created costume or fashion jewelry. All silver-tone jewelry is made from silver or rhodium plate over a base metal.

Lia Sophia Jewelry Marks

Jewelry from Lia Sophia is marked “Lia Sophia” in lowercase serif letters or “Kiam Family” in title case with serif uppercase initials and the rest of the letters in a script font.

The brand sometimes used paper hang tags instead of markings on the metal, and since these tags get removed before wearing, some pieces will be unmarked.

Note that if you find jewelry marked “LIA,” these pieces are by Lianna Inc., a different company.

Is Lia Sophia Jewelry Worth Anything?

Yes, Lia Sophia Jewelry still has value in the vintage jewelry market today. The company’s general collection is an excellent entry-level jewelry brand for new collectors as it is still reasonably priced.

Initially, the company offered its shoppers two catalogs per year to shop and browse. Featured jewelry items ranged from $20 to $100 retail at the time.

There was also a higher price point collection called The Red Carpet Collection. This was marketed toward the Hollywood set. These famous ladies enjoyed exclusive home parties where the collection was offered for sale. Pieces in the exclusive line retailed for between $125 to over $1000. Fashion editors in Elle, Cosmopolitan, and even Vogue magazine featured these jewelry designs.

Lia Sophia Jewelry also gave away pieces to celebrities as an act of promotion. In 2011, Oprah Winfrey wore Lia Sophia earrings on the cover of O Magazine. Due to her influence on her fans, the demand for Lia Sophia Jewelry soared.

In the end, when the company finally shut its doors in 2015, all jewelry was liquidated at more than half the retail price.

Lia Sophia Jewelry Value

How much does vintage Lia Sophia Jewelry cost? Necklaces range at the lower end at $12 for a simple pendant on a silver tone chain. Silver-tone necklaces with sparkle, such as those containing rhinestones or crystals, tend to cost closer to the $40 mark. You will also find silver-tone Victorian-inspired charm necklaces with clear and milk glass engraved cameos at the same price point.

Generally, gold-tone Lia Sophia necklaces are available at the same price as the silver-tone pieces. For a long Art Deco style gold-tone tassel necklace, expect to pay about $30.

Vintage necklaces from the Red Carpet Collection can fetch between $100 to almost $700 today. The bigger the necklace, the higher the price. Large geometric pendants with central glass cut stones are available at lower prices. Higher-priced necklaces feature over-enlarged stones with decorative frames that are attached to make collar necklaces. Others have additional vertical drop elements.

Classic hoop earrings from Lia Sophia are popular collector’s items. These are priced at $50 or higher. Most are plain, yet some are embellished with metal fringe, tiny round tambourines, or simple stones. Embossed hoop earrings have rope and herringbone patterns.

The company’s “fairy tale style” hoop earrings have crystals around the outside perimeter. One glorious hoop earring design has rounds of abalone playfully dangling. Many of these earrings still hang on the original earring card holder.

There are endless drop earring varieties, generally priced between $10 to $20 per pair. Look for large teardrops, opened or closed with decorative scrollwork. Drop earrings with dangling beads add interest to the ear. Classic stud drop earrings have faux pearls close to the ear with delicate chains supporting additional pearls.

Vintage Old Gold Tone Earrings from PokitaGifts on Etsy
Vintage Old Gold Tone Earrings from PokitaGifts on Etsy

For less than $10, you’ll find tiny studs with heart motifs or flowers. Some feature cut crystals set in an elaborately decorative frame. Others are geometric in shape and studded with tiny pave rhinestones.

Lia Sophia bracelets start at the $15 mark. Examples include chain bracelets with toggle clasps, sporting cut glass and crystal, or slim bangles with a light sprinkle of rhinestones. Pretty antique style gold plated chain bracelets embellished with cut glass are also available at this price point. You will also find several varieties of stretch bangles in silver-tone or gold tones, with decorative engraving.

Lia Sophia Cuff Hinged Bangle Bracelet from PrimaveraTrading on Etsy
Lia Sophia Cuff Hinged Bangle Bracelet from PrimaveraTrading on Etsy

Be on the lookout for bangles comprised of three open bands, connected but still revealing the wrist. These are studded with rounds of colorful glass.

Large, opulent statement bracelets were popular designs in the Lia Sophia Red Carpet Collection. These can cost upwards of $250. Bronze, Smokey topaz, and other earth-tone enamels are mixed with rhinestone and marcasite. Bold, decorative hardware sits in the center of these chunky designs for added visual appeal. Closures are hinged or magnetic.

For Lia Sophia rings, again, think of bold designs. Most are affordably priced at under $35 yet are chic and fashionable. Cocktail rings feature over-enlarged central stones. Silver-tone rings lean toward light green and pale blue cut glass and crystal. Gold-tone cocktail rings are often paired with earthy brown stones. Some hold multifaceted stones, while others feature rounded cabochon cuts. Especially pretty are the floral cocktail rings featuring one large bloom.

You’ll also find thick bands with interlocking flower motifs. These pretty rings are completely covered in miniature rhinestones. It has the look of pave diamonds at a fraction of the price.

Watch for statement rings from the Lia Sophia Red Carpet Collection. These are well made and incorporate modern design. Best of all, they are priced between $25 and $75 each. You’ll fall in love with the chunky Art Deco-style rings made with enamel and studded with crystals. The Red Carpet Collection Blue Lapis and Carnelian Horn Ring is a beauty in a crossover design. Grab it if you can find your size!

Vintage Lia Sophia Necklaces

Some examples of Lia Sophia necklaces:

  • Martini pendant on a silver-tone snake chain
  • Crystal-embedded heart pendant in silver tone
  • Large silver-tone teardrop on a snake chain
  • Clear crystal studded ball pendant on a silver-tone snake chain
  • Large abalone rhinestone silver tone daisy pendant
  • Silver-plated Mohave turquoise teardrop pendant
  • Taggle clasped link chain in silver tone with a dangling bead pendant.
  • Divinity cross pendant in silver plate with a central flower and blue and black stones
  • Black leather necklace with toggle clasp and two silver plated hearts with rhinestones
  • Silver tone rectangular pendant with multiple rhinestone hearts
  • Single stone geometric cut glass pendent on a silver-tone necklace
  • Long silver tone necklace with alternating faux pearls and rhinestone daisies
  • Long silver tone necklaces with crystal inspired by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany
  • Long 24-inch chain with interspersed open daisy design in silver tone
  • Multiple circles necklace in silver tone
  • Multistrand silver tone wire necklace with silver- and gold-plated balls
  • Multistrand silver tone wire necklace with light blue geometric cut glass
  • Radiating circular necklace with central green glass stone crafted in silver plate
  • Gold-plated diamond-shaped pendant with a central rectangle of onyx
  • Silver plate charm necklace with a central milk glass cameo charm in green
  • Copper charm necklace with alternating brown glass rectangle and decorative circles in red
  • Large link, silver tone charm necklace with geometric-shaped charms
  • Long 30-inch gold tone necklace with three vertical beads ending in a tassel
Lia Sophia Abalone Necklaces from SistersFortuneStudio on Etsy
Lia Sophia Abalone Necklaces from SistersFortuneStudio on Etsy

Is Lia Sophia Jewelry Still in Business?

No, Lia Sophia closed up shop in 2015.

How to Clean Lia Sophia Jewelry 

An easy way to clean Lia Sophia Jewelry is with a little salt, baking soda, water, and aluminum foil. First, line a small bowl with aluminum foil. Then, place one and a half teaspoon each of salt and baking soda in a bowl. Pour in one-half cup of warm water. Add the jewelry and clean it with a small cloth. Rinse and dry.

How to Buy Vintage Lia Sophia Jewelry

Buying vintage Lia Sophia jewelry can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Here’s how you can go about it:

Online Marketplaces: Websites like eBay, Etsy, and Poshmark often have a wide selection of vintage Lia Sophia jewelry available for sale. You can browse through listings, filter by specific pieces or collections, and purchase directly from sellers.

Secondhand Stores: Check out local thrift stores, consignment shops, or antique stores in your area. These places sometimes carry vintage jewelry, including pieces from Lia Sophia collections. You might stumble upon unique finds at affordable prices.

Online Auctions: Keep an eye on online auction sites like eBay where sellers list vintage jewelry for bidding. Participating in auctions can be exciting, and you may have the opportunity to acquire rare or discontinued Lia Sophia pieces.

Social Media Groups and Forums: Joining online communities or Facebook groups dedicated to jewelry enthusiasts or vintage fashion could lead you to sellers offering vintage Lia Sophia pieces for sale. These groups often facilitate buying, selling, and trading among members.

Estate Sales and Garage Sales: Attend estate sales, garage sales, or flea markets in your area. These events sometimes feature jewelry collections, including vintage items like Lia Sophia pieces. You might find hidden gems at these sales.

Networking: Let friends, family, and acquaintances know that you’re interested in collecting vintage Lia Sophia jewelry. They might come across pieces during their own shopping adventures or be willing to part with items from their own collections.

Regardless of where you choose to buy vintage Lia Sophia jewelry, make sure to research the seller, ask questions about the authenticity and condition of the pieces, and review return policies before making a purchase. 

If you are a fan of vintage costume jewelry, you definitely don’t want to miss out on our article featuring the best vintage costume jewelry shops on Etsy! From unique and one-of-a-kind pieces to affordable yet stylish options, these shops have it all. So, what are you waiting for? Check out the article to discover your next favorite piece of vintage jewelry!


Start your collection now. Shop on eBay or Etsy for vintage Lia Sophia jewelry. 

What do you Think?

I hope you found this vintage Lia Sophia jewelry guide informative and helpful. Do you have any experience with collecting or wearing vintage Lia Sophia jewelry? If so, we would love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below. 

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12 thoughts on “Vintage Lia Sophia Jewelry Guide”

  1. I'm rather confused. I wound up buying a signed "Lia Sophia" cuff bracelet at a vintage auction. Is there something special about a piece of this jewelry that is signed?

    • Hi Michael, it is rather confusing…there seems to be some conflicting information on the internet about Lia Sophia jewelry. The information I have found is that Lia Sophia did not mark their jewelry, however, there are signed pieces of Lia Sophia jewelry on Etsy. I am unsure as to why this is.

  2. Thank you for this article. Found the information helpful. I have been collecting and reselling lia Sophia amongst other costume jewelry designers on eBay for about 7 years. You might have fun seeing what I’ve found too. I’ve handled almost everything in their collection though it doesn’t stay listed long if it’s rare.

    • Hi Denver, can you let me know exactly what you are looking for? Style, stones (if any), precious metal etc. I’ll be happy to look for you!



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