Please visit our online shop KCA Vintage Gems

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

Hello World

This is my first short but sweet blog post to the world.  What to say  I love jewels, precious, semi precious and man made and whats more I love vintage items,  well I just adore history and the research aspects of it.  I also love the more modern jewelery items that are that little bit different.  I love finding out the history of not just the jewelry items themselves but the stones, clasps and when I can even the people involved in the manufacturing process.   Our first in depth post will come soon and it will be all about amethysts.  Thanks for reading!