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Sunday, 28 September 2014

This Weeks New Arrivals To KCA Vintage Gems

We had some lovely new arrivals in the shop this week,  this lovely cloisonne brooch by Fish and Crown in purpley/blue was one of the brooches added.  I know the brooch comes in either blue flowers or red,  it is a modern brooch,  that I have often seen described as vintage whilst it is beautifully made its certainly not old.  The flowers depicted on the brooch are violets.  Fish and crown is a manufacturer of cloisonne and sterling silver jewellery, they began production in the 1980's so some of their earlier items  are indeed vintage.  Interestingly whilst commonly known as Fish and Crown jewellery, ( the backs are marked with a fish, two fish or a crown and a fish ) the brand itself appears to be specifically named Fine enamels owned by an American Company Fish enterprises.  Their enamel work is strikingly beautiful often featuring floral designs.
Fish And Crown Enamel Floral Blue Brooch

Another lovely cloisonne brooch was also added to the shop this week,  although unsigned it appears to be a smaller version of a floral brooch by Sea Gems.  Sea Gems is a British enamel and silver jewellery designers based in Cornwall,  they too began in the early 1980's so some of their earlier designs are classed as vintage too.
Floral cloisonne Enamel Oval Brooch

Some lovely items from the Miracle jewellery company were also added, including this lovely Celtic style Ribbon brooch and pendant set.  Set with lovely blue art glass.
Vintage Miracle Celtic Ribbon Set

Another Miracle jewellery piece was also added this week, a lovely faux tortoiseshell brooch in an art nouveau design.  The brooch has a link to the back so that it can be adapted and worn as a pendant.
Vintage large faux tortoiseshell brooch by Miracle

Fans of animal jewellery will love this Noah's Ark brooch with animals approaching the ark and already inside,  its designed in silver tone metal.. I have seen this design both in sterling silver and pewter, this one is unsigned but so kitsch.
Vintage Noah's Ark Brooch

Also added to the shop this week was this vintage triple stranded twist necklace, its very reminiscent of sphinx designs but is unsigned.  The necklace is designed in gold tone metal with two of the strands being cobra chains and one being a serpentine chain, twisted together creating a striking  necklace.
Vintage Twisted Three Strand Necklace

These were just a few of the new pieces that I added to the shop this week, I am hoping to spend a little time this week researching some of the more obscure companies that I have not being able to find out much about.  Fingers crossed it proves to be a productive week.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

This weeks new additions to KCA Vintage Gems

Its being a week of misty mornings and even though the temperatures are still high for the time of year here, there is definitely a touch of Autumn in the air, Halloween will be here before I even know it, for some reason that holiday always sneaks up so quickly on me. I never feel fully prepared, its just always feels rushed.  Anyway in honour of one of my favourite holidays some lovely Gothic style jewellery was added to the shop
I particularly love this Gothic black heart cameo pendant and necklace,  This would be great accessory when you want to goth up, or even to wear on Halloween itself.
Large Black Heart Cameo Necklace

A lovely vintage black paisley floral brooch was also added to the shop, its really beautiful and does have a Gothic vibe to it.  Paisley in clothes and jewellery became so popular in the 1960's, it also had a revival in the 80's.  I actually really love paisley patterns and will not be surprised when it becomes the ' must have ' again.
Vintage Black Floral Paisley Brooch

I love some the rhinestone/paste jewellery from the 40's, they took so much more care in polishing and setting their stones than we seem to do with the modern mass produced jewellery today. So I was really pleased to add this stunning vintage floral spray brooch to the shop.

Vintage Layered Floral Spray Brooch With Safety Chain

Continuing with the flower trend a lovely scarf clip manufactured By MASJ was also added to the shop.  I believe the design is of a honeysuckle flower, I'm not so knowledgeable when it comes to botany so if you think the design is another flower please let me know.  MASJ jewellery is manufactured in pewter, then a coating of silver is applied,  and is often referred to as their silver scenes range.  Their jewellery is beautifully detailed and carefully finished. The company MASJ was based in Wales and run by a husband and wife team Edward and Maureen Ann Story-Jones, this brooch/scarf clip would have been produced in the early 2000's.  The couple retired in 2005
Vintage Style Scarf Clip By MASJ

I love jewellery that makes me smile and this cute vintage  happy clown brooch that was added this week does just that
Vintage Happy Clown Brooch

Clowns in the rain or holding umbrellas are actually a commonly occurring image in jewellery.  Their popularity may be due to just an image of happiness in not the best of situations,  though some of the clowns don't appear to be happy at all.
Charlie Chaplin known as one of history's best comic actors/clowns was quoted as saying ' I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying '   So maybe that is where the more melancholy designs of clowns in the rain originate from.  Its certainly interesting as I have another vintage clown in the rain brooch, in the shop,  wearing an outfit remarkably similar to the images we associate with Charlie Chaplin from the movies.  I may research further into these brooches to see whether any designs are inspired by the iconic Charlie Chaplin.
Vintage Clown In The Rain Brooch

And lastly and unusually some new as in, not pre-owned or vintage items were added to the shop this week some lovely natural gemstone bracelets including a rose quartz tumbled gemstone bracelet
Rose Quartz Tumble stone Bracelet

A stunning Haematite chip mineral bracelet
Haematite Chip Bracelet

And a red jasper stone chip bracelet
Red Jasper Stone Chip Bracelet
I love natural stone jewellery, as well as the properties the individual stones are supposed to endow they just look simply stunning.
And on a final note our twitter competition to win a Sarah Coventry open work rose brooch closes tomorrow at midnight.  Good luck to all those who entered, if you haven't but would still like to here is the link

Sunday, 21 September 2014

A Little bit of News For September

I know it might seem a little bit late in September to be adding Septembers news but there are some great offers that I had to mention postage is now free on all UK orders above £25.00, for anyone in the UK who has placed an order in September above £25.00 don't worry you will have been automatically refunded by now.  Also all orders in September are now entitled to receive a free amethyst tumblestone, don't worry again if you missed out, its on its way to you, as long as you placed your order in September.

Yes I am free with your September orders
Its so nice to able to put offers on and amethyst is such a lovely stone, if you have placed an order or are ordering in September I hope you love your freebie,  if your interested in amethysts I did a blog post on them a while back

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

And The Other New Pieces This Week

As I mentioned in my last post I was unable to include all the new additions for the week to our online shop KCAVintagems in one post, it would have been too long.  So here are the rest of the jewellery pieces that didn't make it to the last post.

Some really nice vintage necklaces were added, including two vintage Scottish style murano bead necklaces, very current with the Scottish referendum about to commence.  The Scottish murano bead necklaces are beads designed to look like the rare Scottish agates that used to be utilised in Scottish jewellery,  they are so rare now, that even in Scottish themed jewellery that contains real agate its extremely unusual for the agate to have originated from Scotland.

This one contains a mix of square and oval beads, separated by gold spacer seed beads, and is really pretty
Vintage Scottish Murano Bead Necklace

This Scottish Murano bead necklace is a little longer than the first one it contains only square beads with gold spacer beads and bead caps
Square Scottish Murano Bead Necklace

Our Scottish themed jewellery collection like our animal jewellery collection is really expanding it too now has its own dedicated Scottish and Celtic Style Jewellery page and is too updated regularly.

I just love this vintage blue glass bead necklace that I also added, the beads are in a graduated size scale, with and adjustable length hook clasp.  Its lovely and bright and the beads have an lapis lazuli look to them.
Vintage Graduated Blue Glass Bead Necklace

Jet style necklaces are so very stylish,  and this hand knotted vintage french jet necklace added this week is just lovely
Vintage Hand Knotted French Jet Necklace

Real Whitby jet jewellery became amazingly popular during Victorian times as Queen Victoria wore it as part of her mourning jewellery and it took off as the height of fashion. Unfortunately Jet is fairly rare, the price reflects this and not everyone could get their hands on it. It can also be fairly difficult to manipulate as its quite soft.  So French jet was born, its origins were in France ( Hence the term French Jet ) though its quickly became manufactured in other countries, its still known as French jet.  French jet is in its simplest terms polished black glass, as true jet holds a high polish, it was the perfect modestly priced imitation.

A lovely pair of vintage cloisonne earrings also made their way into the shop this week,  they have lovely white flower detailing.  I would love to say what these flowers are but I am oscillating between white roses or tulips,  of course neither may be right as my botany skills are not up to par.  If any one knows for sure I would be grateful to know, any way they are lovely even though they remain a mystery flower to me.
Vintage White Flower Drop Cloisonne Earrings.

Also added this week was a lovely vintage pink and clear rhinestone brooch, it has a lovely layered rhinestone design.  A lovely vintage piece of jewellery
Vintage Pink And Clear Rhinestone Brooch

And last but not least I added a Carnelian stone stretch bracelet, its not vintage and its tones are browner than what most people would associate with carnelian stones but most carnelian today is actually dyed to achieve those darker oranges and reds.  Its still a lovely bracelet and at only £2.99 its actually quite a steal.
Carnelian Stone Stretch Bracelet

Well that was most of the jewellery pieces added to the shop this week, as you can see it was a really busy week.  I am hoping to add a few factual exploration of some jewellery styles and meanings to the blog next week, but sometimes, well all the time, time to myself is a luxury, last week worked, fingers crossed for this week.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A busy week, loads of new vintage jewellery and a Competition!

The week for the shop was actually a great deal busier than I had anticipated.  I got to add some lovely new items to the shop, and as I hadn't ran a competition in ages,  I opened a new competition on our twitter feed to win a vintage Sarah Coventry open work rose brooch.  If you would like to enter just pop over to our twitter feed, there are more details on our previous blog post

I love animal themed jewellery, this week some really lovely pieces of animal jewellery found their way into the shop including this lovely vintage butterfly art glass choker necklace by exquisite.  Exquisite jewellery manufactured by W.A.P Watson is becoming more and more collectable and necklaces by them are rarer to come across than some of their other jewellery pieces. Its in an excellent condition too
Vintage Butterfly Art Glass Choker Necklace By Exquisite

I also added two lovely vintage bird brooches one is of a goose in flight, carved from a single piece of adventurine,  its lovely in its simplicity and so stylish.

Vintage Carved Adventurine Stone Goose Brooch

The other was of a vintage rhinestone studded kingfisher

Vintage Kingfisher Rhinestone Brooch

The shop is building up a lovely collection of animal themed jewellery so much so that we now have our own dedicated animal themed jewellery page, its regularly updated.

I previously mentioned adding the butterfly necklace manufactured by exquisite to the shop, it was not the only addition by Exquisite there was also this stunning oval abalone shell brooch.
Vintage Oval Abalone Shell Brooch By Exquisite

On the subject of vintage designer jewellery and with my love of all things manufactured under the Sphinx jewellery label, I was really pleased to pick up a few lovely Sphinx pieces,  not all have made their way to the shop yet. But this stunning art glass piece was added, I just love this brooch and the condition is excellent.

Vintage Art Glass Brooch By Sphinx

Some new sterling silver pieces were also added this week, two designer vintage rings and this lovely Celtic knot work necklace
Sterling silver knot work pendant and chain

The rings that were added are lovely the first one is by a company called LDP,  I haven't been able to find out much about them, its a modernist style ring with Zirconia stones, fully hallmarked and dating to 1980
Modernist Style Sterling Silver Zirconia Ring

The other ring is beautiful with a centrally set opal and garnets in sterling silver, fully hallmarked and dating to 1978 from the company P & R Bushell, sadly no longer in existence.  They folded in the early 1990's.
Vintage Sterling Silver And Garnet Ring.

As you can see I have been busy,  this wasn't even all of the jewellery pieces that made their way online this week.  I will do a second post, my favourites I have to say were the sterling silver ring with opal and garnets, the Sphinx brooch and the Exquisite butterfly necklace.

New Competition On Twitter

A short but sweet post just to let you know I currently have a new competition running on twitter to win a lovely vintage Sarah open work rose brooch, just retweet our competition tweet and follow to enter, the competition closes on midnight 24/09/2014
You could win me!

The competition is also listed on The Prizefinder website    so good luck to everyone who enters!
<a href="" title=" - home of competitions and prize winning" target="_blank">Win competitions at</a> - See more at:
<a href="" title=" - home of competitions and prize winning" target="_blank">Win competitions at</a> - See more at:

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

New Items In This Week

I finally managed to breathe a sigh of relief this week as all the children are now back in their respective schools.  I love having them at home,  but the summer holidays leaves little time for myself, and lessens the time I am able to spend working with the shop.  So with them now back at school I managed to add some great new vintage items to the shop. 

For fans of Sphinx jewellery a lovely modernist style pendant on its original snake chain was added to the shop this week.  It truly is stunning with contrasting silver and gold tone metals.
Stunning modernist style pendant and necklace by Sphinx.

Another lovely necklace that was added this week was a faux malachite bead necklace,  it has all the lustre and beauty of true malachite,  without any of the inherent weaknesses associated with the stone. Its just gorgeous.
Stunning faux malachite necklace

A lovely textured sterling silver pendant and necklace by Rowi also found its way into the shop.  Its in a simplistic modernistic style of a cut away triangle,  a really stylish piece of jewellery.
Vintage modernist style textured sterling silver pendant and necklace by Rowi.

Love rhinestones this stunning floral spray brooch, will add a splash of vintage glamour to your day. Circa 1950's it would be great to wear at a wedding or prom. A really lovely addition to our rhinestone collections.
Vintage floral rhinestone brooch

Last but not least this pretty twee vintage scarf clip from the 1980's was added to our online shop. It has a lovely floral English garden design, a really cheerful jewellery piece.
Vintage 1980's English Garden Design Scarf Clip.
Remember scarf clips don't have to worn solely with scarves they are great to clip on to handbags, the V line of tops and dresses, over pockets and even onto shoes.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

New pieces in this week

We had some lovely new additions to the shop this week.  For those who are a fan of the Jewellery by Miracle we had a large Vintage St Margarets cross pendant and chain with red faux carnelian glass.  Definitely a statement piece.
St Margarets Cross Necklace By Miracle

The name of the  necklace model itself is known as St Margarets Cross,  St Margaret was a extremely devout woman who became Queen of Scotland, during her life she undertook many acts of charity and showed great compassion.  After her death she was later canonised which was unusual for the time as she was neither a virgin ( she had eight children ), nor did she die a martyr.  There is no specific design of cross associated with St Margaret, it seems rather that this design has been dedicated to her.  Showing lovely Celtic knot work, which would have been popular at the time Margaret lived  as well as the faux carnelian adornment,  ever popular in Scottish jewellery.

I also added another Miracle brooch to the shop this week,  its a lovely garter/buckle style brooch

Vintage garter/Buckle Brooch By Miracle.

A really pretty Miracle Scottish design with faux agate stones.

For those who are a fan of butterflies two really pretty enamel brooches were added
Vintage Enamel White Butterfly Brooch

Vintage Multi coloured Butterfly Brooch

Butterfly brooches can be worn singularly but also look great when worn together, wear a few to create your own kaleidoscope of butterflies.

We also added a modern Candy Hearts ring,  the ring is made from Argentinian silver and is adorned with diamond chips and amethysts.
Silver Diamond and Amethyst Candy Hearts Ring.
This lovely ring is is from the brand Candy Hearts and is currently in H Samuel for £89.99,  currently  in our shop for only £39.99

Being a lover of the 80's vintage style I was pleased to add these fun geometric shape clip on earrings by Trifari
Vintage 1980's Trifari earrings
These are lovely clip on earrings,  with yellow enamel and gold tone metal.  Clip on earrings are suitable for both pierced and non-pierced earrings.  I find them really useful as despite having pierced ears,  I actually flare up to a lot of earrings apart from gold, and gold earrings are seldom available in the bright, fun designs I love.

Anyway thanks for reading and don't forget to pop into the shop for a look around. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Vintage Sphinx Jewellery

History And Beginnings

Sphinx jewellery is a collectable vintage British UK Jewellery brand.  Sadly as with a lot of the vintage British costume jewellery companies, not a great deal of information abounds about them.  The company was started in the late 1940′s by S Root and was based in Chiswick, London.  They were known for their well made, glamorous costume jewellery, producing a wide spectrum of styles and designs.  They also designed for other costume jewelers and high end stores across the UK and United states.  Sphinx jewellery can be identified by having the  name Sphinx stamped in an oval cartouche often accompanied by a design code stamp of a letter and numbers.
Some  pieces were unsigned as they were marketed for their customers to sell on as their own, there simply wasn’t room on the piece, or their was a rush to reach production quotas.  Some Sphinx pieces are only stamped with a design number,  this has led sadly to a common misconception that any piece marked with only a design number can be attributed to the Sphinx factory.  This sadly is not true as quite a few companies marked their jewellery this way.  The Sphinx brand finished production in the late 1990′s.
Vintage Modernist Twist Brooch By Sphinx

Since then the jewellery has become more and more sought after.  Whilst the sphinx name is no longer associated with jewellery production,  the factory itself still appears to be producing jewellery for other companies.
Sphinx jewellery was never afraid to shine, often reveling in large chunky statement pieces.  This large cat brooch is a great example of this,  one of the later pieces by Sphinx.
Vintage Large Cat Brooch By Sphinx

Sphinx items currently available in our shop 

Vintage modernist style faceted jet black glass necklace by British designer Sphinx.

Vintage, large, raised, blue and green enamel shamrock brooch by British designer Sphinx.
Vintage Modernist Twist Brooch By Sphinx

 We regularly update our available Sphinx items;

All About Amethysts.

Amethysts are one of my favourite naturally occurring stones.  I find their purple hues stunning and I always marvel how nature is capable of creating such things of beauty.  So I have decided to dedicate this post to them.
Modernist Style Sterling Silver And Amethyst Vintage Ring. 

Amethyst is a type of  purple quartz, it can be found in may shades from a light lavender pink through to deep purple shades.  Siberian amethyst ( the term doesn’t necessarily mean it comes from Siberia ) refers to darker amethyst.  Amethyst with a more pinkish tone is named ‘Rose De France ‘.
Amethyst is a hard durable stone, and is often banded in colour,  so its usually cut into rounded brilliant shapes or smoothed into cabochons to help display a more uniform colour.

Tumbled Amethyst Stones Displaying Banding.

The use of amethysts in jewellery can be traced back to the times of the ancient Egyptians and they have never really gone out of fashion.  Until the 18th century amethyst was one of the most expensive gemstones available, considered as valuable as diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds.  Then large deposits were discovered in places like Brazil which rapidly reduced their rarity and as a result their price.
Amethyst is the birthstone of February and has associations with the star signs, Pisces, Aries, Aquarius and Sagittarius.  It is considered a symbol of piety, modesty, peace of mind and is popular in meditation and spiritual healing.
Its believed the origin of the word amethyst means ‘ not drunken ‘ and there are several myths surrounding the Greek God of intoxication ‘ Dionysus ‘  and a chaste maiden who spurned his advances.  Whilst she fled from him the Goddess Diana took pity on her,  and turned her into a white stone.  Full of remorse Dionysus cried tears over the stone which turned the stone purple,  there are variations on this, such as he poured his wine on the stone, or knocked over his drink in a show of guilt/remorse but the end result is pretty much the same.  Indeed in ancient times many drinking vessels were carved from amethyst in a bid to prevent intoxication.
Amethysts are currently mined in several countries including Brazil, Kenya, Madagascar, USA and one of largest mines in Maissau in Austria which is open to the public.  Where you can excavate your own amethyst polish it then take it home.  I know it might not be most peoples ideas of a holiday but that is so on my bucket list.

Currently available in amethyst in our store;

Modernist Style Sterling Silver And Amethyst Vintage Ring.
Silver, Diamond and Amethyst Candy Hearts Ring