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Unsigned Beauties Of Costume Jewelry: Identification & Values 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1574321821
ISBN-10: 157432182X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

This book truly "sparkles" (like the author's name) and would make an ideal gift for costume jewelry fans. Thousands of jewelry items are illustrated in over 1,000 color photographs and are complemented by captions that include descriptions and values.

About the Author

Marcia Brown published her first book, Unsigned Beauties of Costume Jewelry, in 2000. She is the host and co-writer of the award-winning Venture Entertainment books-on-tape series Hidden Treasures: A Collector's Guide to Antique & Vintage Jewelry. She is a frequent contributor to the Vintage Fashion & Costume Jewelry newsletter. An antique and vintage jewelry historian, lecturer, and collector, Brown also provides private consultations for many dealers, mall owners, and collectors.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Collector Books; 1st edition (April 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157432182X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574321821
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #802,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I think the book is worthy of it's name. It recognizes the beauty of unsigned pieces and their value. Each page includes colored photos of unsigned costume vintage pins, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. The pictures are bright, clear, and vibrant. The only set back to this book is that the author has listed the value of the pieces a little to high. This is relative across the board though, so I wouldn't skip on purchasing this book. If you by vintage because you admire it's beauty and not it's maker, than this book is for you. Enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a decent book for prices and examples but didn't give much description on identifying. For instance it explains the different metals used to make the jewelry, but not how to identify which metal you have in your piece. Good for pics but not too good for identifying/dating pieces.
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Format: Hardcover
SAVE YOUR MONEY! The book title is deceiving if you are looking to "IDENTIFY" an unsigned Miriam Haskell, a Weiss bracelet, or a Trifari parure. Marcia "Sparkles" Brown provides pages upon pages of "sparkling" costume jewelry. However, there is no piece of jewelry in the book which is "identified" by designer or manufacturer. She describes;" SHE DOES NOT IDENTIFY - those are two very different things. Of course, if you do not know the difference between earrings, necklaces, bracelets and pins - or you just like pretty pictures, the book is a bargain. The book is also helpful if you want to learn the lingo, i.e. "cabachon, "parure." Her descriptions are excellently and accurately phrased. She also provides suggested prices per item or set. BUY ONLY if you want a suggested value or help in describing your own pieces. AGAIN, NO INDIVIDUAL ITEM IN THE BOOK IS IDENTIFIED BY DESIGNER OR MANUFACTURER.
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Format: Hardcover
Most of "Unsigned Beauties of Costume Jewelry: Identification & Values," by Marcia "Sparkles" Brown, consists of labeled, full-color photographs of pieces of jewelry: brooches, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc. The book also contains an introduction and sections discussing such topics as rhinestone history and tips for starting a collection. A glossary, bibliography, and index further add to the book's usefulness.
But it's the stunningly beautiful photographs that really give this book its punch. Brown has assembled an eye-popping collection of pieces that employ many different motifs: butterflies, floral designs, fish, birds, mythological/fantasy figures, whimsical characters, fruit, patriotic motifs, abstract geometric forms, pieces reminiscent of military medals or heraldic insignia, etc. Pictured are rhinestones of a rich variety of shapes and colors. Every page brings new and marvelous treasures.
In her author's notes at the start of the book, Brown notes that she considers rhinestone jewelry to be "the true 'American art form.'" Her passion for the subject really shines through in this visually pleasing compendium.
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Format: Hardcover
I love this book!. It's chock full of excellent pictures and information for the vintage jewelry collector, whether a novice or one of long-standing. The book is well organized in its layout. I've discovered it's a 'collectible' book in its own right. Author, Marcia Sparkles Brown, has a video, which I also own and recommend.

Although not a whole lot on each designer, some mention is better than none. To find references to Judy Lee, BSK, LaRoco, Park Lane, Avon, Capri, Art, JJ, Les Bernard, Capri, etc. was of interest to me when I first started collecting jewelry because of the scarcity of volumes on these names. Other designers, such as Lisner, Coventry, Napier, Monet, etc., also included in this book, were more easily found when doing searches for designers.

The book has no index, so this may be a concern to others. But the designer names are presented in alphabetical order.

Gail Gupton, Author: The 31-Day Diet of Spiritual Enlightenment and Seekers of Truth.
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Format: Hardcover
I was looking forward to receiving this book because as a collector I did not have a book on unsigned costume jewellery. However I was disappointed with the copy I received.

My main complaint is the quality of the illustrations. For the most part the photos are dull, too dark and the colours are distorted. Some pages have a definate brownish tint and other pages are quite grey. In comparison to other books on the suject the photos lack colour and clarity but this may be due to the printing and perhaps I received a particularly bad copy.

The book has 3 chapters that give insight into the birth of costume jewelry, the metals, stones, shapes and settings and also how to start a collection, date and restore pieces.

For the price the book covers the subject well.
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By A Customer on June 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A Sensational book on the topic of "unsigned" that is way over do. With hundreds of pieces featured and color pictures. I love the way the author formatted the book by categories ... makes looking up pieces easier. A very welcomed addition to my personal library books on Costume Jewelry!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an "author self-published" book that was not subjected to proof-reading for typos, spelling errors, and grammatical errors. The audience level is too informal for my taste. This book was expensive. The list price was high but it's content adds nothing to the reader's understanding of costume jewelry. This is really a book about what the author likes. Not to be mistaken as a resource or guide about unsigned costume jewelry because it lacks any content regarding how to examine a piece of unsigned costume jewelry for clues that will help identify when it was made, what materials were used, or even where it was made. Pass on this book is the best advise.
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